Photo: Courtesy of Zero George Street
Craving a little quiet time down South for your honeymoon? Look no further than Charleston, South Carolina. Recently named Travel + Leisure's 2016 Best City in the World, it's no longer under-the-radar, but a city with such a high honor is definitely worth a visit. The historic streets, award-winning culinary scene, and luxe hotels make this the perfect place to wander hand-in-hand, grab a cocktail, and bask in the joy of your brand new marriage. We've put together an itinerary of a few can't miss destinations to make your honeymoon in Charleston a trip you'll always remember.
Where to Stay
Even with a full itinerary, you'll want to leave plenty of time for aimless wandering, which is why we love the central location of Zero George Street. Comprised of five gorgeous townhouses surrounding a central courtyard, book the Anson Suite for a secluded outdoor seating area perfect for lounging and views of Charleston harbor. Head to Zero Restaurant + Bar for a classic cocktail or a hyper-local Lowcountry meal, or head into the kitchen for a cooking class with Executive Chef Vinson Petrillo. And keep an eye out for the proprietors: Owner Lynn Easton is also one of our favorite wedding planners!
Where to Eat
You can't come to Charleston without eating the freshest of seafood, and The Ordinary is the place to do it. Pair a glass of bubbly with a seafood tower, and don't forget the littleneck clams that basically swam from the ocean onto your plate.
With four categories (Pure, Lush, Southern, and Cosmopolitan), Charleston Grill has something for everyone. Global or local, light or indulgent, pair your meal with amazing jazz in the formal dining room, or settle into the lounge for a more casual evening.
No visit to Charleston is complete without a meal at Husk, Sean Brock's ode to Southern cooking and heirloom ingredients. Everything from protein to basics like oil are sourced in the South, giving you a true taste of Charleston and the surrounding area. The menu changes twice daily (really!), so you know what you're getting is fresh, but make sure to order the cornbread skillet with Benton's bacon.
What do you get when you combine a James Beard Award winning chef with biscuits? The Hominy Grill. Serving breakfast every day until 11:30 and brunch until 3:00pm on the weekends, there's no reason to get up too early on your honeymoon — except to avoid the lines at this local hotspot! Grab a cocktail at their outdoor bar while you wait, then tuck into the Charleston Nasty Biscuit, with fried chicken, cheddar cheese, and sausage gravy (the wedding diet is long gone!).
Where to Drink
Named after an Englishman who began brewing beer in Charleston in the 18th century, Edmund's Oast is a brew pub that prides itself on both brewing their own libations (like the Extra Fine Pub Ale, an English-style ale with cashew and pear notes) and bringing in some of the best available, adding up to over 40 beers on draft. They're also serving up cocktails that harken back to Charleston's history as port city and butchering and curing meat for their in-house charcuterie program.
For a proper cocktail, head to The Gin Joint, where the classics are served alongside seasonally-inspired libations like the Maize Runner, a combination of corn whiskey, roasted corn milk, lemon, and fresno chile oil. Or pick two words from the Bartender's Choice list, and let their pros whip up something special for you.
What to Do
Still hungry? Spend a few hours wandering the historic Charleston City Market, an institution since 1804. From art and souvenirs to locally-made treats and hand-woven sweetgrass baskets, it's the perfect spot to pick up some mementos from your trip.
If you needed a reason to snuggle up a little closer, take a ghost tour through the city's cemetery or down the cobblestone streets. The Ghosts of the South tour combines chilling tales with Charleston history, visiting some of the city's most haunted landmarks.
And of course, you've got to relax! The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place is a rejuvenating oasis with seasonal treatments that will get you to a complete state of zen. We're dreaming of their magnolia body wrap — what could be more bridal than the sweet scent of flowers!