Charleston for the weekend (with a three-month-old)

8 April 2016

Charleston is always lovely, but Charleston in the spring has to be one of the loveliest places on the planet. Since the Holy City is just over a four hour’s drive from us, we try to take a weekend trip every other year. (We would love to go more often, but CHS accommodations are $$$, and there are so many places to explore!) This year, we made our trip the last hurrah of my maternity leave so that only one of us had to take a day off work. We were curious to see how a road trip with our girl would go, and I’d say she did just about as well as we expected. Here’s a little recap!


We left around 8:15 on Saturday morning, after June woke up and had breakfast. We ended up stopping twice on the drive down to feed her (in the car). The second time was just a half an hour outside of Charleston, so we probably could have pressed on, but that timing meant that she was full and happy by the time we hit the stop-and-go of downtown. We parked in the metered lot by Zero George and had a late lunch at Cru Cafe – yummy shoestring fries! It is tiny, so be prepared to wait.

After lunch we drove to our hotel (The Mills House) and checked in. We ended up making our reservation super last minute (two days before we left!) on Priceline, and got it for $175 a night, which I thought was a great deal for being right downtown. We really wanted to be within walking distance to everything so we could just take June in the stroller. Plus, The Mills House is pink! :)


It’s no surprise Charleston is one of my favorite destinations, because it’s basically one big house and garden tour. After an initial trip around the historic district and the Battery (the first of many – we logged more than 12 miles every day!), we drove out to Sullivan’s Island for a late dinner at The Obstinate Daughter. This was our favorite meal of the trip – we split a farro appetizer and two pasta dishes, and practically licked each plate clean. SO delicious, great service, a beautifully designed space, and reasonable prices. Also, a convivial atmosphere that served as excellent white noise to keep June sleeping peacefully at our feet in her car seat :) We picked up dessert at Beardcat’s Sweet Shop, directly underneath OD – a gingersnap cookie and cinnamon gelato sandwich for me (yum!!), and strawberry + lemon gelato for John.


On Sunday morning we were planning to have breakfast at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, but the space was tiny and the line was long, so instead we opted for a donut from Glazed, which we passed on the walk there, and goodies from our favorite standby Caviar & Bananas. (I would seriously be happy eating every meal from C&B, it’s that delicious!) Glazed was good, but they were almost out of donuts by the time we got there at 10am!


After breakfast we drove out to Middleton Place and strolled the grounds. It was not SUPER stroller-friendly (lots of stairs), but with two of us to pick it up as needed, it was definitely doable. The camellias were mostly past, but the azaleas were in full bloom and glorious. June enjoyed wearing her Beaufort Bonnet gingham for the first time, and we had fun imagining taking her back for another visit when she’s older and can appreciate the animals, like the free-ranging sheep and peacocks!



We stopped at The Americano in Mount Pleasant for a late lunch, and I’m sad to report were underwhelmed. It seems like a place that spends a little more time on its decor and vibe than its food, if you know what I mean, and we felt it was overpriced. The rice and beans and dip trio were misses, but our two tacos and the street corn were delicious — so not all was lost.


Then it was back to Charleston and more strolling in the historic district, plus sunset on the Battery. The weather was truly gorgeous! We had dinner at Poogan’s Porch, which was conveniently just steps away from The Mills House. If you’re looking for classic Southern food done up a little fancy (and just right), plus the best biscuits anywhere, this is your place. We expected June to sleep through the meal, but she had other plans :) We dined a bit more on edge than usual, waiting for the next squawk or cry, but thankfully she was placated by a few trips around the dining room and bar in John’s arms.


On Monday morning we picked up blueberry muffins, parfaits, and hot chocolate to go from Bakehouse and enjoyed them in Waterfront Park while watching dolphins play (!!). We had the place pretty much to ourselves.


I always like being at a destination during the week, because you get to see locals heading to work, checking their mail, and doing other normal things! We looped once more through the historic district before eating lunch outside at Caviar & Bananas then hopping in the car for the drive home. June was not terribly thrilled about being in the car seat for another long drive, but she was a trooper and we are grateful!


You can see a few more of my Charleston favorites from our last trip, here! Any restaurants y’all would recommend for next time? I’d love to hear!

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April 8, 2016 9:07 am

I enjoy reading your travel posts so much, because I feel like you focus on the same kinds of details that I do when we travel! :) Looks like you had such a sweet time- we went to Charleston on our honeymoon (and ate at Poogan’s Porch!) and I’ve hat the itch to return since then! It’s such an amazing city!

April 8, 2016 9:32 am

Way to go logging your first road trip as a family of three! Looks lovely, sounds delicious and makes me want to visit again. Dolphins again, too! I have been looking at a similar bonnet for Miss M and June looks so cute it makes me think that we need one for summer!

April 8, 2016 10:42 am

I love these travel posts. You always give real insight, for example if a restaurant was a miss, and I appreciate that! I love Charleston and The Mills house. We stayed for my 21st birthday and it was perfect for strolling through downtown. I’m returning in October for a wedding and the rehearsal is at Poogans Porch, can’t wait! I always recommend Toast for brunch. Its a few steps from The Mills house and serves the most incredible breakfast, I always order this dish that has a crab cake, topped with a fried green tomato, and eggs benedict, yummy! Thanks for sharing your trip! :)

April 8, 2016 11:44 am

@Kelly We walked by Toast and there was a crowd waiting for a table! It looked delicious!

Christian Melvin
April 8, 2016 5:05 pm

My boyfriend and I were there last weekend as well and got engaged, so the town obviously has a special place in my heart. Food wise, I would highly recommend The Boathouse on Isle of Palms. It’s the second time I’ve been there and the food is fabulous! We also liked Fleet Landing, but I would definitely recommend reservations. The wait is crazy and probably not worth it with a little one. We went to Pearlz for lunch and enjoyed that as well. We also tried the Oyster House. The food was decent enough, but better at other places; however it’s outdoor patio is really cool for ambiance. One last non-food recommendation, we toured Fort Moultrie on a lark and were pleasantly surprised by the amount of history in one place. So glad you had a great time!

April 11, 2016 9:07 pm

Looked like the perfect family getaway to that lovely city!