// 5 min Read

A Day in Charleston

Written by Sarah Grubbs

Jun 13, 2019

Along the banks of the May River, the 20,000 acres that make up Palmetto Bluff provide a quiet haven away from the speed of city life. But a quick two-hour drive takes you from the serenity of the Bluff to the bustling city of Charleston. The Holy City brings together historic charm with delectable eats and high-end boutique shopping, which makes it the perfect spot for a well-rounded day trip. Downtown Charleston’s shopping destination, King Street, is filled with restaurants and rich history all within walking distance. And less than 30 minutes from downtown, a drive through Mount Pleasant can bring you to the beach for a refresh. Here is an itinerary of the best spots to hit on your next day trip.

10:00 am

Top off your caffeine tank before a day of shopping. Located in a quiet neighborhood right in the heart of downtown, Brown’s Court Bakery is just the place to stop. They pour some delicious liquid gold, and their bakery is one not to miss. The warm smells of fresh-baked pastries flood the air as soon as you walk in the door. Grab a bear claw and a fresh-brewed coffee.


Known as the shopping hub of Charleston, King Street is the perfect place to start your shopping day. For women’s attire, we recommend The Finicky Filly. Their summer items were fresh to the store, inspiring daydreams of long days and garden parties.

The next stop is M. Dumas & Sons. From Barbour coats to Smathers & Branson custom keychains and wallets, they have all of your menswear needs. But this is the South, and football rules the day. Straight through the store is college football heaven, where you’ll find apparel for men and women and gifts galore. If you cheer for the Gamecocks, the Citadel, the Georgia Bulldogs, the Crimson Tide, the Clemson Tigers, or the Tar Heels, they have you covered. If you are on the hunt for a graduation gift, swing by their game-day department for the best finds.

You can’t head to King Street without making a stop at George C. Birlant & Co. This antique store is the largest in the Southeast, and after four generations, the family still heads over to England to pick the items that land in the store. Large windows cover the front of the store, giving onlookers more than just a sneak peek at the goodness inside. I have a weakness for antiques. It’s my grandmother Mimmie coming out in me. Mimmie’s house is full of treasures in every corner.

Got a birthday around the corner? Croghan’s Jewel Box is also right around the corner. Whether you are looking to add to your own wishlist or shopping for someone special, Croghan’s is the place to visit. Not only do they offer an elegant jewelry selection, but their estate jewelry also puts them above the rest. Their one-of-a-kind pieces are rich in history.


After all that shopping, it’s time for lunch. We recommend a change of scenery. Head to Sullivan’s Island. This beach town is home to wide range of restaurants and some boutique shops. Plus, the salty air and water views can’t be beat.

One of the restaurants on my list to try was The Obstinate Daughter. With a mouthwatering menu, soft music, and a fun interior design, this is the perfect spot for a girls’ lunch or a date night. As I sat down at the bar, the bartender asked what I would have. I requested something refreshing. He came back with a tall glass garnished with mint that smelled oh so familiar. “So, what’s in it?” I ask. “I used the Cannonborough Beverage Company’s Honey Ginger soda with mint and citrus juice. They’re a local company here in Charleston. Have you heard of them?” he asked. My smile must have given it away. The familiar scent of Cannonborough’s Honey Ginger soda had triggered many special memories. Their sodas are delicious, and their time at the Palmetto Bluff Artist Cottage was one of my favorite weeks of Artist in Residence.

Try the apple and prosciutto salad. The generous helping of prosciutto marries perfectly with the crisp apple and red wine vinaigrette dressing. It is delicious.

1:00 PM

After lunch, take an immediate turn east and don’t stop walking until you hit the sand. Five minutes of salty air does more for the soul than a 60-minute massage. The beautiful homes, the sound of birds chirping, and the absence of cars made for a peaceful stroll through the neighborhood. Families play catch with their dogs and College of Charleston coeds soak in some vitamin D. This is the ideal afternoon break before you refocus on your main agenda item: shopping.


As you leave the island, hit one more store on your way back to downtown Charleston: Lowcountry Fly Shop. This fly shop has an excellent selection of fly-fishing gear. They also tie their own flies in-store for $4.99. It’s worth every penny just to watch how quickly their hands can create such a detailed piece.

Late Afternoon

After a day spent shopping, get your hands a little dirty. Head back to King Street and stop by Candlefish. Their shop includes a retail space and also hosts candlemaking workshops. To begin the class, the Candlefish instructor will introduce the ingredients and explain the process for creating their soy candles. Then you’ll head over to the fragrance library to select your scent. Usually, guests can choose from 20 fragrances, but I got to make my selection from all 150 fragrances. I settled on numbers 18 and 25. These floral scents are from their Charleston collection and reminded me of the fresh spring air that was soon to arrive. After measuring and checking the temperature of the wax—and measuring and checking the temperature again—it was time to pour our candles. While they do have to set overnight, Candlefish will ship your candles to you afterward.

By the time your two-hour workshop is over, the sun will be setting over the river. We recommend stopping to admire the sunset before your hit the road. The noise of six o’clock traffic vanishes as you watch the sun set behind the water at the marina. A peaceful end to a superb shopping day in The Holy City.