Hello my fellow wander-lusting friends, hope you all are well!
Last weekend I went on a spontaneous day trip to Charleston, South Carolina with my husband and wanted to share with all of you some of my favorites. First, I just have to comment on how much I enjoy taking day trips, so much fun without a lot of commitment. You can plan or not plan at all and still have an amazing little adventure. Just a tank full of gas, a little bit of spending money (optional), and a little imagination and research can go a long way.
Now, I had already been to Charleston but had only spent one day there, so I had plenty more to discover and explore! Here’s what we did…
Angel Oak Tree
First, we drove straight to the ever so beautiful and captivating Angel Oak Tree located just outside of Charleston in Johns Island, SC. This tree is estimated to be 400-500 years old, stands 66.5 feet tall, and measures 28 feet in circumference. Some even actually believe it to be 1500 years old! Either way, this tree should definitely be on your list of places to see if you ever find yourself visiting Charleston, it’s simply amazing!
Tip: Visiting is free of charge!
Next, we drove to the Historical Downtown Charleston area and parked near the famous pineapple fountain located in Waterfront Park. Other than viewing the beautiful pineapple-shaped fountain, this park is a lovely place to relax, watch the boats come and go, or even cool off in this or another nearby water feature (a perfect place for kids too).
After cooling off a bit, we took a stroll down to the nearby famous Rainbow Row, a series of pastel colored row houses that were restored between 1930’s-1940’s. One of my favorite pastimes, while traveling, is finding a house or two that I pretend is my very own and what my life would be like there. You should give it a try sometime, it’s quite fun! This time I pretended that I was going to have a spot of tea and second breakfast with my dear friend Frodo Baggins because I had heard that he had moved to Charleston for the summer. (see above photo) Charleston has some of the most beautiful windows adorned with the most elaborately filled flower boxes I’ve ever seen! Oh, and you’ll find the dreamiest little side courtyards and secret gardens, so inviting! You might even get lucky enough to enjoy a refreshing cup of lemonade bought from the sweetest and well mannered of little boys while you explore downtown, like we did.
Carmella’s Cafe and Dessert Bar and Charleston’s Art Scene
We had reservations for an early dinner at 4pm. So, we skipped lunch and opted for dessert instead at Carmella’s Cafe and Dessert Bar. Yum! We shared the rum cake and it didn’t disappoint! They also had a variety of handmade Italian ice (gelato). You should definitely give it a try; this place could satisfy any sweet tooth craving. The next thing we did, after exploring down more cobble stone streets and in and around charming churches, was an unexpected treat. We went in quite a few art galleries and I felt like each one was a part of a very unique art culture and feel, specifically to Charleston. Some were filled with local artists and some with artists from other states, even abroad. My favorite one, was Robert Lange Studios, focusing on contemporary realism. They featured an artist by the name of Michelle Jader, a former professional business woman turned artist that paints on multiple layers of acrylic that gives the appearance of movement, falling through space even, to many of her pieces. Some look like their dancing, my favorite, of course. Also, upstairs there was a wooden swing that guests are welcome to swing on while viewing the art in that particular room (a paintbrush is whimsically painted on the seat, a fun touch for the imagination). I am now ruined for all art gazing future experiences and feel that all art galleries should follow suit.
After our artistic appetite was satisfied, we decided to fill our stomachs, because our early dinner reservation was approaching quickly. *tummies were rumbling* We ate at Magnolia’s and I would be more than happy to dine here again! Food was delicious and the service was great; true southern hospitality!
BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIB RISOTTO
baby spinach, heirloom tomatoes, cracked pepper Parmesan, red wine jus
BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN BREAST
cracked pepper biscuit, mashed potatoes, collard greens, creamed corn, sausage-herb gravy
Our dinner choices. YUMMY-ness!!!
Tip: Make reservations before hand online, it was easy and saved us a ton of time!
Well, that was a day well spent for sure. Hope some of these suggestions might be helpful to some of you and you find yourself being charmed by Charleston real soon. Here’s another link from when I was there last time with more suggestions, if your interested…A little bit of Charleston in my life. (sorry for the filtered photos, why was that ever a thing? *smh*) Thank you to everyone that has commented here and on Facebook and Instagram on how you’ve enjoyed and followed some of my travel advice and when you have been able to give some of your own advice as well! I love all of your feedback!
Happy travels, everyone!