An Eight-Hour Itinerary in Charleston

Beautiful Pink Homes in Charleston

In case you missed my Instagram stories over the weekend or my blog posts for the past two days: James and I took a whirlwind day trip to Charleston on Saturday (I work for an airline so it’s very easy for us to get around!). In total, we spent a very short eight hours in Lowcountry, which was far from being enough time to truly enjoy this charming, gorgeous city. We also brought our pup because we wanted him enjoy a little adventure too, so we were slightly limited what we could do and where we could eat. But despite the super quick trip, I still fell fall head over heels for Charleston and am already thinking about when I can come back again!

The Best Food in Charleston, South Carolina

Brunch at Hominy Grill

We started our adventure at Hominy Grill because it has 1) nearly 2,000 four-star reviews on Yelp and 2) a small outdoor patio that’s dog friendly. We arrived around 10:00 am and after sifting through some of the reviews, we were prepared to wait as long as we needed to for a seat. Turns out, there were only about six to eight parties ahead of us and they were getting seated pretty quickly. However, since we requested an outdoor table (there were only about six), it took us about 20-25 minutes to sit down. That ain’t nothing compared to NYC wait times, my friends!

I got a perfectly spiced bloody mary to really kick off the trip and then ordered the Charleston Nasty Biscuit (aka the “Big Nasty” as it appears on your bill — ha!), which is topped with a piece of fried chicken, cheddar cheese and the best sausage gravy I ever had. Every bite felt decadent! James ordered the Beef Creole Grit Bowl, which was also yummy, just not as good as mine!

Best Coffee in Charleston, South Carolina

Fueling Up at Black Tap Coffee

From there, we headed to Black Tap Coffee where we tried the lavender latte (amazingly herbal, but not overpowering) and the mint julep, which was espresso shaken with honey and mint over ice. The inside is pretty cute and calming, with lots of table space to post up and do work. James, and I sat outside on the bench with our pup, enjoying the warm weather while we waited for the caffeine to kick in. It was just what we needed to prevent us from going into a food coma after Hominy Grill.

Shopping on King Street

Next, we headed down King Street where there are a ton of shops. Everything from big box retailers like H&M, Madewell, Sephora and J.Crew to more local shops and art galleries.

Rainbow Row in Charleston, South Carolina

Photos on Rainbow Row

It’s pretty obvious why we came to Charleston (aside from the good weather and delicious food). Rainbow Row is a charming stretch of blocks on East Bay Street and is probably the most popular street on Instagram these days. So it’s no surprise that I saw a swarm of bloggers taking photos while we were there. Obviously, I couldn’t help but jump on the bandwagon (you can see my first Charleston outfit post here). Just around the corner, towards the waterfront park, there was also a dog park that we let our pup run around for a bit. From there, we wandered some of the streets, with no particular destination in mind. We found a lot of gorgeous homes that way and I highly recommend exploring this area by foot!

Delicious Cocktails in Charleston, South Carolina

Late Lunch & Drinks at Leon’s Oyster Shop

With only two hours left on our trip, we wanted to grab one last taste of southern cuisine. We went to Leon’s Oyster Shop on King Street, which also had a spacious outdoor area that’s dog friendly. For bevvies, I ordered the Elderflower G&T (gin, elderflower tonic and celery bitters — pictured right) and James got the Whiskey Buck (rye whiskey, ginger, honey and lemon — pictured left). We also shared the fish fry plate, which was an assortment of fried shrimp, oysters, fish and hush puppies.  The hush puppies were so good that we got another order to bring home with us to NYC.

Fish Fry at Leon's Oyster Shop in Charleston

Dessert at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

At this point, I felt like I was going to explode, but there was no way that I was going home without something sweet. A lot of people recommended Jeni’s, also on King Street, for a great selection of unique, creative flavors. We got the tasting flight (a trio of half scoops) that included  sweet cream peanut with molasses curd, wildberry lavender and coffee with cream and sugar. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, everything was so so good. Turns out there are quite a few locations including LA, Charlotte, Cleveland, Columbus, Washington, DC and they’re available in stores around the country. A little dangerous to know, but glad that we got to experience Jeni’s in one of their scoop shops.

Creative Flavored Ice Creams at Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

It doesn’t seem like a lot, but that was a full day of activity! I’m so glad we went, even if it was only for a short period of time. There are a lot more places to try and things to do on my list, so we will definitely be back!

Have you been to Charleston before? I would love to here your recommendations for next time!

One Day Travel Guide to Charleston, South Carolina

Every Piece of Clothing That I Packed for Australia

How to Pack for a Trip to AustraliaAs I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I surprised the world (okay, mostly just me) by only packing a carry-on for our recent vacation to Australia. It was a departure from my norm of usually packing three times more than amount of outfits that a normal person would need for a trip, so this one required a bit more restraint. So I thought I’d show you every single thing I packed in my hard-shell suitcase that I ended up wearing during our week-long trip.

