For most of my life, I've dreamt of seeing Charleston, South Carolina. Dan and I booked our long weekend in October and it was honestly one of the greatest experiences.
October 11, 2017 | Overnight Amtrak
We had the hardest time finding a flight out of Philly, and so we decided to give the train a try. It was kind of difficult to get a good nights sleep, but it was still well worth it.
October 12, 2017 | Arrive to Charleston
6:00AM Train Arrives to Charleston. We took an Uber to the only thing open at this hour in the South ... IHOP. We load up on coffee and call our B&B to check-in early.
We checked into our B&B, the Plantation Oaks Inn which is located in Mount Pleasant. Seeing the plantations was a high priority for us, and so finding this gem just outside of the city was perfect. I can't say enough good things about the Inn - the staff was super accommodating and friendly, the breakfasts (and snacks) were amazing and the rooms were gorgeous. When we go back, this is where we look forward to staying again.
After a much needed nap, we headed out to the Center for Birds of Prey. We knew that we'd be tired on this day, so we planned a low-key and nearby activity to occupy our time. So glad that we decided to venture here ... what a neat experience! Dan and I are fans of wildlife and nature, so to be able to see this facility that works to rescue and rehabilitate birds of prey was really incredible. We also really enjoyed the live flight demonstrations and learning more about these impressive creatures!
After the Center for Birds of Prey, we headed to dinner at a local hot spot and chain, Burton's Grill. I was so impressed with their gluten-free menu ... they even had a special GF dinner roll! Our waiter here was actually a Philly-native from Media. This sort of started to become the joke on the trip because around every corner we met someone who lived near us (a couple from Kennett, this gentleman from Media, fellow guests in our B&B from Reading and even a friendly stranger who we got to talking with who lives all of five minutes down the road... such a small world!). Back at the B&B, we sat on the dock and watched the sunset.
October 13 | First Full Day
After a delicious breakfast provided by the Inn, we ventured up the street (we actually were able to walk, that's how close it is!) to Boone Hall Plantation. If this looks familiar to you, it might be because you've seen it in Forrest Gump, The Notebook and it was the setting for Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' wedding a few years ago. I don't blame them ... what a fabulous spot!
To be totally honest, this was my #1 priority when I came down here. I can't even tell you how long I've wanted to see this spot and it's gorgeous oak-lined drive. Though it was kind of a hike to walk down, we are so glad we didn't miss out on this experience by driving past it all. To stand in the middle of it all and take it all in ... that is something I will never forget. Boone Hall dates back to the 1600's, and is still a functioning plantation today. We did the House Tour, strolled through the Garden and watched the live Gullah Theater presentation.
After spending most of our day here, we decided to head into Charleston to grab an early dinner before our evenings festivities. Being foodies, we wanted to get some real Southern cooking, so we headed to the renowned Jestine's Kitchen off of Meeting Street. We're big believers in "Go big, or go home" so we ordered the following:
Starter Pimento Cheese with House Benne Crackers
Allie's Entree BLFGT (Fried Green Tomato BLT) with Cole Slaw and Fried Okra
Dan's Entree Steamed Shrimp with Cole Slaw and Fried Okra
Dessert Pecan Pie + Coca Cola Cake
We also both got the "House Wine" aka Sweet Tea
Y'all. My heart was so happy.
We had to walk this meal off, so we decided to get lost in the alleys of Charleston before our plans for the evening. Honestly, I highly recommend doing this because this wound up being one of the best things we did in the city. It's so beautiful!
Being the lunatics that we are, we booked a Haunted Jail Tour through Bulldog Tours for Friday the 13... ah! We joined the group tour at the Old Jail and saw one of the creepiest buildings I've ever been in. I'm a huge scaredy cat, and I was OK doing this; however, I did have a strange experience in one of the rooms. Glad that I saw it? Yes. Will I go back inside? NOPE!
October 14 | Second Full Day
On day two, we started our morning off with another incredible breakfast at our B&B. I have a new appreciation for Hashbrown Casserole.
We headed back into Charleston for a low-key day of adventuring. First, we visited the Charleston City Market where local artisans sold their wares. There was such a fun energy here! On our next trip we're going to get one of the sweetgrass baskets of Gullah tradition. It was mesmerizing watching these folks create something so beautiful so quickly! We did pick up a handful of postcard prints from a local artist we liked to frame and put in our bathroom (coastal themed). I'll make sure to share those via Instagram once we're set up.
I couldn't go to Charleston and not stop at Callie's Hot Little Biscuit (my obsession). I ordered from their City Market location and even though it wasn't GF, I was completely OK with indulging. SO. GOOD.
The rest of our day was spent walking around and just enjoying seeing The Battery and more gorgeous architecture. Time well spent! Back at the B&B, before packing up our bags, we spent a few hours on the porch watching the sunset and drinking wine with fellow guests who were celebrating a birthday. We wouldn't have had this trip end any other way.