Charleston, South Carolina has been a beloved vacation spot for our family since Dave and I made our first trip there together in 2014 (for this magical wedding!). We’ve since returned as a family almost every year (past recaps here and here), but one great joy of working on Maylis has been the excuse to hop on the highway and head to one of our favorite cities even more frequently for pop-ups and photo shoots. Most of our trips have fallen in the spring or autumn, so I would love to share a peek into our weekend in Charleston at Christmas!
The main purpose of this trip was a Small Business Saturday pop-up at Charleston Candle Company, but very near second was the chance to enjoy the city during the holidays. With my parents holding down the fort with the big kids, Dave and I brought Emilia with us and were so thrilled that we did. She had just turned one a few days before, so the one-on-one time felt so celebratory and sweet!
To make the most of our two days in town, we prioritized staying in a very central location—we wanted fabulous shopping and excellent dining just a short stroll away. I stayed at The Charleston Place last fall and knew it would be perfect. It was my surprise and delight, though, that their Christmas festivities began the day we arrived, adding the most festive feel to our getaway! We even had a view of the Christmas tree in the courtyard from our window.
After settling in, we walked a few minutes to Basic Kitchen, one of our favorite restaurants in downtown Charleston. We first discovered it when we were navigating multiple food allergies for Charlie years ago, and we loved how many options there were for him. Besides, after the inevitable Chick-fil-A stop on our road trip, it’s nice to have a go-to spot with plenty of fresh vegetables on the menu. We’re always impressed by the food there, but I also have to give a shoutout to the staff, who were so sweet with Emilia—waving to her and playing peekaboo with her from behind the host stand. As you can see below, she was in a great mood—that cheese!!
We headed back to the hotel and got Emilia settled for bed just in time for Dave and I to enjoy the courtyard tree lighting from the comfort of our room. Note to parents traveling with babies and toddlers: the SlumberPod is a game-changer. We borrowed it from a friend, but I will buy it in a heartbeat if theirs is ever unavailable to us for a trip!
The next day was Small Business Saturday! We started the day with a quick coffee and breakfast at The Charleston Place’s cafe, Community Perk. Having the exquisitely decorated lobby mostly to ourselves in the quiet of the morning was as much a treat as our ham and cheese croissants.
After getting ready and loading up the car with boxes of shoes, we headed to Charleston Candle Company for the pop-up. The store could not be more charming and perfectly curated. I loved chatting with the owner, Kristen, about the historic building, how they got started creating their Lowcountry-inspired candles, and how they’ve settled into their beautiful retail space.
After a full day in the store, Dave and Emilia picked me up and we headed back to The Charleston Place to get changed and sneak in a little shopping. King Street is truly a Christmas shopper’s paradise—it feels as though anything you could ever want is right there! We picked up a few stocking stuffers for our big kids at Pink Chicken and window-shopped our way through Juliska, LoveShackFancy, Oliphant, Tecovas, Hampden, and Croghan’s. Three of my other go-to King Street stops are Lake, etuHome, and Beau & Ro.
Finding our stomachs growling after a long day, we started brainstorming places to grab a burger—a dinner that has become a bit of a post-pop-up tradition this year. Our search led us to Meeting at Market, a casual restaurant conveniently back at our hotel. The burgers and sweet potato fries hit the spot…and had us right where we needed to be for our evening plans!
We were thrilled to be in town to catch one of the most beloved Charleston Place holiday traditions: a nightly snowfall in the Courtyard. While waiting for the on-the-hour snowfall to begin, we enjoyed live music, sipped on spiked hot cocoa, wrote a postcard to Santa, and helped ourselves to a few complimentary cookies as our dessert. Finally, the “snow” filled the air! Emilia was enchanted by it, and Dave and I kept wishing out loud that our big kids were there too—they would have loved it. We put Emilia to bed that night with the sounds of the music still floating through our window…and, no doubt, visions of sugar plums dancing in her head!
Thank you so much to the team at The Charleston Place for the perfect kick-off to the holiday season and for being such kind supporters of Maylis for the past year. I am already dreaming up our next trip!