One of my favorite trips of all time was our second anniversary trip to Charleston. Charlie was about nine months old, and while we’d already traveled to see family a handful of times by then, it was our first true vacation for just the three of us. When I was invited to a baby shower that fell over our anniversary weekend, we jumped at the chance to make another family weekend out of it, and are so happy we did! This trip was admittedly more playground-centric than past trips have been, but we found some wonderful, new-to-us, toddler-friendly spots, further solidifying Charleston as one of our favorite places to visit. I always love posting trip recaps for my own memory’s sake, but if you’re headed to the Holy City with a little one in tow anytime soon, I hope you find some inspiration here too :)
We made the four-and-a-half hour drive on Friday afternoon. Since we had some time to kill before checking into our AirBNB, we swung by The Daily so I could pick up iced coffees to-go and then headed to the Hampton Park playground so Charlie could run around and stretch out. The playground was shaded and a great size, and it seems like a popular spot for locals. Once it got a little crowded after school let out, we went across the street to explore Hampton Park for a little while. We had never been before, but loved it! Charlie was thoroughly entertained by the ducks and fountain, and I loved checking out the flowers in bloom.
We checked into our AirBNB in Mount Pleasant and then headed straight to Poe’s Tavern for dinner. Charlie’s allergies can make it tricky to plan vacation meals, so we don’t hesitate to return to places that we know work well for him, this being one of them. After dinner, we stopped by the beach! Even so close to the water, the jasmine was unbelievable, and its scent mixing with the ocean breeze was completely heavenly. We didn’t have a towel or anything on hand, but that didn’t stop Dave and Charlie from running into the waves!
On Saturday, we took a quick drive over to Vintage Coffee–such a cute spot, and a perfect place to bring kids! They have a truck “playground” set up in the back, which Charlie thoroughly enjoyed while Dave and I sipped our coffees. After getting cleaned up and ready back at the house, Dave and Charlie dropped me off at Cannon Green for Julia’s baby shower. I don’t get to spend much time with the GMG team since I work from home in Raleigh, so any chance I get to be face-to-face with them is such a joy. No surprise, the shower was beautiful and so thoughtfully planned and designed. I was so delighted to see Hannah, a sweet photographer friend I’ve known since my Southern Weddings days, there to capture the event! While it wasn’t specifically requested, most guests were wearing Gal Meets Glam Collection, myself included.
While I was at the shower, Dave and Charlie had lunch (at Chipotle :)) and then went back to the Hampton Park playground until I was ready. We made it back in time for Charlie to take a late nap while we had a drink on the patio. We could not have been more thrilled with our AirBNB and seriously want to stay there for every future Charleston trip–it was spotless, beautifully designed, and suited our needs so well. When Charlie was up, it was back to the beach, this time with swimsuits on! I wore a one-piece and hat that Hermoza sent me, conveniently right before our trip (take 17% off with the code “Lisa” if you’re in the market for something new this summer!). We grabbed fast food for Charlie to munch on the beach, and then after he was in bed that evening, Dave picked up takeout for us from Obstinate Daughter. We went to the restaurant a few years ago, and while we would have loved to do a proper date night there, it wasn’t realistic for this trip. Digging into their gloriously fresh pasta and pizza picnic-style in the living room was the next best thing!
Sunday started bright and early. We packed up and checked out of the house and then headed to Mass at St. John the Baptist, our go-to church when we’re in town. It’s so beautiful, and you can’t beat the downtown location! After Mass, we walked to Basic Kitchen, which surprisingly didn’t have a wait for brunch. We also absolutely loved it, and it was a perfect place to find plenty of dairy-free options for Charlie. Hoping to tire him out, we then headed to the Hazel Parker Playground, stopping at Candlefish on the way so I could restock my favorite candle (No. 53). I was hoping to visit the Lake Pajamas store as well, but we were there a little too early and they weren’t open yet. Charlie ran around on the playground for a while, and then we grabbed a few more jasmine pictures before getting in the car and heading home :)
We love you, Charleston! Be back soon!