 

ON THE PLANE

It was tricky going from the dead of winter in NYC to the peak of summer in Australia. Lucky for us, the day we left happened to be warmer than normal so we ditched our winter coats and I ended up wearing a long cardigan, a comfortable t-shirt and my favorite pair of leggings. I recently got a new leather tote to store all of my personal items, like my laptop, my travel blanket and vacation reading material.

 

“STUCK” IN HAWAII

If you followed my Instagram stories (which you can still see archived on my profile), you know that we had an unexpected overnight layover in Honolulu. The joys of flying standby. Obviously, there are worse places to be stuck and we made our most of it by hanging out on Waikiki Beach, watching a hula dance performance and meeting up with friends who were coincidentally in town. We landed only a few hours after the false alarm missile alert, so it was fascinating to hear about the experience from some locals we met!

 

EXPLORING SYDNEY HARBOUR

We spent most of our full day in Sydney near the harbor. I wore this navy tie front dress and these rose gold sandals (you’ll be seeing them a lot in upcoming outfit photos). Surprisingly, these sandals are super comfortable to walk in. We walked across the Sydney Harbour Bridge twice, around the Circular Quay and over to the Opera House for drinks. Side note: that Australian sun is no joke. We forgot to put on sun block during our first day there and I’m still peeling from sunburn! If you’re planning a visit, use lots of sunscreen!

 

COASTAL WALK FROM COOGEE TO BONDI

There’s an absolutely stunning coastal trail known as the walk from Bondi to Coogee. It’s about 4.6 km long (2.8 miles) and took us nearly three hours to complete (we stopped a lot for photos, breaks and reapplying sunscreen!). Knowing that we wanted to end up at Bondi Beach, we actually did the reverse and started from Coogee. There are a lot of amazing cliffs and a few more beaches in between that are way less crowded than Bondi. Once we got to Bondi Beach, I changed into this triangle bikini with high-waisted bottoms and we hit the Icebergs — a popular pool club — to relax.

 

A QUICK TRIP TO AIRLIE BEACH

One of the things on our bucket list was to visit the Great Barrier Reef, so we flew up north to Airlie Beach in Queensland. Airlie is one of the few great entryways to the reefs. From there, we took a three-hour ferry ride to Hardy Reef, where we snorkeled all afternoon. It was probably one of the most incredible experiences ever.

 

DATE NIGHT IN DOWNTOWN SYDNEY

You saw this outfit already and honestly, there’s nothing really special about it. It’s just an easy white, summery dress (for under $50!) that you can wear out during the day or to a dinner date night. One of the highlights of our trip was all of the incredible food we ate while we were there. A lot of Sydney’s cuisine has Southeast Asian influence, so we had everything from Thai to Malaysian to some sort of modern fusion that would make any hipster foodie proud. I’ll be sharing more about that in a Sydney travel guide coming soon!

 

HANGING WITH KANGAROOS AT TARONGA ZOO

On our last full day in Sydney, we visited the zoo. It was the only chance we would get to some animals native to the country since we weren’t going to explore the Outback. We got up close with koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, tigers and penguins! It was also blistering hot outside, so a flowy crop top (on sale for $25!) and high-waisted shorts was about all I could handle. We ended the day with a stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens where we took these outfit photos.

 

And that’s it! I pretty much wore everything I packed, with the exception of an extra shirt or two. I’m pretty proud of myself for not getting too bogged down with clothes and luggage because it let me enjoy our trip to the fullest.

 

More to come about our Australia trip — including more outfits and travel tips about everything we did and ate during our time there. If there’s anything specific you’d like to see, let me know in the comments below!

What’s On Your Travel Bucket List?

Travel Outfit Inspiration & Affordable Hardcase Luggage

Gray Cardigan (only $49 and comes in 6 colors1) / Polka Dot Peplum Top (only $40) / Knotted Necklace / Step Hem Skinny Jeans / Leopard Flats / 21″ Carry-On Spinner Suitcase (c/o) / 29″ Check-In Spinner Suitcase (c/o) / Navy Rolling Duffel Bag  (c/o)

Ever since our trip to Nice at the end of last month, James and I have been laying low and spending the last few weekends of summer in New York. I’ve loved being able to stay at home, snuggle up in the comfort of our tiny apartment and visit our favorite neighborhood spots, but that doesn’t mean the travel bug has gone away. In fact, with the arrival of our new luggage set from Ricardo Beverly Hills, the wanderlust is back in full force with a full list of places that I’d like to visit in the next year or two.