With its rich history and miles of sunny beaches, Charleston SC is undeniably one of the most popular travel destinations in the South. A vacation in Charleston may include everything from a whirlwind weekend getaway downtown on the Charleston peninsula, filled with shopping, dining and nightlife, to deep sea fishing, water sports on the Atlantic, or just relaxing in the sand. With so many options, it can be difficult to decide just where to eat, especially if you’re only venturing to town for a few days. While the list of new eateries that are hot and trendy seems to be ever-growing, many locals stick to a few favorites that serve up exceptional fare but might not be a James Beard award winner or listed on Eater. Here are a few places downtown on the peninsula where locals eat in Charleston.Breakfast
The Harbinger Cafe
We can’t say enough lovely things about “The Harb.” The honey latte alone will have you returning week after week. Locals love this cafe because of its perfect pastries, charming interior, and back porch. Pro tip: go on Saturday for their once-a-week bagels that are boiled for a crispy exterior and chewy inside. They pair them with unexpected flavors in handcrafted cream cheeses… need we say more?
1107 King St, Charleston
If you love green juice and avocado toast, look no further. This bright, fresh spot matches its modern interior with equally-fresh breakfast options. It’s situated perfectly in the “northern neck” of the Peninsula and is the perfect pre-beach destination. Staying somewhere closer to the heart of historic Charleston? The Daily has a secondary location inside The Gibbes Museum of Art and is open Monday through Saturday from 10am-5pm.
652 B King St, Charleston
Gaulart & Maliclet Fast and French
Is it Paris or is it Charleston? It’ll be hard to tell the difference when dining at Gaulart & Maliclet’s Fast and French, or just Fast and French as the locals call it. Dine on a variety of French dishes including baguette sandwiches, delightful fondue and cheese plates, ever changing daily specials, and of course, an expansive wine menu.
98 Broad St, Charleston
Little Jack’s Tavern
This little establishment is nestled on the Upper King District right near the tech corridor. The Little Jack’s burger rivals the rest of the town’s best. It’s got vintage appeal and fast WiFi.
710 King St, Charleston
Pane e Vino
Located down a hidden street in downtown Charleston, this is one of the best Italian restaurants in the Holy City and has a romantic, intimate atmosphere. However, it’s not so expensive that you can’t make it your regular date night choice. You can’t go wrong with any dish you order, but let us be the first to tell you: order the spaghetti alla carbonara. Don’t forget to order their delicious homemade tiramisu for dessert!
17 Warren St, Charleston
This restaurant is right in the heart of Downtown in an old Charleston home. It’s perfect for couples and small gatherings. Although they have a semi-private room for larger parties, you can’t squeeze more than 10. The vibe is perfectly Charleston with great wine selections and you should definitely start with the mussels.
18 Pinckney St, Charleston
Note: While it’s certainly true that there are an abundance of amazing and delectable restaurants in Charleston, these are a few that we know you simply can’t go wrong with. Start your weekend getaway in Charleston by booking a stay at one of our luxury vacation rentals and then let our Concierge team help you plan the perfect itinerary. We’ve put together our “Insider’s Guide to Charleston” that includes some of our favorite places to see, do and eat in Charleston. Click below to DOWNLOAD … and start planning today!
Charleston is well known for it’s award-winning restaurants and bars but what about coffee? Did you know that Charleston is just in love with coffee as it is with food? You’ll find a diverse range of shops and a coffee scene really coming into its own here in the Holy City. Our helpful “Coffee Lover’s Guide to Charleston SC” will help you navigate the Holy City and help you to experience some of the best coffee shops and even some pointers on what exactly to order when you get there!
Kudu Coffee and Craft Beer
Located around the corner from our chic & modern King’s Court and Park’s Edge vacation rentals, you’ll discover the hidden gem that is Kudu Coffee and Craft Beer. This inviting cafe just steps from King Street is ideal for those looking to escape the Charleston heat and settle into a quiet courtyard for a coffee or craft beer! Kudu offers all the standard coffee and espresso beverages you’d expect but the real beverage you’ll want is their nitro tap cold brew coffee. If you feel your energy beginning to fade after a day spent exploring Charleston, one sip of this fine beverage and you’ll be off and running again!
Their charming courtyard with bubbling fountain is the perfect place to relax. And if you’re looking for a happy hour libation, try their on tap rosé wine or one of the local craft beers on the menu.
4 Vanderhorst Street, Charleston, SC 29403
Second State Coffee
Nestled among historic homes and ancient oaks, you’d almost miss Second State Coffee if you weren’t looking for it. Located in the Harleston Village neighborhood may mean it is a bit off the beaten path, but finding this gem makes it worth the trip since Second State has been crafting perfect lattes since 2012. This charming, minimal, and bright cafe is a local favorite. Begin your morning with a lavender infused latte or if it’s the afternoon, try one of their coffee cocktails like the Black Juleps.
70.5 Beaufain Street, Charleston, SC 29401
Craving a silky smooth cappuccino and the perfect Instagram photo? Look no further than The Rise on Wentworth! Take a break from shopping on King Street and relax in this chic and modern cafe. Try one of their cold brew coffees or their vanilla almond latte for a special treat. The only difficult choice is finding the perfect spot for your coffee photo.
77 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC 29401
Bitty and Beau’s Coffee
With its roots in Wilmington, North Carolina, Bitty and Beau was started in 2016 to create employment opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Beau’s Coffee created a path for people with IDD to become more valued, accepted, and included in every community. Their second location in Charleston SC was opened in 2018 and a third was opened in Savannah in 2019. This amazing coffee shop is one not to be missed and a way for all of us to participate in something that makes our community better.
