Charleston: What to Do, See, Eat, Drink, and Shoot
While these aren’t always my most popular posts I love having them as an excuse to travel and get inspired! Shooting in new locations is always a fresh breath of air and keeps our content creative and unique. I was invited to Charleston to speak at a conference about social media called SMAD-CON. Public speaking is something I'm working on getting better at so it seemed like the perfect excuse to check out a new city at the same time! Despite my initial reservations about visiting not so liberal states and the biases that come along with them, I had always heard it was a really beautiful city with a lot of history. Below is a post from when I was there about the panel I was on and a bit of what I talked about:
Here you'll find my best comprehensive guide to the city in the five days we were there. I got so many wonderful recommendations from both Instagram and people we met on our trip. Five days was great to get the vibe, yet we feel like we hardly scratched the surface of this foodie, picturesque town. We have a roundup of all the places we went below along with photos!
SHOP: Cannon-borough Collective
An adorable shop co-founded by my amazing new friend, @charlestonweekender. She hosted the SMAD-con after party where we met and found we had so much in common! She's the one who gave us a laundry list of places we had to see! Her store is a collection of gorgeous goods made by local artists, mostly women too! Dazey can certainly get behind that :) The photos below are from the event. I also got to meet a bunch of amazing ambassababes at the conference shown below too!
SHOOT: Rainbow Row
Probably one of the best known Instagram spots! Rows and rows of classic style houses line this block and are painted all sorts of different bright colors. As you'll see in one of my posts below there is no shortage of fun backdrops, but this is certainly the most magnificent and concentrated area. I was lucky enough to speak at SMAD-CON alongside some rad friends, @mvandersluis & @lisahomsy. They were sweet enough to model some new summer styles with me in this iconic area!
EAT: Basic Kitchen:
Basic was started by two interior designers, which is easy to believe when you're there. Interiors are apart of the experience in my opinion so I always appreciate that! This place is mostly vegan/veggie with some fish options, yay! They had a ton of juices as well as a full bar. We went for lunch but I imagine it would be good for any time of day! The tacos with the peace sauce were a savory sweet dream. And don't miss out on the buffalo cauliflower.
See the City by Bike
Charleston is a very beautiful city and you will want to explore it all. An awesome way to do that is by bike! Throughout the city they have bike stations where you can borrow bikes all day for only $12 per person. You can pick them up and drop them off as you go. I highly recommend them by the bay and pier downtown, gorgeous! Don't forget to ride through the neighborhoods as they are as beautiful as the main streets in downtown. The bikes are super cute and an awesome way to really see all Charleston has to offer.
Easy American with a fun atmosphere and really good food. Maybe one of my favorite daytime meals we had! An order-at-the-counter spot with cozy booth window seating. We had brunch here and just kept adding mimosas as we went. A Dazey Lady happened to be working there and she was so cool, @beergirlmeetsworld, she's pictured below :)
A new French spot by Cannon-borough with sophisticated decor and delicious snacks. We got our drink on with some killer cocktails and enjoyed a dinner with the surprisingly large petite entrees. The owner was super nice and came to chat for a bit. We also have a very kind and attentive server, Nixon, who knew the menu like the back of his hand! Great spot for a fancy night out with your SO or gal pals.
CAFFEINATE: Brown's Court
A local fav, this bakery and coffee shop gave us all the cozy cabin feels. So many of the shops and spots were homes converted to businesses and this is a perfect example. The croissants melt in your mouth and the coffee was great too. We posted up in their upstairs little attic area to get some work done. They also have a cute patio on the top!
DO: Beach Day at Sullivan Island:
Across the bridge from downtown there's a sleepy little town called Sullivan Island. You will find a small street lined with little shops and restaurants as quaint as can be. Just beyond that is a walkway through a marsh that takes you to the beach! The water is warm and the waves are mellow. We spent hours playing in the ocean and it was amazing!
EAT: Obstinant Daughter
Seafood as fresh as can be, literally right next to the sea! They also have a ton of options for the seafood prone, aka yours truly. They are great for lunch, dinner, and brunch. With a gorgeous ambiance, amazing decor, and hidden feel in up the trees. The food was AMAZING, we were not surprised this one was of our top recommended locations.
A Charleston classic. Good Italian bites and nice spot. Definitely enjoyed it but wasn't our favorite. Both our dishes were good, but one was a bit too salty and one too dry. A lot of people mentioned this place so we're thinking maybe it was an off night or we ordered the wrong things? Either way a decent spot if you're craving Italian and want to hit some bars up after.
CAFFEINATE: Second State Coffee
We like to switch up our coffee spots when on vacation but ended up going here twice because we liked it so much! Not to mention it's a great spot to hunker down and get some work done. The work never ends when you're running a small biz! We sat at the window and felt inspired looking out on the streets as we typed away!
Wall hunting - EVERYWHERE YOU GO
Backdrops everywhere you look, perfectly painted to match those colorful Dazey vibes! Walking around Charleston feels sometimes felt like we were in some quirky European town or perhaps even Amsterdam. There is no end to the amazing doors, facades, and perfectly painted walls. We stopped at SO many just to snap pics because there's nothing like it in LA.
CAFFEINATE: Kudu Coffee
Got tons of recs for this place and I see why. Relaxed vibes, fun location, good coffee, and a pretty courtyard to enjoy it in. They also serve food and beer if you're looking for a quick and easy meal. Solid place for a good latte before hitting the city!
EXPLORE: The Downtown Market
Okay yes, this is undoubtably a tourist spot. Nevertheless it's fun to see and shows a little bit of Charleston's history. Located in the middle of the French Quarter it's a multi-building massively long hall filled with gift shops and local artists. They also have a bunch of traditional basket weavers making and selling their woven art, a big part of the history of the city. A bunch of those horse drawn carriages are around here too. I don't find them ethical towards the animals, but they do give you a feeling of what this area may have looked like back in the day. This town is all about history, both the good and bad.
EAT: Millers All Day
Cutest food spot in the whole city!! Feels like a 50's diner perfectly modernized and hipster-ed out. We got some mimosas, pancakes, and enjoyed the break from the humid east coast summer day. Great for a midday pick me up or brunch vibes. Or to get that super cool gram of course!
Go Far By Car
Charleston is a small city, but it can be a bit spread out. We loved being able to borrow this car from Toyota and really get a locals feel for the town. A car was a great way to go back and forth from the beach to downtown. It was also cool to just take a drive to find cool neighborhoods we hadn't seen when biking or walking around. This cute and colorful C-HR Toyota was a match made in heaven for Charleston.
SHOP: Candy Vinatge
Right down the street from Cannon-Borough collective is an adorable vintage shop called Candy! It's a dreamy curated collection or your grandmas most glam and funky jewelry and accessories. Everything from the outside to the wallpaper is perfection. I'm a sucker for sparkles and glitz so I had a lot of fun shopping here.
HOLY MOLY. We were transported from the east coast to the Mediterranean in this lively location. This gem was actually found via Yelp, with hundreds of reviews and five stars - a rare feat. We sat at the bar that wrapped around most of the restaurant where we could see all the action from drink making to kitchen flames. We ordered the Santorini drink to start, made of muddled blueberries, vodka, ginger, and lemon. I think this was the best drink I've ever had in my life, we each ordered two! Then we did some shared plates that turned out to be massive and filled with flavor. This is such a fun spot and I really can't say enough good things!