Today, I want to give you my top 3 reasons to visit Charleston, SC as a young family.
My husband and I LOVE Charleston, SC. We went to the beautiful holy city, as it is called, for our honeymoon 8 years ago. Ever since, we’ve been itching to go back. Now that our daughter is a preschooler, we decided it was time to venture further south again. Our family spent spring break in Charleston, and we enjoyed every minute! Now I’m going to tell you why you should add Charleston to your travel destination wish list.
This one’s pretty obvious, I know. Charleston has sooooo much history. And if you are a lover of southern history, this one’s a no-brainer. Charleston was the cosmopolitan heart of the South until the Civil War began in 1861. Much of the city was burned during the war by Union troops, but the footprint of the past is alive and well in the city today.
We visited Magnolia Plantation, which contains the oldest gardens in the country. While there, we also took a riverboat tour of the property, where we saw large alligators sunning themselves among the reeds on the banks of the river. Unfortunately, we did not go into the plantation house (I don’t think our almost 4-year-old would have made it through a house tour), but there was so much to see and do on the grounds that I didn’t feel like we missed out at all. Magnolia Plantation also has a petting zoo, which was perfect for Bella!
We also visited the Provost Exchange and Dungeon and the Old Slave Mart. You can pay one price to visit both sites. Bella enjoyed the dungeon, especially hearing about the prisoners who were kept there during the American Revolution. The museum even had mannequins to play the part of the prisoners!
2. Charleston’s Beaches
If you and the kids love the beach, definitely check out the beaches of Charleston! There are a few different beaches in the area, and they all have a different atmosphere unique to that area. Our favorite beach is Folly Beach, which is nicknamed “The Edge of the World.” Folly is a funky little beach town that thrives on surfing and fishing. Rent a beach house or stay in the upscale Tides Folly Beach for a relaxing beach trip. And best part, Folly is only about 20 minutes away from downtown Charleston.
We stayed at Isle of Palms for our spring break. It’s a barrier island that is about 12 miles from Charleston. The beach at Isle of Palms is mainly unpopulated, and the entire island is only about 5 square miles. There are a handful of nice restaurants, inns, beach houses, and shops located on the island. Isle of Palms feels a world away from the bustling city of Charleston, but a quick trip over the beautiful Arthur Ravenel Bridge and you are back in Charleston.
3. Southern Food, Baby!
Being from Virginia, I’m no stranger to good southern cuisine. Biscuits, gravy, green beans cooked with country ham, stewed tomatoes…YUM! But, Charleston has some of the best southern food I have EVER tasted!
Our favorite restaurant was actually just a little place we stumbled upon on the outskirts of Charleston. It was pretty non-descript on the outside, but man, the food was to die for! Early Bird Diner was the epitome of southern cuisine, with a sophisticated twist. You’ll find classic southern fare on the menu, including fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, and country fried steak. I had the corn cake benedict. This delishness consisted of a poached egg on top of a corn cake, with fresh jalapenos and homemade salsa. It was exceptional!
Our other fave restaurant in Charleston, and one that has an excellent reputation, was Poogan’s Porch in downtown Charleston. This place has been frequented by celebrities and politicians since it’s opening in 1976. This place is a bit more upscale than Early Bird Diner, but the prices are still very reasonable considering the huge portions that they serve. Again, southern comfort food at its best, but Poogan’s Porch adds a sophisticated twist to their recipes.
I ordered the french toast with champagne macerated raspberries, whipped mascarpone cheese, and toasted almonds. Jeremy had the chicken and waffles. So good! The biscuits are homemade, and the grits just melt in your mouth.
*This restaurant is purported to be one of the most haunted restaurants in the US. People claim that a previous female resident of the restaurant can sometimes be seen peering out of windows, and a few people have even claimed to be locked in the bathroom by her! If you go there, maybe take a buddy with you to the bathroom…
We had such a blast on this trip! It was completely different visiting Charleston as honeymooners versus as a young family (obviously), but it was even better having our little one there with us. Bella loved the beach and the plantation home. She enjoyed exploring the shops and quaint cobblestone streets. And, surprising to us, she loved the food. Even the fancier restaurants had a good kids’ menu with all the foods most kids eat, like pizza, chicken nuggets, burgers, etc.
SHOP THE POST:
As it was March, it was pretty chilly in Charleston, and especially along the water. We wore long sleeves, pants and jeans every day. I
Here are some other outfit options for a spring trip to the Holy City:
You can find my backpack, which is my absolute FAVORITE bag, here, and in fun colors for spring! http://shopstyle.it/l/Eobi
Read about our adventures in Williamsburg, Va here!
Is Charleston on your travel bucket list? Comment below!