I know we’re all thinking and saying it, but seriously, how on earth is it already July? This summer has been FLYING by and I can’t even believe it was already a month ago that I was walking the beautiful streets of Charleston, SC. It’s taken me some time to get this Charleston travel guide together as there is SO much to see and do in Charleston and I wanted to make sure I included every. single. detail. down to the best places to grab your morning java, snap the best IG pics, and indulge in the tastiest sweets + treats. It’s been long anticipated, but I am super excited to finally be sharing part-two of my MLJ Vacay Itinerary of Charleston, SC! (Check out part-one here)
Cafes + Coffee Shops
Every good day starts out with an even better coffee shop, am I right? One of my #1 requests when planning my vacay with MLJ Vacay was to kick-off the day in the coolest coffee shops around. When it comes to coffee shops and cafes, Charleston does not disappoint. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to select where to go. Thankfully, MLJ Vacay took the indecisive process off my hands and chose some awesome spots. I could go on and on about all of the neat little nooks we visited, but these are a few of my favorite coffee shops that defiantly hit the mark on both esthetics and their specialty brews.
The Harbinger was by far one of my top ranked spots in Charelston. The second I had received my MLJ Vacay Itinerary with the Harbinger listed, I instantly began IG stalking this shop – seriously check it out – it is an Instagrammer’s dream come true. Don’t let it’s location throw you off, though, it’s a little bit off the beaten path, but a very photo-worthy stop. And as if it couldn’t get any better, the employees at the Harbinger hand-make all of their fresh baked treats every morning and believe me, they’re delicious!
The Rise Coffee Bar was another favorite of mine, so good, we had to visit twice! Located beneath the famous Restoration Hotel, this must-see shop is just a stones throw off King Street and has the best lighting for photos. The employees were extremely friendly and recognized us our second day back. Both days, I ordered the Vanilla Almond Latte which was just sweet enough to satisfy my sweet tooth but not so overpowering that I couldn’t taste the beloved espresso.
Step away from the historic vibes of Charleston and say hello to Hawaii (well, kinda) at Huriyali. Another spot that is off the beaten path, this place is a must for all you Acai Bowl fanatics. Covered in bright colors and lush greenery, Huriyali is a step into a tropical paradise with the freshest eats and sips. I ordered the Aloha Bowl (they have over 5 different bowls!) and my mom had the Dragon Berry smoothie. This was the perfect place to sit down for a refreshing afternoon snack and escape the heat.
Skinny Dip is another fun spot that is located right on King Street, but is kind of hidden. Skinny Dip offers coffee, wine (including frosé!), and small treats and is located above the store Skinny Dip along the main drag. If you’re in the store, you’ll want to head upstairs to check out the beautiful space featuring an adorable painted Charleston mural and the best patio (with a swing!) to enjoy your frosé and/or coffee. *Insiders Tip* If you’re visiting during the week, take a break from shopping and join the Skinny Dip for Wine Wednesday with $7 frosé, $5 House Wine, $2 off any other wine, and half-off Spritz!
- The Harbinger
- The Rise
- Second State
- Huriyali (acai bowl)
- Beech (acai bowl)
- Skinny Dip (wine, coffee, snacks – above store)
- Miller’s All Day (brunch + coffee)
- Vintage Coffee Cafe (cutest pizza shack in the back, too!)
Bakeries + Sweets
Both my mom and I have a major sweet-tooth (maybe I should blame her 😉 ) so taking time to scope out some of the local bakeries in Charleston was a must. We were initially drawn to the famous Sugar Bakeshop for its adorable exterior, but of course, had to try a cupcake while we were there, and my goodness, they are darn tasty! The Harbinger (mentioned above) was another spot where we enjoyed tasty home-made sweets + treats that I definitely would recommend.
Carmella’s and the Park Cafe were two additional spots that were high on our list, but we were unable to make it to.
- Sugar Bakeshop
- Beardcats sweet shop (under obstinate daughter)
- Republic Ice Cream
- Park Cafe
Restaurants + Bars
Choosing a restaurant can be overwhelming, especially in Charleston where every single one looks fantastic! Thankfully, I didn’t have to worry about making up my mind since MLJ Vacay chose all of our restaurants and made our reservations in advance – phew!
Our first evening we drove out to Sullivan’s Island to dine with The Obstinate Daughter, which by the way, has the best coastal vibes (seriously, check them out on insta!) I ordered the fresh strawberry salad accompanied by a house glass of Pinot Noir while my mom sampled the local Ale and split the Margarita Pizza with me. Both the service and atmosphere were fantastic and I would definitely recommend this spot for a fine dining feel without the crazy cost – plus, Beardcat’s ice cream shop is right downstairs – yes to desert!
