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Trip Report Charleston: A food and nature lover's paradise

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My family and I (11 of us in total) just returned from a 6 night vacation in Charleston. I thought I'd give a summary of our experiences. Charleston is my absolute favorite US city and I never run out of things to do there. This was my fifth visit.

Through vrbo, we rented a 4 bedroom 2.5 bath house 3 miles north of Folly Beach. It is located in a quiet subdivision and was convenient for going to the beach and for getting into Charleston. At $190 per night, the price was super reasonable.

Jack Cosmic Dogs (Folly Beach Rd) - One of our favorites! Loved the kitchy decor. The hot dogs are awesome (I had one topped with blue cheese slaw and pickles) and the ice cream is delicious too.

Cupcake (King St) - I had read mixed reviews of Cupcake on Yelp but I loved the white chocolate raspberry. It was moist with real raspberries mixed into the batter. My daughter also enjoyed her samoa cupcake.

Early Bird Diner (Savannah Hwy) - Go for breakfast or dinner but beware of dessert. I had the eggs benedict on top of two corn cakes. It was divine and I liked that you could choose from a multitude of side dishes (the corn chowder was superb). But, dessert was a flop. I had the chocolate peanut butter cake which was a dry chocolate cake with sad peanut frosting. My mother, however, had the blueberry cobble and said it was excellent.

Queen Anne's Revenge (Daniel Island) - We had two little boys in tow so we had to have lunch at this pirate themed restaurant. It is basically a pirate museum that serves food. Delicious food I might add. I had a turkey Reuben with a side of pimento mac and cheese. Be sure not to fill up on their amazing bread though. It is served warm and topped with sesame and poppy seeds. Yum.

Hominy Grill (Rutledge Ave at Cannon) - I had been pining for the Hominy Grill's Big Nasty Biscuit for two years now. Picture a homemade buttermilk biscuit topped with a large boneless fried chicken breast and shredded sharp cheddar then doused in sausage gravy. Heaven. On. Earth. I also tried my mother's blueberry peach corn meal pancakes and they were delicious.

Taco Boy (Folly Beach) - A split vote on this place. The mahi mahi taco was awesome but the chorizo and potato was a bust. You had to squint to see the potatoes and the chorizo seemed oddly seasoned. My husband loved his kimchi beef taco but also disliked the chorizo and potato.

Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ (Ashley River Rd) - My brother in law's name is Ron so we had to have dinner here on our last night in town. If only we had eaten here sooner! My husband had what he said was the best ribs and pulled pork ever. I pigged out on an all sides platter. With four impatient kids, it was nice that this place serves its food cafeteria style.

Folly Beach - Bring your boogie boards! The water was pretty wavy every day of our visit and the kids (and adults) had great fun attempting to ride the waves. Parking is the only drawback but you can usually find free street parking if you arrive before 10am.

City Market - We always find some treasure to bring home at the City Market (and usually it is some sort of jewelry). I was pleased to see that the market has been renovated and that a large section was enclosed and air conditioned.

Boone Hall Plantation - The most reasonably priced of all of the plantation homes. Beautiful grounds perfect for taking lots of photos. I appreciated the intact slave cabins which told the story of black history in the US as you went from cabins one to eight.

Old Exchange Building & Provost Dungeon - A slight disappointment. I had hoped there would be more tales of the pirates and scallywags who were held prisoner in the dungeons. Maybe that was not the reality however. But it was interesting to hear about the history of Charleston.

If you are looking for a great family destination, consider Charleston. With beaches, history, shopping and great food, it has something for everyone. I probably sound like a paid spokesperson but there is a reason that Conde Nast readers voted it best US city!

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