Sampling Charleston over three days

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By Alexandra Axon

My boyfriend, Ace, and I recently traveled to Charleston, South Carolina for a whirlwind 3-day weekend. We arrived early Friday morning and made the quick ride from the airport to our accommodations, which was right outside of Charleston on James Island.

Once we were settled, we decided to go out for a quick lunch at Basic Kitchen. It was the perfect blend of southern charm and millennial hipster vibes with oversized pillows scattered across booths and woven basket chandeliers hanging from the high ceilings. Ace had a beer from Munkle Brewing Co. while I ordered an iced coffee. Each drink came in a glass that looked like a beer can and was topped with a striped blue straw. We ordered buffalo cauliflower wings and vegan nachos. The food was hot and fresh.

Afterward, we took a quick ride to King Street, one of the most popular areas of Charleston. Lined with palm trees, horse-drawn carriages trotted down the pavement as people took tours of the grand city. We spent time shopping in the countless stores ranging from designer names to small southern boutiques. With each store we entered, a grinning sales person greeted us with true southern charm.

Historic Charleston City Marketplace, which we quickly learned, was a must-do for tourists and locals alike. Every day different vendors set up tables to sell their artwork. Some individuals had homemade candy, while others sold finger paintings of classic Charleston attractions.

We pulled ourselves away from the street fair and made the short walk to our dinner reservation at 5 Church. The restaurant is in an actual church, but the chapel no longer holds services. It still holds its original beauty with cathedral ceilings, stained glass windows, and candle chandeliers. For dinner, Ace ordered a seafood entre, while the chef made me a personalized dish of fresh veggies over a bed of squash puree. The food was delectable, and with the angelic atmosphere, the entire night was unforgettable.

The following day, we had brunch at Huriyali Gardens. When we walked into the restaurant, a band greeted us by the front door. Huriyali Gardens is a counter service restaurant. I had an acai bowl topped with fresh coconut and banana slices.  Ace had a breakfast burrito.

After brunch, we drove to Waterfront Park. The relaxing views were complemented by the elated squeals of children running through the exposed fountain spouts at the entrance to the park.

Luckily, Waterfront Park was just around the corner from somewhere I had wanted to see since we first booked our trip, Rainbow Row. After a quick 5-minute walk down a cobblestone road, the street opened up to a collection of houses and buildings, each one painted a different brilliant color.

Later that day, we tried a new restaurant called Parcel 32. The restaurant’s atmosphere was the definition of southern elegance with crisp white walls and dark wooden tables. Our waiter informed us that their chef had come all the way from Jamaica. Ace treated himself to a steak, while I had the Farmer’s Plate that consisted of an array of seasonal vegetables, delicious!

The following day we, unfortunately, had to leave for the airport. However, with a few hours to spend, we returned to the marketplace on King Street and I purchased hand-painted figurines of Rainbow Row. We truly made the most out of the trip. A taste of the history, charm, and liveliness of the city all in such a short time makes us yearn to return for more very soon!


If you'd like to help people devastated by Hurricane Florence in South Carolina, please consider donating to one of the following charities. 

One SC Fund

United Way

American Red Cross

Atlanta Humane - caring for South Carolina pets

Charleston Animal Society

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