Waaaaaay back in March, Ryan and I took a little two and a half day trip up to Charleston for my birthday. We had originally booked a tiny house AirBnB cabin and the week of our trip the owners messaged us to say that it had been sold and they unfortunately had to cancel our reservation. We had so been looking forward to our weekend out of town and we weren't sure if we would still be able to go considering it was right in the middle of spring break and almost every hotel and other AirBnB in the city was booked. Thankfully, we ended up finding a room at a hotel in downtown Charleston which ended up being the perfect location as we could walk anywhere in the city that we wanted. It was such a fun and wonderful weekend filled with lots of beautiful houses, delicious food, and more walking than our little feet could handle at times. Charleston is only about a four hour drive from St. Augustine, making it the perfect distance if you're looking for a new place to check out for a last minute get away. Here were a few things we were up to while we visited:
On the drive up to Charleston we stopped in Jacksonville to have breakfast at Community Loaves. Each time I go, I leave already craving the next menu item I want to try on our next visit. Their bagel sandwiches, which is what Ryan had, are amazing and I went with the quiche this time around. I have no idea what type of dressing they put on those salads, but whatever it was stole the show seeing as I ate every last crumb on mine and Ryan's plate. After breakfast, we walked over to Vagabond Coffee to pick up one of their sprinkle Friday pop tarts. I've had a few of their pop tarts previously but have never been in town on a Friday where we have time to stop and get one of their special sprinkle ones. It was a strawberry pop tart with vanilla frosting. Ryan and I were practically licking the bag afterwards making sure no bite went uneaten. We immediately decided that we needed to try making out our own pop tarts when we got back into town. It was the perfect way to kick-off a celebratory weekend.
Alas! Four hours and some change later and we were finally checked into our hotel and ready for some exploring! We set out without any plans and just decided to wander around downtown until we were hungry for dinner. One of my favorite things to do while we were there was to just mosey up and down different streets looking at all of the different colored houses, window boxes and front courtyards. I found myself saying "this one is my favorite!" only to turn the corner and find a new favorite on that street as well. I love the ivy colored walls and the bright window shutters. I can only imagine what this city looked like in it's earlier years and I love that current homeowners have kept up with the traditional southern charm. The house at #10 with the mint colored door, lion door knocker and ivy covered steps was certainly one of my "top 10" from the trip. I also loved, loved the beautiful courtyard filled with pink and white flowers and a navy door that was set down a few steps below. Let's be honest, they were all my favorites ;)
Once we had worked up a bit of an appetite, we stopped into The Gin Joint for a drink and an appetizer. I had read several great things about their craft cocktails and how it was a must visit while in the city. We each ordered a different drink and ordered one of the pretzel appetizers. We loved the drinks! the pretzels, not so much. But back to the drinks! My favorite thing about their menu was that they have a "bartender's choice" list where they provide about 10-12 different adjectives describing tastes and flavors and you pick two adjectives. The words range anywhere sweet, tart, and fruity to sour, bitter, and strong, The bartender will then make you a drink based off of those two words of your choice. I loved seeing what our bartender came up with and I enjoyed the drinks he came up with on his own more so than the preset drinks we ordered off of the menu. All in all, the bar had a cozy atmosphere great for a small group to enjoy a few shareable appetizers and cocktails that you wouldn't find at most other places.
After The Gin Joint, we walked up to Leon's Poultry and Oyster Shop. Ryan is obsessed with anything chicken biscuit or sandwich related and I knew this would be right up his alley. I have been once before when I visited Charleston last year for a bachelorette party. The weather was perfect so we opted to sit outside and we ordered up one chicken and one fried oyster sandwich. I wish I had a photo of it in the daylight because the restaurant, inside and outside, are so beautiful. After gobbling up our sandwiches, we contemplated ordering a second round they are that delicious, we opted instead for a vanilla soft serve cone. Leon's offers vanilla and chocolate soft serve cones that either plain or with chocolate or rainbow sprinkles. Clearly, we opted for the rainbow sprinkles and after the waiter brought it out, we split a cone, I looked away for MAYBE 20 seconds and in that time frame Ryan had EATEN ALL THE SPRINKLES. Obviously, I am still in shock considering NO ONE does that! Sprinkles make everything 200 times better and to eat them all to yourself and not share...I'm looking at you Ryan Tempro. However, I digress, not long after the waiter was sweet enough to bring us an entire extra side of sprinkles and he saved the day! Thank you mr. waiter!
After dessert, we walked back to the hotel to crash for the night before another day filled with shopping all of Charleston's best local shops and restaurants!