Our Charleston Travel Guide | The Must Haves | Charleston, SC

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Charleston Travel Guide

Writing this Charleston travel guide was a must for us. Because it is not a secret that we love to travel. Whether it’s across the pond to Europe or domestically, we enjoy seeing what the world has to offer. Chareston, South Carolina had a lot to offer us. Being there six days, we had five photo sessions, plenty of places to visit and sight see, and even more places where we wanted to dine and enjoy a handcrafted cocktail… or two.

Here you will find our daily schedule for our photography schedule, as well as places we dined with food that we absolutely fell in love with.

Charleston Travel Guide

Day 1 – Charleston Travel Guide

Francis Marion Hotel

With a small mishap with our booking company, the Francis Marion Hotel did the best job in getting us into our room. The staff was incredibly polite, and more than helpful in getting things straightened out for us. So much that they upgraded us to a room with a great view of the city.

This hotel was the perfect location for our stay, as nearly everything we did was within walking distance. If you enjoy a historic stay in a historic city, we cannot recommend Francis Marion Hotel enough. When we travel back, this is where we will be staying. It is the perfect place to start your own Charleston travel guide.

The Rooftop at Vendue

Anytime we are in a new city, we love to grab drinks with a view. So when we heard about the #1 rooftop bar in Charleston, it had to be our fist stop for our Charleston travel guide.

For their handcrafted cocktails Shauna enjoyed the Sunset Spritz, and Jordon the Clipper:

  • Sunset Spritz (Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit & Rose, Aperol, Lemon, Prosecco)
  • Clipper (Bulleit Bourbon, Aperol, Lemon, Aromatic Bitters).

If you’re looking for drinks with a view, this should at the top of your own Charleston travel guide.

Day 2 – Charleston Travel Guide

Basic Kitchen

Needing to start the day with a healthy breakfast? Basic Kitchen was the place to be. Just a few blocks from our hotel, we started the day with a bang. As soon as we walked in, Shauna was overwhelmed with the ‘cuteness’ and ‘charm’ of the restaurant.

After taking in the sights, we learned that all of their ingredients and locally produced. Which enticed us into ordering their specials for the day.

Starting with:

  • Banana Bread  – Brown butter mascarpone

We would have been satisfied ordering three more servings of that, but we couldn’t pass up everything else they had to offer.

We then ordered:

  • Shrimp and Grits – local shrimp, grits
  • Granola Bowl – fresh local peaches, yogurt, granola, pineapple juice

From the first bite to the last, we enjoyed every second of it. The meal was super tasteful, healthy, and we can’t wait to see what specials they have the next time we go in.

RuRu’s Tacos + Tequila

After scouting locations around Rainbow Row, we were ready for lunch. We stumbled upon RuRu’s Tacos + Tequila. As soon as we sat down and saw their menu, we knew we were going to enjoy everything they had to offer.

If you know Jordon, you know he enjoy his pun’s… like a lot, probably too much. On top of that, he really enjoys his movies and pop culture knowledge. So when we saw this menu, Jordon was in love with all the names of their items. And Shauna, she loves tacos. And there is a lot of great taco choices. On top of that, they had a spicy margarita, which is both of our go-to’s when it comes to margaritas. Taco-bout a great first impression! (Sorry, had to throw that in there… lol)

Of course, all the food and drinks lived up to their awesome names. Here is what we ordered to start:

  • You Talkin’ To Me – House infused jalapeño tequila, agave, lime juice, salted rim
  • Three Amigos Nachos – Queso, guacamole, and house made salsa… the three best friends that anybody can have! (Threw in my own movie reference there!)

After drooling over the nachos we ordered some tacos:

  • The Stage Five Clinger (Crispy Chicken, Lettuce, Spicy Corn Relish, Pickled Jalapeños, Chipotle Aioli)
  • Fat Guy in a Little Coat (Cilantro Marinated Skirt Steak, Lettuce, Queso Fresco, Cilantro, Avocado Aioli).

They didn’t disappoint. So much, that we both agreed we would come back before our trip was over.

JohnKing Grill & Bar

After our downtown Charleston session, we needed a quick bite to eat. Just down the street from the hotel walked by JohnKing Grill & Bar. Not knowing anything about it, we took a chance. And this is why we love Charleston, because you can walk down the street and can almost guarantee that whatever you come across will be good.

This was the perfect place for us at this time. Not only because of their affordable prices on drinks and food, but the food was excellent. Jordon really loved the Philly cheesesteak he ordered.

So, if you are looking for a quick bite to eat with a cheap local beer, this is your spot.

Day 3 – Charleston Travel Guide

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum

Jordon’s must have on this trip was to visit the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point. He is sucker for airplanes, aircraft carries, and the military in general. Probably due to watching Top Gun so many times as a child.

This museum definitely gives you more than what you think. A general pass grants you access to the following:

  • Aircraft Carrier – USS Yorktown
  • Destroyer – USS Laffey
  • Submarine – USS Clamagore
  • The Vietnam Experience Exhibit
  • Medal of Honor Museum
  • Cold War Memorial

Definitely worth a visit if you are like Jordon, and in awe of all things listed above. The ship also provides a nice view of the city and the Arthur Revenel Jr. Bridge.

The Darling Oyster Bar

After another Rainbow Row session, our appetite was in full-force. And we were ready for dinner at the place we had really been looking forward to, The Darling Oyster Bar.

After Shauna granted Jordon’s wish to visit Patriots Point earlier, it was time for Jordon to follow in Shauna’s footsteps… eating oysters.

And they did not disappoint! With the help of our great server and his recommendations, we loved every bite and drink we had:

Drinks:

  • London Fog – Gin, Lavender, Lemon, Lavender Bitters
  • Shoulder Monkey – Bourbon on the rocks

Oysters:

  • Half Moons
  • Masonboro
  • Mystic

Meal:

  • Lobster & King Crab Roll – Split-Top Bun, Scallion, Mayo
  • Blue Crab Pasta -House-Made Pasta, Spring Peas, Peppers, Parmesan

So glad we took the time to make a reservation here. Held us accountable and was a beautiful date night for us in a new city.

Day 4 – Charleston Travel Guide

The Rise Coffee Bar

Looking for a quick caffeine pick-me-up? The Rise Coffee Bar was just what we needed.

  • Iced Latte – Carmel Toffee
  • Hot Tea – Honey Lavender

On top of that, the hotel it’s located in is beautiful! They also have The Watch Rooftop Kitchen and Spirits that we did not have the chance to make it to, but it was on our list. We enjoyed all the sights that The Restoration had to offer.

The Gin Joint

After walking by The Gin Joint a few types over the past couple days, we new we had to make time for it.

For people who love hand crafted cocktails, along with a speakeasy style, this is the place to be. We each ordered the Bartenders Choice, in which you choose two words from their list, and they create a handcrafted cocktail just for you.

We really enjoyed the vibe, and look forward to bringing friends there next time for a few drinks.

Our Selfies – Charleston Travel Guide

We loved the time we had in Charleston and being able to create this Charleston travel guide. Here are our selfies from all of the couples we had the pleasure to work with while there. From three sessions in downtown Charleston, Rainbow Row, and Lowndes Grove!

We hope that helps for any of you planning your future trips! If you enjoyed this Charleston Travel Guide be sure to leave a comment below.

If you are planning another trip in general, or one to Paris be sure to check out our other travel tips!

Warmly,

Shauna and Jordon

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