58. Charleston, South Carolina

In October, I went down to Charleston for the most gorgeous wedding of all time. First though, I had some time to explore…

Overview:
All the wonderful things you hear people saying about Charleston are true. The Southern charm, the beautiful, brightly colored architecture, the lovely weather (well, most of the time–we arrived the weekend after the major flooding), the amazing food, the friendly people… This city is delightful and I can’t wait to go back.

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How I got there:
I flew on U.S. Airways, now American, from DCA. With weddings on back-to-back days in two different cities, I had to pay through the eyeballs for the only flight that would get me to Providence, RI in time for the second of the two–but normally, I don’t think getting to Charleston from DC is very pricey.

Where I stayed:
This was a challenge, not gonna lie. Hotels and B&Bs in the heart of Charleston are pretty expensive, and Airbnb options were long gone by the time I got around to booking. We ended up staying out by the airport in one of the room block hotels for the wedding, Home2 Suites by Hilton Charleston Airport/Convention Center–and while it was perfectly nice and pretty cheap, it wasn’t at all close to the things we wanted to do. With a rental car, it would have been totally fine. But without one, we had to keep cabbing back and forth.

(The hotel does have a free shuttle, but it’ll only take you within 5 miles of the airport. Basically to nothing. This is, apparently, non-negotiable. Don’t get me started…

While we thought heading 5 miles in the right direction and then calling an Uber would save money, I think all it did was waste time and get us a tour of some industrial area’s parking lot.)

What I did:
With two half days to explore before the wedding, we mainly just strolled around past some of the outdoor sights: City Market, Waterfront Park, Rainbow Row, the Battery, and, of course, King Street.

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I then attended my grad school friends’ wedding, which I barely even have words to describe. Suffice it to say that after a rainy, gray morning and afternoon, the sun broke through the clouds JUST at the right time to transform the William Aiken House into a stunning backdrop for the most magical evening I’ve ever witnessed. And I don’t even think I’m exaggerating.

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But really, here’s the actual public album… gahhh so pretty.

Where I ate/drank:
Don’t worry–I tried multiple bakeries on Day 1. Sugar Bakeshop was great for cupcakes, and at WildFlour Pastry I bought a gigantic cinnamon roll.

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For lunch on Day 2, we went to Husk, a great Southern restaurant set in a beautiful house. We dined outside on a wraparound porch, which was pretty exciting even with the rain pouring outside.

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Lunch at Husk

What I missed:
We didn’t do any of the more out-of-the-way sites, like Fort Sumter, Middleton Place or any of the other plantations. I’ve also heard from multiple people that crossing the Arthur J. Ravenel Bridge on foot offers pretty cool views. Food-wise, FIG, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit and EVO Pizza will be on the list for next time.
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