For the long weekend, we decided to take off to Charleston. Charleston is a beautiful, historic and artsy town that is a short couple of hours away. It was a bit of a last minute planned trip so we booked an airbnb (I recommend the location so message me if you want the details), loaded the bikes and googled on the drive.
We left the house Saturday morning, made an unplanned stop at Target for a toddler helmet, unpacked the car at the airbnb then took off on our bikes to Liberty Square. This is one of two locations that you can depart for Ft. Sumter. Being a military man, it was something on Mike’s list, but I was pleasantly surprised how much fun it was for the entire family.
Avera enjoyed the ferry ride, particularly looking at the “ducks”, dolphins and other boats. When stepping onto the island she literally hit the ground running and taking advantage of the open space.
It was a cold and windy day and with a toddler we were of course more limited in our exploration, but there were park rangers providing more of a tour setting with explanations of parts of the fort and answering questions. There is a small museum inside as well as a gift shop. There was a young hockey team visiting at the same time and many of the boys enjoyed wearing the old school soldier caps on the ride back to Liberty Square.
They allow an allotted him of an hour so with the ferry ride the total time is just at 2 hours. While there is a concession booth with items for purchase, bringing snacks and water is a good idea. There was, however, a very nice bathroom on board the ferry which came in handy!
A 21 month old dictates most of our schedule, so after the visit to Ft. Sumter, we biked over to a local pizza shack that was recommended by our airbnb host. D’Allesandro’s Pizza was absolutely delicious and super convenient being about one block away from the apartment. I seriously could have eaten it for multiple meals during the weekend!
Day two, we rode a few blocks over to another host recommended place for breakfast, Hominy Grill. Avera was a hit while she ate 5 eggs, colored on the paper covered tables, and flirted with all of the other guests. The service was great, and we showed up at just the right time as the people in line behind us received a 45 minute wait while they had to stand by heaters outside in the cold. When you see so many people willing to do this you know the food is worth it. Now I can attest that the food is in fact worth it. Put this stop on your list!
We had friends also visiting for the weekend, so we met up with them at the aquarium after breakfast. The South Carolina Aquarium is also located at Liberty Square so just a 10 minute bike for us this trip. In all honesty, we were a bit underwhelmed with the aquarium itself. To be the state aquarium that we had heard raves about, it was small and did not house many sea animals we expected. However, the Sea Turtle Recovery was great, Avera loved seeing the turtles and bright tanks, and on a day as cold as the one we had it was nice to be indoors.
They provide a military discount and toddlers are free. They were also having a promotion that day of buy one ticket get a second half off for all visitors so definitely something to look into when planning a visit!
Next was the inevitable stop on King Street. This is the place for shopping, entertainment, food, and more! It was a happy accident for us that we were there on Second Sunday. We discovered that the second Sunday of every month part of King Street is blocked off from traffic for pedestrians to truly enjoy the atmosphere. There was live music, lots of people with pups and infinite fun to be had.
Again, toddler time and the weather restricted our schedule. This little girl couldn’t hide her exhaustion!
Post-naps, super preggo here didn’t feel up to biking anymore or being in the cold (wimp, I know!), so we opted for an indoor bounce park called Monkey Joe’s. It is located in North Charleston so it was about a 15 minute drive for us. It was $7 for kids 3 and under and worth every penny for our little bit who jumped her heart out! We stayed for about an hour and left with a drenched in sweat toddler.
It is located across the street from the Tanger Outlets so if that’s something on your list you could plan ahead and double up for the location.
A short drive, loads to do and ease of commute make for the ideal long weekend. With just enough time to explore, but not too much to get burned out, we are looking forward to many more long weekends in Charleston!