Charleston, SC and Wild Dunes

Jun 17th, 2013, 08:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 25
Charleston, SC and Wild Dunes

Hello! I am joining extended family for just 2 days at the Wild Dunes resort in Charleston in late July. I'd like to split my time between the beach/resort and Charleston(either 1 full day at each, or splitting each day). I've looked at Charleston posts on this forum and recommendations point to walking The Battery, carriage rides, and The Market. I have a list of nice restaurants in the HD - namely Fig, High Cotton, and Magnolia.

What I'd like help with, is suggestions for an itinerary, as my time is so limited, I'd like make the most of it in Charleston. The more specific, the more appreciated!! Any other suggestions/tips very welcome! Also, I would like to if children(ages 16 months, and 6 years) would be welcome at any of the above restaurants (or perhaps just the 6 year old?) If not, can anyone please recommend places in Charlotte, and also closer to Wild Dunes.
Fyi - in total are 6 adults and 2 children, but the whole group does not necessarily have to be together all the time(but preferred). Looking forward to my first trip there.... Thank you much in advance!
sl2013 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I would spend one full day at each of your locations. July will be hot, so in town I would do any walking around in the morning and take the carriage ride after that. I prefer to walk around first before taking a carriage tour. Many choose to do the opposite, either way will work.

I suggest you start your visit either at the Charleston visitor’s center (opens 8:30) and take the free trolley to the heart of the Historic District, or begin at the Historic Charleston Foundation Shop, at 108 Meeting St. Pick up their excellent self-guided walking tour booklet of Historic Charleston for around $6. (Sold at the visitor’s center too.) Besides picking up the self-guided walking tour booklet, use the public restrooms (either place) and take a quick look around the shop for other gift items. This shop opens at 9AM. Their second shop in the market opens at 9:30. In all three places I mentioned you’ll find wonderful authentic gifts from Charleston.

In the afternoon, when it is really hot, tour /visit some indoor buildings/sites. You can schedule two incredible historic homes through this same organization.

Besides buying souvenirs and gifts at the market, you could buy items at the Foundation shop mentioned above. Of course the iconic gift is a unique handmade sweetgrass basket, bought at the market, or on the HD streets by the sweetgrass basket ladies. Another gift that my friends and relatives like to buy is a Charleston Rice Spoon.

Restaurants. Many 6 year old children are well behaved, and if that is the case with your party’s particular 6 year old, I see no reason why those restaurants would be off limits. A 16 month old is unpredictable—who knows how that would go. I’d suggest you go early to dinner in either case.

Have a wonderful time.
kathleen is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 01:36 PM
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All good recs. I would reiterate that it will be hot. HOT. So go to Charleston early to walk around, like kathleen said. You may want to go back for a mid day break. Then come back for supper.

I agree about the children. You'll want to make reservations with a group that size.
suewoo is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 05:14 PM
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One more thing: when you go into town in the am, go across to Sullivans and take COleman through Mt Pleasant to the bridge. The traffic will be lighter.
suewoo is offline  
Jun 17th, 2013, 06:48 PM
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My suggestion would to split your days between downtown and the beach. The afternoons are going to be uncomfortably hot to be out touring around, especially since your "home base" is Wild Dunes and since it sounds like you will have little ones in tow. If it were me, I would get downtown early and spend the two mornings walking, doing the carriage ride, prowling the market, and hitting any home tours that you think sound interesting. You could do lunch at Magnolia's on one of the two days, since it's on your list. I think lunch there would be easier to do with two small ones than dinner. Then, you could spend your afternoons at the beach. There is almost always a good breeze on Isle of Palms, so even when it's hot, the beach is pleasant. Then you could return downtown for dinner, if you choose. I would definitely make reservations. We had a group of a similar size last summer, including a 4 and 6 year old, and being able to walk in and be seated almost immediately really helped dinner be a pleasant experience.
BetsyinKY is offline  
Jun 18th, 2013, 03:21 AM
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Charleston rice spoon? Had to google it, and aha, a "stuffing spoon". No end to the marketing folks' abilities!! LOL
Gretchen is offline  
Jun 18th, 2013, 01:10 PM
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Thank you all so much! I am quickly gathering it's mighty HOT there Half of us are from Atlanta so they are used to the heat, but I'm from up north, so I will heed your advice, and get to Downtown early. BetseyinKY, I think half days make good sense..

