Every July I try to schedule a week or two of no weddings to spend time with the family. We only have 18 summers with the kids, and as much as I love my job, it’s so important to disconnect and spend time as a family. This year we ended up taking two weeks off in order to head to a big family reunion in Nagshead, North Carolina (my family has been going there since the 80s!). On the way home, we spent 36 hours in Nashville and Charleston (plus about a million hours in the car!). Morgan headed back to Arizona with my brothers to visit family there, so the 4 of us packed the car to the brim, put on the Trolls soundtrack and started our long way home! Charleston was our first stop and I’m already planning our trip back! There was just so much to see and do, we tried our best to fit in as many coffee shops and food as possible while giving the girls something fun to experience as well!
36 hours is not nearly enough time to explore all Charleston has to offer, but I hope this guide helps you if you are traveling there – especially with kids! It was hard to find something online that we would all enjoy. Our first stop after driving from the Outer Banks was Sullivans Island. We didn’t get there until about 7 pm and immediately hit the beach. There was a large storm blowing in, so we didn’t even change into our swimsuits or bring out our towels. I absolutely loved Sullivan Island’s beaches and it’s adorable lighthouse. The water was so warm! If we go back, this is for sure the place we will stay. I was really hoping to see a sea turtle or dolphin but alas we weren’t so lucky. With thunder and lighting beginning overhead, we walked over to Poe’s Tavern. A restaurant completely dedicated to Edgar Allen Poe! He spent time on the island and there are a bunch of references to him all over. Poe’s had delicious burgers and Andy and I enjoyed the local beer. About halfway through our meal the rain finally hit and it was a doozy of a storm! Poor Andy had to run to our car a few blocks away, and saved me and the girls from getting too soaked! Tired and rain-logged, we headed to the hotel for a good night sleep.
Our full day of Charleston started off a little disappointing honestly, as it continued to pour rain (I was devastated!). However, we decided to make the best of it and took the girls to Sugar Bakehouse for lunch. Because when it rains, you get cupcakes for lunch. Bailey and Eisley were so excited and I was just smitten by the adorable shop and branding! It was still pouring, so we ran back to the car and stopped at Black Tap for some coffee to go with our cupcakes. Then we kept it
classy awesome and ate in the car, haha! After our lunch of honey/chocolate cupcakes (I kept the blueberry for later and OMG YOU HAVE TO GET IT IF YOU GO! SO GOOD). We headed downtown to take a look at some of the historic homes at the Battery and when we parked, it stopped raining! We had fun walking along the river and viewing all the different homes. The girls needed to get some energy out, so we walked over to Waterfront Park and the girls had fun playing a bit in the fountain and especially loved the pineapple fountain! Bailey attempted to recreate the opening of Friends in that one, so we decided it was probably a good idea to go over to Rainbow Row. This was probably one of my favorite places in the whole city! Pink houses, yes, please! Plus fancy doors for days guys, daaaays. The girls loved seeing the horse drawn carriages, all the different colors and the fun window boxes. I let them take a few photos with my phone (Bailey took the ones of Andy and I) which resulted in some hilarious toddler selfies!
After a fun morning of exploring, Andy and the girls headed back to the hotel for a nap. I really wanted to check out a few paperies and King Street, so it was the best opportunity for me to do some shopping! The first place I stopped at was Mac & Murphy, an absolutely adorable paper shop right near Sugar. I got the cutest cards for my office and loved every part of this store! After that, I headed over to King Street for some shopping. I was in awe of the gigantic Madewell and Anthropologie, but also enjoyed a few of the smaller local boutiques.
After getting my shopping fix, Andy and I really wanted some seafood. When on the ocean it’s an absolute must! A lot of the venues we looked into weren’t super kid friendly, so we opted to head to Leon’s, who were known for their awesome Oysters as well as chicken which we thought would be great for the kids. They didn’t have kids meals, but our girls loved having some southern chicken and hush puppies! Andy and I loved their Oysters (and again, hush puppies because you have to in the south). and their local beer selection. It was completely cute and the service was amazing! We headed back to King Street and treated the girls to ice cream at Jeni’s. Tired and completely full, we headed back to our hotel for the night!
Silly faces were the theme of the trip (sigh, photographers kids)
Our schedules were pretty packed in Nashville so we got an early start on Tuesday. On the way out of town, we stopped at The Daily, an amazing coffee shop owned by the restaurant Butcher & Bee. The mocha was perfect and Andy really loved their drip coffee. With sad hearts (and the sun finally coming out), we said see you later to Charleston and headed to our next stop – Nashville! We are already planning an anniversary trip there, just us!
Places we wished we had time to try: