Chris and I go to Florida at least 3 times a year so really wanted a change of scenery and to go somewhere we haven’t been before for Labor day weekend. We decided on Charleston just a few weeks prior. We are always last-minute vacation planners but it tends to always work out. We found flights for just $59 nonstop via Southwest and grabbed those as quickly as we could. The flight was just a little over an hour and so convenient for us.
Where We Stayed
We stayed right in the heart of the downtown Charleston district at The Dewberry Hotel. It was very high-class and nice. Probably a little too nice for kids but we had no idea when booking and it seemed totally fine. It was within walking distance to King Street and only a block away from a Starbucks (that’s huge for me.) The one downfall was there was no pool. We just assumed they would have one but I don’t think that is a focus in Downtown Charleston. It was fine since we ended up not having a ton of downtime but if you are wanting a kid-focused hotel then this probably won’t be it. I would highly recommend it for a couples weekend or girls trip though.
Day 1– USS Yorktown
On the first day, we went to the USS Yorktown Museum. Since the kids were missing school, we had to make Thursday and Friday somewhat educational. Jackson is so into history and learning about past wars so we thought the museum would be a great place to feed his little brain. We did the official tour so we could go up on the flight deck. It was really pretty interesting to see the entire ship.
After the tour, we grabbed lunch at the Charleston Harbor Fish House. It wasn’t busy at all and we got right in for a late lunch. We shared Calamari for the appetizer and I ate the fish tacos for my meal. The food was fantastic. One thing we love about Lowcountry is that every place has She Crab soup on the menu so we ordered it every single place we went. Charleston Fish House was one of the top 3 that we had during our trip.
After lunch, we went back to the hotel so the big kids could rest and Reese could take a nap. Chris’s mom and dad offered to hang out with the kids so we hopped on bikes and explored the town for a little bit. We took the bikes a few blocks and then decided to walk around on King Street. It was so busy for a Thursday. Everyone was out shopping and having a great time. We popped in a few stores and then headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.
Since we didn’t rent our own car, we thought it would be fun to take a bike cab to dinner. They are huge in the area and we used Pedicab Charleston. Even though dinner was under a mile away, it was nice to ride and see the town with the kids and rest since we had walked so much already. They all loved it.
Our first dinner was at Hanks Seafood. It was highly recommended to us to go there. The food was fantastic. The vibe was a little more upscale for kids but we still enjoyed ourselves. They treated the kids just fine and we didn’t get any side-eyes from anyone for having children there. I would probably recommend this more for a date night but we were new to town so didn’t really know. The food was absolutely amazing though. I had the scallops and some Napa wine.
After dinner, we decided to do a little more walking and went up to the pineapple fountain. We got up to the waterfront park just before sunset. The kids took off playing and I grabbed a few photos before they got soaking wet.
Day 2 Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
On the 2nd day, we made the 30 minute drive to the Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. It’s one of America’s most beautiful gardens and dates back to the mid 1600’s.
After we walked around the property for a few hours, we checked out the petting zoo where they had goats, ducks, birds, snakes, deer, an owl, and an alligator. The kids loved it. Especially Reese. She loves seeing goats and ducks and couldn’t get enough of them.
After Magnolia, we grabbed a cab ride to Shems Creek for dinner. So many people recommended the area for dinner to watch all the shrimp boats come in from being out all day and for a more low-key vibe. We got there and it wasn’t too crowded for a Friday night. We got our name in at Red’s Ice House and sat out on the patio while we waited. We saw dolphins in the water. They said it’s really common for them to come into the creek to get the scraps from the shrimp boats. It was so cool. It’s also the area where the opening scene from Outer Banks is filmed.
For dinner, we had another round of She Crab soup to start, and then I had a lobster roll and shared Oysters with Jackson. He loves oysters which is so funny since he’s just 8 years old. We usually order them quite a bit on vacation. The dinner was good and it was a fun atmosphere. Lots of TVs with college football on and music blaring so very Kid appropriate.
Day 3- Beach Day
For our beach day, we went to Isle of Palms which was an area that was highly recommended for us. We reserved beach chairs for the day with Isle of Palms beach chair company. At first, Reese hated the sand. She refused to get out of my lap and walk on it. But then after about 30 minutes, she warmed up to it and was off to play in the water. She played so hard. We were there for about 5 hours and the kids had the best time. The waves were so big and the beach was totally different than what we are used to in the panhandle of Florida. It was also packed being a holiday but we didn’t mind.
After our beach day, we popped in for an early dinner at Coconut Joes Bar and Grill. We enjoyed happy hour drinks and I got the Shrimp and Grits for the very first time. It was so delicious but so filling. The vibe was so fun there too. Very kid-friendly and casual which was great for us since we just came off of the beach for the day.
Day 4- Shopping and Exploring Downtown Charleston
For the last day, we made zero plans other than Chris and I had a later dinner reservation. We got started later in the day with coffee and then off to walk up and down the downtown area to shop and do brunch. We checked out the community market and then had lunch across the street at Hyman’s Seafood. After lunch, we continued walking up to the waterfront park and let the girls play in the fountains once last time. It was really hot by that time and was pretty busy but they didn’t mind.
When we got back to the hotel, we got a call from a boat company that we had tried to book a sunset cruise with earlier in the week. They had a last-minute cancellation and asked if we wanted to join them for a ride that evening. We couldn’t pass it up. We had a 2-hour ride and saw all the beautiful homes in the harbor, saw fort sumpter from afar and got to experience our first East Coast cruise. It was great but the kids were done. Reese had been going so hard that she just wanted to sleep so as soon as the cruise was over, we headed back to the hotel once again to drop them off with their grandparents so Chris and I could enjoy one dinner alone to celebrate his birthday week.
After we got the kids settled, Chris and I headed to High Cotton for dinner alone. This was by #1 favorite restaurant the entire trip but definitely, one that I am glad we didn’t take the kids to. It was so upscale and the food was amazing. We also told him we were celebrating his birthday and they brought out champagne and desert on the house. It was also the first place I got a steak in Charleston. The filet was amazing. I highly recommend this restaurant for a date night or girls’ trip.
We had such a fun trip to Charleston. The kids really enjoyed it and we got to see so much in such a short time. We will definitely be going back in the future.