How We Spent our Weekend in Charleston.
My first instinct when we decided we were going to take a whirlwind trip to Charleston was to ask everyone I know, and Instagram, the best places to eat and the best things to do. I was overwhelmed by the amount of suggestions and tips we got, but then it occurred to me that I would have no idea where to begin with all these great suggestions since we had such a limited amount of time; so Andrew and I basically threw all that out the window and decided to just wing it. Here is a glimpse of how we spent our weekend in Charleston; we may not have eaten at the best restaurants, this isn't meant to be a must do guide, just a recap of our quick visit to the coast.
Andrew and I stayed in our camper van at the Mount Pleasant/Charleston KOA, we wanted to be close to the beach but also not too far from town and this really was a great location for getting back and forth, and for under $65 a night, not a bad price for an impromptu weekend away. We arrived pretty late Friday night so our weekend really began Saturday morning where we found ourselves at Gaulart & Maliclet commonly known as Fast and French for breakfast. We didn't even look at a menu before entering, I basically decided I wanted to go there because of how cute it looked from the street. But pleasantly to our surprise it ended up being the perfect light bite for a day of adventuring in the sweltering heat. It's a pretty small restaurant and they have it all set up with counter space facing in one direction so your server can just walk back and forth down the bar to help everyone. It had what I imagine is a true European cafe feeling, and a pretty limited breakfast menu. We chose to share an almond croissant and a breakfast plate which was a combination of bread, cheese, meat and fresh fruit and topped it off with french press coffee. We weren't even keeping ourselves on a strict budget this trip but somehow still ended up walking way having both eaten for $14.
After moseying around some of the more mainstream shops on King Street that we don't have in Asheville, the rain cleared up and it was time to head to the beach for a bit. To be honest, based on internet research, most of the beaches in the Charleston area looked the same to me, but Isle of Palms was top rated and pretty close to our campground so going back and forth to shower and get cleaned up seemed like a breeze. We spent a little under two hours hanging by the water, scooping up seashells for our nieces and of course people watching, before what seemed to be another storm started to roll-in and we headed back to camp.
The one thing Andrew said he really wanted out of the weekend was to find good ceviche, which led us to 167 Raw, an oyster bar on the East side of town. 167 Raw is a very small restaurant with only about two tables and the rest, a row of bar seating. Rumor has it they're moving to a larger location in the next few months, so stay tuned. We got there right before 6 o'clock and put are name on the list, and were lucky to only have about a 30 minute wait time. While we were eating at 6:45 or so the wait was up to an hour and 45 minutes. My recommendation - go early for dinner, or show up for a late night bite after 9pm or so. We sampled some oysters, had some shrimp cocktail and tried their ceviche. Everything was great, but their special for the weekend were crispy halibut tacos and they were phenomenal! Andrew and I both concluded we hadn't had tacos that good since we lived in California. After wandering around town for a couple hours, scooping up an ice cream sandwich at Peace Pie along the way, we stopped in Proof a craft cocktail bar for one last glass of rose before heading back to our cozy van for the night.
Our weekend ended with a classic breakfast at Jack's Cafe off of King Street and a coffee to go from Tricera Coffee just a few doors down; their iced vanilla latte is one of the best I've ever had and quite comparable to my Asheville favorite at High Five. On our way out of town we stopped at Rainbow Row once again to take in the colors and pretend we were in another world, before working our way back to reality.
My favorite part of the weekend was the time we spent in the evening just aimlessly wandering through town, we found ourselves lost in the French Quarter and taking a quiet moment to watch some boats go by on the water. Charleston is home to lots of good restaurants and of course shopping, but those are things we definitely have here in Asheville as well, so next time we head back that way I would definitely like to spend the majority of our time taking in the more historical sites and getting outside of the city more.