On night two in Charleston we dined at the Basic Kitchen, which I was particularly excited about considering a majority of their menu is vegan/vegetarian friendly! What drew me to this location originally was it’s simple, boho interior and once I took a look at the menu I was sold. I could hardly make up my mind on what to order, but decided to go with the Rainbow Bowl with a BK Spritz to sip. My mom, ordered the Spicy Thai Turkey Burger with a side of sweet fries and informed me that it was phenomenal. One thing we didn’t order, but from past experiences would recommend, is the cauliflower wings. We saw SO many tables ordering this tasty app and I almost ordered some to go – so good!
Listed below are a few more favorites as well as a couples restaurants that were on our list, but didn’t quite make it too – all boasting fabulous atmospheres and tasty menus.
If you haven’t heard, the shopping in Charleston is amazing. With a walk along King Street you’ll find over 20 unique storefronts featuring the cutest styles and adorable gifts. A must stop for me, was Kittsona, which some of you may be familiar with. Kittsona started in my hometown of Grand Forks, ND – so naturally, I had to check out their latest Charleston location! The day that we visited, they had puppies from the humane society in the front of the store – whats better than shopping AND puppies?!
The Impeccable Pig, Dress Up, ii Brunettes and Bevello are a few others that defiantly deserve a stop to shop. Each of these boutiques sits in the $30-$100 price range and have so many cute and trendy styles to chose from.
- The Impeccable Pig
- Dress Up (hello charleston floor)
- ii Brunettes
In my opinion, every spot in Charleston is a photo spot – the city is so photogenic! With every turn of a corner we were surprised by more and more photo opportunities which made shooting in Charleston a breeze. However if you’re looking for a few go-to spots, I’ve listed ome of my favorite locations below for the perfect insta-worthy shots.
- Rainbow Row
- Houses along Tradd Street
- Front of Sugar Bakeshop
- Side of Saint Michaels Church (big windows)
- Charleston City Hall (marble steps + iron background)
- The Mills House (pink!)
Our first full day in Charleston we decided to take a break from the city and escape to the trendy vibes of Folly Beach. Known for it’s beachy shops and fun restaurants, such as Taco Boy, Folly Beach is the perfect getaway from the sophisticated streets of Charleston for a day in the sun. While in Folly Beach, MLJ Vacay planned out several little stops during our time on the coast including a stop into the mobile boutique, Urban Izzy, Black Magic Cafe and the Surf Bar. For travlers looking for lots to see and do in a trendy “spring break” beach envrionement, Folly Beach is for you!
Sullivan’s Island, on the other hand, is a bit more quite than Folly Beach. We didn’t spend much time at Sullivan’s Island other than checking out the lighthouse, but beyond that, from what I could tell, this beach seemed much less busy and a better place for those looking for a relaxing afternoon at the beach.
- Sullivans Island
- Folly Beach
- Isle of Palms
There are many options for accommodations in Charleston ranging from the cutest bed & breakfasts and high scale hotels to the average vacay lodging. However, during our time in Charleston, we decided that renting another Airbnb was the way to go as we knew we would be spending very little time in our room and the cost was unbeatable.
We spent all 3 nights in Charleston in a cozy + modern attic style air bnb. Our host was fabulous and went above and beyond providing a clean and spacious room that was perfect for our time in Charleston. Check out our Airbnb here.
As I conclude this post, I am dreaming of Charleston and am already crossing my fingers for another reason to visit sometime soon. Charleston truly is such a magical city with so much to see and do. If you’re looking for the perfect girls getaway, mother-daughter trip, or place to kick back and relax, I would highly recommend a visit Charleston, SC. I had so much writing up this post for you guys and hope that you all have the opportunity to visit Charleston or South Carolina in general. I’m telling you, southern charm is real!
Thank you so very much for stopping by and don’t hesitate to tag me in your posts if you find yourself in Charleston!
Interested in an MLJ Vacay Itinerary? Great! B&B readers will receive $25 off an itinerary with the mention of this post. Contact Melissa to start planning your vacay!
Thank you to MLJ Vacay for sponsoring this post.
Hair scarf c/o Elizabeth Gillett
Stripe dress + floral off the shoulder dress + mustard stripe dress c/o Vici
Floral wrap dress + Oatmeal mini dress c/o Primp Boutique
Gingham dress c/o Olive + Pepper
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