Chad and I just returned from a little anniversary getaway in Charleston, South Carolina. I absolutely adore Charleston. It is a quaint city with a tangible nostalgia of antebellum days that can charm just about anyone. Part of what made our trip as enjoyable as it was, were the overwhelming recommendations we received from friends for restaurants, activities, historical "musts", shopping, even parking. So rather than narrate our experiences to you, I'm going to share some of our own recommendations. Here goes...

For the Civil War/historical buffs:

Now, I'm not one to trade shopping for a historical moment, but this was probably one of the coolest museums (if you will) that I have ever encountered. Our guide was more knowledgable than any history teacher I have had and I truly walked away feeling more educated than I was when we pulled up. If you have time to spare on a Saturday or Sunday, visit the H.L.Hunley, the first submarine (used in the Civil War) and the vessel responsible for sinking the USS Housatonic in a mere five minutes!

this guy is old

Chad and I hanging out in a replica 
(10% larger than the real deal!)

Our first day in downtown Charleston began on an hour-long carriage tour with Palmetto Carriage Rides. My favorite part of the tour was learning about the unmistakably unique architecture throughout the entire peninsula and the practical functions behind it. If interested, there are two dollar coupons on their website AND they offer free parking for the entire day. We even returned to the city for dinner that same day parking!

Some sites from our tour...

For those who must eat to survive:

Craving a cheeseburger (or GREAT turkey burger) but don't want to walk away feeling like your stomach is on the verge of bursting? Burger Babies has all your favorite burgers and sandwiches, just reduced to a more manageable mini size. It's perfect for a quick lunch to keep you fueled for King Street shopping. If you go, add a side of sweet potato tots. You won't regret it. 

Chad's cheeseburger and jerk shrimp sandwich,
made complete with the sweet potato tots.
(They offer great combo deals!)

Our pastor recommended that we check out Hyman's Seafood. The food, service, environment, tabletop food for thought, and even the waiting bench is worth your time. Also, allow your eyes to stray to nearby tables as they feature small brackets letting you know the various celebrities who enjoyed the same food. (We were near Hootie and the Blowfish, Vanilla Ice, Sandra Bullock, and Kevin Costner) Don't be crazy, go eat there. (I ordered the crab cakes...awesome!) 
The hubs :) 

Keep your eyes peeled around town for coupons-easy to come by-for free appetizers. Also, we told our server it was our anniversary and they treated us to a free brownie with three scoops of ice cream. We loved the treat, but it ruined our plans to visit Kaminsky's-just down the street-and indulge in dessert (recommended by friends). 

For the walker/nature lover/collegiate minded...

Located in the heart of Charleston is the College of Charleston, a public liberal arts and sciences university. If I had grown up in the south, I would have begged to go here! The campus is breathtakingly beautiful. Chad and I strolled around and enjoyed the nature the school obviously values. 

*Located southwest of the Calhoun and King Street intersection.

Me...wishing I could go back to college

For the shopper:

Market Street is known for guessed it, open-air markets that were very recently given new life. Here you can find locally produced pottery, jewelry, baskets, and the like. Great for souvenirs, but beware: very touristy. 

King Street is home to every major national retailer you can think of as well as some diverse antique dealers. If seeking antiques, bring a full wallet and make sure you visit the southern end of this retail walk. 

a fun find!