Having grown up just a mere 4 hours from Charleston, SC, you'd think I would've known about this gem long before now, or I should say, long before a few years ago when I first "discovered" it. But, alas, I did not. I learned about the epic Charleston through other photographers, and that's totally fair because it is, without question, a dream for photographers! After wanting to visit Charleston desperately for so long, we decided it'd be the perfect little spot to go and celebrate our 5-year marriage anniversary!!
We flew out of Kansas City on October 24th, naturally, my wedding photography schedule didn't allow us to go on our actual anniversary, the 20th, and that's okay!! We arrived late in the evening after dark, so it was a matter of checking into our cute little boutique hotel, The Andrew Pinckney, and settling in for some sleep so we'd be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the next day!!
Our first full day started off with a yummy breakfast on the balcony of our hotel, and then, we were off! The absolute number one thing we wanted to do in Charleston was just simply explore on foot! It was so obvious that every corner, every street, every nook and every cranny of Charleston is rich with history and picturesque spots, and we knew the best way to find those, was with our own feet!
On day one, according to my Fitbit, we walked over 21,000 steps - well worth it!! I'm pretty sure we stopped every 10 seconds, all because of me.....soooo much to photograph!! My husband is a loving and patient man!! :)
I had researched online prior to our trip about the "best alleys in Charleston"....because I knew there were some epic ones. We had a list of those, and set out to find them all!! Stolls Alley was my absolute favorite one all because.....of this building right here --
I was, still am, and probably always will be soooo in love with this building. It was easily my favorite thing I photographed during our on-foot explorations of the historic areas. I LOVE IT!!
Ask me about the horse and carriages....and I will tell you that they were everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. I guess because Charleston is, or has become, such a touristy area, horse drawn carriage rides happen on what feels like every other street, and at the top of what seems like, every half hour. Oh and yes, the smells are LEGIT. Admittedly, I thought these were as hokey as they come, butttt.....we did one. And honestly, it was fun! We had been told that the drivers of these carriages are insanely knowledgeable about the history of Charleston, and everyone who told us that was correct! We learned SO MUCH on our carriage tour!!
At some point on day one, probably around step 15,568, we made our way to Rainbow Row - and as famous as it is, and as kinda cool as it might be, we weren't overly impressed!
Thank heavens for little places like the Bakehouse in Charleston, - that combine favorites of both Wes and I....coffee for me, craft beer for him, ha! This was the perfect pick-us-up on day one to give us a second wind!
Eventually we also made it down to The Battery, and walked along the edge of the water! I was pretty excited when that vertical shot of the sun sparkling on the water turned out like it did!! EEEK!
Another place that I was soooo excited to find was this ADORABLE place...Sugar Bakeshop. Despite the fact that we had to walk preeeeetty far north to find it, and actually ended up taking an Uber back, because, feet, it was so worth it. We literally didn't even go inside, which maybe we should've, but what I wanted most of all was 1. A few pictures of this cute as heck building. And 2. a picture of me standing in front of it!! Thanks Wes!!! ;)
Day one ended and we were exhausted!! I'd totally talk all about the endless restaurants we tried and foods we had, but I'm not much of a foodie, just know that we tried all sorts of places, and they were all delish!!
Day two.... we Uber'd our way to the oh so incredible, Angel Oak Tree and oh so incredible she is -
After spending a ton of time in awe of this tree, and me trying to photograph it from every possible angle, haaaa, we then hopped in another Uber and went to Magnolia Plantation for a tour of an old Plantation home!!
What if this were your back porch...and your backyard....AAAHH!!
Something we both really enjoy is old home tours, and I'm so glad we share that!! The tour of the old Magnolia home was cool and all, but quite honestly...their gardens and grounds, and trails behind the house were sooooo much cooler...sooooo much. Justtttttttttt LOOK -
Aside from their epic gardens....Did you SEE those!? I mean really!? I was so obsessed!!
But aside from all that, they also had a little petting zoo! Free roaming peacocks...one in particular who would notttt leave us alone while we sat outside eating lunch. I have no pictures of him, but I do have him in the video at the end of this post!
The little petting zoo had a range of pigs, squirrels, rabbits, turkeys, chickens....andddddddd.....DEER. YEP! Ask me how excited I was to pet a deer!! GO ON ASK ME.
Day three we ventured to Sullivan's Island!! The weather had been pretty perfect all the days we were in Charleston, but on this day....oh man, it was a dream. And to top it off, we practically had the beach to ourselves!! Minus a few people who were out taking their doggies on walks, which, we totally played with!! :)
Fun fact #1: I could photograph the ocean, all.day.long.
Fun fact #2: I always think I prefer mountains over oceans, but the truth is, I think it's a solid tie.
We easily lost track of time at the beach, and probably could have stayed the entire day! The remainder of day three, honestly, is a total blur
Our fourth and final day was basically just a little over a half a day and we decided all we really wanted to do was soak in the gorgeous streets of Charleston yet again. So we sat out on foot that morning and I likely photographed the exact same nooks and crannies as I had on day one all over again....PS I don't care :)
Naturally, I needed to go see my favorite wall/building one more time, and this time I decided I needed a picture of me in front of it!
On this last day, aside from exploring again, we threw in 2 old home tours in the historic district and those were so awesome!! No photos allowed in those though, as usual, womp womp.
Nearly every evening we had made our way down to Waterfront Park, and walked the pier...watched in awe of the massive cruise-ships that were docking for a day in Charleston. Of all those nightly walks down there, we hadn't made it down in the daytime yet - so on our last day, we swung through to see how things looked in the sunlight before heading back to our hotel so that we could sadly check out and start the travel back home!
I can't tell you the name of this cute little park, but on our walk back to our hotel that last day, we came across it and decided to just sit for a few final minutes, taking in all of Charleston's magic :)
The last and final two photos to share are the ones we actually took first thing the morning of our last day. We've been doing these chalkboard photos since year one, and we're both pretty happy to be flashing a 5-year sign at this point!! :)
As usual, I try to get a lot of little video clips with my iPhone on our trips and excursions so that I can create a little movie from them! Below is the 4ish minute long video from our trip!
You'll see that curious peacock from Magnolia Plantation that didn't want to leave us alone!
You'll see us walking along the Waterfront Park pier on night one, and as the music in the video fades momentarily...you'll get to hear the guy who was standing on the pier playing a saxophone all by his lonesome....yeah, it was a pretty magical moment! Andddd you'll see a whole lot more! :)