Charleston Travel Diary

A Perfect Weekend in Charleston

Charleston is…everything. A beautiful city. Lovely people. Incredible food. Full of charm and history.

I may not be plotting a move there, but an annual visit is definitely in the cards from here on out.

We spent a quick 48 hours in Charleston two months ago, where we caught up on sleep, ignored our inboxes, and took in the best the city had to offer.

It’s safe to say that we’ll be back soon.


  • My friend Grace is the queen of Charleston weekend getaways, and I used her extensive guide to help plan our own weekend.
  • Chassity’s local city guide (she lives in Charleston in the most stunning home!) is filled with off-the-beaten-path gems
  • Goop (hanging my head in shame) has a solid guide as well – especially on the hotel front.

Where To Stay In Charleston, South Carolina


Belmond Charleston Place
205 Meeting Street
We opted for the Belmond Grand – a splurge, but worth it. It’s centrally located, offers a outdoor pool deck, and we took advantage of their club level for free breakfast and snacks/cocktails in the evening. This hotel fuses Southern charm with contemporary elements (new bathrooms and TVs, comfortable beds) perfectly. The service was fantastic as well. If the Belmond Grand is in your budget, definitely stay here.

Oyster Presentation At McGrady's Tavern In Charleston


82 Queen 
82 Queen Street (at King Street)
We attempted to get lunch at Husk (without a reservation), but the wait was too long and we were hangry. Right next door was 82 Queen, where we lunched on fried green tomatoes (yum), chicken bog (a gumbo-jambalaya-esque delicious dish), and limoncello cake. The best part of the meal, however, was the barrel-aged gin old fashioned. So good – and also not because we were starving. 
The Macintosh
479 King Street (at Radcliffe Street)
Like every restaurant in Charleston, the portions here are generous and the food is outstanding. Definitely order the sausage (and eat it with accompanying mustard and pickle) and the corn salad. And don’t you dare miss Mac’s potatoes and truffle frites (and then dip the frites in the potatoes, because oink). Wash it down with a Witchdoctor.

32 N Market Street (at East Bay Street)
Holy brunch. Literally, as this restaurant is inside of an old church (with The Art Of War painted on the ceiling, no less). The food is great, but the presentation blew me away. The coffee (which is great, and I don’t typically drink drip coffee) comes with cookies and jelly beans. The Charleston poutine is a heaping mound of carbohydrate goodness. And you can’t go wrong with the French toast and grapefruit mimosa.
McGrady’s Tavern
2 Unity Alley (at East Bay Street)
We realized that it was our 7 year dating anniversary as we were seated here – which called for champagne instead of cocktails, and the most decadant items on the menu. We started with the oysters (which were good – but the atomizer of mignonette sauce was perfect), the burger (which was hollowed out and filled with béarnaise sauce), and ice cream brûlée (which was better than you could imagine). This meal was, hands down, one of my all-time favorite meals.

What To See And Do In Charleston, South Carolina


Charleston City Market
188 Meeting St (at South Market Street)
Steps away from the Belmond, the Charleston City Market is a mix of local craftsmen, bakers, makers, and sellers housed under three structures, spanning several blocks. I picked up a cuddly toy made in Philadelphia Eagles fabric, a small bouquet of palmetto roses, and some pralines to snack on as we weaved through the stalls and different wares. It’s a great place to pick up a few souvenirs to remember this magical city – and to bring home presents for your kid and those who watched him.
Calhoun Mansion
16 Meeting St (between Atlantic Street and South Battery)
Admittedly, all I knew about the Calhoun Mansion was its ambiguous tie to Kathryn C. Dennis from Southern Charm. And while the connection between Kathryn and the mansion is less clear than the show’s plotline, it’s still worth a visit. The mansion is filled with eccentric collections (read: chic hoarding), with private rooms of the new owners on the top floor. It’s beautiful. It’s random. It’s definitely worth a visit.

Have you been to Charleston? Got any favorite places that I didn’t make it to? COMMENT below and let me know!

What To Do In Charleston