April 26, 2021
Where do I even begin? I had no idea how much I would fall in love with Charleston. As a photographer, it was a bit overwhelming due to the beauty on every single corner and every single side street. From the French Quarter to Hampton Park’s Spanish moss trees, I could have stayed a full month just to be able to photograph all the things.
I had the pleasure of taking my cousin’s engagement photos during our trip so we did a little tour of the city the day before to get an idea of some of the best backdrops. There were too many to count so we narrowed it down to a handful of spots. A normal engagement session takes about two hours, but I could have spent five hours with them. I hope we’ll be back soon. It is a magical place.
Now, on to the many suggestions that our Instagram friends so graciously shared with us on our way down south. We couldn’t make it to every spot, but we did manage to check off quite a few! I’m going to include our favorites below as well some spots that were suggested that we sadly didn’t make it to this trip. There’s always next time!
We stayed at the lovely Restoration Hotel. It was perfect and only steps away from the famous King Street in the heart of downtown Charleston. It had everything you could ever need – a beautiful courtyard area at the entrance, a library where cheese and wine are served daily, the most perfect little coffee shop – The Rise – with the most wonderful lattes around, a rooftop pool, The Watch Restaurant with the most epic views of the city, a kitchenette in the room and so much space, and last but certainly not least, golf cart service to anywhere you need to go within a mile of the hotel. This was an absolute lifesaver for us as we didn’t rent or have a car. The pool was a small, square, heated pool – only three feet deep. It was almost like it was made for the girls. The complimentary shuttle service was so convenient! On the nights we didn’t have the time for walking to a restaurant, we could just request a ride! This was such a highlight of the hotel. The rooms were spacious and had a kitchenette – full fridge, microwave, sink. It was super convenient and we were able to bring back leftovers to eat later. They had a pack and play for Poppy so another bonus that we didn’t have to bring one with us. Their restaurant – The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits was top notch and has an amazing view of the city. The truffle fries are a MUST! The restaurant is located on the top floor of the hotel so just an elevator ride away.
For sights and eats, here are some of our favorites!
The Mills House – Pink Wall | Queen Street | The French Quarter | The Pineapple Fountain | The South Carolina Aquarium | Rainbow Row (East Bay Street) | Dock Street Theatre | Church Street | Broad Street
For authentic Tacos and Tequila (and more!) – RuRu’s is your place!
Dinner – The Watch Rooftop Kitchen | The Obstinate Daughter – in Sullivan’s Island – a 20-minute cab ride from downtown Charleston | The Griffon – great pub food and a must-see for the kids – the place is COVERED in dollar bills | XIAO BAO Biscuit – Asian fusion – yum! | Prohibition – very good food and atmosphere right on King Street | Off Track Ice Cream for delicious flavors, waffle cones, or sundaes!
Other spots that we visited that are worth a trip: Hampton Park – a gorgeous park filled with Spanish moss trees, a pond, a bridge, beautiful flowers, and more spots to relax for a picnic than you could count! This is the spot where we started engagement photos for my cousin and her fiance. It was the perfect spot for some romantic photos on the bridge and on the walking paths covered by the moss trees. I absolutely loved shooting here.
We honestly can’t wait to get back to the city. It was a photographer’s dream and we have so much more ground to cover. My biggest tip would be to make a reservation as far out as possible for any of the restaurants listed in this post! We didn’t make it to quite a few because we were too late in doing that. Please let me know if you have any questions or if we can help in any way as you prepare for your trip to Charleston! I hope this was helpful! Here are some highlights from our trip!