Thursday, October 24, 2013

Charleston Jaunt

Believe the hype, people! Charleston, South Carolina has been declared the Best and Friendliest City in the Country by Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler. It’s the ultimate foodie destination outside of Copenhagen. Everyone oohs and ahs over that genteel hospitality. And this is one place that lives up to the fanfare.

We had planned to make a road trip from Nashville to Charleston this past spring. The south has been seeping into my soul lately. Realizing a pricey stay at Blackberry Farm was out of the question, a road trip with friends, from Nashville to Charleston via Asheville, seemed a pretty cool alternative. But with the big apartment hunt and subsequent renovations, vacation kept getting pushed. Finally, Andrew and I decided to just book a weekend to Charleston, knowing the road trip, never mind Blackberry Farms, wasn’t going to happen.

It was pretty much love at first sight. Walking around Charleston is like having all of Martha’s Vineyard beauty compressed into one walkable area. It has the magic of Essex, but is 100x the size. At certain turns, I felt like I was in San Francisco. Or Disneyworld. There is just enchanting beauty everywhere, especially in the streets South of Broad. It all reeks of civility and history.

Obviously, we saw but a slice of the city. The touristy slice. There are hundreds of thousands of people living on islands and in suburbs surrounding the actual downtown peninsula. Eastern Charleston feels sadly like the segregated past. No place is perfect, but this came pretty close.

And the food. From the silly (fried pimento cheese fritters, anyone?) to the sublime (oyster sliders at The Ordinary are a must), it was an eating extravaganza.

Hominy Grill has a crazy brunch scene, with people lining up for Bloody Marys and Dark & Stormys while waiting for their table. You can put your name on the inevitable waiting list and then walk up two blocks to Wildflour bakery for a sticky bun. Just the smell is heavenly.

Husk was lovely - super homey, charming and fantastic food.

Halls Chophouse has the friendliest welcome in town. 

Butcher & Bee has a fried chicken sandwich you don’t want to miss. While you’re up that far north on King, be sure to swing over to New Yorker-owned Sugar Bakeshop for a cupcake.

And it’s good to mix the low with the high. We ate fried green tomatoes, fried catfish po boys, fried crab cakes, hush puppies and sweet potato fries at Hymans, and sat on the porch of Poogan’s Porch, watching the world go by.
 Did I mention there's a certain kind of charm in Charleston?


  1. Wow! That's just lovely!:))

    You guys look so happy together:)

  2. Oh I do love Charleston ! I grew up in NC and we were always going to Charleston .. beautiful and loaded with charm.

  3. Thanks, this was a good one!