Jason and I recently embarked on a driving trip through the Southeast. This was our first road trip together and it was quite successful. I did a crap ton of planning ahead of time so that things would go smoothly. I also did tons of research to find out the places that were worth while. We spent about two days in each city, so I am going to post a little guide of some of our favorite places to check out. We are coffee lovers, so there will be lots of shops included!
Today’s guide: Charleston.
Our first stop was Black Tap Coffee. We had been driving since 5am and didn’t arrive until around 12pm, so it was definitely time for a cup of coffee.
The vibes were great. The shop was smaller, so it was a little hot with all of the people crammed into it, but other than that, we had no complaints. We talked to some of their baristas about good places to explore in the area, and they had some great suggestions. Black Tap just started roasting not too long ago, so we talked a little about that, and ended up buying a bag of beans from them. If we lived in Charleston, this would probably be a frequent hang out spot for us. We quickly did some work (yes we both worked on our vaca!) and then headed out.
We passed the Old Jail on our way through the neighborhood… you know… casual. The Old Jail building served as the Charleston County Jail from its construction in 1802 until 1939.
We wanted a real Southern experience, so we decided a trip to a historical plantation would do the trick. We went to Middleton Plantation, and it was BEAUTIFUL!
Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark and home to America’s Oldest Landscaped Gardens. According to the website, “Built in 1755, the House Museum interprets four generations of Middleton Family, with extraordinary family furniture, silver, porcelain, rare books and portraits on display. Birthplace of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Middleton Place and the Middletons have played an important role in American history. The property has miraculously remained under the same family stewardship for some 320 years, and today, successfully preserves history for visitors to enjoy.” Being a history buff, this was pretty impressive!
There were gardens on gardens on gardens! It was fun to sort of get lost in the different parts of the property. PS- it’s 65 acres! Talk about a big garden! I loved that I kept seeing hydrangeas everywhere I went! I love them, and they don’t just grow like that in Florida, so it was a pleasant surprise
We toured the gardens, the chapel, the stables, the mill, the many graves throughout the gardens, as well as the slave cemetery, but we did not tour the house. The house tour is not included in the admission price, for future travelers. There are many ways to tour Middleton Place, but we decided a self guided tour was best for us because we like to explore!
It was extremely hot, so we were happy to check into our AirBnb after that. After we were showered up, we headed out to dinner.
We went to The Grand Bohemian for a cocktail to start
For dinner we went to Butcher and Bee and we couldn’t have been more pleased!
We were extremely impressed with the food and the service at this place. We HIGHLY recommend it. They serve everything for sharing, so Jason and I were able to order several different things, which is always a plus. Everything was fresh, and beautifully displayed. They also had vegetarian options, which was a huge plus for us.
Then we went to Edmund’s Oast for an after dinner drink, which was conveniently located right behind the restaurant. This place was also recommended by the baristas at Black Tap. The atmosphere was really cool, and we were able to sit outside under the twinkle lights. We didn’t find it to be over crowded, which is often our complaint with bars. The beer was great, and it was exactly what we were looking for. It was the perfect way to end our first day of vacation.
The next day we did a lot of walking, and boy was it HOT!
We began at Poogan’s Porch for brunch. We were sure to make a reservation here, as we heard it gets packed quick! There was a line out the door when we arrived right before opening.
Jason must have gotten shrimp and grits at every restaurant we went to on this trip, so of course, that is what he ordered here too. I am not a fan of grits, but these were EXCELLENT! We wished we could have been seated outside, because the patio was adorable and so was the front porch.
We then went to White Point Gardens, also known as The Battery.
I mean, this place was stunning. It is right on the water, and the perfect place to enjoy a picnic or just some casual wanderings. White Point was first used as a public garden in 1837. With the outbreak of the Civil War, it became a fortification for the city. Also, in the 1720s a famous pirate named Stede Bonnet was hanged here with another 50 more of his kind. He was later buried nearby. You can find a memorial of him in this park as well.
PS- this top is from Anthropologie, and was great for this extremely hot day! You can find it here!
We had originally planned to take a carriage ride through downtown Charleston, but the temperature was 100 degrees. We still saw horses out and about but knew they must be exhausted. It really was not cool enough for horses to lugging around carriages. We even saw people protesting the horse carriage companies with signs on their porches saying “Too hot for horses!” We decided it was for the best not to take a tour. If we were exhausted, so were they. So, we walked!
After that, we explored in Charleston City Market.
There were lots of local shops and makers. We were happy to explore through the air conditioned portions of the market too! 😉 It was definitely worth the trip through. We were able to find some cool prints to take home for cheap!
Then, we wandered down King Street. This is a major shopping street, full of stores that I LOVE! We happened to come on the second Sunday of the month, and they had the whole street shut down. They had live musicians, and other vendors along the street, which made it even more interesting for us.
I currently work for URBN inc, so I am always interested to go into the different stores they have. Their Anthropologie was beautiful, but our favorite was the Urban Outfitters on King St.
I happily bought a pair of shorts to change into because I was SWEATING! This heat was something different than anything I have felt in Florida. I might have started to get a bit dehydrated too, because suddenly I didn’t feel too well.
We went to a little sandwich shop along King St. to recharge.
We definitely needed a little pick me up by this point, so we headed over to Kudu Coffee after that. We liked that it was part bar, and part coffee shop. Jason enjoyed a glass of beer and I enjoyed a glass of wine after our coffees were finished. The decor was eclectic, and there was a great amount of seating outdoors. We really liked the environment. After this, we decided to go back to our Air Bnb to rest.
We chatted with our host, and decided to take their advice on a place for dinner. We headed out to Folly Beach, and went to this hole in the wall bar that served tacos and rice and beans. It was delicious, and had a great price tag! It was called Chico Feo. This seemed like the kind of place that locals could stay a while. The bar was outdoors, with dogs freely roaming. The service was quick and friendly. It was perfect, and gave us an excuse to see Folly Beach.
We walked across the street to the beach as the sun was setting. We dipped our feet in, and admired the pier, and headed in for the night.
In the morning, we started our drive to the outer banks in North Carolina.
More to come,