You guys. I am in LOVE with Charleston. If my husband and I could pack up and move there today, we would do it without a second thought. Charleston is a town for foodies, which is right up our alley. You can walk everywhere if you live in the heart of the peninsula. There is fabulous shopping, beautiful historic homes and parks galore. We ate SO much food. I can’t even tell you. But it was worth every bite, and we walked off the calories…well most of them.
Planter’s Inn & Peninsula Grill
We stayed at Planter’s Inn in the heart of the French Quarter. The hotel sits on a corner at the top open air market on Market Street. It’s a moderate walk to the coast, a short walk to fancy shopping, and close to restaurants to suit all tastes. Planter’s Inn belongs to the Relais and Chateaux boutique hotel chain. We are in love with all of the Relais and Chateaux hotels. They treat you like royalty, have great amenities, and are always fabulous. The best part about Planter’s Inn – the price point was pretty much on par with The Marriott and Hilton hotels on the peninsula. And the Marriott and Hilton were not anywhere near as fabulously located as Planter’s Inn. Seriously. Stay here if you go to Charleston. You won’t regret it.
When you walk in to the hotel, you are greeted by fabulous flowers, fancy seating and friendly faces. Everyone that works at this hotel wants to make sure you have the best stay ever. We walked everywhere, which was great! Actually, we valeted our car for our entire stay and never retrieved it.
We stayed in a Piazza King room overlooking the hotel courtyard. Our room was everything we imagined it would be. A comfortable bed full of fluffy pillows, big plush robes to lounge around in, and a fabulous bathroom with a giant whirlpool soaking tub. In fact, the hotel staff come by your room in the evening for turndown service and leaves you packs of macarons. Swoon. I love macarons. I would stay here just for that.
The hotel has a fabulous sitting room that had coffee and tea for early risers. We would relax in the sitting room with a cup of coffee (or three) and plan our day.
Peninsula Grill is one of Charleston’s best restaurants. They have this fancy Ultimate 12-Layer Coconut Cake that is apparently the number one requested wedding cake in the state. This coconut cake has a legit resume. We had to try it. It was delicious. In addition, the rest of our food at Peninsula grill was amazing. I had the fish of the day, the hubs got a steak, and we split some sides. Oh! I almost forgot the lobster trio appetizer and She Crab Soup. Get both of these. They are divine! Ultimately, if you are looking for a splurge treat-yo-self meal, this is the place to do it. Also, breakfast here was the best breakfast we had our entire trip. The cheese grits were bomb.
A Day in Charleston
After a few cups of coffee to get us going, we set off for Fort Sumter. We walked from our hotel to Liberty Square – the departing place of the ferry that would take us to the Fort. Just look at these adorable shops! Ultimately, this is what our entire walk to Liberty Square looked like. Cute shops, historic homes and lots of flowers and greenery. This was on a Wednesday, so there were barely any people in sight at 7:00 a.m., which was a-ok with me!
The ferry left Liberty Square and we chugged along the Cooper River until we arrived at Fort Sumter. We got to see The famous Arthur Ravenel bridge, the houses on The Battery, and dolphins on our way to the fort.
It was so interesting learning about Fort Sumter and the history of Charleston on the ferry ride. Once we docked, our park ranger gave us a quick history of the Fort, after which we were able to walk around and visit the tiny gift shop.
Food, Food, Food!
If I had to come back to Charleston for one thing and one thing only, it would be food. For real. Best food ever. We did a culinary walking tour where we walked with a small group of people to four restaurants with a festive tour guide.
We started at Cumberland Street Smokehouse. Three words. Duck. Fat. Fries. They were so good. We also had some of the best wings I have ever eaten with a white barbecue sauce. Oh and some pulled pork, sliced beef, slaw and potato salad. And that was our first stop.
Next we visited Poogan’s Smokehouse. Eat here. We had damn delicious corn bread, mac and cheese with bacon, collard greens, and pork sliders. We are starting to feel full by this point… trying to pace ourselves.
The last two places we had a shrimp corndog. I know this sounds weird, but man, it was so good. And dessert – a Tollhouse Cookie Pie from Kaminsky’s. I could barely fit anything in my stomach at this point, but I did eat a few bites. It was rich and freaking delicious.
Other places we ate on our trip were Slightly North of Broad (or SNOB for short) upon the recommendation of our food tour guide. This restaurant did not disappoint. We got an amazing beef carpaccio and a delicious cocktail.
We had coffee and breakfast at Saffron near Liberty Square, and dinner at Burwell’s, which was sadly underwhelming. Unfortunately our waitress was not the best, our food took forever, and our A5 prime steaks were just meh. I think we just went on an off-night, because the restaurant came highly recommended by multiple people. That being said, overall we had a GREAT food experience.
If you travel to Charleston, be prepared to eat, walk and shop! Visit the Pineapple Fountain in Waterfront Park. Take a walk along The Battery. Scope out all of the restaurants. Relax with a beer or cocktail on a rooftop patio if that’s your thing. Visit Rainbow Row. All-in-all, enjoy yourself in this foodie city!