Carolina Charm | Charleston

by Lauren

To kick off the summer, Sugar and I both said our goodbyes to the big city life in our beloved Chicago, and headed back down to our sweet, yet still spicy, southern homes. I ventured even further south to my family’s vacation town house in the slow, steady paced life of Charleston, South Carolina, where you can sit on the porch sipping your coffee and not have to worry about it getting cold. In fact, it may even get hotter (haha). Here, I tasted some delicious southern dishes and drinks, as well as a taste of the beautiful southern beaches, architecture and artwork. 

Charleston, though southern, is not a city without fantastic style. While it's very hot during the summer, there is a nice breeze that comes off the water making it perfectly appropriate to wear long pants and maxi skirts, or dresses. The harem pants, flowing crop and Cole Haan sandals were a winning combo for strolling the gorgeous historic streets of Charleston. 

This southern city is well known across the globe for its fantastic food scene. Southern flavors with expert top chefs make this place a top destination for even those outside of the country. Being a foodie, of course I try to make it to at least one or two restaurants every time I visit. One of my all time favorites (as well as the favorite of many food critics and magazines) is Husk. Set inside an old southern town house with big white porches, this spot is everything you want in a restaurant, and more. With rustic yet gourmet dishes, local flavors and delicious spice, you’ll be wanting the secret ingredients to every plate. I would attempt make recommendations but let’s be honest, everything you order here will be more than satisfactory. The bar, located right next to the restaurant, is also a big hotspot around town, so be sure to dine and hop on over for a few cocktails!

Charleston is not known to be a very dry city, and just so happens to be a college town. Do not let that make you hesitate to hit the bars if that’s not your scene! There are quite a few fabulous cocktail and whiskey bars around the area. Classy and particular about the style and craft of their beverages, Gin Joint and Rarebit are two places you’ll want to see (and be seen!) in Charleston. Rarebit has some of the best Moscow Mules ever tasted and Gin Joint…let’s just say you’re not likely to be disappointed.

Shopping on King Street is also a must here. Walking up and down looking at all the beautiful shops is a very enjoyable way to pass time. Also, if you're up for a morning run or nice walk, the battery is an old historic landmark from the war and a gorgeous view of the water. During the summer, Charleston holds an amazing southern art festival called Spoleto. With local and out of state artists, the variety of pieces is spectacular and will keep you browsing (and sipping!) for hours. One of my favorite artists this time was Kathy Crowther. Her intricate and colorful work was absolutely mesmerizing. 

 In this delightful city, the food scene, the people, the drinks, the architecture and art, and the culture in general are far different from the fast paced life of Chicago. I would recommend this place to anyone who is looking for a nice, yet still very exciting, vacation. Though for now I’m definitely a big city girl, Charleston is a location that holds a special place in my heart, and one of the few places I rush to claim in the south (no offense;)).