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Charleston: King Street and The Shopping

Where do I even start with King Street and the shopping in Charleston? Funny enough, I've never been someone who likes to shop. Surprising for a blogger, right? I'm a get what you need online and avoid stepping foot in a store kind of girl typically. But, I knew from Instagram that there were countless adorable shops in downtown Charleston, and if I was staying right in the midst of the action, I might as well check them out.

Well, I have a new favorite vacation activity. I couldn't get enough of talking to all of these amazing, creative, entrepreneurial women that I encountered behind every store front. My bank account isn't so thrilled, but I left South Carolina with gorgeous mementos that will remind me of my visit every time I look at them. That's a win, right?



If accessibility to shopping and dining is your top priority, you'll want to stay on King Street. The Quarters on King is in the perfect location right in the middle of the shopping district. We stayed in a two floor, two bedroom, two and a half bathroom suite that would be perfect for a girls' weekend vacation, a bachelorette party, a wedding party...basically anytime you have a group visiting Charleston. Adam and I walked into the beautifully renovated space and I said, "This is exactly what I've been looking for in our house search...seriously, how can we bring this to DC?" Exposed brick, high ceilings, modern details, you cannot beat this sleek but cozy vibe. And, how often do you get two floors at a hotel? It made relaxing before dinner with a glass of wine so much better when we actually had a kitchen counter to set the bottle on. Those small details make such a difference.



Everyone we spoke to mentioned Candy Shop Vintage on Cannon Street as one of the best shops in Charleston and I was not disappointed. It has the most gorgeously curated, sparkly collection of vintage jewelry that I've ever seen. There are so many unique finds and stunning pieces that have decades of stories behind them. 

And, if you're in the market for an affordable little luxury, you must check out Candy Shop Vintage's Charleston Rice Beads. The owner of Candy Shop Vintage, Deirdre Zahl, came across these 1970's style beads while exploring antique stores in the area, recreated the design, and now makes the beads in a variety of colors and styles. I've worn my gold bracelet almost every day.


We stumbled upon One Love Design House completely by accident—it's up a set of stairs off King Street—and I'm so glad we did. It's a shop and design studio in one with goods from several Charleston designers sharing the space. One Love makes the most ethereal, delicate wedding gowns and design assistant Sara just launched her own line, Sara Belle Designs. You can tell in the photo below, their studio is light filled, feminine, and absolutely gorgeous. If you stop in, you'll want to hang out for hours.

Summer with Clarins Makeup

Every season I look forward to trying Clarins latest beauty products. They have such gorgeous, wearable colors and palettes that include colors I want to wear on a daily basis. When I received the Sunkissed Eyeshadow Palette and Waterproof Eye Pencil in Copper, I knew these would yet again be products that I would reach for day after day. Sunkissed is absolutely the right way to describe these warm colors and, even though I avoid a tan like the plague, these create the glowy look I want throughout the summer and right into fall. 

The shadows have just a slight hint of shimmer and complement the soft eye pencil perfectly. Trust me, even that orange is super wearable once it's on your eye. The eye pencil blends so easily that you could wear it on its own if you're in a hurry, or take the time to create a coppery, smokey eye for summer. Top the look off with the sheer, dewy shine of the Instant Light Lip Oil (no, there's no hint of mint green on your lip!) and you have an effortless sunkissed look.

Charleston: The History and The Houses

Let me start by saying, this itinerary could have gone in many, many different directions, all geared towards the history and the homes of historic Charleston, South Carolina. For this particular visit, I planned a 48 hour carless trip that would hit some of the highlights in the Holy City, but I know that I didn't even scratch the surface of all there is to see. There are churches and markets and plantations, all of which I will save for another time.


With the Francis Marion Hotel as our home base right on King Street,  we spent two days exploring the centuries old homes and colorful, flowering streets of Charleston. It's remarkable the restoration that has gone into buildings dating back as far as the 1600's and, as a neighbor told a friend of mine when she moved to the area, "We take great pride in our windowboxes here in Charleston." A thinly veiled request to get her act together, presumably. Which she did.


For a location that is right in the middle of everything and has a gorgeous, classic appeal, you cannot beat the Francis Marion Hotel.  We were delighted to stay at the Francis Marion our second night in Charleston and were welcomed into a traditionally appointed and beautiful lobby that feels just as a historic hotel should. The room decorated in blue and gold had high ceilings that made it feel comfortable yet grand at the same time — which is exactly the ambiance you want when enjoying a glass of wine before heading out for the evening.

An added bonus, our king bedroom had two full bathrooms! Yes, the bathrooms are on the small side, but this is a historic hotel, that's to be expected, and I'd take two bathrooms over one big bathroom any day. 

Between the unbelievable location on King Street and the history of the Francis Marion, this is the perfect place to retreat to when you're spending your days taking in the sights and soul of old Charleston. 


You could spend hours getting lost in the streets of Charleston. There's not a turn you can take that doesn't have history and charming homes around every corner. Of course, there are a few main drags you'll want to start on. 

If you end up staying at the Francis Marion as we did, start off on King Street. Once you pass by all of the shopping, continue walking south (maybe grab an iced mint tea from The Rise Coffee Bar at Wentworth and King to cool you down!). Eventually, you'll come to the section of King Street that's overflowing with art galleries. Spend an hour or so taking in all of the local artwork before veering off down a side street and becoming wrapped up in photographing all of the lovely windowboxes, as I did.

