One of the best ways to start a long day exploring Charleston is with a hearty Southern style breakfast at Hominy Grill. Award winning chef Robert Stehling serves up classic breakfast biscuits, eggs, and of course, shrimp 'n grits, a local favorite, (Shrimp in the morning? And what are grits, anyhow?). Just be sure to get there early, as this popular place can build up quite a wait on Saturday and Sunday mornings!
Ready to walk off that breakfast with some serious shopping? Cut over to King Street by way of Radcliffe, a quiet residential street in the Radcliffeborough district. After a few short blocks you'll arrive at the King and Radcliffe intersection in the Upper King neighborhood, with the American Theatre, a recognizable filming location for The Notebook, just across the street. This area is known for its great dining and nightlife, but as you continue down King towards Market, these bars and restaurants will give way to countless shops and boutiques. Don't miss boutiques like Hampden Clothing, Francesca's, Luna, and Haute Hanger, or popular national stores like Gap, Lucky, and Lily Pulitzer. While there are enough ladies clothing stores to satisfy any savy shopper's demands, King Street shopping includes a variety of men's, kid's, and specialty shops as well. Try M. Dumas & Sons and Half Moon Outfitters for upscale and outdoorsy men's clothing, and welcome the inevitable sugar rush after a stop at Charleston's newest candy store, Robot Candy Co.
Photo courtesy of Clare Sweeney
Cut through the Shops at Charleston Place to pick up some major designer duds at Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and St. John, or just window shop and get a little AC on your way to Market Street! Next stop: Charleston's Historic City Market. Here you'll pass through the newly renovated open air halls and scope out the crafts, foodstuffs, clothing, and souvenirs of hundreds of local vendors. Stop a while to watch the Sweetgrass basket weavers, an iconic representation of Charleston's Gullah roots.
Hit your shopping quota or need a break? Head to Palmetto Carriage Works near the city market, and explore Charleston's history and lesser known streets by horse-drawn carriage! Pick up some post tour picnic supplies at Gaulart and Maliclet: Fast & French and set up under the live oaks at Battery Park to complete the perfect Charleston afternoon. Here you'll enjoy memorial monuments, Civil War cannons, views of the Charleston harbor, and fantastic people watching.
If you're up for a classically Charleston fine dining experience, call ahead for reservations at Magnolia's, and intimate restaurant serving upscale lowcountry cuisine. Looking for something a little more family friendly? Check out Fleet Landing on Concord street for waterfront dining, customizable seafood entrees, and an awesome kids menu. If you've saved any room for dessert, head to Kaminsky's on N. Market Street for Charleston's most decadent late night sweets.