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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Recommendations, please?

Sometime this summer we are visiting the state represented by the little flag above.  Charleston, to be specific. I've never been and would *love* to know where you recommend to go or what we should do while we're there!  Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)

Also, suggestions for flying with a three-year-old and carting a carseat through the airport.  Because you can imagine how much fun that's going to be. 

Muchos gracias!


Amanda said...

I just took 3 flights (in the last week) with my 26 month old and snacks and sticker books were essential! I got a Pinkalicious and Fancy Nancy sticker book at Target (obviously wouldn't work for you), but I think they had a Toy Story and Cars sticker book too. I had to take the stickers off for her, but it kept her occupied for a long time when she started putting them into the book.

I also got her a few new books to read on the plane and we took a mini Magna Doodle. When we flew to Hawaii in December, I found a few cheap toys in the Dollar Bin and wrapped them in tissue paper for her to unwrap on the plane.

As far as the car seat goes, you can check it {for free} when you check your luggage.

Ashey said...

Hello! I'm afraid I can't help with any recommendations for Charleston, but I can help with some tips for flying with a 3 year old as I just got back from Disney World with my soon-to-be 3 year old.

I highly recommend using his carseat. We flew AirTran and they checked the back of the carseat and the label had to read that it was approved for flying. He seemed right at home in it....I was afraid he would try to climb out of the seat belt!

I brought lots of snacks, a few favorite toys, and I also gave my little guy some tylenol about 30 minutes before take off to help with the ear issues.

He did really well! The window seat was a big help....he had 1,000,000 questions so the flight there was easy! Coming back, I had packed a new "hotwheels" when he got a little antsy, I pulled that out!

Good luck and have fun!

ingramsn said...

Oh. My. God. I live in Charleston!! (Mount Pleasant to be exact, but it's right across the bridge from Downtown. Same thing.) You should definitely check out the Children's Museum of the Lowcounty (John Street - downtown), possibly the Market (I say possibly because its sooo hot outside), Isle of Palms (the beach is obvious)...I'm so tired right now my mind isn't ready to process ideas but I will TOTALLY think of amazing suggestions for you!

Mary said...

Oh, I am so glad I can comment on your blog! Most I can not, they kick me out. My husband and I visited Charleston several years ago, and we just loved it!! I know we loved Justines ( this was one of Rachel Rays recommendations and our cabbie also recommended it!) It was across the alley of the hotel we stayed in, which I'm sorry I cant name at this moment. We had a wonderful breakfast at Josephs ( Ithink-sorry!) They had a jazz band, and awesome pancakes that were to die for! Magnolia's was very nice......I would not have taken my little ones there but....very nice. Can't wait to visit this city again!

I'll try to get on the internet to find the names of the other places we loved to eat. I had too many blisters to tell you about the other places to visit.

This Yankee, loved Charleston!

Jennifer said...

I'm from Columbia, SC and have been to Charleston more times than I could count! You'll love it! Go to Landry's for Seafood, The Market for some awesome knick knacks, King St. for some great shopping, The Battery, Aquarium, carriage ride to look at historic houses and Rainbow Row, and Isle of Palms for the beach. There's so much to do and I'm sure you'll get tons of great suggestions, but those are some of my favorites!

Unknown said...

Can't wait to hear what you all have to say - going to Charleston myself this summer with my family of 4 boys, 5 including my husband. We are staying in Kiawah! We are looking forward to the beach, the market, Fort Sumter, maybe a plantation and the aircraft carrier. Some friends mentioned Poogan's Porch. Is that right? How hot will it be - we're from Chicago, we're used to heat and humidity. How bad is it?

Anonymous said...

Hi Abby! I love your blog(s – I’m a teacher and can’t get enough of The Inspired Apple!) and was so excited to see that you will be visiting Charleston. My family is from SC and we make a trip to visit nearly every summer. It’s my absolute favorite place in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Here are my top three recommendations for you and yours:

1. Walk the sea wall along South Battery Street to check out the historic homes. They are absolutely breathtaking and it is too fun picking out "your" house. Horse drawn carriage tours are available too, but I always prefer walking (and listening in as they pass by!). Then you can stop for an ice cream or lemonade in the beautiful park there.

2. Set aside some time to explore the Charleston City Market. It’s an experience you DON’T want to miss…So. Much. Charm. All kinds of wares for sale and artists at work, including Charleston’s famous sweetgrass baskets, which is quite literally a dying art.

