It’s that time of year again where my 3 roommates from college and I go on our annual girl’s trip. Last year we were derailed because of the pandemic so we were determined to get it going this year and make up for lost time. This year we chose to stay in the U.S. but we still wanted to see the beach. We chose Charleston, South Carolina and quickly discovered that it was quite the destination for girl’s trips!
There is a reason that southern cuisine is in a league all it’s own. In Charleston not only do you get down-home southern cooking, but you also get top notch seafood. They frequently mix the two in Charleston with restaurants competing for who makes the better shrimp and grits. Me and the girls agreed that of the places we ate, Slightly North of Broad (SNOB) had the best. Delicious.
Another dish that is a must if you are visiting Charleston is “she-crab soup”. This is a staple food in South Carolina made with crab meat and roe. If I have to compare it to something it would be a soupy-er version of crab bisque. It’s like a warm seafood hug!
Things To See
There are so many things to see historically in Charleston that we couldn’t keep up! Our first day we went on a walking tour of the city led my two spunky sisters! The architecture and colonial style homes are beautiful. The city does a great job about protecting its historical buildings. During the tour we visited places where George Washington visited, we walked down streets where African slaves were brought in from ships, and we saw the city through revolutionary war-time eyes.
One thing we quickly discovered about Charleston, was that it’s a town where lots of girl’s trips and bachelorette parties happen! I never would have guessed! It made for some great photo-ops at some of the most iconically Charleston locations including: The Angel Tree, Rainbow Row, and the Pineapple Fountain. Fun fact: You will see a lot of pineapples around Charleston. It’s a symbol of hospitality!
Going to the Charleston City Market is a must! The market is full of artisans and unique items in the middle of the city almost a mile long. It was so fun seeing unique items, some of them being made right there while we shopped. There you can find everything, from skin care products, to home made candies, to jewelry. My favorite thing were the Gullah basket weavers. Not only did these artisans hand make each basket, but they also shared the story of how their enslaved ancestors began making them and the tradition was passed from generation to generation. If you visit Charleston, leaving with a handmade basket is a must.
I didn’t know what to expect when it came to the darker side of American history that I was sure to have to face head on in going to South Carolina. One thing that I appreciated about our visit to Charleston is that I felt they presented slavery in a factual way. They honored the lives of some of those who were enslaved by placing markers around the city. The Old Slave Mart Museum was the exact spot where enslaved people were bought and sold in Charleston. The museum told the story in an honest and very real way. Not to brush history under the rug, but to expose it and make it real to never repeat again.
I went back and forth before the trip as to if I wanted to visit a plantation or not. In the end I made the decision to go because it’s a part of my history. Although I can’t trace back very far, my family undoubtedly has ties to slavery. We visited the Middleton Place plantation which was a rice plantation among other things. Being there allowed me to truly visualize what it would have been like and in turn made me more grateful to be alive in this day and time. The volunteers at the plantation shared a truthful account of what it would have been like to be enslaved on that particular plantation. It was so educational and impactful. To any African-American that might be on the fence about visiting a plantation, I would say to at least consider it.
We stayed at a hotel right on the shores of Folly Beach. Our last day was spent taking in the sun, playing in the water, and collecting shells for our kids. If you just want beach vibes, Folly Beach is the spot. If you want turquoise water, go to the tropics. I was more than happy with beach vibes and time with my friends!
The last evening of the trip we stumbled across the Folly Beach Lighthouse. It was completely unplanned and such a good time! The walk up to the beach where the lighthouse was had a road covered in graffiti but really cool! This beach also had the most shells I have ever seen on a beach. My kids would have LOVED it. If I had more time there I would have definitely been on the hunt for sand dollars and clams with pearls.
We always have a great time together! If you have never gotten together with your girlfriends and done a trip, I would highly recommend it! It’s such a good recharge from day-to-day life where you can laugh (and sometimes cry), with the people that get you the most. Until next year ladies!