This past March, my family and I took a road trip from Marietta, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina. The trip fell during the first few days of spring, and we all dreamed of warmer weather and a nice change of scenery! Our trip started on a Friday and ended the following Monday, but despite it’s brevity, it was an amazing experience!
Finding accommodations for a trip can be tricky, but Airbnb has revolutionized the process for me! I’ve had great experiences with Airbnb nationally and on my international trips to Italy and Portugal. So, for this particular trip, I knew Airbnb was the way to go. We settled on an eclectic condo across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in Mt. Pleasant. It had a clean, worldly esthetic throughout and was the perfect jumping off point for our adventures in Charleston.
Charleston is known for its amazing food and legendary chefs, so of course one of our favorite things to do there is eat! We had so many wonderful meals. Our first night in town we ate at Bowens Island Restaurant. Not only was the seafood amazing, but the docks behind the restaurant were perfect for watching the sunset.
We decided to brunch at Hominy Grill the following morning. This joint is a favorite among tourists and locals alike, and since they do not take reservations (except for dinner) you might find yourself waiting quite a while for a table. One tip for beating the weekend crowds is to arrive before the restaurant officially opens. We tried this trick on Saturday morning and it worked like a charm!
After exploring the historic streets and gawking at houses, we grabbed coffee and headed over to Taco Boy for lunch. Taco Boy was a new discovery on this trip that we particularly enjoyed. The key was asking our server what was most popular with the staff (as opposed to what’s most commonly ordered), and I probably wouldn’t have branched out without his suggestions. The Baja fish and Carne Asada tacos were two favorites along with the Kimchi Beef (this was one I was a little unsure of but it was delicious).
After our lunch, we explored Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. Visiting in the off-season meant we practically had the beach to ourselves. The day was cool and windy and I loved listening to the crash of the waves, walking in the sand along the dunes and taking pictures of the surf.
We decided to have dinner in town at Prohibition on Saturday evening. The dim lighting, live jazz and cozy atmosphere made Prohibition the perfect date night spot for my husband & I! They’re known for their world-class cocktails, and I enjoyed a berry concoction with a sprig of mint while my toes tapped to the beat of the jazz band.
The following day, we explored City Market and visited Rainbow Row before walking the gorgeous campus of the College of Charleston. For lunch, we enjoyed some delicious seafood along the waterfront at Fleet Landing. For a different take on lunch, I recommend goat.sheep.cow. This adorable little fromagerie on Church Street in the South of Broad neighborhood will magically transport you to Europe the moment you step through its doors. And, if that wasn’t enough to make you want to check it out, Monday through Saturday they create a different sandwich from the variety of products they offer. Italian Salami, Buffalo Mozzarella, Basil Pesto, Roasted Tomatoes, and Greens on a Baguette, anyone? Bonus, the sandwiches are perfect for a picnic. They sell out quickly, so you have to act fast!
Following lunch, we created our own casual walking tour through the historic South of Broad neighborhood. The trees were blossoming and the streets were quiet and refreshing. Flower boxes overflowed with blooms and palm branches swayed in the wind. After our walking tour, we ate dinner at Poogan’s Porch, one of my favorite spots. There are a few things to keep in mind when you visit Charleston - first, reservations are a must and second, everyone dresses up for dinner. Late afternoon into early evening you see the shift from shorts to dresses, T-shirts to jackets. It lends an elegance to the art of dining out that reminds me of days gone by, and I love any excuse to wear a dress!
Before heading back home on Monday, we had brunch at the Park Cafe, a wonderful farm to table restaurant with reasonable prices and a relaxed atmosphere. I enjoyed the Fried Egg Sandwich while also eyeing the Sweet Danish Popovers. We also fueled up at Black Tap Coffee before hitting the road.
If there’s any advice I can offer my fellow travelers it is to take some time to soak in your surroundings without feeling the need to photograph them. I know that seems counterintuitive coming from a photographer, but next time you’re on a trip, take the time to be completely present in that experience. What do you see (not with your iPhone but with your eyes)? What you do smell? What sounds can you hear? How does the breeze feel on your skin? Give yourself the gift of being fully present in that moment. Instagram will still be there if you decide to leave your phone at home for an evening. Just try it. I dare you. You never know what you’ll discover about the world around you (or about yourself) if you take the time to unplug. It’s one reason I love shooting film when I travel. It forces me to wait for the perfect moment before I click the shutter. So go ahead, give yourself permission to unplug. I’d love to know what you discover along the way!
Hi! I’m Carrie Joy, a southern girl living in Marietta, GA with my sweet husband Tanner and adorable pup Jasmine. I began my journey in photography by capturing the people and cultures of the world. And while travel is still a passion, these days I come alive capturing wedding memories for elegant brides & grooms who value family, fun & tradition!