Special thanks to Kristen Shaw, Kayla Lassiter and Morgan Edwards for the recommendations and Oona Peacock for the photos.
Sometimes, South Carolina can make you feel like you've stepped back in time - old plantation houses, horse carriages, and the palm trees. Yet, other times it shows you how up to date and exciting it is to be in the South. The sunny Palmetto State is a universal weekend getaway. Whether it be the energy of college game days, unparalleled SEC tailgates, or handfuls of unique beach towns, South Carolina is an ideal choice to unwind, relax, and revitalize.
Things to Do
Marsh Jam at The Bend: The first Thursday night of each month during summer hosts live music, food trucks, and is even BYOB.
2nd Sunday: Every second Sunday the main road downtown, King Street, gets shut down and is open to pedestrians filled with vendor booths and food carts.
Demetre Park: Serene park nestled downtown. Great for a picnic.
Fort Sumter: One of Charleston's historic sites, check it out for a unique history lesson.
Holy Spokes:Rental bike company found all over town. Take them down to the waterfront park for sunny views.
King Street shopping: Check out the boutique shops and local eateries. Street is lined with beautiful palm trees and pastel painted buildings.
Marion Square Farmers Market: Saturday morning market, local hand made goods and fresh flowers.
Palmetto Breeze: Offers sunset boat rides. For a couple or big group, wonderful way to enjoy a beautiful Charleston evening.
River Dogs Game: The open air stadium and ball park treats should not be missed. You can view the schedule and buy tickets here.
See a show: Pour House or Music Hall, check schedules online for most current gigs/tickets available.
Shem's Creek: Bars line the water. Great for day drinking, tons of vendors to choose from.
Sullivan's Island: Great nearby beach with beach bars and food. Check out Poe's, Catbeard Ice Cream, or Taco Mamacita.
Thomas Ravenel Bridge: Walk or bike on the bridge to look over downtown and the water.
Places to Eat
5Church: Mimosa flights and the "holy s*!t brunch", everything on the menu is worth getting.
82 Queen: Swanky, old-school feel with intimate courtyard. This Southern cuisine suits a fancy night out on the town.
Butcher & Bee: Farm to table done right. They partner with local farms and fishermen to bring fresh local dishes to Charleston.
Early Bird Cafe: Hearty in calories but worth every single one. Don't pass on the biscuits.
Hall's Chophouse: "Gospel Brunch" provides soulful live music during brunch, true southern-style food.
Huriyali: Health focused with booster shots, smoothies, and bites.
Ms. Roses: Cheap mimosa flights. Southern comfort food, everything on the menu is worth trying.
Obstinate Daughter: Memorable meals and a short walk to the beach.
Shelter: Another top-notch brunch spot.
Andolini's: Pizza, beer, what else could you need?
Carmella's: Favorite dessert place in Charleston. Chocolate gelato is to die for.
Fleets Landing: Great View of the Water, fresh seafood.
Gin Joint: Give them three adjectives for a drink and they'll create a drink unique to you.
Home Team BBQ: Open until 2:00 a.m. Late night BBQ nachos, need we say more?
Leon's Oyster Shop: Tasty oysters and fried chicken.
Poe’s Tavern: Edgar Allen Poe themed resturant on Sullivan's Island. Walls are lined with pages from his work and each item named after a story or character of his. Ideal for any literature fan.
Taco Boy: Very casual and eclectic. Great margaritas, insane fish tacos.
Crab Shacks: Crab Shacks has been a local favorite for twenty years, serving the freshest seafood in the Charleston area.
The Rise: Quaint coffee and pastry shop.
The Roost: Best place to watch any sporting event in Charleston.
Triangle: Cheapest mimosas. Pigs in Cake is a must try.
Vintage: Shared plates and extensive wine list including a "blind tasting option." If you guess the wine correct its free.
Virginias on King: Downtown. Classic fried chicken, hands down best in the city.
Xiao Bao Biscuit: Hidden gem! Unique, modern twist on Asian food.
5Church: Daily features and a very elevated menu along with specialty cocktails.
Places to Stay
Airbnb is the way to go. You can even Airbnb a House Boat. Hotels in Charleston are outrageously priced.
Uber and Lyft are your best bets if you want to get back and forth between beaches. Everything around downtown is within walking distance and very accessible.
Horse Buggy: A different way to get around, unique to Charleston. Slightly pricey though.
Black Tap Coffee
Corner Street Coffee
Coumbia, South Carolina
Places to Eat
Gourmet Shop: Super cute place with all your brunchy needs.
Cantina 76: Great tex-mex and best tacos in town.
Motor Supply: Everything is from local farms and the menu is seasonal. Items never get stale and always tastes super fresh!
Things to Do
Game Cock Football: There's not many things that beat the excitement of an SEC football game - and hopefully you'll catch the Gamecocks on a winning day.
Go to the fair: In the fall the fair is the perfect place to ride some rides, eat greasy food, and hangout with loved ones.
Get outside: There's plenty of state parks around Columbia where you can walk, hike, and be active.
Visit the Zoo: The Riverbanks Zoo is so fun with lots of animal exhibits.
Places to Drink
Bar None: Not your typical Columbia college bar. Super edgy, serves some of the best cheese fries around!
River Rat Brewery: One of the best breweries in Cola. Outdoor areas for corn hole and dog-friendly.
Bourbon Bar: Name is self-explanatory. Some of the finest bourbons around and great food, too.