3. Stop for lunch at Fleet Landing on Concord Street for some waterfront views and A-MAZ-ING fresh Southern’ style seafood. It’s a low-key atmosphere (perfect for your little one) in an old naval building overlooking the bay. Don’t skip the Bloody Marys or She Crab Soup. They will change your life! :)

I hope you have an incredible time and enjoy every minute of your trip!

Anonymous said...

Oh my...where to begin. I'm from SC and have been visiting Charleston my whole life. The Market is a must. Even in the heat because it is covered and has indoor shops. You have to see the sweetgrass baskets. The battery will never leave you and it's shaded!! Take a carriage ride. We had a friend whose son worked for the Old South Carriage Co. We took our three children and learned so much interesting history and trivia. I hope you, your husband, and son have a wonderful time. If you come by way of I-85, wave as you pass the peach. (I live in Gaffney)

Sugar and Spice said...

Charleston is an absolutely beautiful city. There are so many neat things to do and see. I will send a list of things to do to your email. Glad you are coming to the Palmetto state.

PS. I have bought all your units on TpT and I LOVE them! You are so talented!


Anthony & Jessie said...

We just got back from there. We went to the south Carolina aquarium- so cool! They also have a 4d movie option and an optional tour of the sea turtle rescue. Also Hemyns on Meeting street is yummy, and they'll give Becks a free ice cream. There's also a ton of great shopping for you.

Anonymous said...

One recommendation is to use the carseat on the plane. One of us carry our child on, and the other carries the carseat. We strap them right in, and they usually don't question whether they can get out until we have arrived. They know they can't get out in the car, so they don't ask on the plane. We also bring bungee cords with us, and strap it to the front of one of our suitcases so that we don't have to lug it thru the airport. We just strap it to the front and wheel it to where we need to go. Hope that helps!


the nichols' family said...

Charleston is such a wonderful city!! Definitely go to the Market one afternoon and to the Battery and Waterfront Park for beautiful scenery! There's even a fountain at Waterfront Park that your little boy can splash around in! :) Jestine's and East Bay Deli are yummy places to eat, as well! Have fun!!

Katie King said...

Hi Abby! I love to hear that you are going to Charleston...that is where I grew up and lived until moving to KY for college! I actually just got back from a 10 day visit with my parents who still live in Mount Pleasant. Are you staying downtown or on the beach somewhere? I love Isle of Palms but it gets extremely crowded so I suggest going to Sullivan's Island. If you want any help with specific restaurants or kids' places you can email me @

Hope you have a blast!

Mrs.D said...

Hi Abby, this is my first time commenting on your blog. My family went to Charleston a couple of summers ago. If you plan on going to the beach you should definitely check out Folly Beach and the little shops and restaurants out that way. Also, the downtown area is neat and there are lots of places for good photo-ops as well as horse and carriage rides that your little one might enjoy! Hope you all have a blast.

~Mrs. D

Emily said...

You will absolutely love Charleston! I've had a chance to visit several times. Its a charming and fun city to visit.

Definitely take time to go to the aquarium and to go on a carriage ride. I've taken several carriage tours with the Old South Carriage Co (look for the red sash!) and they have been fabulous each time. The carriage ride is worth the money... its an easy way to see the large historic district without having to walk everything.

Most importantly take take time one evening, or every evening you're there ;) to visit Kaminsky's on N. Market. It is a desert cafe that has the most delectable pies, cakes, and "after dinner" drinks. The Tollhouse pie is my personal recommendation.

Enjoy your vacation!

Laura said...

Kaminsky's was super yum and had a great night atmosphere for dessert! Have so much fun!

jamie lee said...

babbling abby is coming to charleston! i live in charleston...mount pleasant. it's the most wonderful place

like many other people have said...
*definitely take a carriage ride. it is so interesting and you get to see sneaky places of charleston you might not see on your own.
*visit the market downtown and if you're there on a saturday morning you have to go to the farmer's market. it meets downtown in marion square. i could spend all of saturday there on a weekly basis. lots of different types of foods and vendors.
*CUPCAKE. enough said. it's a bakery with delicious cupcakes. also downtown.
*Taco Boy has great mexican food and so does Santi's. Santi's can be found hidden in the ghetto but are very well known for their food and especially margaritas. On Sullivan's Island, go to Poe's for some great burgers. it's a local but not so local place.
*lots of shopping on King St. B might not be up for that but definitely visit the Battery and walk down Rainbow Row to see the colorful houses.
*Lots of different plantations with beautiful gardens and ponds to choose from.
*Our aquarium is not awesome but your little man would still enjoy it.
*Isle of Palms is a great beach. In the touristy spot there is access to showers and bathrooms. Otherwise you can just park on the street and do what you do.

i can't wait to see all the pictures you will take. you will really love it. just remember...its HOT.

