How to Plan the Ultimate Spring Break in Charleston, SC
The azaleas are in bloom and the weather is slowly starting to warm up in the south, which can only mean one thing: spring, and more specifically, spring break is officially upon us.
Recently named Southern Living’s Best City in the South for the fifth straight year, Charleston needs no introduction, but if you’re looking to eat, sip, and stay in some of the best and liveliest new places in the holy city now, we’ve got you covered. From craft cocktails at a hip poolside motel in the Historic District to the city’s first designated urban winery and the city’s latest and greatest restaurants, here’s how to plan the ultimate spring break in Charleston this year.
Where to sip
Just two blocks from King Street in downtown Charleston, The Ryder The hotel opened last summer and has become one of Charleston’s trendiest places to see and be seen sipping frozen cocktails right now.
The former motel-turned-bohemian-chic hotel in the heart of historic Charleston offers retro-coastal-chic decor and quirky amenities like the coffee bar check-in counter. However, it’s the hotel’s restaurant and bar that loves the beach small palm tree he’s the real star of the show here. Offering a range of delicious craft cocktails and cozy places to drink them, wisely, although you don’t need to be a hotel guest to use the pool, you do need a restaurant reservation and now that the word is out for this place, it’s best to make reservations and plan accordingly.
Charleston Wine Society is another newcomer to the scene this year, and as the city’s first designated “urban winery,” it’s a must-see on your next visit.
The brainchild of North Carolina native Lindsey Williams, Davidson’s curated menu of tasting flights and wines is a great respite from this city of beer and cocktails.
Then a stop container bar in a recycled shipping container is a must visit to sample the rotating food truck menu rolling around while sipping local craft beer and cocktails The fact that it is owned by the Chief Fun Officer (CFO) and local Charlestonian Bill Murray is an added bonus (and bragging rights).
Where to eat
Located in a renovated train museum in downtown Charleston, start your day at bodegaNew York’s new spot meets Charleston-style sandos and sammies.
Stick around and you can enjoy Bodega’s partner restaurant Shared house. The self-proclaimed “coastal outdoor canteen by day and a house party by night” serves up California and Coastal Carolina cuisine in this simple, airy setting. From coconut mussels and house-cut California nachos to seared ahi-sliders with a Pleasant Punch dot will have you screaming “SPRING BREAK” in no time.
Bring your appetite for dinner at James Beard Award-winning Vivian Howard’s Black. Opening in 2021, the Southern Coastal menu features dishes to share and seasonal ingredients that are simply out of this world. You can expect to find locally inspired dishes ranging from smoked fish croquettes and cornmeal-crusted catfish to oatmeal and greens and apple coleslaw. Take a seat at the bar or head to the outdoor patio.
If you are looking for really good seafood, chubby fish is by far one of the best (if not the best) places in town right now. The dock-to-table concept – which partners with local fishermen and restaurants – features a menu that changes daily and is a tantalizing journey from start to finish.
A jump, jump and jump on Sullivan’s Island, The stubborn girl serves everything from Peel n’ Eat Shrimp and Siciliana Swordfish to Short Rib Stew with French, Italian and Spanish flair. The drive to Sullivan’s is worth it just for dinner, but why not make a day of it and spend the day at Sullivan’s Island Beach before or after?
Where to stay
There is certainly no shortage of accommodation to choose from in the holy city.
Right across from the historic Charleston Market, Emeline offers some of the most spacious one and two bedroom suites in one of the best locations in town, making it ideal for groups or families traveling together. Whatever you do, don’t miss a stroll through the market to browse hundreds of local arts, crafts and food vendors and if you can, arrive early to catch a dozen bakers. Callie’s Hot Cookies. Your friends will thank you for it.
Located in a former indigo cotton warehouse from the 1930s, HarbourView Inn underwent a major renovation recently and is another solid place to post for a long weekend.
From an hour of wine and cheese in the afternoon to milk and cookies by night and one of the best private rooftops in town, don’t miss the chance to chat with the friendly chef of the getaway from the hotel who is on hand to help coordinate activities like picnics in the park, walking tours and pub crawls to spa appointments, sunset cruises and private fitness classes for you and your Spring Break team.
Finally, inspired by the legendary gardens of the Holy City, The Loutrel opened in November and from the charming porch-inspired lobby and bar to the private club room reserved exclusively for hotel guests and the spacious rooftop terrace, the hotel truly lives up to its reputation as “Charleston’s Finest Hour.” .