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Charleston staycation and giveaway

This was a hosted visit. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Let’s just get this part out of the way – We’re hosting a “Fall for Charleston staycation giveaway!” Now you finally know why I’ve been asking you to subscribe to my blog a bunch over on my Instagram. We want you to experience Charleston like we did during our momcation/staycation.

family in front of pink figgy - Charleston staycation

About Charleston

Whether you’re visiting for a vacation or here for a staycation, it’s always good to brush up on some of the history. Aside from being ranked Top city in the US, Top small city in the US, Top city in the world, and so much more year after year, there’s a lot of history too. Here’s my summary but you can read up more about it on the Explore Charleston website.

Charleston Staycation rainbow row
Charleston, SC was founded in 1670 by a bunch of English dudes who were looking for a place to grow rice and drink sweet tea. The city quickly became a major center of the slave trade, and the locals developed a taste for fine cuisine and expensive architecture. They were a part of the Civil War and Revolutionary War. After the war, the city fell into a bit of a slump, but it has since rebounded and is now a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful antebellum homes, delicious food, and friendly people.

Where to stay for your Charleston staycation

Mills House

With so many beautiful hotels, you really can’t go wrong with what you decide on, but it’s going to come down to your budget and the location you want to be in. Mills House is a perfect for adults, families, special occasions  – pretty much for anyone and any occasion. Always check the hotel’s website for the best prices and deals because there’s always some type of promotion, and different packages that you can book to make your stay even more special.

Where to eat on your Charleston staycation

As one of the top culinary cities, you can’t go wrong with what you decide on, however, these are the restaurants we visited during our momcation/staycation.

Breakfast or lunch in Charleston

The Black Door Cafe

The Black Door Cafe is one of my favorite places to start off the day in Charleston. They run weekly specials and have seasonal menus. There’s also grab and go options for food, or stay and have a breakfast sandwich. If you’re in the mood for a treat, there’s also gelato and some sweet treats in partnership with Charleston Sugar Studio.

Mozzo Deli

I’ve never heard of this deli, but my friend Vi recommended it, and I’m so glad she did. There’s good food and the prices are reasonable. It’s a small deli, so either order it for grab and go, or there’s limited seating on the outdoor patio.


Executive Chef Alex Gropman is taking you on a trip to New York without having to actually leave. Some of our faves are the Cow, The Arthur Ave, and Caesar Salad with grilled chicken. Happy hours are Mon – Fri 2pm-4pm with 1/2 price coffee and pastries, and they’re now offering a full breakfast and brunch experience. Stay tuned for the new Mt Pleasant location.

Lunch or Dinner in Charleston

The Habit Restaurant and Bar

This is a new multi-level restaurant, with an up-scale dining experience, a refined bar called the Peacock Lounge, a hidden speakeasy called V’s, and there’s also a stunning rooftop bar with a downtown water view. Make sure to check out their fun theme nights too!

Iron Rose Bar and Restaurant

Talk about fancy! I love everything about the Iron Rose, from the ambiance to the amazing food. It’s located inside the Mills House, and the cuisine is described as elevated Southern Coastal fare. Aside from the regular menu, Iron Rose also offers a weekend brunch with entertainment, and live music with half off wine bottles on Thursdays.

Rudy Royale

They’re known for their fried chicken, but seriously don’t stop there. Definitely order the deviled eggs, wood oven ribs, cast iron cornbread, and Southern Carolina Peaches. Those are just the starters, but if you still have room in your belly, then the skirt steak is another hit.

The Satellite Bar

The Satellite Bar is a fully rebranded rooftop terrace at Stars Rooftop and Grill Room, with a panoramic view of downtown. We didn’t have dinner here, but instead, had a private cocktail making class with Rochelle aka The Boozy Mermaid. Rochelle pinned us up against each other to see who could make the best cocktail. If you saw my IG post, then you know I didn’t win that one lol…

Carmella’s Cafe and Dessert Bar

Be sure to stop by Carmella’s Cafe & Dessert Bar during your staycation, and sample their wide variety of desserts for you to choose from, including their famous cannoli cake, birthday cake, tiramisu, and gelato. There’s also a full bar so you can enjoy a cocktail with your dessert, savory bites, and a decent coffee menu.

Things to do during your Charleston staycation

I have an extensive lists of things to do in Charleston, but I’m going to stick to the basics here of what I like to do in a short period of time. Our staycation really only consisted of hanging out at the hotel pool, and visiting restaurants.

Filming locations in Charleston

There’s quite a few movies and shows that are filmed here. Most notable for me are The Notebook and Outer Banks. If you’re like me, all you want to do is get the picture to say you’ve been there.

The Notebook – The American Theatre is where Noah and his friends tricked Allie into a movie date, The William Aiken House is where Allie was trying on dresses and saw the paper with Noah in it, and High Cotton is where Allie got Engaged to Lon.

Outer Banks – Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant is where most of the filming was done, but if you want to see locations directly in downtown Charleston, then check out the Gaillard Center which was supposed to be UNC Chapel Hill, Ben Silver where John B and Sarah ran into to change their clothes in season 1, Washington Square where John B and Sarah walk around after they get off the ferry, and Edmonston-Alston House which is Carla Limbrey’s house in season 3.

Walking tours

Bulldog Tours starts out at the Mills House, and takes you along historic/touristy sites like Chalmers St, Washington Square, Rainbow Row, beautiful churches, and more. They do a great job of teaching you about the history while keeping it fun and entertaining.

Charleston staycation giveaway

Charleston staycation giveaway

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The giveaway! We’ve partnered up with some amazing local establishments during our staycation, and we want you to experience it too! What’s included:

  • Swizzle Candles ($100 gift card)
  • Rudy Royale ($100 gift card)
  • Bodega ($100 gift card)
  • Sera Luce Venetian Spritz (two 4-packs; $40 value)
  • Carmella’s Cafe & Dessert Bar ($100 gift card)

To enter, all you have to do is subscribe to my blog and comment “subscribed.” For additional entries, head to my Instagram page and follow the instructions there. Ends Friday 9/8/2023 at 6pm. We’ll be selecting a winner at random & announcing by Saturday 9/9/2023 on Instagram. Best of luck to y’all!


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