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Just Back from Charleston: Editor’s Picks

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One of my biggest regrets from my six years living in Atlanta was never hopping in my car and making the drive to Charleston. And last year, after T+L readers voted the charming Southern town the best city in the U.S., I started feeling that pull again and decided to take action, convincing two girlfriends to join me on a weekend getaway. Stephen Colbert recently shared his top picks from his hometown, so I thought I would do the same. My biggest regret now? Only staying for three days.

Stay:
As I mentioned in a recent Twitter chat, I’m a sucker for hotels that include complimentary touches like wine-and-cheese hour and welcome drinks. The 50-room French Quarter Inn, ideally located in the historic district, offers these in spades: an amazing breakfast spread, fresh-baked cookies and milk at night, and—my favorite—canisters of M&M’s and jellybeans 24/7. The hotel also provides bicycles for those who want to get around on two wheels.

Eat:
Stocked with everything from soy candles and ceramic mugs to small-batch tonic, Two Boroughs Larder is part modern-day general store, part restaurant. Exposed brick and wooden tables set the stage for the farm-fresh, ever-changing menu. It was worth the wait on Saturday afternoon for a soft egg scramble with kimchi bologna, garden herbs, and toast buttered with a heavy hand. (Note, like many places in town, it’s closed Sunday and Monday.)

Razor clams, peel-and-eat local shrimp, jumbo lump blue crab, oysters—The Ordinary is the latest spot in town to get your seafood fix. From chef Mike Lata and the Fig team, it occupies a former bank building, with white tiled walls, a soaring ceiling, and tons of natural light.

Do:
In addition to the highlights (carriage ride, historic home tours), we walked, walked, and walked some more. The best way to see the city is on foot; my friend tracked our steps, and we covered 24 miles in just three days. A few highlights from our strolls: wandering around the College of Charleston, one of the oldest in the country; gazing in awe (and envy) at the beautiful homes along King Street; and stopping to rest at the Battery, a waterfront promenade where you can see Fort Sumter in the distance.

 

Brooke Porter
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.

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