As you continue to walk south, you'll eventually come across The Battery. This area of Charleston is not only historically significant because of its role in the Civil War, but it also is home to some of the most stunning mansions in Charleston and the park is filled with live oaks covered in Spanish moss — is there a site that's more southern? From the Battery, you'll want to walk up East Bay Street past the Charleston single homes to a pop of pink, purple, and blue called Rainbow Row. Of course you've seen Rainbow Row on every blogger's feed, mine included. Once you've taken a picture or five for yourself, cross over to Meeting Street and stop in the Charleston City Market.


Our first stop in Charleston was the Charleston Visitors Center. While I typically explore on my own, I knew that trying to fit as much as possible into 48 hours and truly diving into the sites and history rather than just eating, drinking, and shopping, I would be best served by talking to someone who knows the city. I would also recommend checking out the Explore Charleston website and social accounts which are well designed with loads of helpful tips. With a pass to see many of the highlights of Charleston, we were able to explore aimlessly and then pop in whenever we came across a landmark on our map.

The three historic houses we toured were the Aiken-Rhett House, the Edmonston-Alston House, and the Nathaniel Russell House. Interestingly enough, Adam and I actually had completely reversed rankings of our favorite houses, my favorite being the impeccably restored Nathaniel Russell House and his being the preserved, but not restored whatsoever, Aiken-Rhett House. 

The Edmonston-Alston House has amazing views from its veranda of the harbor, and its been restored to a large extent, but with pieces from various generations who called the mansion home. The Nathaniel Russell House is an amazing example of a Charleston mansion that has been restored to its original over the top glory. Its floating staircase is something to marvel, as are the massive windows on the second floor that served as doors to the second floor porch. The faux painting techniques, the antiques, the moldings, it's just stunning. The Aiken-Rhett House is its polar opposite as it stands in a bit of Grey Gardens-esque disrepair. However, its appeal is that you see this home as it was, warts and all. The slave quarters are open to the public and its a striking feeling to realize how they lived in proximity and utter juxtaposition to their owners. 

If we'd had time, we could have spent an entire day more exploring all of the homes in Charleston (I'm lucky I found a partner in crime that enjoys these tours, too!), and next time, we plan on renting a car so that we can trek out to the plantations that surround the city.

Thank you to the Francis Marion Hotel and the Charleston Visitors Bureau for hosting me on this fabulous trip to historic Charleston, South Carolina. All opinions are, of course, my own, and I cannot wait to make a return visit to the Holy City.

Hello Tradd Street, Can I Move In?

A trip to Charleston isn't complete without a stroll down Rainbow Row. This colorful block of East Bay Street, just a quick walk up from the Battery, is full of pink, purple, blue houses dotted with vibrant windowboxes. If you turn down Tradd Street, you'll find this gorgeous light teal beauty. No matter how it is outside — and, oh, it was — this cool combo feels like a refreshing sight for the eyes.

Charleston: The Food and Drink

Oh, Charleston food, where do I start… every meal we had while in South Carolina was amazing. We did our research, asking friends for recommendations on not only places to go, but exactly what to order. Of course we also left room in our schedule — and stomachs — for last minute additions. Here are my best recommendations for where to drink and dine from morning to night in the Holy City.



I hate to admit this as a Southerner, but I just don’t like biscuits. They’re too bready for my tastes and I would typically never choose to have one for breakfast. However, I heard Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit again and again as a must have while in Charleston, so I added it to the itinerary. It did not disappoint. I was able to order three mini biscuits which meant less of the crumbly bread texture that I avoid and they had plenty of spreads to order – from pimiento cheese to honey. Don’t miss out on the blackberry  or the cinnamon biscuits.


Hominy Grill gets a lot of hype. By a lot of hype, I mean lines out the door on a regular basis and a camera crew filming a show on southern food for the Food Network during our visit (they interviewed us!) Is it totally worth the hype? Probably not, but if you can get there on a day when there’s not a line, it’s a solid and reasonably priced classic breakfast in a homey and bright space. Get the Charleston Nasty Biscuit if you’re feeling indulgent.


If you're looking for a morning or afternoon pick me up while strolling around King Street, pop in The Rise Coffee Bar. I had the most refreshing mint iced tea and could have sat all afternoon reading in the window. The barista was one of the friendliest, chattiest people we met all weekend (and that's saying a lot for the South!) and I was so glad we ventured off the main drag to find this little gem.

Skirting Around in the New Neighborhood

Hello again! I'm all moved into the apartment and getting back into the swing of things, which means I'm back here with lots of new content for you! I'm SO excited to get to work on my Charleston travel guides—yes, all three of them. However, today I have an outfit post that I shot right before my trip and I happened to take these pictures right near the new place. Perhaps I have nothing to worry about in losing my charming old neighborhood.

I've certainly never been one to shy away from statement pieces, and this skirt is no exception. I'd been eyeing it all season at J.Crew and when I happened to pop in one day and see a lone skirt sitting on the sale rack, I knew it was meant to be. I've worn it multiple times already, with everything from a simple black tank to a slim striped shirt. It's certainly proven that just because a piece makes an impression on its own, that doesn't have to mean it isn't versatile.

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