The last time we went to Charleston was for our honeymoon 5 years ago and although it was incredibly HOT in July, we loved it and always said we'd go back. I knew I wanted a mix of sightseeing, relaxing, and really good food for our babymoon and Charleston seemed like the perfect spot.
We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn right across the Arthur Ravenel Bridge in Mount Pleasant. They built it last year, so it was gorgeous and we could get downtown in 10 minutes. We loved it.
Charleston is my favorite city in the US. I could wander through their downtown looking at houses every day!
All the historic homes are gorgeous and interesting, but homes along the Battery are just ridiculous!
On our last trip, we visited Middleton Plantation, so this time we went to Magnolia Plantation, which has an extensive botanical garden, a petting zoo with peacocks, and a conservatory full of orchids! Gorgeous and so different that the other plantation homes.
Another local landmark we missed last time was the Angel Oak. They believe the oak is 1500 years old and shades an area of 17,200 feet! It's a massive tree!
After the Angel Oak, we visited the Charleston Tea Plantation, which is actually the only plantation that grows tea in all of the US! I love to drink tea, but I had no idea how it was made and Ryan and I really enjoyed the trolley ride around the property as we learned all about the growing and production process! I know it sounds like a field trip, but I promise, it's a great place to visit!
We took a carriage tour through the city last time and loved it, so I knew we would want to do it again. We chose a different company this time for variety's sake and were also assigned a different route through the historic district. (We've used both Palmetto and Old South and loved both tours.) It's a fantastic way to cover most of the city and a great way to kick off your visit if you've never been to Charleston before. I loved how much information our tour guide gave on the types of houses throughout the historic area and how you could tell which houses were older than others based on the architectural details.
The smallest house in Charleston. Our tour guide said it all started because of a bet!
After the carriage tour, we wandered through some of the church graveyards. I thought it was so interesting that the Unitarian church allows the plants and wildflowers to grow free. It's also believed to be the secret meeting place of Edgar Allen Poe and Annabel Lee.
Some of the other fun things we did during the week that didn't get photographed but we'd recommend to others: City Market, the South Carolina Aquarium, Sullivan's Island Beach, and the Tanger outlets (We scored some great dress clothes for Ryan and a cute little baby souvenir!).
One downside of using our real camera during the trip is that I didn't Instagram a whole lot, so I'll be sharing some more of my favorite photos over the next couple of weeks.
And check back Monday for my favorite restaurants from the trip!