Distance from Atlanta, GA: 268 miles
Best time to go: Fall/Winter
Best for: Shopping, Foodies, Beaches
Named the Top City in the World by Conde Nast and one of the best places to live according to Money Magazine, Charleston, South Carolina used to be one of our best kept secrets. The city is known for its rich history and well-preserved architecture, as well as its foodie community and southern hospitality. In light of the Christmas season, it’s interesting to note that the Poinsettia is originally from Charleston. In the 1820s, Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States minister to Mexico, brought a red winter-flowering plant back to his home and eventually the flower became the botanical symbol of the season.
4:00 pm – Check-in to The Restoration on King, a unique luxury hotel on King Street that’s in the middle of everything.
6:00 pm – Grab a cocktail on the roof of the Stars Restaurant to see a panoramic view of the city at sunset before dinner.
8:00 pm – Have dinner at The Rarebit for some southern fried catfish and Granny Smith apple pie. Don’t forget to have a mint julep from the bar to complete the southern immersion.
10:00 pm – Finish out the evening at The Cocktail Club, where you can choose from an array of drinks from farm fresh to experimental to classic.
7:00 am – Take a bike ride! Rent a bike from The Bicycle Shoppe ($28/day or $7/hour). The best architectural tour is south of Broad Street. Make sure to pedal down Legare Street and Rainbow Row. The streets will open up to the Battery on the southern tip of the peninsula and take a break at White Point Garden.
9:00 am – Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, hop over to Hominy Grill for breakfast. The big nasty biscuit is a must try.
11:00 am – Now is the perfect time to take in the iconic King Street Shopping District. There are of course all the usual suspects, but make sure to stop in at Indigo & Cotton, a menswear boutique that carries Shinola-brand items and features a curated selection of fine and casual clothing, footwear, and accessories. Also worth a visit is Finicky Filly, a women’s wear boutique owned by mother-and-daughter team Judy Casey and Rebecca Steinberg. Make sure you take a final stop at George C. Birlant & Co., one of the largest and oldest antique stores in the southeast for some 18th and 19th-century antiques.
6:00 pm – Grab dinner at Husk Restaurant to immerse yourself in southern cooking. Try the deviled eggs with pickled okra and trout roe.
8:00 pm – After dinner, check out The Ordinary for an oyster dessert and a nightcap.
Brunch – Have brunch at The Butcher & Bee to save the best for last. They source the finest local ingredients and the menu changes daily for an adventurous and homey goodness only found in the south.
After brunch, go explore the Market to take a gander at Charleston’s famous sweetgrass baskets and take in the beauty of Charleston one last time before leaving a city that keeps you active, rested, and full.
Photo Credit: Butcher & Bee, USNews