What to do, see, eat in Charleston

Charleston

Mourning the departure of warm temperatures? We’ve got just the destination for you: Charleston, South Carolina. It’s a city with warm weather, charming shops, beaches that never cease to amaze and brunch that’s taken very, very seriously.  This week, we’re letting the Charleston locals help us cross the Holy City off our US travel bucket list. (By the time you leave, you’ll already be planning your next trip there.)

Botany Bay – Edisto Island
“It’s a bit of a trek to get to this over-4,000-acre wildlife preserve out on Edisto Island, but totally worth the (scenic) drive. A site unlike any other on the eastern seaboard, the beach at Botany Bay makes for epic photo ops. Stranded coastal trees jut out of the ocean, massive intact seashells litter the shore and utmost preservation makes for potential loggerhead turtle sightings! How secluded and tranquil this magical beach is makes the perfect setting for a romantic date (or a soul-searching solo session) – either way, a must see, especially if you’re in Charleston for a substantial amount of time. This remains the largest relatively undeveloped wetland ecosystem on Atlantic coast, so keep in mind that removal of anything found on the beach (driftwood, seashells, etc.), dogs on the beach or swimming will result in a hefty fine.” – as recommended by Charleston local Dalia Dalili

Botany Bay in Charleston, SC; photo courtesy of Localeur
Botany Bay in Charleston, SC; photo courtesy of Localeur

Butcher & Bee – North Morrison Drive

“Michael Shem Tov’s Butcher & Bee is a Charleston gem. Their brunch menu changes daily, based on what local ingredients they can get their hands on. When they’ve got it, I highly recommend the classic burger. It’s one of the best in Charleston. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the shakshuka — eggs poached in tomato sauce, served with pita bread…definitely a winner!” – as recommended by Charleston local Sydney Gallimore

Butcher & Bee in Charleston, SC; photo courtesy of Localeur
Butcher & Bee in Charleston, SC; photo courtesy of Localeur

Edmund’s Oast – North Morrison Drive
“Edmund’s Oast is at the top on my list of places to go for a local beer since they have over 40 beers on tap at any given time, many of which are sourced from several different local breweries (including Revelry, Coast, Holy City and Westbrook, to name a few). But what makes Edmund’s really special is that they also brew their own beer; they usually have about five or so on tap. Some of my favorites have been their sours and collaborations, but their specialty that everyone talks about is the peanut butter and jelly beer. Yes, I said PB and J beer. And it’s ridiculously good.” – as recommended by Charleston local Tiffany DeLeon Hoard

Edmund's Oast in Charleston, SC; photo courtesy of Localeur
Edmund’s Oast in Charleston, SC; photo courtesy of Localeur

Cypress Gardens – Moncks Corner

“Remember The Notebook, Cold Mountain or The Patriot? Then you’re already familiar with Cypress Gardens. Located in Moncks Corner, it’s a bit of a drive from Charleston proper, yet all the activities this attraction has to offer totally make the trip worthwhile. My favorite is the relaxing swamp boat ride on the black water through the towering cypress and tupelo trees via rowboat. It’s almost like an optical illusion because the glassy, dark water perfectly reflects the trees, but then the water lilies and occasional alligator bring you back to reality. You can also walk/hike their 3.5-mile nature trails, looping through the swamp and lush gardens. The butterfly house is also something to write home about, housing tons of beautiful butterflies in a large greenhouse with flora and fauna aplenty.” – as recommended by Charleston local Dalia Dalili

Cypress Gardens in Charleston, SC; photo courtesy of Localeur
Cypress Gardens in Charleston, SC; photo courtesy of Localeur

Poe’s Tavern – Sullivan’s Island

“An Edgar Allan Poe-themed favorite on Sullivan’s Island, this seafood and burger mecca is a destination for fans of food and the late horror writer. The raised porch also features a bar window for patrons who care a little less about the Poe-ish interior and more about taking in the sea breeze while knocking back a drink or two.” – as recommended by Charleston local Mac Kilduff

Poe's Tavern in Charleston, SC; photo courtesy of Localeur
Poe’s Tavern in Charleston, SC; photo courtesy of Localeur

The Ordinary – Cannonborough
“Don’t let The Ordinary’s name fool you; its vaulted ceilings and Metropolitan style (remnants of the former bank building it occupies) is anything but. Even better are its extensive oyster offerings that come from all up and down the East Coast. For a truly impressive display, order one of their shellfish towers and go to town. They’re expensive, but totally worth it.” – as recommended by Charleston local Ann Hsu Kauffman

The Ordinary in Charleston, SC; photo courtesy of Localeur
The Ordinary in Charleston, SC; photo courtesy of Localeur

Martha Lou’s Kitchen – North Morrison Drive
“How good is the fried chicken at Martha Lou’s? So good that the Sean Brock, owner of the high-end Husk restaurant and James Beard Award winner, has openly admitted to having a crush on her variety of fried fowl. Because of that, the little pink building has been praised by publications like the New York Times and the Travel Channel. Take a trip and you won’t be disappointed.” – as recommended by Charleston local KJ Kearney

Martha Lou's Kitchen in Charleston, SC; photo courtesy of Localeur
Martha Lou’s Kitchen in Charleston, SC; photo courtesy of Localeur