Our Favorite Things to Eat, See and Do in Charleston

Liz Adams Chicago fashion bloggerthe best mom bloggers in ChicagoCharleston South Carolina City Guidefashion and lifestyle blogs in Chicagothe best things to eat, see and do in Charlestonpeter pan floral dress from Anthropologiehow to dress like you live in the SouthCharleston South Carolina City Guidesouthern charm in Charleston South Carolinatips for vacationing in Charleston SCwhat to pack for a trip to Charleston South Carolinathe best places to eat in Charleston South CarolinaCharleston holds a special place in our hearts. My grandparents retired to Seabrook Island in 1980, a little island next to Kiawah and about 20 miles from the city. In 1985 my parents got married in a little chapel on the beach on Seabrook. It is a place I have visited every year since I was born. My grandfather used to always say, “if you retire somewhere good, people will visit.” Sure enough, it has become a place we visit frequently. 

When my grandparents eventually moved to a retirement community closer to Charleston, their kids (including my mom) kept their house for all of the grandkids to visit as often as they could. Lucky for us, we are able to take advantage of this opportunity often! So although we don’t stay in Charleston, we know our way around pretty well. 

I always get asked about our favorite things to do and see while we are there so here are some of our tried and true favorites. I usually go to my friend Chassity for suggestions (her blog is adorable!) – you can check out her Charleston City Guide here

Where to Stay

Zero George: a quintessential boutique hotel with complimentary bikes to ride around town, beautiful rooms, a delicious restaurant and the most amazing complimentary breakfast. 

The Mills House: you see a lot of photos of this hotel on instagram because it is pink and pretty and really central to everything you could want to see in downtown Charleston. Steps away from amazing restaurants, the Battery and shopping on King Street. Very kid friendly and it has a roof top pool for hot summer days.  

The Sanctuary: if you make your way to Johns Island (Kiawah and Seabrook), I highly recommend booking a night or two at the Sanctuary. It is a beautiful little oasis on the prettiest stretch of beach. 

Where to Eat

Leon’s Oyster Shop: I think this may be our favorite! Great vibes, great food, great cocktails and just a fun place to chill with friends. Get the fried chicken sandwich and the Siam salad. They also have rosé on draft!

Husk: Located in an old home on Queen street, this place is a great spot with delicious food. Book ahead because they fill up fast! Perfect for date night and we love going for brunch. 

The Ordinary: We actually tried this for the first time on our last trip but had been meaning to go for awhile! It’s located in an old bank and seriously has the coolest ambiance. Known for their oyster bar, this place also has delicious cocktails served up at a huge bar stretching almost the entire restaurant. We went on Tuesday night for Lobster Roll night and they were insane

The Rarebit: My family and I love going here for brunch. A little retro and so much fun to grab a cocktail in a pretty vintage glass. We love their huevos rancheros (my favorite), chicken & waffles, hot chicken and the po boy. 

Butcher & Bee: Another place we tried for the first time on our last trip and LOVED IT. Serving honest to goodness food, coffee, pastries in a fresh space. We loved the veggie burgers, the chicken shawarma, the brown rice bowl and the hummus (so so good). They also own The Daily which I’ve been meaning to try, too!

167 Raw: This place is small but their food is fresh and delicious! We visited in the summer and sat outside under twinkly lights. They have a great raw bar, delicious tuna burger, lobster roll and tacos!

Xiao Bao Biscuit: Chassity took Dave and I here a few trips back and oh.my.gosh. Labeled asian soul food, this place is good. Also, the vibe is cozy and calm and makes you want to stay awhile. We got the cabbage pancake with pork candy…and other stuff that was so good but I don’t remember looking at the menu. I could never forget that cabbage pancake though…mmmmmmm.

Where to Shop

Hampden Clothing: Recognized as one of the top boutiques in the country, Hampden is what dreams are made of. Every brand you could possibly want in one place. The end.

Indigo Market: Dreamy vintage furniture, home decor, artwork and accessories. 

Roberta Roller Rabbit: Charlie wears their pajamas all the time and you guys always compliment on how cute they are! He got one of their tepees for Christmas and is obsessed. 

Candlefish: The prettiest candle shop (you can even take classes!) filled with gifts and prints and hilarious cards. I have this Chicago print framed in our living room that I purchased last year. 

Candy Shop Vintage: Jewelry that makes you happy. 

Mitchell Hill: An unreal home decor store (you can see a preview on my instagram). Their art collection is out of this world. 

Indigo & Cotton: Amazing store for men. 

What to Do

Walk along The Battery and get lost wandering the streets of Old Historic Charleston.  

Visit the Gibbes Museum.

Go see the Angel Oak.

Drive out to Kiawah Island and have lunch at the Ocean Course

Go to the beach on Sullivan’s Island.

Check out local plantations: Chassity recommends Boone Hall and Middleton

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! We have been to almost all of these places (not the plantations or the beach on Sullivan’s). 

Outfit Details: Anthropologie Dress (almost sold out, also love this and this), Stuart Weitzman Lowland Boots, Givenchy Bag, Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Pink Nude

*side note: so many cute things at Anthropologie linked below!


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15 thoughts on “Our Favorite Things to Eat, See and Do in Charleston

  1. Perfect timing….I’m taking my mom to Charleston for her 75th birthday in May!! We will definitely check out many places on your list. I’m new to your blog and I wanted to let you know how much I love it and look forward to your posts. I’ve ordered several items and always receive compliments….so thank you! ?
    (Houston, Texas)

  2. Amazing round-up! I’m headed to Charleston next Thursday for my bachelorette party. We’ll have to check out some of these spots.

    I had a question about the weather this time of year. Given you are from Chicago and used to the cold like myself, coming from Toronto, I was wondering what kind of jacket you would recommend? Day vs. Night?


  3. Loved your lipstick colour as I scrolled through the pics so I’m going to pick myself up 1!

  4. The next time you are in Charleston, I would love for you to stop by the Finicky Filly. We are updating our look and we also offer a subscription box service called the Brown Box Club that is like Christmas every time it arrives. I love your blog, and would love to work with you.

  5. Love this post! I didn’t realize your family had a place on Seabrook! Mine does as well and it’s such a special place for us. We live in Saint Louis and don’t get down as often as I would like though. We always like to try new places “in town” so your suggestions are great! Maybe we’ll see y’all at the Pelicans Nest some time! ?