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Mini Guide to Charleston

Mini Guide to Charleston
Updated October 2020

John and I are huge fans of Charleston, SC.  It is the perfect distance from home for a weekend getaway and we try to get over there several times a year.  There is just something about the history, low country and foodie scene that just keeps us coming back for more.  We LOVE it.  We always try to stay where we can park the car and walk for our entire stay.  I think mentally it helps us justify all of the delicious/ unhealthy food we eat.  As we continue documenting our travels you will soon learn that we essentially eat our way through a city and plan most of our schedule around trying different food places. Here is our mini guide to Charleston.

Guide to Charleston: Where to Stay


We recently had the opportunity to stay at Emeline, a new boutique hotel right beside city market.  We loved the location and all of the delicious restaurants on property.  We honestly could have stayed at the hotel our entire stay and not felt like we missed out on anything. You can read more about our experience at Emeline here.  Use code RaifordM to get 20% off of your stay during October 2020.

Guide to Charleston: Where to Eat

Frannie & The Fox 

Frannie & Fox Crab Fritters

Frannie & The Fox is located inside Emeline and we really enjoyed drinks and dinner there. Between two happy hours and dinner Friday night we tried the Blue Crab Fritters, Steamed Clams, Beef & Pork Meatballs, Hanger Steak, and Wreck Fish.  Everything we tasted was excellent.  The staff was also extremely accommodating with food my allergies and was always willing ask the chef how to modify a dish.  Our waitress informed us that everything is prepared fresh for each guest which is why they are able to be so accommodating. If you would like to eat at Frannie & The Fox I highly suggest making a reservation because they were busy every time we walked by.

Malagon, Mercado y Taperia

Our friends, Andrew and Katy, are local to the Charleston area and arranged for us to have dinner at Malagon. The menu focuses on traditional Spanish tapas and we really enjoyed sharing the dishes among our group. It is a small dining room so I would strongly suggest making a reservation.

Clerks Coffee 

Also located in Emeline, John and I enjoyed brunch here.  We loved the atmosphere and bright decors as well as the fact that they are dog friendly.  I got the avocado toast with the salsa verde and John got the breakfast sandwich.

Carmella's Dessert Bar

This is one of our old favorites that we have visited many times.  We stumbled upon this fabulous little open air cafe several years ago and always try to go back.  In the heart of downtown Charleston, Carmella’s Cafe and Dessert Bar combines generationally tested, gourmet recipes with a regional flair. They have a vast array of continually changing desserts, gelato, and sorbet, as well as fresh, organic coffees, sandwiches, wine, beer and cocktails. Everything about this place was just lovely and made me want to stay awhile.

Millers All Day

We enjoyed Sunday brunch here.  They do not accept reservations so I suggest getting there early or being willing to wait a little while.  They have a full coffee menu including lattes.  Our group of four started out with a cinnamon roll and I enjoyed an almond milk latte and the crab fried rice with a fried egg on top for my main.  I will note that I was 6.5 months pregnant during this meal so don't judge the brunch combo. 🙂

Guide to Charleston: What to Do

Walk Around the Battery

John and I decided one morning we were going to take a walk around the Battery. We wanted to get a little exercise and look at the historic houses. There is a ton of history and if that's what you like, I recommend taking a walking tour because it is very informative! If you are into just having a peaceful relaxing Sunday walk this is also the perfect spot for it.

Second Sunday

If you have any flexibility when planning your travels, I highly recommend being in Charleston on the second Sunday of the month.  On the second Sunday of every month King Street is blocked off from Calhoun to Queen Street from 1 to 5 pm to allow people to enjoy everything that King Street has to offer. The shops and restaurants have displays out in the street and people can eat and shop as they stroll down King.  They also have live music and art displays.  It is wonderful and definitely worth making a special trip.

There are so many more fabulous restaurants, shops and places to stay in Charleston and I am looking forward to adding onto this mini guide after our next visit!  I'd love to hear your thoughts about what should be on the list! Comment below with your suggestions 🙂