Plan a weekend down south in one of the country’s most charming city’s
You may have already visited Charleston on a family vacation or for a friend’s destination wedding, and if you have, you’ll know that the historic city offers a variety of activities for visitors whether they’re looking for a place to relax and unwind, or enjoy the charming and delicious offerings around town.
Once you’ve got the gang on board for a long weekend away, tell your boss you’re taking Friday off and book the first AM JetBlue (direct) flight out of JFK. If you haven’t had time to get a mani before the weekend, no worries. Be Relax, an airport spa, yes you read that right, opens as early as 6am and you can get a quick change of polish or a classic manicure. Be aware that they only carry OPI, so if you’re an Essie girl BYOB of polish.
Now you have two options for your girls’ getaway.
Brides who want to de-stress completely and lay on the beach or by the pool should book a suite at Wild Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms. The resort offers traditional hotel rooms, or suites with full kitchens, as well as houses you can rent for the weekend. There are miles of beach and several pools, a fitness center, spa, multiple restaurants and free parking if you rent a car, which you may want to so you can pick up groceries at Whole Foods, head downtown for dinner one night, or don’t want the hassle of finding a cab to take you for the 20-30 minute ride back and forth. And that’s each way.
For the group who wants to stay downtown, we suggest making a reservation at The Restoration, a 19th-century building that was converted into deluxe suites, and in a prime location on Wentworth, a block off King. The hotel offers complimentary breakfast delivered to your door in a picnic basket each morning, a full-service restaurant for lunch and dinner, and a rooftop pool. You’ll be a stone’s throw away from some of the best restaurants in town, including Grand Bohemian—be sure to enjoy drinks on their roof deck—and Husk, which serves up locally-sourced Southern fare.
If you’re up for a walking tour, Mary-Margaret’s Walking Tours has a bridesmaid tour that focuses on the romance of the city for $25 per bridesmaid. The bride gets to go for free. The tour runs an hour and a half and includes wine. If your crowd would prefer to ride through the city, take a horse drawn carriage tour, we recommend the Old South Carriage Co., to take the gang around the historic district to learn the history of Charleston dating back to Colonial times.
For the shoppers in the group, make your way up and down King Street where you’ll find national chains (J. Crew, Banana Republic and Williams-Sonoma) and local boutiques, including Lula Kate’s, so if you’re still in the market for bridesmaid dresses, a rehearsal dinner or post-wedding brunch look be sure to stop in.
Stop for lunch at Virginia’s on King at Hutson Street, and be sure to get ice cream sandwiches – they’re big enough to share – at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at 501 King Street. We also like Caviar & Bananas off King on George to grab something quick.
Want to try something different? Book a private candle-making class at Candlefish on Wentworth off King. During the hour and a half class each of you will pour and scent your own candle, which gets picked up 24 hours later. And these parties are BYOB. They’ll supply the wax and the wine glasses.
For group dining, reserve a private dinner at In the Kitchen with Chef Bob Waggoner. You and the girls will be cooking your own meal – a French flair tasting menu, wine included – served on mix and match antique china. We’ve had his brunch menu and can’t wait to go back south for dinner. Other dining options for a yummy brunch or dinner includes 39 Rue de Jean at 39 John Street, or cab it over to Leon’s (on the corner of King and I, seriously) for casual fare – fried chicken, salads, sandwiches – and soft serve ice cream with jimmies (sprinkles for us Yanks).