3 Days in Charleston

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Day 1

MORNING Wake up early and start your day with an espresso and decadent pastry at Caviar and Bananas on George Street. Fortified, you’re ready to walk the entire Design District. Even with frequent stopping and lingering it won’t take more than three to four hours to shop ‘til you drop. Make sure to sample the honeys at Savannah Bee Company.

NOON Once you’ve worked up an appetite, have a casual lunch at Fast and French on Broad Street. A soup, sandwich and glass of wine come in around $10 so you’ll have funds for shopping. After lunch, take a horse and carriage ride down King Street and enjoy a guided historic tour. Stop at the Nathaniel Russell House or Calhoun Masion to learn more about Antebellum homes.

EVENING Eat an early dinner at FIG and you’ll have plenty of time to watch the sun set at Waterfront Park. Or, if you’re visiting in the spring or fall, take one of the Home and Garden Tours. Prepare yourself for three hours of walking. You’ll want a comfortable pair of walking shoes and a flashlight for evening tours.

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Day 2

MORNING If you are staying in the lovely Charleston Place Hotel, you’ll want to enjoy breakfast at your hotel before heading out for a day at the plantations. Hop in your rental car and take a one hour drive to Middleton Place. Linger in the gardens.

12 NOON A lowcountry lunch at the Middleton Place Restaurant is a hearty affair, but may be worth the extra hole in your belt. If you have energy after lunch head to the nearby Magnolia Plantation and enjoy their tour as well.

EVENING Head back to Charleston for a tasty dinner on East Broad Street. Try the shrimp and grits at SNOB or the oysters at Pearlz and then take a stroll on Vendue Street and finish the day with a scoop from Paolo’s Gelato.

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Day 3

MORNING It may be a good morning to sleep in and that’s just an excuse for brunch. High Cotton is an excellent choice and it’s just cross the street from the city’s best kitchen shop and cooking classes at Charleston Cooks. If you’d like to take a class, arrange it ahead of time.

AFTERNOON Spend the remainder of the afternoon poking around the city’s art galleries or finish your souvenir shopping at City Market.

EVENING It’s easier to stroll on the sidewalk of the French Quarter since cobblestone streets are tough to negotiate. Afterwards, take in the theatre at the Footlight Players.

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Charleston’s Top 5 Design Spots

Chassity Evans surrounds herself with all things stylish and writes about it in her blog, Look Linger Love.

“Charleston is such a lovely city,” says the blogger. Chassity invited us to look at her fave design stores, linger in the best ones and fall in love with an unbearable number of covetable items. Oh, and we did some shopping too.

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1. King Street is the hot spot for design shops and right in the heart of it is the charming Lucinda Eden (that’s the shop and the owner). Temptations abound with artfully selected home accessories, vintage clothing and even custom haute couture. The shop’s on the second level, so look heavenward and you’re on the right track. Just across the street is another must shop, Lily. The shop is accented with French style offerings at reasonable prices. Owners Kevin and Lin are typically onsite and eager to share their city with you.

2. Another King Street destination is Dwelling where the style is understated glamour. Whether you’re looking for a design consultation or just browsing the fine furnishings, you’ll feel right at home in Leigh McAlpin’s timeless and sustainable shop.

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3. If original art is your thing be sure to experience the art galleries on Broad and Church Streets. Or get your own hands dirty and try one of Redux Contemporary Art Center’s class offerings including figure drawing, screen printing, jewelry making, and woodworking.

4. A carefully edited collection of southern paintings is on display at Gibbes Museum of Art. Opened in 1905, Charleston’s premiere art museum is a history lesson and gem of southern culture. The gift shop is worth a visit too.

5. Another enjoyable walking street, Church Street has a lovely stationery store called Dulles Design. Emilie Dulles’ trademark red hair and cheerful disposition are true indicators of what’s in store in this distinct stationery design shop. Stylish correspondence is just beyond her doors.