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A Holiday Weekend in Charleston

Updated: Jan 25

We had planned a holiday weekend in Charleston to enjoy the festivities and decorations.


We arrived on a Thursday afternoon and took Uber to our hotel. We had been in the area before and did not need a rental car for a few days in the city. We stayed downtown at the Limited Hotel, conveniently located in the historic district between Meeting and King Streets, a 20-minute walk to the Charleston City Market. The property is part of Marriott’s Tribute Collection.


That first night we had reservations at the Oak Steakhouse, rated one of the best restaurants in town. It is a small chain with seven locations across the country. We had an early reservation, but the place was already fully packed with a lot of large groups having holiday parties. My 14 ounce prime New York strip was good, but my wife’s filet mignon was overcooked. We shared a $14 whipped potatoe family size side, which was just enough for one person and tasted like it was coming from a box. We shared our experience with the manager, who did not seem to care at all.  We will make sure to never return to this disappointing establishment.


For Friday morning we had purchased tickets for a guided tour of the Edmonton-Alston House, one mansion we had not visited before. It has a beautiful view of Charleston Harbor.  With its Corinthian columns and rooftop piazza, the house is a prime example of the Greek Revival architecture popular in the early 19th century. It is still owned by the Alston family, and its interior is preserved to look much as it did 150 years ago.  


We had a very good barbeque lunch at Poogan's Smokehouse on East Bay Street. Afterwards we walked through the City Market and had drinks at Henry’s on the Market. Opened in 1932, it is the oldest restaurant in Charleston and the state of South Carolina. It had a nice atmosphere and a good band. Our next event was the Holiday "Sleigh" Ride. You climb aboard a specially decorated carriage driven by one of Santa’s elves. After a 20-minute caroling ride you stop by Santa’s workshop for cookies, cocoa and a photo. That was a very festive experience.

We had dinner reservations at 82 Queen. Located in the French Quarter, this award-winning restaurant is known for its local cuisine. We enjoyed the duck and the shrimps & grits.  Before going back to our hotel, we stopped at the Charleston Place ( to watch their legendary snowfall show. The hotel is beautifully decorated for the season with dozens of Christmas trees. It was wonderful. We would love to come back to Charleston and stay there for a couple of nights.


Saturday morning was spent on Marion Square walking around the Charleston Holiday Market. I would not spend my time there again as most of the vendors had nothing to do with the holidays.


When in town we had booked tickets for a matinee show at the Charleston Music Hall for the Charleston Christmas Special, featuring a cast of 28 professional singers, dancers and musicians. It was a very good Christmas show. Our next stop was at the Blind Tiger Pub, a fixture in Charleston, also known for its Christmas decoration. It’s very festive and a fun place to have a good time.  Later on, we had dinner at Virginia’s on King, a restaurant bringing Southern cooking Lowcountry style. We really enjoyed their fried chicken dinner. Walking back to our hotel we made a last stop at Prohibition, a bar and restaurant with a vintage inspired decor. It is also very well decorated for the holidays. It was crowded as it was the day of the winter commencement ceremony for the College of Charleston.


We had a late afternoon flight on Sunday, so we had made brunch reservations at Church and Union, a restaurant located in a former church. Unfortunately, we were not able to access the flooded restaurant as a storm was bringing record-breaking rainfall to the city. Instead, we went back to the Charleston Place Hotel where we enjoyed a great Sunday lunch buffet at the Palmetto Café .


We had a great time in Charleston, a great place to celebrate the holidays. They have great hotels and restaurants, which you need to book in advance if you decide to travel there during weekends.



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