Hey y'all! Happy Friday!! How's your week been? Mine has definitely been funner than last week, when I was wining and dining my way around sunny South Carolina. Office Life > Lowcountry Life, any day.
Real life is garbage, vacation is the best.
Would you, too, like to make a little jaunt down to historic Chucktown? Of course you would! It's the best! Allow me to regale you with some Hott Tips to help you make your visit the very best it can possibly be. Trust me. When it comes hanging out in Charleston and looking good doing it, I'm pretty much an expert.
HOTTSAUCE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO CHARLESTON, SC
Where to Stay:
Take your pick from any of these gorgeous historical mansions!
Just kidding, stay in this parking garage.
No SRSLY we stayed in an AIRBNB apartment directly adjacent to this parking garage. To enter you would walk up the steps to the second floor and then through the garage, past all the parked cars to a metal door on the far back wall, enter a code into the keypad et voila: your home for the week! Narnia meets the sharing economy.
It was actually a really nice space, probably some kind of office turned into a rental unit, with one big room with a king bed & sitting area, a smaller bedroom with queen bed, and a fancy ass bathroom. There was no stove or kitchen sink but there was a Kuerig, a mini-fridge stocked with those little half-and-half cups you get at diners which are so gross but I adore, and an ice maker that rattled all. night. long.
The other thing that rattled all. night. long was the old windows. It legit sounded like someone was jackhammering all the live long night. OR it sounded like someone was opening and closing a door...aka it constantly sounded like someone was breaking into the apartment. Y'all know I think a serial killer is going to get me at any moment so you can guess how well I slept in a parking garage where everything constantly went bump in the night.
Still, I'd recommend renting this space! SUPER centrally located right in the downtown area, walkable to everywhere, and a solid price. Pack ear plugs. And by earplugs I mean Ambien.
What to Do:
Whatever you dang well please! Don't make an itinerary. Don't even get a map! Just walk out your door and see where the day takes you. You can ask our couple friends (with whom we got along swimmingly and did not have a fourway), Brian and I were LEGIT chill on this trip. A couple of cucumbers, I tell ya. Fresh out of the garden. We pretty much walked and walked and talked and ate and drank and popped into shops and napped and took a million photos and enjoyed the slow speed of life and the warm weather and crushed the pants off life. If we can survive three easy-breezy, unplanned vacation days, I'm prettttty sure you can too.
Where to Eat:
Well you should probably eat at Husk because apparently it is delicious and also every time you instagram a picture from the city someone will comment "omg eat at Husk!!" and then when you don't in fact eat at Husk you'll just feel weird and stressed and guilty about it as if you're doing everything wrong in this world and need to defend your life choices.
GUYS I'M SORRY WE DIDN'T EAT AT HUSK!!!! WE JUST DIDN'T OK???
Don't worry tho, we def didn't starve. Here's what we'd recommend - have The Hotts ever led you astray when it comes to food??
For some goddamn good sandwiches: Artisan Meat Share
For raw oysters: Pearlz
For biscuits so good you'll want to take them behind the middle school and get them pregnant: Callie's Hot Little Biscuits (I now look like someone took me behind the middle school and got me pregnant but that ain't a baby, it's biscuits and pimento cheese. mmmm.)
For fresh modern Mexican by the guy who runs Husk so you can say that at least you ate some Sean Brock food while in town: Minero
For LITERALLY the best and freshest small plates of seafood your body will ever consume you'll be ruined for fish for the rest of your life: The Ordinary (this was our favorite! Beautiful restaurant in an old bank building, we sat for 3 hours and dined on plate after plate of the tastiest seafood dishes, washed down with delicious wine and I wore a fun top with NO cardigan and really what a night, gang, would highly recommend this joint if you're in town and looking to get a little schmance.)
For indulgent brunch that includes macaroni & cheese and fried cheese grits on their vegetables menu: Hominy Grill
For greasy dive bar treats with a fancy twist (think duck BLT): Tattooed Moose
For light & healthy fare: LOL go home, you're boring.
Where to Drink:
Assume you'll be partnering all of your meals with at an adult bevvie or twelve, but if you're looking for a place to imbibe while digesting, here are a few places we liked.
For Oyster Shooters: Pearlz (it's like a tiny shot of bloody mary with a raw oyster inside. SO GROSS! By gross I mean great!)
For great views and horrible service: Vendue Rooftop
For a long list of delicious craft brewz: Craftsman Kitchen & Taphouse
For touristy but surprisingly well-priced al-fresco cocktails: Fleet Landing
For creative mixology: The Gin Joint
Where to Caffeinate:
You're going to need a lot of coffee to counterbalance the downer effect of all the sweet tea vodka and lard you're consuming. Might we suggest:
For charming Southern service & yummy lattes served in mismatched Fiestaware: City Lights
For "good cold brew": Black Tap Coffee (We popped into the local indie bookstore Blue Bicycle, more on dat below, and asked the tres too cool for school proprietors where we could get a good coffee nearby and were met with the following conversation:
Me - "Where can I get some good coffee nearby?"
Her - "Question: Do you want your coffee good or do you want it nearby?"
Me - "Um, I guess good? I just want an iced-coffee to go."
Her (dripping with pretension) - "Sub-question: Do you want iced coffee or do you want cold brew?"
Me - stares blankly
Her mustacioed colleague (proudly) - "we're hipsters."
Brian (valiantly saving the day) - "We'll take some good cold brew, I guess!"
Them (together) - "Black Tap."
And then they ignored us and had a private conversation about the various artisan coffee bean subscription services they use. This interaction made us laugh and laugh but also made me a little sad because bookstore people aren't supposed to be hipster douchebags! They're supposed to be the best people in the world!! I'm chalking it up to an off day. And I gotta admit, the cold brew was pretty damn good.)
Where to Shop:
For Books: The Blue Bicycle! Adorable indie bookstore with new & used titles and a teeeeeeny tiny shop dog that even I thought was adorable and I'm a monster. Give the benefit of the doubt to the snoots magoots staff mentioned above!
For toiletries you forgot to pack: This Walgreens. Centrally located! Great selection! And they sell WINE!
For sweetgrass baskets and kitschy crap: Historic Market. If you want a hilarious sign about boobs for your man-cave, this is the shopping mall for you! (Also I don't think we can be friends anymore.)
For antiques and art and fancy shit like that: Everywhere!!! Charleston is overflowing with high end homegoods stores but I'm poor and think the Pier One Outlet is a sophisticated place to buy furniture so I can't really help you here, folks.
How to Pose:
Just like this, folks. Just like this.
And there ya have it. The definitive guide to the very best Charleston visit a person could ever possibly dream of. Have a great trip! Take me with you!!!!!
xoxo Liz Hott