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Just an overcommitted girl trying to keep up with it all. Mom of three, co-owner of Lemonade PR, sports lover and F1 enthusiast always counting down to the Kentucky Derby. 

How to Charleston Like a Local

Aug 18, 2016

Man oh man do I love Charleston.

It’s up there with Key West and New Orleans on my favorite spots – clearly I love a colorful city with a penchant for good cocktails and southern hospitality. Until I can convince Drew to abandon all our responsibilities, pull up ties and move south, I’m going to have to live vicariously through my gal Annie Reeves.

I’ve been following Annie for ages on Instagram, take one look and you’ll know why. Her photos are gorgeous and full of Charleston spirit mixed with her fun, infectious personality. Seriously go follow her and then wait for those tiny squares of color to pop up and inspire wanderlust.

When it comes to traveling to new cities, it’s always more fun to explore like a local. Try out the best spots to grab a drink, those hidden gems with the tastiest local fare and browse the racks at the city’s coolest boutiques. And when it comes to Charleston, find out the best place to spot a Southern Charm cast member. Okay that’s just me.

Charleston Travel Guide * Tips from a Local

With that in mind, I asked Annie to round up some of her favorite haunts. This gal has killer style and taste so I knew her picks wouldn’t disappoint. If you’re planning a trip to the Holy City any time soon (and if you’re not, you should), bookmark this post and come back when it’s time to make your game plan.

Oh and a quick note. All the descriptions below are straight from Annie. Any additional thoughts from yours truly are in italics, apologies in advance since most of them relate to Southern Charm (sorry i’m not sorry). Plus every spot is linked so you can do a deeper dive to map out your trip.

  • 167 Raw – The best way to eat here is to go with a friend, order a few glasses of the house rosé, a lobster roll, and a tuna burger. Split them both in half and trade. You’ll thank me!
  • The Ordinary – My favorite restaurant in town. Don’t miss the oyster sliders and rum cocktails. Everything is divine!
  • O-Ku – The best sushi in town!
    Annie is not exaggerating on this one. It may be some of the best sushi ever. I’m not a big sushi fan and I was going back for seconds and thirds on all of the delicious rolls we tasted while I was there last week. Extra bonus: O-Ku is right in the middle of all the action on King Street. My tip: if you go, follow your waiter’s recommendations and let him or her make some picks for you. You won’t be disappointed. 
  • Leon’s – For a more laid-back dining experience with exceptional food – clam wraps are a must!
  • The Daily – Best avocado toast in town! Great spot for quick breakfast and coffee.
  • Edmund’s Oast – House brewed beer, best fries ever, and pickled shrimp
  • Sugar Bakeshop – Cupcakes and cookies galore!
Charleston Travel Guide * Tips from a Local
  • The Belmont
  • Cocktail Club – Love the Double Standard
    Love Cocktail Club! The rooftop is small but very fun. The cocktails are great (and strong) but the atmosphere is even better. 
  • Warehouse
  • The Commodore – Live music every night, very cool atmosphere!
    Ba ba doooo alert! This is Shep’s new spot. 
Charleston Travel Guide * Tips from a Local SHOP: 
  • Candy Shop Vintage – Gotta get some Charleston Rice Beads!
  • Beckett Boutique
  • Candlefish – Ten million different candles and other gift items. Such a unique shop!
    Back to Southern Charm – this is where Landon and Cameron did that little candle making date and talked about crazy Kathryn. 
  • Hampden
    Last but not least on the Southern Charm hunt, I’ve spotted cast members every time I’ve popped into Hampden. More than that, the owners have a great eye and every item is swoon worthy. 
  • Open Door Shop


Want more of Annie’s favorites, follow her hashtag #annielovescharleston and prepare to be jealous. All photos courtesy of Annie Reeves. Thanks girl! 

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  1. Love this post! I’ve been following Annie for a while and love her style! I’m also now craving raw oysters haha

  2. Erica says:

    Isn’t Annie the best?! She’s got me scheming a trip to Charleston since I’ve never been. There is so much to see, do and eat there!

  3. tiffany says:

    yasssssss. obviously pinning this so i can hit up all of these places the next time I’m in town. Love this collab ladies!!!!! xo #YouCanDrive

  4. I have been dreaming about that PBJ stout from Edmund’s Oast for a year now! You hit up so many of my favorite Charleston spots—and made me hungry reading about it!

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