Now that Charleston, SC was just named the #1 city in the world by Travel & Leisure, your wedding rsvp’s are guaranteed to grow! With an influx of guests it only seems right to provide them with a full itinerary of things to see and do while they are in our charming city. There are so many restaurants and shops that I love in Charleston that it’s hard to narrow it down to just just a few so consider this list a condensed version. Today’s guide is a roundup of my must see spots that will give your guests the feeling of living life as a Charleston local, if only for the weekend. Make sure to also read our guide to the Top 10 wedding venues in Charleston, SC – here!DRINK
Both of these coffee shops are outside of the city in Mt. Pleasant but worth a visit and right near the beach. I recommend making a day trip out to The Old Village of Mt. Pleasant and Sullivan’s Island. Rent bikes and stop at either (or both) of these cafes on your way!
Vintage Coffee Cafe – Before I bought a house I lived down the street from this charming cafe and couldn’t resist stopping by each day. Sit outside by the vintage pick up truck and enjoy a lazy morning.
Collective Coffee – Really good coffee and a great lunch menu.
I could go on and on about all of the restaurants you must try on a visit to Charleston but below is a quick and dirty list of my top 5 (okay 6, I just couldn’t cut it down). And top 5 is a big deal when you live in a city full of so many amazing eats. So it goes without saying – you need to eat at these restaurants!
167 Raw – Hands down 167 is my favorite restaurant in town. Get there early if you don’t want to wait in line and grab a spot at the bar. Everything on the menu is absolutely amazing but you can’t go wrong with the mahi tacos and a cool glass of rose.
Xiao Bao Biscuit – As someone who was born in Asia I know good Asian food and Xiao Bao is it. Set in a funky old gas station they serve up spicy Asian fusion dishes that leave your mouth watering. The cabbage pancake (sounds weird but do it) and the paratha are my go-to’s.
Monza – My favorite spot for pizza and pasta. You must order the butter bean salad as there’s nothing more Southern than a bowl of butter beans and Monza does them just right.
Leons – The perfect spot for a long lunch Leon’s has a vintage vibe and serves up the freshest Southern fare.
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit – Open late night Callie’s is the perfect snack after a night of dancing at a wedding reception. Their glowing sign on King St. leads the way to the most amazing fluffy Southern biscuits. Make sure to grab a frozen pack so you can make them at home too!
The Park Cafe – One of my many favorite spots for lunch The Park Cafe serves up healthy light fare and the best avocado toast in town.
Candy Shop on Cannon – The best little vintage jewelry shop in town. Their rice bead necklaces and bracelets make the perfect gifts or souvenirs from your time in Charleston. You won’t regret visiting this adorable, girly shop.
Open Door Shop – Marion and Leslie have curated a unique selection of home goods including pineapple chip bowls and Terrafirma ceramics. The perfect spot to pick up goods for your home or hostess gifts.
Vieuxtemps – This King St. staple has long been known as the place to create your wedding registry. What most don’t know is Vieuxtemps is also chock full of super cute hostess and bridesmaids gifts. A unique seashell iPhone speaker and Proud Mary Turkish towel are among some of my favorite finds.
Indigo Market – Hands down my favorite place to find unique coastal furnishings. You can find vintage rattan pieces recovered in palm print and mirrors painted bright teal.
While I’ve never actually stayed in a hotel here these would be my top recommendations to visiting friends and family. All in great locations and with superb service.
The Wentworth Mansion
The Meeting St. Inn
The Spectator Hotel – Just voted the best city hotel in the world by Travel & Leisure!
All photos copyright of Richard Ellis Photography. Do not reprint without permission.