Charleston & Kiawah Island: Our Minimoon!
Hellooooo friends! Coming from ya live with a new last name!! Well, not officially, but you get what I mean. In case you missed it, Yale and I got MARRIED on October 20th! EEK! It was the most magical wedding (more on that later), and can’t believe I am finally married to my best friend! We had the most incredible day, and were lucky enough to get to take a quick “minimoon” right after the wedding. We decided to go somewhere within driving distance to try and save a little money, and settled on Charleston and Kiawah Island, South Carolina. It was about a 9-10hr drive, but so fun to road trip with my new hubby!
We were only in Charleston for 3 days, and Kiawah for 2, but we definitely saw and ATE lots! I wanted to share those things with you here, for anyone who’s traveling to the area soon! I hope you find this little guide helpful! This includes a list of places we ate, as well as some recommendations I got from you all, but weren’t able to visit. You could LIVE in Charleston and still not hit all of the best foodie spots…there are so many!!
Where We Stayed: I asked you all in a poll on my Instagram, the best places to stay in Charleston. Many of you recommended The Restoration on Wentworth, so we decided to stay there (another popular option was The Dewberry, but The Restoration was a little more in our price range). The Restoration was a great option since it was right off King Street, and super close to other popular walking/sight-seeing areas. I wouldn’t say it was the nicest hotel I’ve ever visited, but it was fine considering how little we were in our room. The staff were very accommodating, and provided complimentary breakfast baskets to our room, which was a fun perk. I would love to stay at The Dewberry next time we’re in Charleston, since I heard it was quite lovely.
Monday: Since we drove, and hit some unexpected traffic on our way down, we had to cancel our reservation at FIG, which absolutely broke my heart. Looking back, I wished we had tried to reschedule, or just walk-in, since it was so close to our hotel, but guess we will just have to go back! Since we arrived so late, we stopped by The Vendue Rooftop Bar for a pre-dinner drink, and then found a sports bar called Meeting At Market where we ate a quick dinner at 11pm. I got fish tacos which were DELICIOUS and Yale got a burger. We were hangry and exhausted, but were glad to stumble upon a restaurant that served food so late on a Monday night.
Tuesday: We were so eager and excited to explore Charleston for our first full day! We walked down King Street, which has great shopping, and made our way over to The Battery & the Waterfront Park. In that area there are some SERIOUSLY AMAZING homes. One of my favorite parts of the trip was admiring all of the HUGE homes around there. Be sure to walk down cute side streets. We found this amazing cheese and wine shop called Goat Sheep Cow on Church Street. We grabbed a bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers to save for when we got to Kiawah. The shop is absolutely adorable, I’d highly recommend stopping in there while you’re in Charleston.
A few doors down from Goat Sheep Cow was a cute boutique called Madison Mathews that sells BEAUTIFUL tunics, dresses, and other fun clothes. If you love shopping like me, definitely pop in and see what pretty pieces they have in the store. I picked up two tunics.
After shopping and drooling over strangers’ homes, we stopped into Magnolias for lunch. I had a glass of wine, a big salad as well as fried green tomatoes over grits (had lots of cheesy grits during this trip!). They had delicious food, and the restaurant is located right in the heart of the French Quarter. Very charming little area. We continued to do a little sight-seeing and walked our way to over to the Charleston City Market to peruse the different vendor tables.
For dinner we had our favorite meal in Charleston at SNOB (Slightly North of Broad), that came highly recommended by my friend Rixey’s mom. We were SO GLAD to have gone there, because the food was absolutely delicious, and the restaurant was adorable. Our waiter Paul was so great, and made us feel super special in helping us celebrate our wedding.
Wednesday: Wednesday was our last full day in Charleston, so we wanted to make the most of it. We decided to do a little bit of shopping on King Street, and walked all around town again. We stopped in at Second State Coffee where I grabbed an iced espresso with almond milk which was DELICIOUS! Plus this coffee shop was too cute to miss!
We walked around the College of Charleston campus a bit before heading to Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits on King Street. OMG these were delicious! We sampled 3 of their biscuits and were fueled for the rest of the afternoon. So tasty and indulgent.
Wednesday evening began with a cocktail at The Restoration rooftop bar, which was an awesome scene! Highly recommend checking it out! I’d recommend it over The Vendue for sure! We wished we had stayed there for dinner!
So I debated sharing where we went for dinner on Wednesday, only because our meal was a big disappointment. We ended up going to The Darling Oyster Bar for dinner because it came SO HIGHLY recommended by so many people! Unfortunately, we think Yale got a bad oyster…and to add insult to injury, the rest of our food was just so-so! Nothing special, definitely wouldn’t recommend. However, my cocktail was tasty! Just wanted to share our experience, in case you were on the fence about trying The Darling over another restaurant like Husk or FIG. Oh well, you live and you learn!
Thursday: Thursday morning was our last morning in Charleston before we headed to Kiawah, and we were so excited and ready for some rest and relaxation! Before heading out, we grabbed another coffee from Second State Coffee before meeting up with my friend Maddie at Queen Street Grocery. I grabbed a smoothie and Yale got an egg and cheese sandwich.
Before heading to Kiawah, we wanted to stop by Sullivan’s Island, a small island 20 minutes from downtown Charleston. We are SO GLAD we did this and stopped in at The Obstinate Daughter, because the food was absolutely incredible. We both agreed lunch at The Obstinate Daughter was our favorite meal of the entire trip. We love totally unplanned adventures, and this was one of those situations! Yale and I had a few adult beverages, incredible Grit Frites, pizza and beet salad which was to die for. Seriously this was our favorite part of our entire trip. We would go back to Sullivan’s alone just to eat here again. Absolutely 100% go to The OD if you can! Afterwards we walked around the main street for a bit, popped into Goldbug and bought a necklace, before heading to Boone Hall Plantation. We took an unexpected tractor tour of the plantation property (and by unexpected I mean, the tractor driver saw us walking towards the trailer and told us to hop on!), and were blown away. We couldn’t believe the history that flooded those grounds. Fun fact: Boone Hall was featured in one of my favorite movies, The Notebook!
We were blown away by The Sanctuary Resort on Kiawah Island. I had heard it was beautiful, but it exceeded our expectations. Yale and I were absolutely thrilled to be there for much needed R & R. Since the Island is so small and secluded, we dined at The Sanctuary both nights, which I absolutely loved. Zero pressure or plans, my type of trip.
Friday: Many of you recommended we rent bikes and tour around Kiawah Island. Thankfully, The Sanctuary offered bike rentals which was perfect. After taking a long beach walk, we petaled around for a bit, ogling over beautiful homes and Spanish moss-covered trees. Such a fun adventure morning!
We also visited some of the other golf courses on the resort, which were stunning. Our time spent in Kiawah might sound uneventful to some, but it was just what we needed.
Friday night we ate dinner at the lobby bar at the hotel, and enjoyed several cocktails to celebrate the last night of our minimoon. We had the most wonderful trip, we both can’t wait to go back!
Saturday: While we were definitely sad for our little trip to be over, we were certainly ready to head home (although not ready for the 10 hour drive that was to come). One of you recommended stopping by the Angel Oak tree on our way out of town which was really cool! Such a gorgeous and HUGE tree!
If you’ve made it this far, I hope you enjoyed this post and find it helpful for your future travels!