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  • Weekend Getaway Idea: Charleston, South Carolina

    When it comes to #HobokenTravels, New Jersey isn’t the only place we explore {even though you definitely should check out the Garden State in entirety — you’d be surprised at all the fun up and down the 3-hour long drive down the coast and mountains}. But for a fun escape to pseudo-warmer weather and a chance of scenery that is a quick plane ride away, Charleston, South Carolina is your best bet. Here’s how to plan a fun 2- or 3-day weekend getaway in this historic and charming southern city.

    charleston-things-to-do

    Plane Flights

    Take a quick UBER to Newark Airport and hop on a United Express flight to Charleston {CHS airport code}. It takes about two hours in total, and although the plane is smaller than your average, you’ll pretty much listen to 1.5 podcasts or an episode and a half of Real Housewives of-[wherever] {or maybe Southern Charm!?} and be there. The airport is about 20 minutes from downtown Charleston, so hop in an UBER or take a $15 shuttle to your hotel or B&B. If you’re into renting a car when you travel, this is one city that we’d recommending holding off on doing so, as there are Lyft/Ubers everywhere and legit everything is walkable during the day.

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    ^The College of Charleston: When your college looks this pretty, it’s pretty tough to skip class

    Hotel Picks

    The Jasmine House Inn {Bed & Breakfast}

    This B&B is a beautiful, history-filled Greek Revival mansion that boasts large, clean rooms with beautiful decor. The inn is full of character, and the location is perfect for a quick weekend getaway — everything is within walking distance {so again, no car rental needed}! A basic continental breakfast is included, but we recommend heading out to a brunch spot to really get a feel for the Southern cooking/hospitality.

    John Rutledge House Inn {Bed & Breakfast}

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    via

    This noteworthy Charleston B&B, named after one of the 55 signers of the U.S. Constitution, John Rutledge, is more than your average bed and brekky. It’s actually Rutledge’s home, constructed in 1763 — and remodeled and repurposed as an inn in 1989. If the walls inside could talk, they’d tell you that President George Washington sipped tea here, President Taft hung out here, and the first-ever batch of She-Crab Soup was made at this Broad Street address. But besides all that, it’s a homey, clean environment within walking distance from everything {not to mention totally insta-worthy with a tiled sidewalk out front!}.

    Restoration on King {Boutique Hotel}

    A personal favorite [but definitely more of a splurge], this five-building mini-hotel located on Charleston’s iconic Kin Street features modernized-yet-historical rooms. The vibe: a stunningly luxurious spot to retreat to while being able to step outside for shopping and hanging in the Southern city. Besides the combo of “Old World” Southern charm mixed with new, luxe ambiance {think rooms with stainless steel appliances and leather headboards with exposed brick and private terraces}, the hotel has partnered with Martone to create a bikeshare program for all the guests. So eco-friendly yet a quaint way to get around town!

    Belmond Charleston Place {Luxe Spa Hotel}

    If you’re an avid traveler, then you know that any Belmond Hotel is pretty much the.best.ever. {That’s not an exaggeration, Hotel Caruso in Ravello, Italy, we’re looking at you.} In Charleston, you can expect a luxury spa-meets-hotel in the heart of downtown — right near all of the action. It’s pretty snazzy, but totally worth it if you’re into a splurge for your weekend away.

    Places to Eat Lunch/Brunch

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    ^All the Sauces at Home Team BBQ

    Charleston is a hidden gem in the foodie world, and while we’re only listing a few of our faves, there are a TON of restaurants we highly urge you to check out. Here are just a few of the top picks:

    Home Team Barbecue {Southern-Style BBQ}

    Looking for a barbecue spot that is fit for foodies? While there are a ton of barbecue places that boast southern cuisine, this off-the-beaten-path joint is just the spot. It has a sports bar vibe, with high-top picnic tables and a buzzing atmosphere — and of course, rows of sauces lining the tables. Tip: try the dry-rubbed ribs, chicken, or pork shoulders — and you *must* taste their wings or you haven’t lived. {Sorry, Carpe Diem!} This spot is so good that they’ve actually expanded to two more locations in the area. A sure sign of success {and deliciousness}.

    Hominy Grill {Authentic Southern-Style Brunch}

    For an unpretentious and cozy restaurant pick, Hominy Grill is a great choice for breakfast {and is a landmark restaurant}. For those who are salad or fruit + oatmeal lovers for brunch, this is not your jam — think: grits, butter, sauce, and biscuits — but it’s totally a Southern experience you need to have. Tip: Opt for the pumpkin bread and salmon potato cakes with poached eggs. You won’t regret it.

    High Cotton {Brunch and Dinner Spot}

    Besides having an eerily southern-style name, High Cotton is a restaurant that offers fine dining and low-down southern food. This upscale lunch and dinner spot offers delicious cocktails and a brunch “special” — which includes champagne and a variety of juices for the table. Musts to order: Crabcake Benedict, crab soup, cheesecake, and deep-fried brussel sprouts. You’re welcome.

