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First time to Charleston

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Mar 8th, 2013, 12:02 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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First time to Charleston

DH and I are going to Charleston for the first time the first week in April. We need some help planning a few things. About us: We are in our 50's, love history, museums, historic homes, shopping, FOOD, and wine.
1) I've gotten some great ideas here about the restaurants, but always love more tips. We like fine dining, but also love to eat in bars with the same great food but fun, lively atmosphere. Maybe lunch outside?
2) Also, we would like to stay in a hotel within walking distance to most everything, about $300 a night-doesn't have to be super fancy, but I do like nice sheets.
3) How far away are some of the plantations to tour- we were planning on renting a car. Is this the best idea?
I so enjoy reading Fodor's forums whenever we go somewhere. Thanks so much in advance!
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Mar 8th, 2013, 03:26 PM
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Hey. You'll need to find a room ASAP. The Bridge Run is that weekend and most things are probably booked. It's so crowded you may want to get the heck out of town before Friday.

Most of the nice restaurants also have very nice bars. My favorite lunch outside place is Cru Cafe.

Look at Harbourview, Vendue Inn, Market Pavilion, Mills House. Keep in mind that April is very busy in Charleston. I hope you can get something. If not, post back for other options.

The plantations are all different distances from the HD. Google Middleton, Magnolia, Drayton, Boone Hall to see which you want to tour. You will need a car.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 04:19 PM
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If you have flexibility try to book midweek. The rates can be half off of April's peak rates.

The last two hotels I have stayed at were Doubletree Suites and Renaissance. Both have great locations. If I were to stay a couple of days I would pick Doubletree. It is nice having a sitting room, microwave and fridge.

The Vendue Inn has a nice (outside) rooftop bar overlooking the harbor
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Mar 8th, 2013, 04:44 PM
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We stayed at Meeting Street Inn when we down for the Hibernian Ball (which was a blast) and I thought it was pretty nice. It was a great location for visiting everything downtown. The beds were very comfortable, but the hotel is a little dated. Great service all the way around - from front desk to bell hop! Afternoon treats and wine and breakfast included.
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Mar 9th, 2013, 10:52 AM
  #5
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Thank you all so much! We're on it. Will keep you posted
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Mar 10th, 2013, 06:09 AM
  #6
 
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If you haven't booked your hotel do it quick. Have a great time.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 09:34 AM
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You may want to take a look at my trip report, although it would not fit your needs in terms of where we stayed; click on my name to find it.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 07:39 PM
  #8
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We got reservations at John Rutledge House Inn. There is some big tennis tournament going on, as well as the Bridge Run that suewoo mentioned, so we are glad to have found a place.
We are now starting to plan about sights and FOOD!! Yay!
Thanks, Michael-will check it out
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Mar 10th, 2013, 08:52 PM
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One of my favorite things to do - hang out at the Vendue Inn's rooftop bar
http://www.vendueinn.com/rooftop-bar
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Mar 10th, 2013, 09:15 PM
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When we were in Charleston last Feb for a few days, our favorite meal was at S.N.O.B (stands for Slightly North Of Broad; Broad St is a main E - W crosstown street). We were there on a Sunday evening: seated just behind the "chef's dinner" counter, where we could see all that was going on in the kitchen. Outstanding food that is sourced locally (LOVED my shrimp and grits), and excellent, friendly service, too.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 05:23 AM
  #11
 
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The Family Circle Cup is out on Daniel Island, so most of those peeps stay out there or at the beach. My friends host tennis players every year in their homes.

SNOB is great, as are Anson, FIG, McCrady's 82 Queen for she crab and a lovely patio experience, Hanks, Ordinary, MacIntosh, Fish, Tristan, and High Cotton.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 08:10 AM
  #12
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I'd love to sit at the chef's counter- I've read about S.N.O.B.
Speaknig of, at which of the most popular restaurants are reseervations probably a must? How far ahead should we book?
As a born and raised southerner, I am really looking forward to seeing how Charleston's versions of some our same dishes differ or are the same!
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Mar 15th, 2013, 10:16 AM
  #13
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Hi again!
DH LOVES Italian food. Could you please recommend somewhere rally good? Also, which of the top restaurants must have a reservation. How far ahead should we book?
How about your favorite shrimp and grits spot?
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Mar 15th, 2013, 10:19 AM
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Husk requires reservations.
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Mar 15th, 2013, 10:22 AM
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If you are going to one of the top restaurants and there is this much going on in Charleston, make your reservations now. DD tried to get reservations at Husk a month in advance and couldn't. They got in on a cancellation and were underwhelmed by the experience. Just a thought.
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Mar 15th, 2013, 10:57 AM
  #16
 
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On the day you decide to go to the plantations you might want to end the day by eating dinner at Al Di La, which is, in my opinion, the best Italian restaurant in Charleston. It's located in the West Ashley area of town (across the Ashley River). Since a few of the plantations are also on that side of town, it's the perfect opportunity to eat there. You will probably have a car for that day? I would advise making reservations, as it is quite popular.

http://www.aldilarestaurant.com/
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Mar 15th, 2013, 03:30 PM
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kathleen,

Try Fulton FIve before making that distinction
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Mar 15th, 2013, 04:48 PM
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Sue, I'm intrigued! Just googled it. Haven't eaten there but I will definitely have to try it soon. Thanks. I'll let you know.
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Mar 15th, 2013, 06:05 PM
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You must! It is wonderful. I hope you love it too. I enjoy Al Di too, but FF is just real special.
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Mar 16th, 2013, 11:19 AM
  #20
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Great- will google. I keep reading about The Ordinary- any opinions? It looks kind of cool, but did't see anything in my Fodor's book. We love seafood!
Good grief- am I over thinking this? This is like trying to find "the best" in New Orleans!
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