159 Church Street, Charleston, SC 29403
Note: Working and living in a city dedicated to delivering on hospitality and culinary at the highest level is just one of the reasons why we love Charleston SC, and know you will too! Book a stay with us to explore the Holy City and discover for yourself everything this vibrant city has offer. Our Concierge team is committed to delivering exceptional service, impeccable cleanliness and all the amenities of your everyday home. And, should you need any recommendations during your stay, our team can provide suggestions for restaurants, make reservations, organize activities, and answer any questions.
It’s that time of the year again! What better way to get into the Halloween spirit than getting spooked by ghost stories in the oldest, and most haunted cities in the US? With Charleston’s rich history comes unrested spirits that haunt many of the city’s oldest and most iconic homes and buildings. When people hear the word “ghost,” they often think of evil spirits that haunt the living. Although Charleston may possess a few evil spirits, there are more often cordial and even happy ghosts that make themselves known.
The ghost of George Poirier is one in particular that tends to be an office favorite here at Luxury Simplified, where all happy spirits are welcomed.
The story of George Poirier goes like this. George came from a family of wealthy cotton planters and tradesmen back in the late 1800’s. The family thrived from the cotton business for quite some time. As smart entrepreneurs, the Poirier’s diversified their wealth into British bonds so when cotton became a saturated market, their wealth continued to grow. George Poirier happened to be the lucky recipient of the families’ well-earned profits. However, he did not inherit the entrepreneur gene and blew through the majority of funds that were left in his name.
Just when George didn’t think things could get any worse, the boll weevil (a small beetle known for ruining cotton fields) invaded and depleted the Charleston cotton fields. With most of his trust and income depleted, George made a deal with the British and sold the last bit of his cotton. As his cotton was being loaded onto a British ship in the Charleston harbor, he sat watching from the third floor of the F.W. Wagener building – where the Poirier family rented office space at the time. As he sat watching from his captain’s chair, the ship suddenly went up in flames, leaving him with nothing left to live for.
In one last act of desperation, George stacked the office furniture with his captain’s chair on top, draped a rope over the rafters, and jumped.
Since the death of George Poirier, various restaurants have occupied the F.W. Wagener building at 161 East Bay Street. Most recently, Lagunitas Taproom has moved into the High Victorian building, making it the perfect place for a beer after a hard day of work.
Customers and employees of previous restaurants in the building have reported several incidences of paranormal activity. Frigid air has rushed through the building when the A/C was turned off, shadows of a swinging corpse has appeared on the walls, and even beer taps have mysteriously started pouring.
James McCallister, the manager of Easy Bay Trading Company, a restaurant previously occupying the building, reported a bone-chilling incident. As McCallister opened up the restaurant one morning, he found tables and chairs piled on top of one another with the captain’s chair rocking back and forth. As McCallister went to take down the mound of furniture, it all came crashing down right before him.
Although George may stage some creepy stunts, overall he’s known as a pretty stand-up ghost. So the next time you are enjoying a beer at Lagunitas and feel a cool chill fall over you, or see the taps mysteriously start pouring, just know its only George trying to have a good time, too.
Looking to take a Charleston ghost tour and possibly experience some paranormal activity first-hand this Halloween? Luxury Simplified Retreats invites you to visit Charleston and stay in our luxurious beachfront retreat located on Folly Beach. The View, which sleeps 10, is the perfect place for friends and family to get into the Halloween spirit. And don’t worry, we’ve checked it for any ghosts, so you can feel at ease knowing none will be joining you during your stay.
November marks that time of the year where New Englanders flock south to escape the impending frigid northern winters. Some fly, others drive and then there are those yachtsmen who brave the high seas and intercostal waterways to obtain winter warmth.
My solo migration sailing south for the winter began aboard Riverwind on November 1st with a thin sheet of ice covering the decks. Departing from Rowayton, CT at sunrise with the hell bent goal of reaching Cape May, NJ by sunset.
Once I hit the Atlantic, it was fairly smooth sailing down the east coast. Averaging 22 knots, 3 miles off-shore for about 8 hours a day, put me into Cape May, New Jersey for the 1st night, Virginia Beach for the 2nd, Beaufort, North Carolina for the 3rd and Conway, South Carolina for the 4th and final night before I reached my destination.
On a journey like this, utilizing every bit of sunlight is crucial, and besides, there really is nothing like an Atlantic sunrise while underway. I found myself not alone making the expedition down to warmer waters. Along with the annual migration of birds, humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins, migrating vessels were also heading down the east coast.
“We are seeing about 50-60 boats coming into and staying in Charleston for the winter. There are still quite a few transient customers that continue on to Florida or the Bahamas, but as the city’s popularity has grown, we are starting to see more and more people winterizing their boats here instead of heading further south” says Stephanie Collins, the Dock Office Manager at The Charleston City Marina.
The stretch from Virginia Beach to Beaufort included some Atlantic Ocean, but mostly an intracoastal duck-in at Pamlico Sound which was about 60 miles with an average of 9 to 12 feet of depth. I attempted the open ocean from Beaufort to Conway, however, 9 foot swells and 30 knot winds, as well as the treacherous seas around Cape Fear, put me back through the intracoastal for the remainder of the excursion.
Four stops, 760 miles of open ocean and intracoastal waterways, and a six pack of Coronas later, I finally reached the Charleston SC port. Some treacherous moments, some passive, all awe inspiring.
In years to come, my wife and I plan to stay in Charleston for the winters at Luxury Simplified Retreats properties, such as Ivy Terrace. We are also searching for an investment home for those long cold New England months that we can rent out for the times we are not in Charleston. For the time being, we will pop in and out to enjoy the boat with friends and family, even in the “dead of winter.”
Are you looking to sail south for the winter? Take a look at our portfolio of long- term luxurious homes that will serve as a perfect escape for the frigid months.