    Poogan’s Porch {Brunch on Brunch on Brunch}

    For a brunch spot with a variety of menu choices {salads, mimosas, etc.} that also includes your typical southern fare, Poogan’s Porch is a go-to. Reservations are recommended, as they can accommodate pretty large groups {perfect for a bachelorette sitch!}. The building is a beautiful old Victorian-turned-restaurant with — you guessed it — porches {and a massive wine cellar}. If there’s one thing you must try on the menu, it’s the biscuits and gravy — they’re second to NONE.

    Husk Restaurant {Fine Dining, Southern Comfort}

    If looking for some finer dining {riiight down the street from centrally-located Poogan’s Porch FYI}, then Husk is your spot. Housed in a quaint Southern “mansion,” Husk houses the James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock, and in it he transforms the essence of Southern food. Brock and his staff maintain a 1.5-acre parcel of land on Thornhill Farm, and the majority of the produce cooked at Husk comes from this organic, local produce spot. Food like glazed pig’s ear lettuce wraps, fried chicken skins, and short ribs are just a few of the daily options on the menu {which actually changes twice daily — pretty impressive}, truly redefining what it means to cook and eat farm-to-table in Charleston.

    Places to Go Out/Have Cocktails

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    Market Pavillion Rooftop Bar {Outdoor Rooftop Cocktails}

    A night in Charleston — given its foodie scene — will definitely include great drinks, but if it’s views you’re looking for, look no further than the Market Pavillion Rooftop. Complete with signature cocktails, spectacular city views, and a cascading pool, this nightlife hotspot is located at the corner of East Bay and South Market — aka it’s the perfect spot to start of your night pre- or post-dinner.

    Prohibition {Dinner and Draaanks with Jazz}

    Your dinner at Prohibition will most likely be serenaded by some live jazz, and when it comes to the ambiance — it’s ideal for a cozy date or a group of friends. Executive Chef Greg Garrison really outdid himself with this one, and the food is some of the best in Chucktown, hands down. Tip: try to smoky bacon maple old fashioned. Yum.

     

    There are tons more restaurants and bars — but with these in mind, we’ll leave you to explore and wander on your own! And for a full list of fun bars, click here.

    Shopping

    There’s really no one boutique to go to {although there are a great mix of chains and locally-owned stores to peruse on King Street}. Wander through the area [with comfy shoes!] and make sure to grab a cab at the end of your travels so you can lug all of your buys back home. Seriously, there are so many shops to peruse, you may need to buy an extra suitcase.

    Sightseeing MUSTS

    Rainbow Row

    While this is one of Charleston’s top attractions, it’s more picturesque in photos than in person, not gonna lie. The issue? While trying to snap that totally insta-worthy pic, you’ll come across a ton of cars blocking your view. Basically, this street is just a row of quaint, southern, pastel-painted houses {which trust us — is super beautiful, but also a bit underwhelming as far as the city sights go}. You definitely should swing by it to check it out as it’s quintessential, but have other fun sightseeing things planned!

    Historic Charleston City Market

    If you’re into art, crafts, jewelry, soap, touristy t-shirts or the like, this is the spot for you. Three blocks of vendors selling everything under the sun {including food}. And if you’re not the shopping kind, at least hit up the [decently clean] public restrooms which are located in the middle of the market before you head to Waterfront Park.

    Waterfront Park

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    Views of the Atlantic Ocean and marsh areas combined with a fun {water-filled} public plaza and beautiful historic buildings make this park a unique and wonderful spot when strolling around Charleston.

    Shem Creek Park

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    This spot is off-the-beaten path and away from downtown {you must take a cab!}. Several bars line this boardwalk area along wetlands, and you’ll be able to sip a cocktail while watching boats come in and out [one bar even has Miami Vices, so you’ll really feel like you’re on ‘vacay.’}. Some even fish at the end of the boardwalk! Come for the drinks and view, stay for the sunset, and you’ll get some Insta-worthy pics and have a totally fun and relaxing day.

    Fort Sumter

    Do a quick tour of Fort Sumter with Fort Sumter Tours — it’s a nice 30-minute ride via boat, and you often can spot dolphins in the water. You’ll get a bit of history as there’s a narrator on board who knows his stuff. Perfect way to get a little history in and some sun on a boat while you’re at it.

    HG Insider Tips:

    • – Besides walking on foot, ask a pedicab driver to take you for a tour around the city. $20 cash can get you on a nice little tour around town and it’s way more fun than a taxi [depending on your driver — rates may vary!]

    charleston-things-to-do-pedicab

    ^We’re speaking from experience, obviously.

    • – Charleston is known for its food scene — so take advantage of all the foodie options. For every.single.meal.
    • – When people smile and say “hello” randomly, don’t be alarmed. They’re just being friendly Southerners.
    • – For Pier 13 lovers, the Shem Creek Park is a must! Take an Uber over and back and enjoy some cocktails on the water — perfect day drinking spot. You’ll get to watch the small boats come in and out and have a good {southern-style} ol’ fashioned Sunday Funday.

     

    So there you have it; a quick trip to Charleston which can be done in 2-3 days, max 6 hours of travel time from Hoboken to Charleston [start-to-finish]. 

    Let us know where we should cover next in our #HobokenTravels!


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