Posted on | July 4, 2012 | Comments Off
Hotels editor Susan O'Keefe is just back from a weekend with her girlfriends in Charleston.Charleston packs a punch to get a girls weekend getaway. With its eclectic dining scene, chic shops and galleries, and its walkable streets filled with historic houses and English-inspired gardens, the city charms guests with old-fashioned Southern hospitality. What is much more, Southwest Airlines launches service to Charleston flight cities haven't been announced) subsequent spring. So grab your girlfriends or your spouse) and place these must-dos on your Charleston intinerary.
See the full list after the jump.
King Street Shopping
You could walk up and down King and Broad Street all day poking in and out of the fine assortment of shops. Some of my favorites were Finicky Filly for fresh seasonal fashions like cashmere sweaters the latest have feathered collars) and tasteful cocktail dresses. The sales ladies lavish shoppers with attention and will happily pour you a beverage or feed coins to your car meter while you shop. Handpicked boasts fun, trendy jewelery and accessories at inexpensive prices. South of Market is the place to pick up pillows, throws, and other accessories for your home or at the very least, get some really good ideas, and Lily offers beautiful stationery, vintage jewelery, soaps, and handbags, not to mention an overall aesthetic that makes you feel good to be in this lovely little shop.
Gaulart & Maliclet Cafe, aka Fast and French, is a convivial cafeon Broad Street where during lunch, $8.95 will get you one of three house soups accompanied by pate, saucisson, and crostinis topped with ingredients like pesto and marinated red peppers, Brie and fig, and tomato with mozzarella and basil. The lunch special comes with a glass of house French wine. Dinner choices include an affordable chicken du jour, fondue blue cheese, Swiss, seafood), and seafood paella.
The Restoration on King
You won't find any lace doilies among the decor at this chic new hotel that overlooks King Street. In fact, the modern loft-like condos come fully stocked with sleek kitchens, stylish living room areas and flat-screens, and bathrooms equipped with glass-enclosed showers. Large photographs of the Lowcountry grace the exposed brick walls and amenities like the pre-ordered continental breakfast brought to your room in a picnic basket are lovely touches. In the evening, sit on peacock-blue settees in the lobby and enjoy a complimentary wine and cheese hour or take your wine up to the rooftop terrace patio where you'll find views of the "Holy City" and all of its church steeples.
House and Garden Envy on Legare and Beyond
I happened to be in Charleston during the Preservation Society's Home and Garden tour and therefore was able to visit a dozen private estates and gardens on and off Legare Street. Several of these stately Revolutionary era houses still have their original outbuildings kitchens and slave quarters), side porches, and ornate iron gates.
Check the website for this annual event and other tours or to inquire about historic houses and inns that offer a glimpse into Charleston's past. The Preservation Society also has a shop on King Street that sells books about the area and edibles including benne sesame seed)