Our first full day in Charleston we slept in late. Really late. So much that we missed our free breakfast at the hotel, which made me sad because I hate missing out on free food and I hate missing out on vacation awesomeness. I quickly pulled together a plan that just came together awesomely. We’d go to Glazed Donuts, which I’d seen Elizabeth blog about and looked amazing, then we’d walk over two blocks to the Aiken-Rhett house and tour it for an hour and then take the Fort Sumter tour and be back in time to change and have drinks at the hotel and then head over to our reservations at Hominy Grill. Except…except….Glazed was sold out of donuts.
I didn’t even know that was possible. If you’re going to run out of donuts early then make more donuts. So then we walked five blocks over to Sugar hoping to pick up a scone and coffee. Except there was nary a muffin to be found (but we still picked up three cupcakes to go because we’re not not going to eat cupcakes because they don’t have scones). At that point, we go to some stupid cafe on the corner. If we get our order right away, we can still cram in my now not-so-awesome agenda. But then the waitress gave our food to someone else. I sat there with a cloud over my head for like 10 minutes because I can’t stand when life doesn’t go to plan on vacation. Oh, and did I mention it was raining and that our jeans were absolutely soaked? A fellow Denver blogger once posted that, “I have a theory that, when you travel, everything is a little bit better and a little bit worse than it normally would be.”
This has always resonated with me and I remembered it. It was silly to be upset. Really silly. It’s not like I haven’t eaten donuts before. And so what if we had to skip out on a historical house? I was sitting in a warm, dry restaurant with my boyfriend (hate the word fiance but that post is for another day) and when we got our food, it was amazingly good. Seriously, check out Five Loaves if you’re ever in Charleston.
We never made it to Glazed. We hit up Circa 1886 for breakfast on Sunday and they were closed on Monday. But really all that does is give us something to look forward to the next time we go to Charleston.
And without further adieu, I give you the breakdown of what we ate, saw and where we slept for our trips to Charleston in 2013. If you ever go, hit me up for additional recommendations because we hit up a lot more spots when we went in 2011.
Husk (blogged here) - Amazing farm-to-table Southern food by Sean Brock
Hominy Grill - The only restaurant we went to both trips. For price, I don’t think this Southern food with a twist can be beat. Plus, Vikas and I think it has the best pecan we had in all of Charleston. Also, their shrimp and grits and are outstanding.*
The Ordinary - Oyster place. I thought it would have more seafood options than it did, but it was definitely an oyster joint, and we’re meh about oysters. But the seafood we did have was outstanding (yay lobster roll) and it was named as a James Beard semi-finalist for the best new restaurant of the year.
Circa 1886 - We got free breakfast here, so why not go. Otherwise, I wouldn’t make the effort.
Virginia’s on King - Hadn’t heard of this place but our concierge recommended it because Vikas wanted okra. Simple and good Southern food.
Five Loaves - Despite the annoyance above, the food was really good. After Husk, I kept thinking about my meal here the most even though it was just a simple sandwich (hot ham & brie with green tomato jam, mustard & vinegar slaw).
Sugar Bakeshop - Cookies and cupcakes galore.
Kaminskys - Strictly dessert and coffee. The portion sizes were definitely Cheesecake Factory-ish but it was a super cute date night place. My favorite was seeing a student from the Citadel wearing a blazer while his girlfriend (in sweats!) picked out her dessert.
Wentworth Inn (blogged here) - Fancy pants hotel. I’m really glad we tried it but I don’t know if we’ll be back. While I loved all of the amenities, we really don’t need our own sunroom. Or porch. Or giant jetted tub (well, maybe we do need that).
Things we Did:
Charleston Cooks - Really great cooking store. In 2011, I picked up two cookbooks and learned to make pecan pie. This year I picked another two cookbooks including Southern Cakes, plus two bags of grits!
The Battery - Charleston is not big and one of the most beautiful walks you can take is to the Battery, their park named for all the cannons it used to have in order to protect Charleston. We also walked all over their downtown area.
Fort Sumter - Took a ferry over to Fort Sumter, which was heaven for Vikas because he loves history and he especially loves the history of wars.
Custom House - We toured their old custom house. I hated it. It was gimmicky and I was tired.
Shopped on King Street - Great antique shopping that I wish we had more time to explore.
Edmonston Alston House - Beautiful historical home on the Battery. Interestingly enough - the original family still lives on the top floor.
Looked at Beautiful Houses
Their famous rainbow row. The houses weren’t considered prime until they painted them a rainbow row of colors.
Charleston Harbor. Not a bad day for February.
St. Michael’s Church
St Michael’s Graveyard
Vikas in history heaven at Fort Sumter
The Spirit of the Lowcountry
Sugar Bakeshop doesn’t sell scones but they nail cupcakes.