Charleston was my favorite city by far from our road trip. It had a very Californian feel with its palm trees, warm dry breezes, and an active community. All the beaches, restaurants, and points of interest we wanted to hit up were within driving distance of one another which was brilliant. Our first stop was breakfast at Hominy Grill. We found this place online as it was starred in several food networks and was highly rated – for a good reason too. The place is extremely clean and beautifully decorated that gave it a perfect summer brunch venue feel.
We opted to sit outdoors since it was such a gorgeous day. Their breakfast menu is a modest one-pager with Southern classics like Shrimp & Grits, Biscuits, and waffles. I went straight for the grits. K went with a spinach and feta omelet with taters.
This being the first time I’ve ever tried grits, I was blown away by how much flavor was packed into what seemingly looked like plain porridge. It was delicious!!! In fact, so good we tried to mimic it at home.
After a big breakfast, we were suggested by a local to check out the large Market located in the heart of Charleston city.
It was essentially a huge strip of both indoor and outdoor vendors selling all sorts of stuff ranging from spices to freeze dried vegetables, and even decor made of bees wax.
We also stumbled upon KAPLA, a toy store that is basically LEGO in the form of wooden blocks that you construct anything to your desire. We played around a bit with the pieces on the floor in this video (near the end).
Charleston is a fairly touristy city (no where near the likes of Myrtle Beach, thank god) and many people go on tours on these horse carriages that take them around the streets. Totally unnecessary… but I guess that’s why they need cute little horses to lure customers in right?
Hitting up beach #2 – Folley Beach, just Southwest of the city. There are many houses surrounding the beach, and it was actually quite hard to find an entrance that wasn’t someone’s backyard!
For dinner, we headed to Bowen’s Island which is sort of like a hidden gem… it’s tucked away on the edge of the beaches in a very unassuming little run down hut.
One of the best parts of Bowen’s Island – aside form the cheap and abundant seafood they serve – is the view.
Everything was very reasonably priced and the whole feel of the restaurant was very rustic and non-pretentious. In fact, they do all the fishing, cooking and serving all in one place!
It was a little chilly at night, but there was no way we were going to miss one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen.
It gets a lot better with delicious seafood! We ordered fish n’ chips, crab cakes, boiled shrimp, and a tray of oysters. Now… we were assuming the oysters were raw, but in fact they are boiled to death before being served to the customers. We asked the people there if they do raw oysters, but cooked is the only way they will serve them. Perhaps they were not fit to be eaten raw? Or maybe it would be too much of a hassle to shuck?
Either way, we demolished everything 🙂
There is a long bridge that connects two parts of Charleston that are separated by a body of water called the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. It is 2.5miles long and there is a lane for people to walk/jog across. At first I thought they were insane…2.5miles is pretty long! But we saw grannies and people with strollers going across that thing and we thought…heck if they can do it, why can’t we? And so we got this crazy idea of jogging across the bridge at the crack of dawn.
Unfortunately neither of us brought our phones so we couldn’t document this feat, but it took us about 1.5hrs to jog back and forth (5 miles or 8km). Holy smokes… I could felt the Southern food weighing me down but it felt good to get our cholesterol laden arteries pumping again.
Initially, we were thinking of a nice healthy breakfast after the jog. But afterwards… we ditched the idea and went for Southern food again at a highly raved place called The Early Bird Diner. It was everything you’d expect from a classic American diner – grundgy, and grimy but serves mouth watering food.
They are known best for their Chicken & Waffles which is exactly what I got. The waffles were nice and dense and it went so well with the salty fried chicken and sweet maple syrup.
MMMmmm yummm!! K got Shrimp & Grits which was prepared so differently from Hominy Grill but still tasted very delicious in it’s own way. It was served with a warm butterfly biscuit.
Shortly after, we passed out at our hotel then headed to our last beach which was Sullivan’s Island east of Charleston city. No pictures here, but you can see some scenes of the beaches in this video I compiled.
On our last day in Charleston, we drive into the city near the harbor and took a nice evening stroll around the neighborhood of baller Southerners. Every house looked like a mansion… But what was even more beautiful was the sunset 🙂
We were sad to leave Charleston and start heading back home… but we made sure to do some cool and exciting stuff on our way back too. Stay tuned 😉