Charleston: A Weekend Guide

Charleston, South Carolina, might just be one of the best vacations we ever took. A couple of years ago, just before I got pregnant with Gianna, the Mr. and I jetted off to all things deep fried and southern around Easter. If you want to read about the whole trip, dive in here.

We still dream of she-crab soup. True story.

I’m beyond excited that I’ll be traveling back to Charleston, July 10-12, for the Edel Gathering, a weekend that celebrates Catholic moms in the trenches. It’s not so much of a conference than it is a sanity break, filled with laughter, dancing, good food and faith. Can’t beat that. If you’re going, let me know in the combox! If you’re not, please pray for our safe travels and a beautiful weekend for all those going. Just because you can’t be there doesn’t mean I can’t meet you at the tabernacle {wink wink}. In fact, I’d love to pray for you. Feel free to email me at teamwhitakerblog{at}gmail{dot}com or leave it below. It’s my honor!

Now, on to the goods. What to do and where to eat while you’re in Charleston? Wonder no more.

Take a walking tour. There are loads of old house mansion tours and I really wish I’d done the Calhoun one. Maybe this time! If you’d rather have less structure, swing by the visitor’s center and grab a walking tour map. It will not disappoint.

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It’s probably touristy, but we enjoyed it anyway. Hop on a carriage and enjoy the ride! We chose Palmetto and really loved our guide, our horse and the tour of the city we had. Just get your tickets online before you go and save some moula!

Eat your heart out. No really. There just isn’t enough space to write down all the deliciousness to be had in this beautiful city. High on the list, though? She-crab soup at 82 Queen. They also have killer sweet tea. You know, if that’s your thang. You can bet your sweet {ahem} that I’ll be making a beeline for the Queen for my first lunch on Friday. My taste buds are already excited. If you have a hankering for the best fried chicken EVER, then grab Uber or a cab to Martha Lou’s. Y’all. I just can’t even. I have a full listing below of all the places we tried. We loved every one.

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Don’t forget Mass. St. John the Baptist Cathedral is not only stunning, but it’s a quick walk in the historical district. There’s just something about a big, beautiful church and stained glass windows that gets me every time. Don’t let the outside keep you from walking in.

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Shopping on King Street is great, but don’t overlook this gem. The Daughters of St. Paul operate a store and if you walk to the back, you can enjoy their secret courtyard!
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If you can’t go to A&M, then the Citadel is the next best thing. We happened upon a baseball game and it turned out lovely. But, if all you do is stroll through campus, consider yourself blessed. The Citadel is one fine institution.
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Fort Moultrie may spark the patriot in you. We enjoyed a lovely day walking around. My, how war time preparedness has changed!


Indulge in some souvenir shopping, and a bit of Cheer Wine (like a cherry Dr Pepper!) and a moon pie at the City Market. Charleston has famous woven baskets and while they are stunning, we just enjoyed looking at them instead of buying one.

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Relax atop the Pavilion Bar, kick your feet up and enjoy a sweet tea martini. Need I say more? See y’all in Charleston!

charleston, blog_01Restaurants
SNOB (Slightly North of Broad) – get the shrimp and grits
Pavilion Bar – the *best* sweet tea martinis, the view ain’t bad either
McCrady’s – a fancy dinner, but sit in the bar and get the best of both menus!
Martha Lou’s – you’ll die after eating this fried chicken, it’s that good
Magnolia’s Restaurant – their biscuits, mashed potatoes and pie were amazing
82 Queen – get the she crab soup, I mean it
Husk – we didn’t eat here, but if Sean Brock is the master chef you know this place is legit


  1. Tracy Bua Smith on July 1, 2015 at 8:32 am

    What a beautiful place! I’ll be at Edel! Hope to meet ya there! 🙂

  2. Carmen Fenton on July 1, 2015 at 9:01 am

    LOVE me some Charleston!!! The brunch at Page’s Okra Grill is the best thing I’ve ever had in my entire life…I mean. I can’t even talk about it.

  3. Marcie on July 1, 2015 at 9:55 am

    We were just in Charleston and ate at taco boy for lunch and it was excellent! We love the food! The farmers market on Saturday is awesome too! Have a great trip!

  4. Jenny McPherson on July 1, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Charleston holds a special place in my heart as I was married there 18 years ago in the Gazebo in Battery Park (obviously before I convert!). Anyway, may I suggest Stella Maris Catholic Church (right next to Fort Moultrie). You can combine attending Mass with a walk on the beach as there is a beach access path right across the street from the church. Also, try the Boulevard Diner in Mount Pleasant-great food without emptying the wallet. For those who will be making this a family vacation visit Charlestown Landing.

    Have a great time and I will be praying for a breeze to gently blow through Charleston that weekend so you all don’t melt:)

  5. Claire Belby on July 1, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Another must stop for a meal is High Cotton. Quite literally the best meal of my life. We had brunch there. With every bite, I’d repeat “I’m so happy” over and over.

    • Kathryn on July 3, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      GREAT addition – that was one of the places we heard about but never visited. Maybe this trip!!

  6. Annie on July 1, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    I LOVE Charleston. Beautiful city. The Children’s Museum is also pretty great. Isle of Palms is just up the road and is our favorite beach. I was so hoping to make it to Edel but I am taking our youth group to Catholic Heart that week!

  7. Mary on July 1, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Cannot wait to hug your neck and sit and sip those famous sweet tea martini’s with you. I am so excited to “meet” you IRL. I will get there on Thursday afternoon. I plan on taking a little tour that evening just to enjoy some quiet. Thanks for the heads up on where to go. See you next weekend.

  8. Haley @ Carrots for Michaelmas on July 2, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Love this! Now I’m even more excited!

  9. Deborah on July 3, 2015 at 7:22 am

    My first Edel conference- can’t wait! Grew up in the Charleston area- it’s a lot of fun!

  10. Susan on July 3, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Great list, and second the she-crab at 82 Queen. Glad to know it is still great since I haven’t had it in 10 years. Now I’m even more excited for Edel. Thanks for the reminder list!

  11. Beth on July 3, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for sharing these ideas! I’ll be at Edel. Excited to meet you!

  12. […] And if you’re coming to the Edel Gathering next weekend (who’s coming?! I think there’s still tickets, too!) check out Kathryn’s guide to Charleston. […]

  13. Jennie on July 4, 2015 at 11:53 am

    So excited! Edel will be here soon! Thanks for the suggestions! Are we going to get a group going to 82 Queen?!?!

  14. Micaela on July 4, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Mm, mm, mm! I cannot wait! Hubby and I are arriving a couple days early to celebrate our anniversary. We will definitely be using this as a guide for Thursday and Friday. And then… Edeeeeeeeeellllllll!!! Woot, woot!

    • Kathryn on July 14, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      I loved hugging your neck!

  15. Karen on July 7, 2015 at 1:10 am

    HOWDY! Looking forward to meeting you this weekend in Charleston at the Edel Gathering. I am a Texan, Aggie, Catholic mom of 7, (one of them a Butt in the Corps of Cadets) and mother of a little Saint in heaven. I am coming from the Fort Worth area and hope to try one of those Sweat Tea Martinis!
    Blessings, Karen Seymour

    • Kathryn on July 14, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      It was so great to meet you!

  16. Cathy Knipper on July 7, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Thanks for including the Daughters of St. Paul book center! The sisters will be at Edel as well!

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