Mrs. Lofgren said...

One of my friends recently traveled on an airplane with her 2 year old triplets! She used something called the Traveling Toddler. It connects the carseat to your rolling suitcase, making it much easier to get the carseat around the airport and on the plane! Have a great time!!!

Karen said...

I'm from SC and have been to Charleston MANY times!!! First of all, know that it gets HOT here. Wear your walking shoes and bring a camera. Charleston is BEAUTIFUL! Go to the market, shop on King St, bring your camera for great pictures at Water Front Park and the battery, spend the money to take a carriage tour, eat fresh seafood (try Hyman's), visit Fort Sumter... I've heard pretty good things about the aquarium, although I believe the one in ATL, GA is better. if you make it out to Folly Beach, I highly recommend eating at Taco Boy and Rita's (try the black and blue burger or the pimento cheese burger). There is also a restaurant that overlooks the pier on Folly... sit out on the porch/deck one evening and enjoy dinner as the sun sets. We usually stay on Folly Beach.. it's about 15-20 min from downtown Charleston. Can't WAIT to hear about your trip!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

That is where we went on our honeymoon and loved it! We stayed at Planters Inn which was in walking distance to SO much! It's right next to the Market. Have fun!

Jennifer said...

That is where we went on our honeymoon and loved it! We stayed at Planters Inn which was in walking distance to SO much! It's right next to the Market. Have fun!

Ann said...

I'm a Charleston native and still live here! So I will second the suggestions for Kaminsky's; Children's Museum; SC Aquarium; and Fleet Landing (I teach school and the owners' children attend our school). Waterfront Park downtown is a great park, right near the Market area (go there, too!). I personally like Folly Beach, on James Island...heading there today! It's an "old school" beach, small and quaint. And Jack's Cosmic Dogs is on Folly Road- we always go there on our way home, fun "Jetsons" space-race atmosphere and yummo hotdogs, topped with anything you can imagine! The Battery is a nice park too. Oh, and if you walk down King street toward Marion Square, you can go to Cupcake- get a peanut butter or a white chocolate raspberry cupcake, the BEST!

Kristen said...

I lived in Charleston for 6+ years and was married there. :) I have way more recommendations than I could ever list (and work is beckoning), but just wanted to give and few and also tell you that you are going to LOVE that city. I can't wait to move back!

-Hit Jestine's (on Meeting Street) for lunch if you can. Best fried chicken anywhere in the world.

-The SC Aquarium is awesome, and when you're done looking at the fish you can jump on a boat right behind the building to take a ride to Fort Sumter (if Becks is in the mood for a history lesson!) :)

-Definitely stroll the market and take a carriage ride along the Battery sea wall, if you can.

-Check out C of C's campus, the heart of which is in between St. Phillips and Coming streets.

Much love!

Smith Family Forum said...

I think I want to go with you after reading all these comments!

According to Ashley said...

I didn't read all of the comments, so I may be repeating some information, but....I LOVE CHARLESTON! I've been every summer for the past 3-4 years and I'm actually heading there in August. We always stay in a condo near Folly Beach and we usually go to the beach during the day and to downtown Charleston at night. One important tip, though, is that a lot (almost all) of the shops/stores downtown are only open during the day. The market that everyone has written about closes up sometime in the afternoon. King Street is some of the best shopping around. Just a whole street of amazingness. Kaminsky's has great dessert. Jestine's is tiny (and often has a line down the street at lunchtime) but has great southern food. Hymen's Seafood is very popular (but I don't like seafood, so meh). Our favorite is actually a chain restaurant, but we don't have it here - California Dreaming. Absolutely INCREDIBLE salads, buttery croissants, sweet tea, and marinated chicken breasts. We took an air conditioned trolley tour, and loved it. Rainbow Row is full of gorgeous houses by the water. Have fun!!

jamie lee said...

i've already commented but can i put it out there that i feel like a celebrity is coming to charleston. (that would be you.) i mean don't be surprised if 2 girls are creeping around behind you. i might even wear a UK shirt as a conversation starter. we mean the best but my bff (we're teachers) and i just love you!

Rachele said...

Charleston girl here. (well Summerville-but close enough.)I totally agree on the Market, carriage Ride, Cupcake, Jestines (yum!), but also look into a ghost walk tour. It isn't as spooky as you would think and it is a nice way to see Charleston in its glory, with a little less heat. If you are here on a Sunday-eat brunch at Poogan's Porch. You'll hear about this little gem on the ghost walk tour! ENJOY!

Abby said...

