We went on a family weekend getaway to Charleston, SC for the first time and we were smitten by Charleston’s charm. Well, at least I was anyway. This city is beautiful with its Spanish moss covered trees, vintage cobblestone streets, excellent foodie spots, and family friendly atmosphere. I could have spent a few more days in this picturesque little town. But, traveling with a toddler and with other real life responsibilities calling, I’m grateful I had a chance to spend any time exploring this city. Here are five charming things to do while visiting one of my new favorite cities.
- Café Framboise
We started off with breakfast at Café Framboise, a cute little French café that serves breakfast, lunch, and pastries. This was the perfect place to hit two birds with one stone since I needed my breakfast and bakery fix.
I had the brioche roll sandwich that came with chedder, spinach, mushrooms, and a fluffy egg soufflé all tucked inside a buttery warm brioche bun. Thank goodness it came with a fruit cup to offset this delicious calorific sandwich.
The dessert display case had multiple shelves of glistening tarts, golden brown pastries, and colorful cookies. After looking the display case up and down a few times, I made the hard decision to limit myself to a rhubarb tart (top), an assortment of macaroons(right), and a mixed fruit tart(bottom). The staff kindly packaged these up in a little white box so I could save them for later.
After fueling up at the café, we walked around downtown. These colorful buildings and columns were made for a nice photo.
- South Carolina Aquarium
The aquarium has several exhibits that take you from the mountains to the sea of South Carolina as you explore animals found in each habitat. Our favorite was the enormous ocean tank filled with a variety of saltwater fish and this friendly guy. Both adults and child in our case were thoroughly amused for about an hour as we made our way through the aquarium.
After a hard morning of animal gazing at the aquarium, we headed over to Magnolias for lunch. If you want to experience Charleston on a plate, this is the place to go. You’ll find many classic southern dishes like shrimp and grits and fried chicken with the volume turned up.
I had to get the buttermilk fried chicken breast since we’re in the south and it’s a staple in southern soul food. It came with a cracked pepper biscuit, silky mashed potatoes, creamed corn, and the best collard greens. Really, those collard greens were on point. Even my husband who doesn’t like to eat anything with chlorophyll in it, agreed these were very tasty. I’m not really sure what that sauce was but it tasted like magical barbeque gravy and went perfectly well with everything it touched on the plate.
- Waterfront Park
The best place to go walk off a heavy southern meal is at this beautiful maritime park. You will find many benches under a dense canopy of oak trees where you can sit and take in the scene. Doesn’t it look like something out of a romantic movie?
There is also a pier for fishing and several swinging benches to sit and relax. At the end of the pier, you can see another landmark, the Arthur J. Ravenal Jr. Bridge that connects Mount Pleasant to Charleston. This seagull knew he was getting his picture made. Why else would he make eye contact with my camera?
You can’t complete a trip to Charleston without crossing a cobblestone road. This was at the corner of Concord St. and Middle Atlantic Wharf along the Waterfront Park.
There was also an alley close to our parking garage with a cobblestone road and nice faux doors. I kind of like the cascading horticulture spilling out of the “doors”. Seeing cobblestone always puts me in a time hop. I think I can hear horse hooves.
- Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
This place was unbelievably beautiful and designed with romantics in mind, like myself. You will find many Spanish moss strung trees, a garden variety of gorgeous blooms, and several scenic bridges. We happened to go during Valentines weekend when they had a chocolate walk. There were tents set up around the garden where guests could sample fancy chocolates and treats from different countries. Perfect way to top off a romantic stroll in a dreamy garden.
The average person, ok maybe just me, would probably think that magnolias only come in white. But this garden was filled with different colored magnolias like this vibrant fushia…
and this light pink variety that exist on a tree.
I love everything about this low country view. It was like walking through a painting. Just enchanting…
But I love this one of our little growing family even more.
Now that our babymoon to Charleston is complete, I’m a little more mentally prepared to meet the new little man in our lives. There’s still so much more to discover in this wonderful city and we will be back. Hope you guys enjoyed coming with us on our last hurrah before Baby Ly arrives in April 2017!