Monday, June 11, 2018

Charleston Travel Guide: 13 Things To Do and See










Happy Monday, babes! We have spent so much time in Charleston over the last few years. From vacations, to friends weddings, and then our own wedding this past year, it seems like we are in Charleston at last once a quarter and I'm not complaining about that one bit. It is hands down, my favorite place to visit and vacation. It's a super easy drive from Charlotte, and you can almost always bet on a hot sunny day there. Plus, it's impossible to eat a bad meal in Charleston - and we all know Shane and I love a good date night out. With all our travel to the holy city, I realized I've never actually done a post on our favorite things to do there. So today, I'm giving you all the deets on our favorite places to stay, eat, and play. Let's get started!

WHERE TO STAY:

Renaissance Charleston Historic District // This is where we stay 9 times out of 10 (unless it's sold out, or the rates are crazy). Nestled in the middle of downtown, the location couldn't be more perfect for exploring on foot! It's walking distance from some of the best bars and restaurants Charleston has to offer and is located just a half block off of Kings Street (where all the shopping is located). It's an older hotel, however they recently redid the entire inside of it and have given it a more modern flare! We like this hotel so much so that we booked our wedding block here. 

Belmond Charleston Place // If you're looking for that old southern charm and you're okay with splurging a little, this is one of the nicest hotels Charleston has to offer. Like the previously mentioned hotel, this one is also located downtown in the historic district and within walking distance of all the main attractions. This hotel embodies old world charm while feeling super luxurious, and it's dog friendly! PS: Get the room service for breakfast, it's worth it!


WHERE TO EAT:

Rise Coffee Bar // I'm a big time coffee gal. I have a cup of Joe in the room, and then my first stop after getting ready is always at Rise for an iced Caramel Latte! It's within walking distance of Renaissance, located right downtown inside of the Restoration Hotel (they have their own storefront from the road). It's cute, quaint, and the service is always good. 

Hominy Grill // This is a Charleston favorite and a huge attraction amongst visitors for it's popularity on several TV shows. I've only had breakfast/brunch here, but it's delicious! It's always busy, but the vibe is very relaxed and casual. Like lots of restaurants in Charleston, it's located in an old home and serves up all the low country classics. This is definitely a "cheat day" spot!

Millers All Day // We tried this out for brunch on our most recent visit and loved it! They started the restaurant based around the notion that you can have brunch at any hour - which is right up our alley because we aren't early risers on the weekends! The decor is super cute, definitely Instagramable and the food measured up as well! We tried a slew of things on the menu, but the waffle took the cake. The coffee here is also really good! 

The Macintosh // This is actually where we held our rehearsal dinner, and I don't know if I've ever had a better meal in my life! We've had both brunch and dinner here, but I recommend it most for dinner. They change their menu seasonally, but if you're around when the Deckle is on the menu - get it! It's life changing. I also really like that they use their southern roots as inspiration for their menu daily!

Hanks Seafood // I can't remember a trip to Charleston without a visit to Hanks. It's ranked as the best seafood restaurant in Charleston, and I couldn't agree more. We don't cook seafood a lot at home, so anytime we are in Charleston I splurge on the Roast Grouper with spinach and goat cheese risotto here. I've never had a better Grouper dish anywhere else, and it's consistently delicious. 

Elis Table // Charleston is known for their shrimp and grits, and Eli's is the place to go if you want the real deal. They recently won best shrimp and grits of Charleston, and again - totally agree with that accolade! They also used to have an amazing Maitre D' named Raymond, however during our most recent visit we were told he now works at Stars Rooftop (if you're there, ask for him - he hooks it up!). I do want to note that our last go around of service at Eli's was sub par, the food was still fantastic (also highly recommend the shrimp and sweet potato pancakes appetizer), but for whatever reason the service was extremely slow. 


THINGS TO DO:

Shopping // There are tons of options for shopping on Kings Street! You'll find popular big box stores like Sephora, Apple and H&M mixed in between local boutiques and art shops that have hand made jewelry, art work, candles etc. The Market is also a great place to pick up handmade Charleston goods! It's fun to walk around at and sight see nonetheless.

Folly Beach // This is our favorite activity in Charleston. Folly is a small little beach town about a 20-30 min (depending on traffic) ride from the downtown area. We love grabbing a few towels and heading there for a solid beach day. The town itself also has great little beach bars, restaurants, and souvenir shops as well. Our favorite beach bar to hang at is on the backside of the Tides hotel called BLU. If you're in the mood for low key Mexican, give Taco Boy a try! The Mexican street corn is what dreams are made of. 

Boat Rental or Sunset Sail // We've done this a couple times over holiday weekends and it's a blast! There are tons of marinas and harbors around the city that you can rent a boat from, or that offer sunset sails if you're not in the mood to be the captain! There are tons of dolphins that swim in the channels so you're likely to see them if you decide to go this route! We've seen them every time we've been out. 

Plantation Tour // There is so much history around Charleston, especially in the plantation space. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens & Middleton Plantation both offer tours of the grounds and gardens. Magnolia was recently named America's most beautiful garden by Travel + Leisure magazine! It's also really interesting to hear about the history behind it's location through the American Revolution and Civil War. If you're a history buff, this ones for you! We've attended a wedding there, as well as toured the property and it truly is stunning! Just make sure to bring bug spray. Both properties are super close to each other, so you could easily see both in one day - however, it is about a 25 minute drive from downtown Charleston.

