Spend Sunny Days in Charleston

Dining, boozing, beaching, and more on the coast


Area lakes do not a coastal locale make. Pack up the car, blast your favorite playlist, and make the five(ish)-hour trek to Charleston, South Carolina, for unmatched beaching, boozing, fine dining, and Southern charm.

Sleep It Off
Get intimate (ahem, The Notebook was filmed in Chucktown) at the Battery Carriage House Inn along the scenic promenade (where a walk or run is a must), away from the hustle. Or stay in the action at Restoration on King, a modern boutique hotel with condo-style suites and a luxury pillow menu. The posh French Quarter Inn and Charleston Place never disappoint.

Get Pretty
Neglected lady business before departure? Sweet 185 does sugaring hair removal, from brows to Brazilian. For your hair up there, walk down King Street to Tease, the city’s first blowout salon. Then try on L-Space swimsuits at Las Olas surf shop, designer dresses at Finicky Filly, and to-die-for footwear at Copper Penny Shooz.

market pavilion hotel!

Hit the Roof
Admire the night sky and cocktails such as the Honey Suckle Shandy and the Jackie O at Stars. Treat yourself (and others) to a Westside Punch bowl or Lavender Vesper (vodka, gin, Lillet Blanc, lavender tea) at Cocktail Club. Or stick with a golden oldie and take the elevator to the top of the Market Pavilion Hotel for vodka with a view.

Make a Plan
Plan your getaway around Spoleto Festival USA (May 24-June 9), seventeen days of renowned and emerging performing artists taking over theaters, churches, and outdoor spaces. Shop the Charleston City Market for odds, ends, and gifts for friends. History buffs geek out at the The Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon and Fort Sumter National Monument (a quick ferry ride from downtown), and sports fans will root, root, root for the home team at a RiverDogs baseball game.

the macintosh!

Clean Your Plate
Badass chef Sean Brock’s seasonal, local fare at famed Husk will make your head spin (or is that the punch?). Dig in to fresh seafood on the waterfront at Fleet Landing or slurp oysters at Pearlz. Bacon happy hour (Monday-Friday, 5-7 p.m.) with $5 meaty eats at The Macintosh is a must, but if you have a hankering for hamachi (and other raw fish), swanky sushi spot O-Ku is your go-to.

Play All Day
Hit Sullivan’s Island for fun in the sun (the locals hang at station 19), then pop into Poe’s for a brewski and mouth-watering burgers named after Edgar Allan’s poetry (Tell-Tale Heart = fried egg, cheddar, and Applewood bacon). Surfer chicks, hang ten at Folly Beach then hit the hippie town for gooey nachos and frozen sangria margaritas at Taco Boy. Or skip the sand and paddleboard or kayak on Shem Creek, followed by imbibing at The Shelter Kitchen and Bar.

It’s a shore thing.

Photos: Courtesy of Doug Hickok; Courtesy of Market Pavilion Hotel; Andrew Stephen Cebulka / Courtesy of The Macintosh