A Taste of Charleston: What To Do, Drink, and Eat in 48 Hours

As the plane was lifting from the ground of The Holy City I could still taste the memory of the life-changing biscuits and gravy...
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

As the plane was lifting from the ground of The Holy City I could still taste the memory of the life-changing biscuits and gravy...

Upon leaving, I was astounded by the city of Charleston and already fantasizing about returning. The weekend was one filled with southern hospitality and food that I'll be dreaming about until I come back for more.

I had just under 48 hours to explore this South Carolina city and it was just the right amount of time to completely engulf yourself into the city's history and eateries. Even though two days seems like a short time... We were truly able to make it worthwhile.

We arrived Friday evening to our hotel, King Charles Inn, at around 6pm. We were swiftly checked in and unpacked in our gorgeous weekend home. We were welcomed there with a gift bag complete with treats and snacks that were a perfect start to the sweetest weekend.

We quickly got ready for the night and ventured out onto the infamous King Street - known for shopping on the south side and drinking on the north side. We took the obvious route of taste testing craft cocktails to kill time until our 10pm dinner reservation.

We began at Fish where we had the award-winning Bon Vivant cocktail. This crisp and bubbly drink was a refreshing start to our drinking tour. We continued to Closed for Business to try a local beer on tap. I went with a Hefenwizen and admired the funky décor around the busy bar. Post beer, we hopped over to our next stop - Proof.

Proof proved to be my favorite of the three. The ambiance was dark, sultry and comforting in the low-lit bar. We had some aromatic bubbly, (the first of which I broke the glass - oops) and then went on our way to dinner.

Our reservations were at FIG (Food Is Good). The food here was what set the bar for the remainder of the trip and let me tell you that bar was high as hell. We went with the waitress's recommendations and had one of the best meals of my life by ordering: Ricotta Gnocchi, Mustard Crusted Swordfish, and the Rudderfish Bowl. We were completely full from taste explosion and beyond impressed.

We spent the remainder of the evening at Stars rooftop bar on King Street. The set up was ideal because I love rooftop bars but the crowd was younger than we were hoping for. We ended the night successfully after buying one of Callie's Hot Little Biscuits (pimento was amazing, by the way) across the street on our way home.

We woke up the next day eager to try more food and see the city. We started it off at 11am at Poogan's Porch. We ordered the biscuits and gravy to share and I had the open-faced omelet with some of the best grits of my life. We ate our blessedly wonderful meal in an old-house-turned restaurant with charming décor. Oh, and later learned it was haunted.

After breakfast we sauntered through the Charleston Market admiring all the vendors' merchandise. At the end of the market we veered towards the carriage rides and took one with through the west side of the city. The tour was well worth the $20 because of our witty driver who told tales while touring us around.

We learned all about South Carolina's unique (and beautiful) single houses and architecture as well as the reason why they paint their porch ceilings blue. We also learned a lot about the city's history - including some of the not-so-happy history like the ghost who occupies the city jail.

We later made a pit stop to the Old Slave Mart which was well worth the $7 history lesson. We then made our way towards Waterfront Park.

The view there was gorgeous, the fountains were beautiful, and the pier was lovely (especially when we saw dolphins). The fact that the weather was sunny and 70 also added to the perfection of the moment.

After we got our fix of the park we skipped on over to Pearlz Oyster bar nearby to give their house oysters a go. I don't even particularly like oysters but these were out of this world. The Amouch Bousche was also a fresh burst of the sea. Post oyster shooter we stepped back out into the perfect day and walked towards Rainbow Row.

Rainbow Row was as picturesque as it sounds, and it led us towards The Battery which is utterly breathtaking. The houses along The Battery are some of the prettiest homes I've ever seen; and with the ocean to my left it could not have been more ideal.

The road led us to White Point Gardens where we marveled underneath the large oak trees and thriving greenery. After taking enough Instagram-worthy pictures we left the park and took King Street up north while passing adorable antebellum homes and winding up in the shopping mecca of the city.

Upon the walk we made the game-time decision to do a ghost tour since we had another late reservation. Tour Charleston and our tour guide Al were a spooky good time. This 80-minute walking tour was as interesting as it was creepy. It was all fine and dandy until the graveyard; there I was as freaked out as a middle schooler watching a horror movie.

We ran away from the ghosts to make it to our 9:45pm reservation at SNOB (Slightly North of Broad). Again, we were mind blown with the food. This time we went with: blue crab soup, clams, and their popular BBQ tuna. Amazing. We ventured a couple of doors down to The Gin Joint after finishing yet another fantastic meal.

The Gin Joint was very similar to Proof's ambiance, but a little livelier and reminiscent of old New York. Here I had a yummy floral cocktail before making the move back to King Street to take on our last night in the city.

We wound up at The Rarebit - which was recommended to us by our waitress Friday night. The bar had just the right age group and just the right recipe for its Moscow Mule. Sadly, the last call came and we were forced to return home. We did not encounter any ghosts on the way back to the hotel.

Sunday morning came and we were hungry for more of Charleston's good eats. So we made our way to Hall's Chophouse for their Sunday Gospel brunch. Their crabcake benedict was the best benedict I've had in my entire life, and praise the Lord for the beautiful voices of the gospel singers who added more joy to the meal.

We attempted to walk off our breakfast by touring the grounds of the College of Charleston. The use of the traditional houses, the wrought iron gates, the greenery, and the fountains made the campus a true treat to walk through. We grabbed a quick cup of joe at Caviar and Bananas before traveling to Liberty Square.

At the square we learned some of Fort Sumter's history and enjoyed a nice relaxing view of the ocean to give our feet a rest. It wasn't long until we continued walking to the Aiken-Rhett house. There we took a great audio tour and learned the very interesting history of the Aiken family and old South Carolina culture.

Post tour we jumped in a cab to Carmella's Dessert Bar on the other side of town. Let me tell you, this was my favorite bar of the entire trip. The chocolate martini tasted like cocoa heaven and the cheese plate with their fig jam was absolutely out of this world. It was ultimately the sweetest way to end our 48-hour trip.

From there we hopped in another cab, grabbed our bags, and said goodbye to The Holy City on our way to the airport. Now as I land back in Miami I'm having severe FOMO about all the food I wasn't able to eat, and planning out the detox I'll be starting tomorrow.

All in all, these 48 hours were ridiculously tasty. I already can't wait to get another bite out of Charleston.

The Skinny:

  • Do: King Street, Charleston Market, City Tour, Waterfront Park, Old Slave Mart, St. Michael's, St. John The Baptist, Rainbow Row, The Battery, White Point Gardens, Ghost Tour, Aiken-Rhett House, College of Charleston, and Fort Sumter
  • Drink: Fish, Closed for Business, Proof, Stars, The Gin Join, and The Rarebit
  • Eat: FIG, Poogan's Porch, Pearlz Oyster Bar, SNOB, Hall's Chophouse, and Carmella's

Read more and see pictures at:

Also on HuffPost:

San Francisco Bucket List