Where's Mer, you ask? Lucky me, I am in Charleston this weekend! I have the good fortune to come here a few times a year and enjoy all that this beautiful city- and the surrounding area- has to offer. An easy plane ride from Chicago and an even easier one from NYC, the charm of this city leaves you yearning to start a bed and breakfast that serves warm biscuits with honey- who's with me?
With cobble stone and spanish moss covered streets, beautiful people, outrageously inventive food, and plenty of pulls to the natural world the low country sure boasts an impressive lifestyle- if only for a weekend at a time.
Planter Inn: Historical Inn right in the middle of Charleston filled with charm and southern hospitality. Be sure not to miss the famous coconut cake in their renowned in house restaurant- The Peninsula Grill.
Grand Bohemian: A glamorous new hotel with a bold style and luxury accommodations. Nestled in the center of the best Charleston has to offer this hip spot is definitely worth a stay.
Charleston Place: Classic and grand luxury hotel at the top of everyone's list of where to stay. With incredible amenities and unbeatable location this place is hard to beat. Visitors tip: skip the in house restaurants and explore what the surrounding area has to offer.
It must be said that Charleston is a reservation town. To get into the best restaurants (of which there are many) you need to plan ahead. We often joke that you should make your dinner reservations before you book your plane ticket but this is not too far off and actually might be good advice.
FIG: Arguably the best restaurant in Charleston. After many attempts to get a reservation we were finally successful this trip and dined there just last night. It was absolutely amazing. The staff is incredibly passionate about what they do and man do they do it well.
Husk: One of the more famous restaurants in Charleston and worth all of the hype. Serving up refined yet deeply authentic southern food this spot is all about doing justice to low country flavors and traditions. The cocktails ain't bad either.
McGrady's: In the Husk family, Sean Brock has another winner in McGrady's. McGrady's can best be described as sophisticated family style food. The dishes are meant to be shared and once the first round of food arrives you will be quite happy about that because you will want to taste everything. Every offering down to the in house baked bread is simply scrumptious and the service is the picture of southern gentility.
Edmunds Oast: This slightly more casual spot definitely does not compromise on quality and has a heavy focus on beer. Serving up some of the best micro brews around paired with delicious culinary delights it never disappoints. Edmunds Oast boasts a great outdoor seating area and the more low key location makes it a great upper peninsula restaurant that is paving the way for great spots to come!
167 Raw: Haling from Nantucket Jesse Sandole is carrying on the family tradition in his tiny first come first serve seafood joint. Keeping it classic New England with items like lobster rolls and embracing their southern locale with an offering of Po'boys this spot always has a line but I have heard it moves quickly. Be sure to order some fresh oysters while you wait for your main!
There a so many incredible shops in Charleston whether you are in the market for clothing, art, antiques, or artisinal honey you are sure to find what you are looking for. Here are some of my favorites:
Finicky Filly: This womens boutique offers classic designer labels such as Tory Burch and DVF
Grady Ervin & Co: Just the spot for your dapper southern gent to pick up a bespoke sports coat, a beautiful tie, or a casual button down.
M Dumas & Sons: A bit more youthful than Grady Ervin & Co this is another famous Charleston clothing store for men.
Pink Chicken/Blue Rooster: An adorable children's clothing boutique for boys and girls. Sizes start at 3 months.
Roberta Roller Rabbit: The colorful cotton brand has a great shop on king st, I love their kids line and their bright home accents.
South Of Market Home: For all of your design and hostess gift needs
There is much to see and do in Charleston other than eat delicious meals and shop. If you are looking for a more cultural experience browse the galleries on King and Meeting or sign up for a walking tour. Hit the links in Kiawah or check out one of the many well maintained plantations in the area. Surf at Folley Beach or head out to Bulls Island to experience the wildlife preserve.