Last weekend I took a weekend getaway to Charleston, one of my favorite cities that's a convenient 4.5 hours from Atlanta. It's an approachable town that's very walkable, with a rich culture of art and cuisine that's placed it at the top of Travel & Leisure's Best Cities in the U.S. list for an impressive nine years. With historic architecture and coastal charm, it's also an amazing design destination. If there's one thing that really makes time slow down, it's setting off on those spontaneous weekend trips. The thrill of throwing a few things in a bag, hitting the gas, and exploring a new city – it's like hitting the refresh button on life. Charleston had been calling my name, and trust me, it didn't disappoint. Walking down these old-school cobblestone streets is like stepping into a time machine, surrounded by so many beautiful old buildings (including the signature pastel stucco that's so picturesque). Charleston knows how to blend the old and the new in a way that is truly charming, and the restaurant scene is equally authentic, serving up a side of culture and tradition that you can practically taste. Here's how I spent my weekend in the Holy City with the perfect mix of fun, food, and leisure!
48 Hours in Charleston: Weekend Guide
Friday / EVENING on KING STREET
Named after King Charles II of England, this iconic avenue showcases the heart and evolution of Charleston, from its colonial roots to its modern-day allure. What truly sets King Street apart, however, is its unrivaled shopping and dining scene. Prepare to be tempted by an array of boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops that beckon from every corner. Whether you're on the hunt for rare vintage finds, local crafts, or high-end fashion, King Street delivers a full selection of options that cater to every taste and preference.
4PM / After checking into my hotel (there are many beautiful boutique options to choose from), I got ready for an evening on King Street
8PM / We stepped next-door for a drink at The Cocktail Club, a cozy little bar and rooftop that's a local favorite
10PM / We walked down the street to Uptown Social, our favorite young hotspot for a night of dancing
Saturday / BEACH DAY on SULLIVAN'S ISLAND
Nestled a short 20 minute drive away from Charleston, Sullivan's Island offers a serene escape that complements the city's vibrant energy. With a name that carries a historic weight, this charming island is a retreat that reflects the evolution of the region. It's popularity has exploded, and with it the real estate market as well, but it will always have its beautiful wide beaches bordered by unspoiled dunes and marshes, making the walks up to the beach quite magical. It's also the home of some fantastic new coastal eateries.
10AM / We enjoyed a leisurely morning with the hotel room's balcony doors open to the sea breeze
11AM / After room-service-coffee we headed out to Miller's All Day for a classic brunch on King Street
12PM / Grabbed our bathing suits, towels, and a book for the beach and drive to Sullivan's Island
1PM / Parked by Station 25 Road to my favorite beach access – a beautiful walk through the marsh
3pm / After recharging by the ocean, we stopped by The Co-Op on Sullivan's main street for a delicious sandwich and flight of their popular frosés
4PM / We drove back to Charleston, taking the long way to look at beach houses on the island
6PM / Before dinner we stopped by The Dewberry for a drink and great views on their chic rooftop bar The Citrus Club (expect a small wait at this popular spot)
Sunday / CHARLESTON TRADITIONS
10AM / We grabbed a coffee and pastry before a fun candlemaking workshop at Candlefish, Charleston's popular candle company (and the chandlers behind my own candle collection)
11AM / Shopped on King Street at some of our favorite stores and I found the cutest cableknit sweater vest at Scotch & Soda
12PM / Checked-out of our hotel and drove over to a Charleston classic, Leon's for fresh oysters and other delicious seafood (this has become my little tradition each visit) before heading home
Concluding this Charleston guide, our whirlwind weekend has explored everything from historic streets to mouthwatering eats. But his city has so much more in store – like the annual Food & Wine Festival, a flavor-packed extravaganza that's a must on my future hit list. And I'd also love to attend the Spoleto Festival, which is an amazing traditional for earts and culture. So, as I wave goodbye to Charleston (for now), I'm already amped up for my next visits, and ready to dig deeper into what this place has to offer. Stay tuned for more travel tales!