It only took a few minutes in Charleston to understand why everyone who visits the charming city is cast under it’s spell. Filled with history, beautiful architecture, good food and downright kind people it’s hard not to fall in love at first sight. Julia, Pam and I planned our trip rather quickly and a bit last minute so we didn’t have much of an agenda when we arrived. But it didn’t matter, because there’s so much to do in Charleston we filled our days quite easily. Read on for more of our stay and see my other posts from Charleston here and here.
We stayed at the Zero George Hotel which a few people said was a bit off the beaten path. While it felt quiet where we were, it certainly didn’t feel out of the way and was actually quite nice to be a little bit from the hustle and bustle of downtown. I can’t say enough about how wonderful the Zero George Hotel is for a stay in Charleston. It has that “home away from home” feeling of coziness, charm and comfort while still giving you the privacy and luxury of a hotel.
Their complimentary European style breakfast in the morning is the perfect way to kick off the day. You can serve yourself and eat inside or outside at the Cafe or grab a tray and bring breakfast back to your room.
The hotel also offers complimentary bikes which we took advantage of on our first full day. Charleston is a great city for riding bikes and you can cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. We rode from the hotel down to Waterfront Park and Rainbow Row, then back through the French Quarter and into downtown for Acai bowls at Beech before we shot with Clay. It was truly a fun and relaxing day.
We took some time wandering around little side streets and neighborhoods. Rainbow Row is a must see when you’re in Charleston.
Walking around the French Quarter, the oldest neighborhood in Charleston, reminded me a lot of Newport. I’ve heard a few people say Charleston is the Newport of the south and I can see why.
The pastel painted stucco homes and palm trees along Rainbow Row will put an instant smile on your face. I noticed a lot of walking tours around the area, which is a great option if you have a bit more time.
What you can’t really tell from these photos is that most of these homes have enormous yards which is not something you see often in a city. We stuck our heads through a few gated yards to see huge in ground pools and beautiful landscaped lawns. I think I must have said goals about 100 times.
The little cobblestone roads were my favorite, particularly this hidden alleyway that Clay took us to one morning. The lush greenery and overgrown ivy make you feel like you’re in a fairytale.
On our last afternoon we hopped in an Uber to explore Middleton Place, an old rice plantation about 20 minutes from Zero George. Not only is it home to the country’s oldest landscaped gardens but it has remained under the same family for over 300 years.
You can either go at your own pace and explore the property or do one of the several guided tours of the grounds, main house and stables.
If you haven’t been to Charleston I can’t say enough how much I loved my few days there. I am definitely looking forward to going back and spending more time exploring all that the city has to offer. It’s a vibrant city with gorgeous weather, nice people and insanely good food. Speaking of, one thing we realized when in Charleston, you have to plan ahead for the restaurants. Many require reservations weeks or months in advance. We weren’t quite prepared for that but still managed to eat some really delicious meals. Here’s a few spots we really enjoyed during our stay:
Minero – Still dreaming of this meal, it was SO good
Hominy Grill – southern food
Beech – really yummy acai bowls
Cannon Green – one of my personal favorites for the drinks, food and ambience
The Watch Rooftop at the Restoration Hotel – Recommend doing this one during the day or before the sun goes down