To say I’m slightly partial to Charleston, South Carolina may be an understatement.  Since moving to the Southern US, Charleston has served as the destination of choice for frequent weekend getaways for Brittany and me.  We even decided to have our wedding in this great city last September.  The unforgettable experiences and poignant memories the historic city holds will undoubtably last a lifetime.  If you have yet to travel to Charleston, you simply must.

Griggs Engagement by Michelle Lange Photography-4_141

Although it continues to top the lists of best cities in the US to visit, Charleston has impressively managed to maintain its quaint and welcoming feel.  Sure, there are a few touristy areas that most want to check-off their to-do list (the Market, the Battery), but even those areas aren’t overwhelming to visit.  Perhaps it’s the narrow cobblestone streets, the magically colored town homes, or the Southern charm of the wonderful locals that give this place its fitting name, “Charming Charleston”.

Charming cobblestone street in downtown CharlestonThings to do in CharlestonGriggs Engagement by Michelle Lange Photography-7_123

While it may be obvious that you’ll have endless attractions in and around downtown Charleston – historic tours, carriage rides, beautiful beaches – I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the celebrated restaurant scene that has erupted in recent years.  The city has everything to offer from elegant dining, farm-to-table, or laid-back lowcountry style restaurants.

Though there are too many to count, I’ll mention a few restaurants from our most recent trip that we feel are worth your time.  If you’re looking for a low-key, laid-back breakfast, check-out Jack’s Cafe where the local underclassman at CofC (College of Charleston) nurse themselves back to life with farm-fresh omeletes and Nutella pancakes that will change your life.  Make your way to Rarebit for a late lunch or pre-dinner drink (the Moscow Mule is a must), before dinning on locally sourced modern American fare at the ever vibrant MacIntosh’s.  Lastly, end the evening with a few cocktails under the stars on the rooftop bar at Stars Rooftop & Grill Room.

After a long day of street wandering and (over) eating, we make our way back to the hotel.  Similar to the large selection of restaurants, there are also endless options of hotel accommodations in downtown Charleston.  We have a few favorites and for this trip we chose the Francis Marion Hotel.  When we want that traditional, historic feel to our stay, and a room with a view, this is the hotel of choice.

Francis Marion Hotel Room View

Friendly doorman will greet you at the entrance, handling the luggage, valeting the car and pointing you in the direction of the magnificent lobby.  The rooms are quaint and certainly smaller than average, but are ideal for relaxing after a full day of enjoying the city.  A few key amenities include a well-equiped fitness center, spa, and concierge services to help plan your daily itinerary.  Above all else, the hotel is located in the heart of downtown on King Street & Calhoun Street – perfect for parking the car and exploring the city by foot.

Francis Marion Hotel Room Best Hotels in Charleston Great hotels in Charleston Charming hotel in Charleston

If you can manage to pull yourself away from the endless activities that downtown Charleston has to offer, there’s a great classic-style golf course just across the Ashley River.  Read about our round at the beautiful Country Club of Charleston here – A Charleston Classic: The Country Club of Charleston

Country Club of Charleston home to 2003 US Women's Amateur