Charlestonivie, thanks for all your recommendations - we have already confirmed reservations, but will certainly look into your suggestions! Do you have family friend restaurant recommendations specifically in the resort?

Kathleen, sounds like the Visitor's Center or Historic Charleston Foundation Shop are both great starting points. Do you have any tips/advice on parking?

Last question -I've heard mixed things about HymanSeafood, it looked like a good family friendly casual place, perhaps for lunch - do you agree??

You all certainly love your (the) City... thank you again!!
sl2013 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2013, 02:45 PM
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I wrote pretty much what Betsy wrote the other day then lost it to one of those random zombie attacks that make iPads so maddening.

You could park at the Visitors center and take a shuttle last time I was there. The kids will love a carriage ride and you will all love the beaches in the afternoon.

Where I differed is that I don't think any of those restaurants is kid friendly. I would tend toward some of the excellent family, non- chain restaurants in Mt Pleasant or on Sullivan's Island. Or look for somewhere that has Frogmore Stew (Low Country Boil) or oyster roast or fresh fried shrimp, and it will be a treat for both kids and adults in the same way a clambake or lobster boil wold be in New England.
Ackislander is offline  
Jun 18th, 2013, 03:42 PM
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What Ack is really saying is that one kid could bo OK (we have one of those.), not two. But there are GREAT places to eat for all. The OPs know their children-=one of our families would hav been OK==BUT Fig is HIGH end, etc. It is really for adults.
BUT you can eat really really well with these little ones. Don't give up.,
Gretchen is offline  
Jun 21st, 2013, 03:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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I think all the restaurants in the resort are ok. But in a food town like Charleston do that only if you have to. I only went back there to visit friends, then we would all go out to dinner in the HD.

I have seen well behaved children in all those restaurants. But they are high end. The family oriened places in Mt P include Boulevard Diner, Page's (friend on FB for daily photos) and Mustard Seed. All are great, but won't be on anybody's "foodie" list, even though they should be.

The only place I know about that does a Boil is Shem Creek Bar and Grill. It's ok in the summer when the corn is good.
suewoo is offline  
Jun 29th, 2013, 04:14 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 86
Good recommendations from most folks. Kathleen's post sounded a bit like an advertisement for the Charleston Historic Foundation, but to each their own I guess.

Be prepared for the heat and humidity of Charleston in July - it's killer. Many visitors are easily overwhelmed by this.

Definitely do most of the walking around / exploring of downtown either early morning or late evening. The ocean breeze on the waterfront (The Battery & Waterfront Park) in the late evening is heavenly!

There are so many wonderful restaurants in Charleston, it's hard to go wrong.

Also, don't forget a nice stroll along King Street while you're downtown. Great shopping, ice cream, restaurants, etc.

For a great vantage point to see the harbor and downtown, park at the foot of the Ravenel Bridge on the Mount Pleasant side and walk up to the high point of the (pedestrian friendly) span. A real treat for folks of all ages.

I agree with SueWoo about considering Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant for dining options. Lots to choose from and just a great, relaxing scene!

Happy Travels!

chucktown_dobbs is offline  
Jul 25th, 2013, 06:32 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 25
Just returned from my short visit to Charleston, and I wanted to thank everyone who responded to this thread!

I'm including a short summary -

Saturday - started out early at the Visitor Center and took advantage of the free trolley. Had an early, delicious lunch at Magnolia with both children, and we were treated great. In fact, there were quite a few children. Spent the next few hours at Waterfront Park, walking the Battery and exploring little streets. Headed 'home' for a quick rest, and the ladies went back out for GNO (girls night out). Started with a drink at the rooftop Vendue bar, dinner at SBOB, and ended with a ghost tour. Sunday - boys played golf while the rest of us spent all day at the beach and pool,then joined to have a group dinner at Shem Creek - yes had the Boil!. Monday - had a 6pm flight, so had time to enjoy an early lunch at Husk, then walked and explored.. spent a few hours at the Market, and a great visit to some galleries, highly recommend Robert Lange Studio.

There was beauty everywhere we turned, the food was fantastic, and met some very friendly people - we had a wonderful time and will definitely return one day!
Thank you all for your help
sl2013 is offline  

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