Charleston Travel Guide
Charleston Travel Guide
Ever since my husband and I started Red Cedar Landscapes, we’ve been trying to make a habit of taking a vacation before spring comes and the busy season is upon us. This winter in Michigan has been unusually intense so when we were brainstorming our travels, my top priority was somewhere warm, a personal requirement of at least 50 degrees in February. We also decided it had to be somewhat close since we only had 5 days to escape, so that pretty much ruled out the west coast (sad, I know, I LOVE the west coast!)
We had been to Charleston a few years ago and fell head over heels for the weepy, giant oaks and all of the historical homes. When we visited a few years ago, we went to Asheville (another favorite city of mine and also a repeat trip,) I was sad that we didn’t have time for Savannah. So when my husband said it’s supposed to be in the 60’s and 70’s in Savannah, I said DONE!
It was cheaper and faster for us to fly to Charleston, so we got a day to revisit some favorites and explore some new places before driving two hours to Savannah. Here’s what I think you should consider when wandering to and through charming Charleston.
Probably my favorite thing we did was visit the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and the Audubon Swamp Garden. The house tour and Audubon Swamp Garden both cost extra to have access to, but I would highly recommend spending the extra money to explore all that this area has to offer. It took us about two and a half hours to walk the gardens and the guided house tour was 30 minutes where photography was prohibited inside of the home. The gardens are stunning and the Audubon Swamp was vivid green and unique.
A trip to Charleston isn’t complete without a visit to the Angel Oak Tree. It’s estimated to be in excess of 400-500 years old, stands 66.5 ft (20 m) tall, measures 28 ft in circumference, and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet. From tip to tip Its longest branch distance is 187 ft. So it’s basically huge and definitely something you’re going to want to see with your own eyes. We also visited Sullivan’s Island and drove the Arthur Ravenal Jr Bridge. There’s a viewing area allowing great photo ops of the bridge.
We also did the self-guided tour of the Aiken-Rhett house. This is not a restored house but instead, a preserved one, meaning it hasn’t been updated in any way and you can really see the age of the house. Each guest gets a set of headphones that plays a recorded guide from room to room with history of the home and slave quarters.
We mapped out our own walking tour of Charleston to see all of the charm for ourselves. This is the route we took and it took about two hours: walk to Colonial Lake, a beautiful public park, and from there, take Rutledge Ave to the South of Broad neighborhood; take Lenwood BLVD to Murray BLVD to White Point Garden on The Battery; walk up Battery Street to Rainbow Row; take E Bay ST to S Market ST to Charleston City Market.
There are so many good restaurants in Charleston and as usual, we never have enough time to try all of them. We had brunch at the Butcher and the Bee, Hominy Grill, and Leon’s. I loved the interior of each place and the food was fantastic. For a quick breakfast before heading to the airport, we stopped at the Daily for a juice and breakfast sandwich that was very tasty. We couldn’t get into Husk but we did enjoy amazing dinners at Magnolia’s and the Darling Oyster Bar. We also had a quick and delicious counter service lunch at the Hen and the Goat.
We checked out Holy City and Revelry Brewing, both of which are definitely worthy of a visit offering quality beer and great atmosphere.
Highfalutin Coffee Roasters and Second State Coffee were both top notch and I would highly recommend you check out both.
There are so many good Bed & Breakfasts with tons of southern charm. It was a hard choice but we decided to stay at Zero George, by far my fave and so dreamy with the patio area. All of the buildings are stunning. We also stayed at The Mills House, a pink building with a cute and cozy courtyard, placed next to Husk which is notorious for having incredible food and requiring a reservation months in advance. Our last night we stayed at the Belmond Charleston Place, the interior was beautiful, the pool area was stunning and it’s right across from the Charleston City Market and near the shops on King Street. Both the Mills House and Belmond have more of a hotel feel that is very upscale but I prefer the luxurious and intimate B&B vibe of Zero George best.
Where are your favorite spots in Charleston?
My name is Anna VanAgtmael, and I am a certified yoga instructor with a passion for yoga, travel, and connecting with others.
I believe in trying everything once. My values lie in collecting memories over things. Though we desire adventure and authentic experiences, naturally our fear holds us back.
My ambition is to inspire and encourage you to unmask your fears and jump into the unknown.
Anna VanAgtmael | Yoga Enthusiast | Travel Designer