Carriage Ride // Experience downtown Charleston by horse drawn carriage! We recommended doing this to everyone at our wedding who had not been to Charleston before. It gives you the opportunity to see incredible historic homes (and mansions), gardens, architecture, and history through a 1 hour guided tour. Tickets start at $16 with the option to select a private tour for $150. 

Rooftops // Check out any of Charlestons rooftops for happy hour and a view! We love doing this before dinner to watch the sunset and kick start a fun evening out. 

Phewww, that was a lot and it's only a tiny glimpse into all the city has to offer! We still have so many restaurants, coffee shops and bars on our Charleston bucket list to try - so I will update this post as we give those a go. I'd love to hear what your favorites are in the comments below!

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

High-Waisted Utility Shorts











 If you asked me for my top five favorite buys this summer so far, this outfit would be in it. I've worn it to several different things, and I'm sure I'll be wearing it again before the warm weather is all said and done! It's affordable, it looks great on just about everyone, and it's perfect for every occasion. These photos were taken during out Charleston trip, where I ended up wearing it to dinner on the patio at Eli's table! Side note, wear bug spray if you're sitting on the patio there - it's beautiful and I love being outside, but holy mosquito's! Anyway, these shorts are currently on sale for under $40, and come in a striped option as well. I am wearing a small! They are made out of a stretchy cotton material, so they almost feel like you're wearing a better quality version of your "around the house" jogger shorts. I have no idea if that's the right term to use, but you know what I mean! The kind you typically wouldn't leave the house in, haha. At our house, we call those our "comfy" clothes.

We just got home from Turks & Caicos and I was so sad to leave there! The water was so beautiful and we had amazing weather. I'll be doing a full round up of our stay in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I'll be dreaming about our next destination! Yes, there's a next destination, haha. Tour de beaches is in full force this summer!

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Gingham Shorts










Hi friends! I wore the cutesttt (can you tell the emphasis?) top and shorts a couple weekends ago! I always have a hard time finding shorts that don't make me self conscious in the summers. This will probably sound weird, but my legs are my least favorite thing on me and 90% of the shorts I try on accentuate all the wrong things. Typically they are too short, too tight (specifically with denim), too low waisted, or the cut in general is just not right. BUT, not with these! I got so excited when I tried these on because they literally fit perfectly in every area. The length is amazing, I love the high-waist, and the tie detail at the top is trending right now. They are also thin and lightweight so you won't be sweating during those hot summer days. You can also roll up the cuff on them one more time if you wanted to make them a little shorter. I paired them with this flirty little tie strap top. It comes in two colors, and fits true to size!

Phew, these last couple days have been crazy again! I swear I leave all errands and chores until the day before a trip every time. Does anyone else do that? Anyway, I am traveling to somewhere warm and tropical today! Can you guess where? Stay tuned on stories to see!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Stripe Paperbag Shorts + Crop Top










Good Morning! It's about time I talk about this outfit! I wore it a couple weeks ago to happy hour on the roof of the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in Charlotte. They have a really cool rooftop bar called "Merchant and Trade" up there that's perfect for watching the sunset over a couple summer cocktails! I knew it was going to be hot, so I didn't want to wear a long maxi dress or something that couldn't breathe. So, I opted for these $55 shorts and they were perfect! I'm wearing a size US 6 and typically wear between a 4 and 6 in bottoms, so I would size up one size from what your normally wear. My top also comes in two colors and is perfect with so many things! It's saved the day numerous times in my closet so far, and I'm thinking the black one needs to be the newest add since they're so versatile. I also added a few similar options for shorts around the same price point in the widget below!

I hope you all had a great holiday weekend! We were in Charleston (blog post coming) for a wedding I was in. Every time we visit, we come home and say we are buying a second home or condo there ha! I've got another busy week ahead planning for an international trip, so I'm off to run errands and hopefully get my outfits planned out proactively for once. Wish me luck!

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tie-Waist Pants











Hi friends! Happy almost weekend. We just made it to Charleston for the holiday and are so excited to be celebrating the marriage of two of our closest friends tomorrow! We are extending the weekend in light of the holiday and are hoping to get some beach time in Saturday and Sunday before heading to Lake Norman for a lake day Monday. Yes, we are water babies! Haha. 

I wore this outfit back in Dallas during the RewardStyle conference, and have been hoping the pants would get fully restocked by now but sizes are still randomly popping up here and there so I figured I might as well share! I love the material of these pants because they're lightweight, stretchy, breathable, and perfect if you work in corporate - especially during the summer months. The tie-waist detail is so trendy right now, and who doesn't love a good pull on pant?! I paired it with this bodysuit (which is still fully in stock and a great staple item) for an edgier/night out look for the conference, but if you check out my Instagram you'll see it pairs perfectly with a plain t-shirt as well. Plenty of options!

We are headed to the rehearsal dinner shortly at the Harbor Club! It's one of the only places we haven't been too yet in Charleston so we are looking forward to checking it out! I've heard the rooftop is great, will keep you posted on stories! XOXO.

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