How to Spend a Weekend in Charleston

Ron Cogswell
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If you’re visiting Charleston just for the weekend, prepare to eat well, enjoy the beautiful lowcountry scenery, and relax on one of its awesome beaches. From surfing to cycling, to everything in between, you can expect an incredible trip, and it may even be a little tough for you to leave once it’s time to pack up and hit your next adventure. Here are 3 RootsRated combos that make for a perfect weekend in the Holy City.

Friday: Brunch/Cruising Downtown 

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If you’ve never been to the city and are interested in its history, or simply just want to take a look around, the best way to do it is on your bike. Fuel up with brunch at The Blind Tiger , the oldest pub in Charleston and the perfect place to sit outside on the patio and plan out your cycling route for the day. Speaking of which, if you need a rental,  The Bicycle Shoppe  has the best selection of beach cruisers and their staff is super helpful as far as routes and directions are concerned. One route they'll probably recommend, which we certainly do, is the southern section of Broad Street. The best part about biking South of Broad is the fact that there is something totally unique around every single corner, from narrow alleyways covered in Jasmine, to 17th century architecture. Be sure to visit the Battery to get a good look at the ocean and take a breather under the shade of massive Live Oaks. After you’ve seen all that you need to see, head over to Queen Street Grocery  to wind down the day with some incredible crepes and delicious brews.

Saturday: A Day on Folly Beach

Ron Cogswell

Folly has everything you need for the perfect day at the beach. Breakfast at Lost Dog Cafe  will certainly prepare you for a long day of surfing, paddling, or swimming, and it may even be the highlight of your trip, but don't stop there. Rent a kayak or paddleboard from Half Moon Outfitters , and you’re set to  cruise the tidal creeks behind Folly , or the Atlantic Ocean in front of it. We recommend paddling out toward the Morris Island Lighthouse, where you’re almost guaranteed to run into a few dolphins. Pull up to the sand bar at the East end of Folly, and enjoy the wild scenery of the marsh on one side and the ocean on the other. Afterwards, when you're no longer able to lift your arms after such a long day of paddling, recover with some great food from Rita's . They’ll treat you right with their killer menu and excellent margaritas.

Sunday: Trails and Brews

Just a short drive past the city limits you’ll find two of RootsRated’s favorite places for a trail run or day hike. The Awendaw Passage and I’on Swamp Trail both wind through some of the most beautiful parts of the lowcountry, and give you the opportunity to see the landscape that shaped Charleston. These primitive trails will lead you through swamp, marsh, woods, and over tidal creeks. By the end of the day you’ll be muddy, sweaty, maybe a little bloody, but it’s nothing that an ice cold beer can’t fix. On your way back to town, stop by Coleman Public House for some locally brewed craft beer from Westbrook, Holy City, and Palmetto Breweries, not to mention they cook up some ridiculously tasty soul food; the perfect way to end your weekend in Charleston.

For more information, check out this comprehensive guide on some of the best places to satisfy your appetite for Charleston adventure and cuisine. 

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