3-Day Charleston Itinerary

Charleston wasn’t even on my travel radar until 2020 when I was invited to a bachelorette party. After a quick Google search though it quickly climbed up the list. While I wasn’t able to attend the bachelorette, I was captivated by the city so I planned a trip for me and Jake for the following year. But life and work got in the way and we had to cancel. Third time’s the charm though! Finally made it to Charleston last month, May 2022, two years later.

The iconic Charleston City Market.

It’s hard to not get sucked into the city. Our first day, a Thursday, we tried to see all the major sites before the weekend crowds. We grabbed coffee at the historic Charleston City Market, made our way to the Joe Riley Waterfront Park, soaked our feet at the Pineapple Fountain, and of course strolled down Rainbow Row.

This tree-lined walkway leads to Pineapple Fountain.
The larger-than-life Pineapple Fountain.

Pro tip: wear comfortable shoes. Not I-can-make-it-all-day-in-these wedges or my-most-comfortable sandals but actual comfortable shoes. My Keds didn’t even make the cut and I ended up with blisters.

After a break to let my feet rest, we dressed up and made our way to King Street where we bar hopped until our dinner reservation at Neon Tiger, an impressive low-lit vegan eatery.

Champagne for me and an Old Fashioned for Jake at the swanky Bourbon & Bubbles.
Fettuccine Alfredo and pizza for dinner at Neon Tiger.

No trip to Charleston, or South Carolina for that matter, would be complete without a trip to at least one of its magnificent beaches. There are three main island areas: northmost, just past Mt. Pleasant, you’ll find Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. As you move farther south, you’ll find Morris Island and Folly Beach, one of the more well-known beaches. And lastly, farthest south is Kiawah Island, known for its spectacular golf resorts, and Seabrook Island, a private island.

Folly Beach at sunrise.

On day two of our trip we started our beach-hopping day at Folly Beach. We drove up the coast of Folly Beach until we reached the Morris Island Lighthouse.

Morris Island Lighthouse in the early morning hours.

Next, we made our way to the northmost Isle of Palms where we walked the beach at low tide. We drove down the coast to Sullivan’s Island and found another lighthouse right as a summer storm rolled through.

Isle of Palms at low tide.

Soaked through we made our way back to the hotel to wait out the storm unfortunately having to cancel our boating reservation out of Shem Creek. Instead we booked a last-minute ghost tour through the haunted USS Yorktown, an aircraft carrier during World War II.

View from the flight deck of the USS Yorktown at sunset.

Our last full day in Charlestown we woke up early to get ahead of the crowd at the famously beautiful Angel Oak. And good thing we did because as we were leaving, there was a line of cars waiting for parking. Note: Angel Oak has hours of operation. Be sure to double check driving time and rules and regulations beforehand.

Ogling the magnificent Angel Oak.

We attempted to visit the southmost islands of Kiawah and Seabrook but traffic was unbearable on a sunny Saturday, the unofficial first weekend of summer had started and the crowds had set in. So instead we found a brewery and had a couple cold ones before making our way to the Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park and Charleston Harbor Marina.

Memorial Waterfront Park.

While we didn’t hit everything on our list due to weather, it was a wonderful first trip to Chucktown. We will definitely be back if for no other reason than to do our boating trip out of Shem Creek!

Until next time,

Leah Pinkus

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