We have been wanting to visit Charleston, South Carolina for years and this summer, thanks to a wedding invitation from a cousin, we finally had a darn good reason to brave the long drive with a toddler and go!
Eight hours in the car with a two year old sounded dreadful, but by the grace of God, she was a dream the whole way down and back again!! We arrived in town just before 5pm, checked into our hotel, then set off for dinner and sightseeing.
We ate at a Mediterranean restaurant on King St. called Leyla. The service was great, food was good, but prices were astronomically expensive and didn’t seem justified. Following dinner we stopped for some ice cream and cookies then headed towards Waterfront Park a.k.a the park with the pineapple fountain! From our hotel, the Francis Marion, the park is about a 25 minute walk.
Just past the park and to the right is the iconic “Rainbow Row” – this is a marked attraction on Google maps, so it’s super easy to find.
As the sun sank lower and lower and the sky became the most beautiful shade of periwinkle, we started to make our way back to the hotel. My first reaction to Charleston was how surprised I was to see so much history still in tact!! This is a history lover’s dream and one of the most photogenic cities (if not THE most) in the United States. We did a lot of walking (and carrying our smallest family member), but if you need a set of wheels there are local-run bike cabs all over, or the classic horse-drawn carriages to get you around the beautiful historic city!
We started off Friday, our first full day in Charleston, by checking out one of the breakfast joints I’ve heard every blogger raveeee about for the last six months, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit.
No, I’m not from the south but I DO know how to cook and DO know what a proper buttermilk biscuit should look and taste like. These were absolutely terrible; beyond dry and aside from the intense drying bitterness from the buttermilk, had little to no flavor except from the bacon (of the two slices you get for $7, one was completely under-cooked). The bacon, egg and cheddar sandwich that I picked out of the few menu items listed was sub-par to even the worst sandwich I’ve made at home, if I’m honest. The service was less than pleasant and the two-foot wide walking space that quickly filled with people was extremely uncomfortable. Ignore the blogger hype and skip it.
The morning was made much more pleasant by a stop into a doughnut shop called Glazed. The coffee was good but the doughnuts were out of this world!! The half-eaten one pictured above is a chocolate almond cheesecake lovefest. A little dollop of almond flavored cheesecake in the center of a Madagascar vanilla glazed doughnut sprinkled with almond slivers and drizzled with chocolate – heaven. Layla had a raspberry glazed, Lilly had a Chocolate frosted glazed, and we shared the Madagascar vanilla glazed in the photo – literally the best doughnuts I’ve ever had and all made from scratch in the store!
Following breakfast, we headed to Sullivan’s Island for a little beach therapy!
I absolutely LOVED the long boardwalk we took through the marsh and over the dunes to get to the shore! So pretty and something we haven’t seen at any of the other beaches we’ve lived near. While we always love going to the beach, the strong wind (hoping it’s not always this windy?) was enough to make us leave after just two hours. My girls and hubby loved being able to walk out to the sandbar about 20 feet from the beach…I joined them but was in a slight panic the whole time fearing a fish or something might brush up against my leg…EWWW. (Not a water person).
After the beach, we went to my favorite restaurant of the whole trip and had my favorite meal of the whole trip!
We found a makeshift table at The Obstinate Daughter and ordered a few pizzas and a meatball sub for hubby. I had the Moultrie pizza which was AHH-MAZING! Pepperoni, shiitake mushrooms, cheese and the most delicious pizza sauce I’ve had in a long time! I ate the whole pizza by myself and pretended not to hear hubby ask for a slice, haha!
Arrival & Day One Recap:
SKIP – Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, and Leyla (both on King Street).
SEE – Stroll to Waterfront Park, Rainbow Row. Eat at The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island, Glazed on King Street.
Up next – A couple of shops you can’t miss and a strangely beautiful place just off of the main road.