The ultimate Charleston girl’s getaway travel guide: I’ll tell you where to stay, what to eat and how to burn it off!
There are many destinations on my travel bucket list but South Carolina has been at the top of my list for as long as I can remember. When I decided to expand my wellness travel series, What to Eat & How to Burn it Off, I knew just the city to kickoff the first-ever Girl’s Getaway edition: Charleston!
Quaint, picturesque and home to more James Beard Winners per capita than any other city in the US, I couldn’t wait to reunite with a few of my gal pals in the charming city of Charleston. (And in case you’re just now tuning in, be sure to check out past editions of What to Eat & How to Burn it Off including New Orleans, San Diego, Vail, Miami, Utah and Banff.)
Home base for our girl’s getaway was The Beach Club, a beautiful waterfront resort located in Mt. Pleasant right across the bridge from downtown Charleston.
The spacious guest rooms were light and airy with beautiful balcony views of the pools and marina.
The lobby was so perfectly appointed, I wanted to take photos on every couch and every chair. I just couldn’t help myself.
Luckily for me, my friends aren’t camera shy. (Either that or they knew better traveling with a blogger!)
Since I knew we’d have a busy couple of days exploring the city, I wanted to stay at a hotel that would make it easy to carve in a little pool time during what little down time we had during our visit.
Besides, I had just picked up another one of my all-time-favorite high waisted bikini’s that begged to be worn.
Now that we’ve covered where to say, let’s get right into the good stuff: where to eat in Charleston! For delicious seafood in a relaxed atmosphere, head to Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar located right on the water.
We feasted on fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, blackened fish sandwiches and more. Everything was super fresh and the views were spot on.
Sticking with the seafood theme, I had heard great things about The Darling Oyster Bar so I couldn’t wait to check it out with my girlfriends.
We ordered a lot of share plates including charbroiled oysters, lobster roll and collards with ham but you really can’t beat a simple raw oyster in my book.
Of course, if you ask anyone where to dine in Charleston you’ll be pointed towards Slightly North of Broad (SNOB) – and for good reason! The Lowcountry bistro is upscale yet homey at the same time. Fresh ingredients fill the menu, each with their own local, southern twist.
You can’t visit South Carolina without getting a taste of local barbecue, am I right? Quelogy, located directly across from the Historic Charleston City Market, hit the spot in all the right ways. Sweet, smokey, tangy and perfectly tender, it was everything that BBQ dreams are made of.
Do yourself a favor and order the bloody mary, complete with a BBQ chicken wing garnish.
For a nice change of pace from the traditional seafood and southern fare, head to Indaco Italian Food & Wine.
One of my favorite meals of the entire trip, I can’t stop dreaming about the fresh burrata cheese, local peaches and homemade pastas we enjoyed.
The cafe even surprised us with a little pork belly appetizer which tasted like the best bacon I’ve ever eaten. Not normally a fan of the overly-fatty pork belly, this was nicely rendered, meaty and juicy. A must try.
For the best breakfast in Charleston, be sure to grab a seat a Eli’s Table in downtown Charleston.
Offering the ultimate mix of healthy and indulgent breakfast items, everything we tried at Eli’s Table was unique, flavorful and delicious.
Speaking of healthy, my final recommendation for the What to Eat portion of my Charleston Travel Guide is Tabbuli, a Middle Eastern restaurant.
Pro Tip: Order a little of everything and share with the group. That’s the best part about traveling with girlfriends!
Lastly, while there is no shortage of night life options in Charleston, we really enjoyed the following hot spots:
Live Jazz at Bar Mash
Craft Cocktails at Husk & The Cocktail Club
Swing Dancing at Prohibition
Live DJ & Dancing at Republic Garden & Lounge
Now that we’ve covered What to Eat (and drink!) in Charleston, let’s talk about How to Burn it Off!
One of the many perks of staying at a full service resort is that our daily resort fee included free bike rentals! We grabbed our bikes at their sister property next door and headed right to the Charleston Harbor Marina for a little morning bike ride.
My next suggestion: grab the water taxi at that same marina located outside of the hotel and head to Waterfront Park for a leisurely stroll around Charleston’s Historic District.
One of the many reasons I love exploring new cities is that you are getting exercise all just by walking around, without it feeling like exercise!
Every day we averaged around 15,000 steps without realizing it, simply from walking around and taking in the beauty and charm of Charleston.
After all that time in the city, you’re going to want to head to the water. My next suggestion for How to Burn it Off takes full advantage of this beautiful coastal town: stand up paddle boarding!
Offering kayaking, boat tours, paddle boarding and more, Coastal Expeditions is your ultimate guide to exploring Charleston by water.
We decided to go with stand up paddle boarding and I’m so glad we did – we had a BLAST!
Ideal for people of all experience levels, the calm waters of Shem Creek made it easy to keep steady on our boards.
The best part was the wildlife in every direction including these precious pelicans that dotted the docks.
Even more incredible? The dolphins that surrounded us throughout our entire paddle. They were everywhere and it was unreal!
Sticking with the water theme, while not exactly a calorie burn, I highly recommend taking a sail around the harbor on The Schooner Pride. A great way to take in the views of the city, this leisurely sail ride was the perfect way to relax with girlfriends.
Last but not least, if you’re looking for an indoor activity either to beat the heat or hide out from a little rain, check out The Alley, a bowling alley and entertainment hub in downtown Charleston.
We were rained out for a couple hours the day we arrived to Charleston and I’m so glad we were because The Alley ended up being one of the highlights of our trip!
There you have it friends! My Girlfriend’s Getaway Guide to Charleston: What to Eat & How to Burn it Off style.
How did we do? What did we miss? I’m all ears!
Where would you like me to head next? Do you enjoy the girl’s getaway style? Let me know – I’d love to hear from you.
Disclosure: Explore Charleston provided my meals, activities and accommodations during my stay. Photography by Alejandro Photography. I was not compensated to write this post. All thoughts are my own.
Check out more of my travels on my Pinterest board!
How about Savannah, Georgia? I enjoyed your blog! I have family in Charleston and you covered a lot. Did you have any time for shopping? It is one of my favorite places to shop!
What a GREAT idea!! I’d love to visit Savannah! Sadly we never have time for shopping!! I need to work on that. ;)
Such a perfect destination for a girls trip — or ANY vacation! I still haven’t been to Charleston!
You must go one day!!!
This looks like such a fun trip. Thank you for sharing!
It was such a blast!
I can’t wait to check some of your suggestions out! Shem Creek looks like a lot of fun!
We loved it so much!
Looks like a wonderful trip for you and your friends!I had always hear about Charleston,but never had the chance to visit! Great post!
It’s such a pretty city!
Everything looks seriously wonderful!
So much fun!!
I stayed at that resort for my Honeymoon!! And now we visit all the time. Such a great place.
No way!! I can’t wait to go back!
You look stunning in these photos! Love this entire post <3
Awww thank you sweet friend!!! Miss you!!
After two years of subscribing, I do enjoy reading your blog….I grew up in EGR and my parents still live there. Ironically, when I saw your post about Charleston, I noted The Darling Oyster Bar….my husband’s nephew is the manager there, Philip Howell. I shared your blog with him and he said he remembers meeting you and to tell you “thank you”! Living now in the South (Atlanta), I’ve heard great things about The Darling and can’t wait to visit! Keep up the good work.
Oh my gosh that’s too funny!! Thank you so much for letting me know!! That’s awesome!! I hope he enjoys our write-up!
Sign. Me. UP! This looks like such a great trip and I can’t believe that dolphin was just hanging out. Seriously amazing.
It was seriously so much fun!!!