In late June we decided to take an impromptu trip to Charleston, South Carolina for five days. We had never been and it’s always been on my list of places to visit due to the colors, history, and southern charm. It was the perfect short trip to explore a few magical places.
We spent most of the time eating and shopping because after all, it was my daughters birthday. I planned a few places ahead of time but asked the locals for suggestions during our trip. Uber drivers and car services are the best for suggestions!
Where we stayed for our Charleston trip
We ended up staying in Isle of Palms. Let me tell you what, talk about large and gorgeous southern homes. This island was unlike any other around. we learned a lot of the new build homes were where former homes were torn down. Our driver said that the locals deemed these as “hold-outs.” He explained this meant a home was in the waiting period until an estate settled or a family member inherited it and was ready to tear it down to build new.
The presidential suite: Wild Dunes Resort; The Boardwalk Inn
We stayed at a resort while there so we could have access to restaurants, shops, pools, and a private beach. We booked the presidential suite at the Boardwalk Inn at the Wild Dunes Resort. With our stay they included a bottle of champagne, a bottle of wine, water, and snacks. It was a nice welcome package.
The resort had the following:
- A private beach
- A mix of convenience and clothing shops
- Four restaurants
- A car service
- And four or five pools with hot tubs
If you’re into the resort thing, you’d never have to leave. What we didn’t know as first time visitors to Isle of Palms is that virtually no Ubers come to the Island, especially the resort. The drivers told us they were not permitted on the resort’s property. Luckily, we had a few willing to whisk us off the first few days.
We did reserve the car service for a morning and learned all kinds of things about the celebrities that stayed there, including where Johnny Depp was staying at that present time, which was about five minutes from us. Other names like Reese Witherspoon and Gwenneth Paltrow supposedly own homes on the island as well. It was cool to learn about how they either owned or rented there as an escape from the Hollywood life.
Arrival night of 5 Days in Charleston
We flew into the Charleston airport mid-afternoon and grabbed an Uber to our resort. We knew we wanted to get sushi the first night we were there but didn’t have many plans otherwise. The airport is about 40 minutes from Isle of Palms so it was dinner time once we arrived and got checked in and settled.
Dinner at Sushi Taro
We were pretty lucky to get an Uber right back out of the resort once we figured out where to go to dinner. We ended up at Sushi Taro, which was about 30 minutes away.
Note: if you stay at the isle of palms, it will take you about 30 minutes at a minimum to get anywhere that’s not on the island
Out of all the sushi restaurants I’ve been to, I’d rate this a 7 out of 10. It wasn’t a premium spot but it definitely did the trick. Anywhere that offers gluten and dairy free options is a win in my book.
Next on our itinerary was the beach. We arrived back the resort and headed down to the beach. The beach was full of wooden chair and umbrella rentals they were collecting from the day. Talk about private, there weren’t a lot of people there, which was nice for our first experience. The beach was full of shells and a little bit of seaweed but overall, really clean!
Day 2 of 5 days in Charleston
On our second day in Charleston, South Carolina, after breakfast from Coastal Provisions, one of the on-site restaurants, we embarked on a shopping outing on the infamous King St. Aside from the shopping itself, I was so excited to see the colorful historic buildings that lined the street. At times, it definitely felt like New York City with cars zipping by and horns honking. I loved the energy!
I mapped out some boutiques for my daughter and I to go to ahead of time so we could be efficient with our time. After all, I am a project manager by trade! I chose boutiques that had affordable yet super cute and trendy items we would both love and let me tell you what, King St did not dissapoint!
Here is the lineup of stores on King St (and surrounding streets) in Charleston, South Carolina that we went to:
- Dress Up – 320 King St
- Brandy Melville – 328 King St
- Millie Lynn Boutique – 336 King St
- Francescas – 338 King St
- Urban Outfitters – 371 King St
- House of Sage – 51B George St
- Sephora – 289 King St
The weather was totally crazy while we were there (in general) but we ended up having to buy umbrellas because there was an intense storm while we were shopping. In between shops, we stopped at Fire Grill Asian Fusion for lunch. When I tell you this food was so authentic and delicious I’m not kidding! We are suckers for Asian food!
For the rest of the day we ate dinner at one of the resort restaurants, Coastal Crust, and hung out at the resort.
Day 3 of 5 Days in Charleston
On the third day in Charleston we had no real agenda other than to explore the area a bit closer to the resort. It ended up feeling like a huge task to secure and Uber just to be able to leave the resort due to the constraints they had.
For lunch, we went to Charleston Harbor Fish House at the suggestion of one of our drivers. It had incredible views of the Charleston skyline, the USS Yorktown, and marina. The pictures don’t even do the USS Yorktown justice and the food was delicious!
For dinner, we ate at the The Boathouse, another driver recommendation that paid off well. It has a really cool screened in porch right on the water. This made it SO NICE to sit outside and eat without getting a ton of mosquito bites!
After dinner we spent some time at the beach and the resort pools. The rain made it a bit chillier but we did it anyway because when you’re by a beach – you take full advantage!
Day 4 of 5 Days in Charleston
On day four, we set our intentions on exploring and hanging out at the resort. We ended up renting a car because the Uber situation was super difficult and we wanted freedom to come and go/travel around as we pleased.
First, we had lunch at Basic Kitchen after hearing a lot of great reviews. Their food was incredibly fresh and healthy. They pride themselves on sustainability and have the cutest patio!
Next, we went to the historic Rainbow Row. This was on my list of must-do’s. Rainbow Row is a row of beautifully colored homes located on East Bay Street that were built in around 1740. Yes, you read that right! This is a quick visit but a must. The homes are so beautiful and each have so much charm, character, and history!
After Rainbow Row, we had dinner at High Thyme on Sullivan’s Island. We received a ton of recommendations for the island and decided to stay closer that evening and find somewhere on Sullivan’s Island to check out. This is a strip of fun and quarky restaurants. It was honestly one of my favorite locations!
From there, we decided on some resort hangs and freezing ocean dips for the rest of the day. We went to another pool our resort had that we hadn’t checked out yet. It was super nice with a hot tub that we kept going back and forth from. Then we had one last dip in the ocean, after it had been raining and cooled down, so we were chilly for sure but it was worth it!
The next day was dedicated to traveling back home.
In Summary – 5 Days in Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina ended up being just as charming as I assumed it would be. I always feel so inspired when I travel but the colorful world and historic charm really elevated that to a new level. I would definitely recommend visiting Charleston, SC if you haven’t, there is plenty to do – much more than we could have fit into the few days we had!
Have you been to Charleston?
Don’t forget to subscribe to receive everything Whispering in Wonderland right to your email!