When I moved to Charleston, South Carolina in 2014, I planned to get in, get my masters, and get move somewhere tropical. It didn’t take long for me to fall captivated by the cobblestone alleys, the strips of trendy cocktail bars, and the ability to be on the water in any direction in less than 10 minutes. It’s no wonder The Knot ranked it #4 for on their list of “24 Hot Bachelorette Destinations”.
I’m asked regularly about my favorite things to do in the Holy City, so I decided I’d type it up so anyone can access it. This is a local’s guide to the perfect Bachelorette weekend.
If your guests arrive early enough, or even arrive on Thursday, I highly suggest taking a class at Candlefish. This BYOB activity is a perfect activity to have all of the bachelorette guests to mingle and meet. Local Tip: Book this is advance because their classes usually fill up fast.
On your first night in town,
I suggest walking around King Street to get a lay of the land, and grabbing a happy hour on a rooftop. With the exception of hurricane season, Charleston weather provides for gorgeous rooftop happy hours and sunsets nearly all year.
Here is my list of my favorite downtown rooftop bars to watch the sunset:
- Eleve at the Grand Bohemian Hotel
- Revelry Brewing Co.
- The Watch Kitchen & Spirits
- The Vendue
Once the sun sets and the champagne bubbles have you feeling cheerful, grab a bite to eat at any downtown restaurant. I say “any” because truly, you won’t be disappointed by cuisine you find in the historic district. I definitely suggest making a reservation in advance, as evenings tend to be very busy downtown.
Here’s a list of some of the most popular downtown restaurants, matched with their cuisine:
- Historic Charm: Poogan’s Porch, Husk (make reservation months in advance)
- Southern Soul: F.I.G., Edmunds Oast Restaurant
- Italian: Le Farfalle (fancier), Indaco (trendier), Mozzo (more laid back)
- French: Rue de Jean
- Seafood: Darling Oyster Bar, COAST, Rappahannock Oyster Bar
- Mexican: Minero
Start your Saturday by
grabbing coffee from any of Charleston’s adorable, insta-worthy cafes, get to Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit early enough to snag a quintessential southern breakfast biscuit. If you’re a night owl, you can pop in before heading home for the night when the munchies strike.
My absolute favorite thing
to do in Charleston on a Saturday is visit the Marion Square Farmers Market. The market is one of the biggest I’ve ever seen. With food trucks, fresh fruits and veggies, baked goods, live music and tons of local artisans, it’s the perfect place to refuel until your electrolytes kick in. The farmers market is located at Marion Square, but it will come up on Google Maps if you literally type in “Charleston Farmers Market”.
My favorite stops at the farmer’s market:
- Roti Rolls: Voted Charleston’s Best Food Truck every year, the farm-to-truck “Rotis” are a super unique and local flavor you’ll be craving for weeks after
- Juice Joint: After late night, Juice Joint’s Watermelon Agua Fresca is literally my favorite thing to drink. It’s super refreshing and light, but still a little sweet.
Mid-morning Saturday might seem like the perfect time to head to the beach, but that’s what everyone else is thinking, too. With just one road to either beach, the traffic can be pretty heavy after 10am. My suggestion is to spend Saturday downtown. Stroll historic King Street shopping the small boutiques or higher-end stores like lululemon or the Belmond Charleston Place, rent some bikes from Holy Spokes and get lost in the narrow one-way alleys of the French Quarter, or if you’re feeling ambitious, take my Charleston Walking Tour itinerary and burn off the biscuits.
Either way, be sure not to miss the iconic and instagram-worthy Rainbow Row, Pineapple Fountain, and French Quarter.
For your second happy hour, I suggest getting off the peninsula. Take a short Uber over to Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant, where you can eat and drink dockside, watching dolphins play in the creek. Then head back downtown for a night of dancing or mingling at Stars, Deco or Republic Garden. If you have a big group, you may want to try calling head. In the busy season the lines can get pretty long.
No weekend in Charleston is complete without a day on the water. In my opinion, this trumps the traditional “brunch”. After all, you only get one weekend in Charleston.
If you’re looking to avoid traffic and have a wild (and unique) day on the water, rent the floating tiki hut. The experience is BYOB and BYO food so you could totally make a chic day party out of it. Because no bachelorette party is complete without the icon photo on an inflatable unicorn.
For some people, water sports are just too much after a night on King Street. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry, there are three amazing beaches just a short drive away.
You’ll find Sullivan’s Island Beach to the north, and Folly Beach to the south, both about a 20 minute drive without traffic. Both beaches are equally beautiful and guarantee you a great day on the water. I prefer Folly beach simply because of the shops and restaurants, and the proximity to my favorite Charleston watering hole, The Barrel. If you’re looking for a more in-depth information about the beaches, I’m going to make a post soon about having “A Perfect Beach Day in Charleston”. If you happen to be staying in Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palms beach is another fantastic beach option. Though it’s further north from downtown Charleston (about 40 minutes), Isle of Palms beach is bigger and wider, allowing more room to spread out. There’s a couple super fun bars on Isle of Palms, like the Wind Jammer, which hosts live music and volleyball tournaments on the weekends.
If you’re all beached out,
a visit to Magnolia Plantation is the quintessential Charleston daytime activity. Magnolia is Charleston’s oldest plantation, and it’s truly one of the most peaceful places in the Charleston Area. You can also click here to see which beautiful flowers are in bloom the time of year you’re planning on going.
I’m sure there are a ton of incredible experiences I missed, but you could truly live in Charleston for years and still never see it all. If you have any questions about any of these activities, or you want even more ideas, feel free to drop me a comment or shoot me an email. I’m happy to help any time!
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