• Rachel Reynolds

My Charleston, SC Tips!

My mom moved to Charleston, SC about 7 years ago, and I pretty much fell IN LOVE with the city the second my feet hit the Charleston airport. I love cities that just feel .. full .. if that makes sense? Full and genuine. When you walk around Charleston, it's not just another pretty city - it's full of rich history, beautiful architecture, and just pure natural beauty.

Over the years, I've continued to visit Charleston very frequently. I even lived there for about 2 years after my internship at Disney, so a lot of my friends are there along with my mom! It's my home away from home.

This past week was the Charleston Cooper River Bridge Run, and I was lucky enough to head back to one of my favorite cities for a long weekend! (side note: the motto of the run is "get over it" because you have to run across this giant bridge. this was my 2nd year and I'm determined to do it for the next 48 so I can wear a shirt that says something like "50 years of getting over it" and maybe have my picture in the paper, if there's still papers in 48 years, and that will be my huge claim to fame - i'm really looking forward to said day)

Anyways - Charleston is a pretty popular city for getaways, as it should be! Oftentimes someone will ask me what they should do & where they should eat in Charleston, so here are some of my go-to's!

First, let's break down the areas of Charleston - I'm going to make this quick because I could write a whole post about each, but instead I'm just going to write a few phrases when I think of these places. Here's a map for map-loving people like myself.

1. Downtown Charleston: Beautiful architecture, carriage tours, pineapple fountain, fancier nightlife.

2. Shem Creek (part of Mount Pleasant): My favorite place. Paddle-boarding, kayaking, drinks on the water, more laid back.

3. Sullivan's Island: My favorite beach, residential, tacos and burgers, easy-living, beautiful homes, no bathrooms on beach, street parking.

4. Isle of Palms: My mom's favorite beach, more touristy but not in a super touristy way, easier parking, bathrooms on beach.

5. West Ashley / Avondale: Younger crowd.

6. James Island: More hipstery but in a good way, bar that is a dog park.

7. Folly Beach: Bachelor parties stay here, more of a younger beach, more recreational (ie: surfing / wakeboarding)

8. Daniel Island: Boujee island, fancy homes and mansions.

Okay, I'm sure I'm missing a lot - but you get the idea!

Next - food!! Oh gosh.. where to even begin. Charleston is the restaurant city so I'm not even sure I'm worthy of writing these down, but these are just some of my favs and what I like to recommend!


1. Mex 1 (Sullivan's Island & West Ashley): Fish tacos are my favorite food, so I have to say this!

2. Five Loaves (Downtown and Mount Pleasant): Like panera but way better - great for lunch.

3. Carmella's (Downtown): BEST DESSERT OF MY LIFE. Italian vibes to it. Family during the day, party at night. (I worked here one summer so I've tried it all).

4. Toast (Downtown): Brunch without being too fancy!

5. Prohibition (Downtown): Best shrimp and grits.. also great brunch!

6. Halls (Downtown): an obvious choice if you're looking for something fancy.

7. Acme (Isle of Palms): seafooooooood.

8. Hometown BBQ (West Ashley, Sullivan's Island, Downtown): BBQ NACHOS. WINGS.

9. Darling Oyster (Downtown): OYSTERS!

Desserts at Carmella's in Downtown Charleston


1. Cocktail Club (Downtown): unique cocktails, speak-easy vibes.

2. Stars (Downtown): my fav rooftop

3. Vendue (Downtown): my second favorite rooftop

4. Shelter (Shem Creek): cheap happy hour and good food (I'm talking $2.50 glass of wine cheap!)

5. Saltwater Cowboys (Shem Creek): best view of the water!

6. Dispensary (Downtown): giant Moscow mules - see picture below.

7. Bay Street Biergarten (Downtown): German vibes, giant beers, giant mimosas.

8. Carmella's (Downtown): dessert cocktails! (drunken milkshakes with homemade gelato..)

9. Hometown BBQ (West Ashley, Sullivan's Island, Downtown): GAMECHANGER (it's this orange frozen magic drink that truly is a gamechanger)

Saltwater Cowboys in Shem Creek


1. Caviar and Bananas (Downtown & Airport)

2. Kudu (Downtown)

3. Vintage (Mount Pleasant)

4. Brown Fox (in a trailer in Mount Pleasant!!)

5. Merc & Mash (Downtown)

Pretty Peonies mug in Downtown Charleston

Fun things to do!!:

1. Paddle-boarding / kayaking!

2. Angel Oak Tree

3. Fort Sumter Tour

4. Boone Hall Plantation

5. Candlefish (make your own candle!)

6. Surf lesson - ooh also wakeboarding!

7. Carriage Tour

8. Haunted Tour (especially in the fall!)

9. Shopping on King Street & shopping in the market! (support your local artists!!)

10. Dolphin watching at Shem Creek

Shopping at the market!


I love Seacoast church, and they have campuses all across the peninsula!

To re-cap!

Seriously.. I could go on and on and give a million recommendations, but the truth is that you just can't really go wrong in Charleston. Here are a few more pics from this past weekend :) Obviously we couldn't squeeze in everything from my list but we had so much fun!!

Okay so looking at these pics.. it pretty much looks like we just ate and drank.. soooo here's also a fun little video I took of my best friend's dog frolicking around the beach! :)


To celebrate the beauty that is Charleston, I painted an abstract approach of a sunset at Sullivan's Island:

You can shop prints and products of this 'Sunset at Sullivan's' here.

I also painted the Pineapple Fountain a few months back:

You can shop prints and products of 'Pineapple Fountain' here.

Shop entire Charleston, South Carolina Collection here.

I hope you get a chance to try out a few things on this list - let me know if you do!









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