Every year right before spring comes we get antsy and can't wait much longer so we head to South Carolina. We absolutely love the Charleston area and it typically does the trick of curing our late winter blues.
This year we headed to Isle of Palms, SC which is a beach town about 15-20 minutes from Charleston. We stayed at the Wild Dunes Resort which is a community of houses by the beach in addition to the resort rooms. It has a fabulous fitness center, golf course, pools and beaches. We totally enjoyed being on the north end of the barrier island, although we really do enjoy the south end as well, Sullivan's Island.
We flew into Charleston International Airport and rented a car so we could have the freedom of exploring all the fun places to go in and around the area. Here is a list of some of our favorite things to do.
1) As soon as we landed we took a sunset dolphin cruise with Charleston Outdoor Adventures. It was relaxing and fun, if you go be sure to ask for Captain Luke who is the absolute best! We saw quite a few dolphins and a baby who was just a few days old and the kids absolutely loved it. We also brought my parents on this trip as a thank you for helping us flip our house this year. (Stay tuned for our house flip blog post!)
2) Next, one of our favorite things to do in South Carolina is eat! Every year we try new places, but there are a few we just always find our way back to because it is just so good. The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan's Island is amazing at mixing flavors that you had no idea complement each other so much. We typically order a few dishes and share. There is also Hominy Grill for brunch or lunch, expect to wait on the weekends but it's worth it. It has the best shrimp and grits in my opinion! Lastly, there is Pearlz which is great when walking around rainbow row. It has the best oyster shooters and gumbo in town. It's also casual and kid friendly, something we need to have as a go to travelling with kids.
3) The beach of course! From Sullivan's Island to Isle of Palms the beaches have just been replenished and fairly large. They are also super clean and pet friendly so we have a blast hanging out at the beach and seeing all the dogs because pets aren't allowed on the beaches in NJ. Wild Dunes has wonderful beaches and the walk from the resort to them is all pastel colored buildings and shops which always makes for a happy entrance and exit.
4) Magnolia Plantation is about a 45 minute drive from Isle of Palms but well worth it. It is a beautiful old southern plantation with large willow trees and wisteria galore. Keep in mind we went in March and had a beautiful time. There is a large estuary next to the gardens that has a big palmetto tree growing in it and it is so beautiful. Parts of The Notebook were filmed at this very location.
5) King Street and Market Street are great places to walk around for shopping some adorable southern pieces you can only find down there. Market street is a historic market complex in downtown Charleston where vendors have tables and small shops selling everything from bags of grits, to smocked baby dresses, and handmade woven baskets. Not to far off is rainbow row, a street filled with historic southern brownstones all painted a different pastel color which makes quite a beautiful walk.
6) Patriot's Point Naval & Maritime Museum is every boys dream adventure no matter how young or old. It's home to the USS Yorktown as well as the USS Laffey Destoryer and USS Calgamore Submarine. Tripp was so excited to explore such a big aircraft carrier. Tickets are $22 for adults and kids under 6 are FREE! The boys had a such a good time being boys there.
7) Shimp and Crawfish boil. This is something that has become a tradition when we go down to South Carolina with my husband's cousins. It is a real treat to eat outside with our hands and just throw the whole boil on the table. Even the kids love it and nothing tastes better with a beer than seafood covered in old bay!