Top 4 Activities for Sunny Charleston in Summertime

Shane and I were excited when we were invited to a wedding in Charleston! Not only were we obviously excited about celebrating our friend’s marriage, we were stoked that it was a really cool destination! Neither of us had never been to Charleston. In fact, it was my very first time in South Carolina.

I braced myself for hot weather, and it’s a good thing I did, because Charleston reached record highs near 100 degrees Fahrenheit when we were there the second weekend in June. Let’s talk first about going to the wedding, since the heat played a big role there.

1. Go to a Wedding

A lot of weddings in popular tourist destinations end up being tacky, but luckily this was not the case. Charleston provides the perfect backdrop for a classy and tasteful wedding. Michael and Katherine had their wedding at Island House situated directly on the Stono River. I was super anxious while selecting an outfit. I wanted to be dressed appropriately for a proper Southern wedding, but I was also aware of the fact that the forecast was calling for 90+ temps even after sunset. Shane and I had a discussion about Southern charm, so he agreed that he would wear his favorite Zara jacket despite the heat.

Banks-Selheim wedding at Island House

Banks-Selheim wedding at Island House

We were perfectly dressed! Due to the weather, outfits ran the gamut from full suits and ties to cargo shorts and flip-flops (not kidding). There were a handful of men who showed up super-casual, but I can’t really blame them, because I wouldn’t want to wear a tie either in that heat. Women get the good deal in hot weather, since we generally are planning on wearing a dress anyway. And yes, my Ellie Kai custom wrap dress does in fact match the scenery.

2. Eat BBQ

You know you’ll always end up reading about food on my blog, so no surprise here. I learned from years of watching Colbert that South Carolina has its own special world-famous barbecue. I agree that it lives up to its reputation, per our experience at Nick’s on King Street.

IMG_20150612_221742 (1)

Our plates were so heavy with the mind-bending meat portions! Our undisputed favorite was the beef brisket. The South Carolina pulled pork in signature yellow sauce was a close second. The fixins’ and Arnold Palmers rounded out an amazing meal!

3. Take a Boat Tour through Cypress Gardens

You know that scene in The Notebook where Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling) meander through the most gorgeous Southern swamp? Now’s your chance to live the romantic experience for yourself. The sun was still searing down aggressively even at 4:30 in the afternoon, and we felt as if we were nearly going to pass out in the humidity hovering over the swamp. We had a great local tour guide who taught us all about the history of the swamp and its ecology. Cypress Gardens is about an hour north of Charleston, and the picturesque surroundings make the detour well worth it.


4. Check out Charleston’s Beach Scene

Let’s be real here. I’m pretty well-traveled, yet I had NO IDEA that Charleston was on the water. I imagined it to be a swampy, humid, land-locked city. I was fortunately surprised to hear about the beach culture. Contrary to my usual efforts of “authentic travel,” we ended up at the most touristy beach due to convenience – Folly Beach. For a Jersey girl, it was a pleasure. Even though it was a Saturday in June, it was not wall-to-wall people (and no smell of fake tanner!). Shane isn’t much of a beach bunny, so he waited patiently while I went through my yoga routine. Being the handy man he is, etched me the “om” symbol in the sand. He was a great sport. Granted it was quite hot; we didn’t stay too long.


Other Places You Must Visit in Charleston:

Between the BBQ-eating, swamp-boating, and merriment at the wedding, we really ran short on time. We stayed only three nights in Charleston, and this was a massive mistake. Given two more full days, or even three more days, we could have visited the places on this list. Can’t believe we missed these. So bummed!

Middleton Place

Drayton Hall

Fort Sumter

City Market

Charleston’s slew of art galleries

Joseph Manigault House

Hayward Washington House

Let me know what your experience of Charleston has been like! I’m trying to get my mom to book there for her next getaway. She would totally dig it- the food, the swamp, and anything Nicholas Sparks!

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