My job takes me on the road several times a month and Charleston has been by far one of the coolest cities I have gotten to travel to three times. Each time I go back, I keep discovering more reason this could be one of my favorite places. Whether you are there for work, play or a little of both, here are 10 things I think you should do in Charleston, South Carolina.
Try an oyster shooter. If you like Bloody Mary’s and oysters, think of the two combined in shot form. It’s made with pepper vodka, cocktail sauce, lemon juice and a little horseradish if you like heat. Pearlz Oyster Bar has a great happy hour specials and while you’re there, try an oyster shooter.
Eat hushpuppies. I had never had the luxury of eating these delicious pillows of heaven. They are made with a cornmeal batter, fried into little bite-size pieces and are both sweet and savory. Every place makes them a bit different, so you’ll have to find your favorite.
Drink bourbon. Charleston lent itself to a lot of firsts for me. One of which was drinking real bourbon. The Husk Bar has an extensive list of options, but I chose to start with one of their punches, which is like a gourmet bourbon cocktail. Sip it upstairs in the lounge with exposed wood and a really cool vibe.
Try boiled peanuts. These were another first for me. While I wouldn’t necessarily try them again, I am glad to say I’ve at least given these Southern staple a shot.
Find your favorite biscuits. There are biscuits on the menu at almost every restaurant, and like hushpuppies, everyone makes them in their own style. I loved the warm basket from Poogan’s Porch, but for a cute little hole-in-the-wall experience try Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. It’s even open until 2 am on weekends.
Walk through the Battery. The homes on the waterfront are absolutely remarkable in their pastel colors with their grandiose porches. I want to know the story behind every single one of them and meet the families that still call them home!
Explore the local shops and bakeries. The streets in Charleston are ones that you could walk up and down hundreds of times and discover something new each time. I loved finding Sugar, this tiny little walk-in bakery with the best caramel cupcake I’ve ever tried.
Drive across the bridge to Shem Creek. Charleston’s charm extends beyond just King Street. If you have time, take the short drive over the bridge to Shem Creek and enjoy some afternoon cocktails and appetizers while watching dolphins swim in the water at Red’s Ice House.
Indulge in a Southern Brunch. The signature dish of the city is shrimp and grits, so indulge in that as a brunch dish or add a crab cake to your Eggs Benedict. Even the traditional eggs, bacon and potatoes taste better in the South. If you’re planning on weekend brunch, be ready for a wait as brunch is the thing to do on Saturday and Sunday.
Put pimento cheese on everything. Everywhere I go in Charleston, I love trying their pimento cheese. The spread can be put on crackers, bruschetta, veggies, fried green tomatoes, biscuits or in a grilled cheese sandwich. The options for this spread/dip are unlimited. My favorite was at the Husk Bar when it was served on toast as a bruschetta with a little bit of crumbled bacon on top.
I would love to hear what other things are a must-do in Charleston. I could make this list go on and on, so maybe I’ll have to do a part two! Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Love food. Love self. Love life.