I spent last weekend celebrating my friend Sarah’s bachelorette in Charleston, South Carolina! Charleston is quite the hot spot for bachelorette parties and bachelor parties seem to be catching on as well. At this point in my life I’ve only been to 4 bachelorette parties and 2 of them have been in Charleston! I didn’t plan either of them, but they were both awesome and pretty similar, so I wanted to share some tips in case you are planning a bachelorette party or even just a getaway to Charleston.
Where to Stay:
The first major decision when planning a Charleston bachelorette party is where to stay, Folly Beach or Downtown Charleston? Depending on what vibe you are going for and the time of year, you may be drawn towards one over the other.
For both bachelorettes I attended we stayed in Folly Beach — both of them were in September (3 years apart). September is still very much summer in Charleston, so both trips were essentially beach trips with a sprinkling of city activities. By car, Folly Beach is only about 20 minutes from downtown, so it is relatively easy to get back and forth.
Since I have not stayed downtown I can’t say which I prefer, but I can say that staying in Folly is very enjoyable. It is a very relaxed, young, beachy town. With a large group like a bachelorette party, it’s nice that people can come and go as they please to the beach, whereas if you stay downtown and want to have a beach everyone has to go together which can make for a long day for some.
For both parties we stayed in Airbnbs, the best option for a bachelorette in my opinion. The common space in a rental house vs. individual hotel rooms makes it so much easier to all hang out together. It is often also cheaper when divided between a large group and you also can save money on food since you can cook some of your meals in. Plus, sometimes you get the cutest houses like the one above 🙂 It was like a nautical themed tree house and I loved it!
Where to Eat:
Though we were staying in Folly Beach, most all of the meals we ate out on both trips we ate downtown. Brunch is a classic bachelorette activity and on both trips we brunched one morning downtown. The first we brunched at Husk and the second at Poogan’s Porch. The two restaurants are located right next door to each other and are both delicious options! Poogan’s Porch has a more classic southern menu with offerings like chicken & waffles, shrimp & grits and biscuits & gravy. It is also rumored to be haunted, if you’re in to that 😉 Husk has a slightly more modern, innovative twist on southern cuisine with a menu that changes daily. Both restaurants were great, you can’t go wrong with either for a hearty, southern brunch.
For our dinners out in Charleston, on the first bachelorette we ate at Magnolias located near the water in the heart of downtown. It has an upscale vibe, but it’s pretty reasonably priced and the food is great. At last weeks bachelorette we ate at R Kitchen, which is just outside the heart of downtown. It is a very unique restaurant concept. The restaurant itself is small with seating for only about 36 people at a time and only 3 seatings nightly. Each day the chefs come up with a new 5-course menu based off what they can get fresh and what they feel like cooking. We sat in the kitchen at a long counter so we were able to watch all of the courses being made which was really neat! The food was outstanding and it was a really cool and unique experience. My only complaint was that we felt pretty rushed and like they were kicking us out at the end since the seatings are only 1.5 hours apart. They did apologize and said that soon they are going to be scaling back to only 2 seatings a night to allow guest more time… they must get that complaint a lot, haha.
Another food recommendation is something we did at both parties as well. A traditional seafood boil! The 2 varied slightly. At the first party all of the food was dropped off already prepared and consisted of shrimp, oysters, crab legs, sausage, corn and potatoes. The second was a little different structure where someone came and cooked the boil for us at the house. We started off with blue crabs, which he boiled right in front of us! He brought this neat table that had little crab cracking stations and walked us through how to pick a crab. While we were picking crabs he cooked up the rest of the boil which included shrimp, sausage and potatoes served with a side of coleslaw and key lime pie for dessert! The best part was all the cooking and eating was done outside and he cleaned up! It was like having a restaurant experience without having to go to a restaurant which was really fun and relaxing! You can check out the catering service, The Smoking Pot, by clicking here.
What to Do:
Downtown is beautiful and historic with plenty to do and explore. On the first trip we explored the markets and went on a horse & carriage tour around the city. It was a nice way to see the sights especially in the heat of early September, but I preferred the walking tour we did last weekend. The tour was an architecture tour through Free Tours by Foot, our tour guide really made the tour. He was so informative and did a great job of incorporating tons of Charleston’s history while focusing on the architecture. The tour was a little more off-the beaten path in terms of what we saw and the neighborhoods we explored than the carriage tour was.
We also did a Mixology Tour which was a lot of fun! We learned a lot about the drinking history in Charleston and how things evolved through prohibition. We traveled to 3 different bars on King St. enjoying a different delicious cocktail at each! I would definitely recommend it for a non-traditional drinking activity.
Whether you are staying in Folly or downtown a trip to the beach is a must! Charleston and the surrounding area has some beautiful beaches. On both trips we enjoyed lots of fun in the sun!
On the first trip we spent one of the afternoons paddle-boarding which was relaxing and something different. On Folly you can also rent kayaks or bikes if you are looking for an active outdoor group activity.
Lastly, Charleston is a really fun place to go out at night. The downtown area around King St. has tons of bars so it is easy to go bar hopping. Though this past bachelorette party we did see more bachelor parties than 3 years ago, don’t be surprised if you go to a bar that is mobbed with all bachelorettes… they are everywhere 🙂
Pin It For Later:
Charleston and the surrounding area is a beautiful place to visit no matter what the occasion. However with it’s proximity to both the beach and a fun and historic downtown it makes for a perfect bachelorette destination!