Thanks sooooo much, y'all! You've even convinced my mom to want to go! Apparently we have a lot to accomplish during our stay :)

Jenn said...

Hi Abby,
When my daughter was little, we used a small, foldable luggage "cart" (I suppose they are for suitcases that are not on wheels) to strap the car seat to between flights. It was really easy to roll the car seat through the airport and then you can also throw your tote bag, backpack, etc in the car seat while rolling it!
Have fun!
Oh--I bought Fun with Firsties--love it! :)

Miss Chelsea said...

I loved just wandering around the city looking at all the gorgeous houses downtown! The city market downtown was also fun to shop at

Stephanie said...

I went a couple of years ago we did the horse drawn carriage ride. It was a lot of fun and educational. :) I know you will have a great time.

Anonymous said...

Hey Abby, I have enjoyed reading your blogs. I teach Kindergarten and live here in Charleston. I agree with the other suggestions and have a few of my own.

Here are some playgrounds that your son might enjoy - Brittlebank Park - on Lockwood in front of the police station - in full sun, wouldn't go in the heat of the day.
Hazel Parker - on East Bay St. near the Battery - small, fenced in, water fountains, after 6 you might see me and my dogs on the ballfield with the other dogs at the dog park. Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park - under the bridge on the Mt. Pleasant side - brand new and beautiful, you do have to pay to park there.

The Children's Museum on John St. is a small museum, but a great AIR CONDITIONED place to spend 2-3 hours in the heat of the day. It has around 6 rooms with different themes - art, grocery store, science with golf balls, waterplay, a shrimp trawler, and a yound tot room. I've taken all sorts of kids there.

The Aquarium is also good for an hour or 2. They have a sea turtle hospital in the basement where they nurse sick and injured turtles. We took our whole K program in May. We thoroughly enjoyed it. There is a 4D Dora show going on next to the aquarium. My friend took her 3 yr. old yesterday and he loved it. It is 15 mins long and costs $5.

Places to get wet - the beaches are all 15-20 mins. drive from downtown. Make sure you pay attention to where you park. They post very specific signs about where you can park. If you go to Sullivan's Island there is usually a good sized gully around station 21-22. Downtown has 2 fountains at Waterfront Park which allow children to go in their bathing suits. The big on in front of the swings and the pineapple one in the middle.

When walking to the market be sure to take your son into the horse stables on Anson street. These are the stables for the carriage companies and they let you go and see the horses.

Speaking of the market - it has all been renovated this year - lovely, clean, air conditioned bathrooms in each part. Sorely lacking until now. Other good bathrooms can be found near the shoe shine stand near the lobby of Charleston Place - the big hotel at Market and King and Meeting.

If you are going to be here on a Saturday morning be sure to check out the Farmer's Market at Marion Square from 8-2. They have yummy food (try the crepes - there is always a line), good produce and local vendors. For the kids there are jump castle, face painting and ponies.

Charleston is a walking city. Be careful with the slate sidewalks past Broad. They are very uneven -people fall all the time. There is a free shuttle bus which you can find our more about at the visitor's center on John Street.

If you want a good walk, there is a walking path on the bridge. I just did it on the 3rd. We parked at the Park in Mt. Pleasant and walked to the middle and back. The breeze on the bridge was great. Took an hour. You can even take strollers up there, no dogs. The food at the shop is good and the pier underneath as well as the playground could just make it a fun afternoon.

Shopping all along King St. is good and don't forget to hit upper King on the other side of Calhoun.

If you want to hit a good Goowill, my favorite is the one on Folly Road. There is also a good one on your way to Sullivan's Island next to the Piggly Wiggly at Sea Island Shopping Center.

Let me know if you need some more help or ideas. You will love it here. I sure do. Amy -

Lauren said...

Folly beach is awesome, the market is a must, my friend lives there and I'd be happy to ask for recommendations for kids! She has a stepson that's six. Let me know. You will adore the city :)

AbbyS. said...

Hey Abs. I am a little late to comment, but the hubs and I visited Charleston last June and you can read all about it on my blog in the archives from June 2010. It was so much fun and so HOT. I agree with the comments about Jestines KItchen- yummo! Fleets Landing- Yummo! Market, Kings Street and such were great too!
We drove to Charleston- not a bad drive from here at all but we were childless at the time! :)
When we traveled with car seat they checked it for free and we did not use it on plane. Have fun!!!

Charlotte said...

If you like margaritas and bbq you DEFINITELY need to go to Home Team BBQ on Sullivan's Island! It's so so good!! The margaritas are frozen and made in a Icee type machine so they aren't watered down!