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The Weekender: Charleston, South Carolina

This charming city boasts some of the best food and history in the country

A mere two-hour flight from New York City, South Carolina’s oldest and largest city Charleston is a perfect weekend getaway, especially for those who love to eat and drink, play golf, visit historic homes or just chill out. Here are some of our favorite spots visited during a recent December long weekend trip. It’s hard to choose just a few restaurants to hit—and you’re certain to return home several pounds heavier.

Where to Stay:

Wentworth Mansion is a 21-room hotel situated in a historic 1886 mansion downtown. Warm, welcoming service and Southern charm abound and the old-world rooms feel very organic and in keeping with the lowcountry homes in the neighborhood. An onsite restaurant provides complimentary breakfast and the Urban Nirvana Spa on the the manicured grounds offers relaxing treatments.

Wentworth Mansion

The year-old Dewberry Charleston hotel honors the history of the famed 1960s L. Mendel Rivers Federal Building with totally new interiors created in collaboration between Studio Dew (John Dewberry’s design studio) and design firm Workstead. The 155-room hotel boasts modern rooms with hand-painted wallpaper and marble bathrooms, a gorgeous cypress-hewn spa, Henrietta’s restaurant and the lively Living Room lounge and bar. A must for a stay or just a cocktail!

Dewberry Charleston

Where to Eat:

Now in a larger location in an up-and-coming neighborhood, beloved bakery and cafe Butcher & Bee has expanded its offerings with both breakfast/brunch items and pastries as well as more evolved Middle Eastern fare for lunch and dinner. Aside from the famed chocolate tahini babka and eggs shakshuka, there are many unique mezze plates like whipped feta and a play on a Waldorf salad with kohlrabi that will delight.

Butcher & Bee

Husk is a refined barbeque mainstay in Charleston. Aside from the burger you can only get at the bar, there are lots of delicious pig options (we enjoyed the pork ribs, pork meatballs and pork chop) as well as decadent country ham with biscuits and cornmeal-crusted fish to delight. And don’t miss the cornbread or the homemade desserts. Great for brunch, lunch or dinner.

Husk

McCrady’s Tavern is a cozy American restaurant serving delicious local shellfish, chopped salads, chops and local fish. It was the ideal place to enjoy a leisurely Sunday night dinner in a spacious booth.

McCrady’s Tavern

After years of running his family’s Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Hemingway, South Carolina, chef and pitmaster Rodney Scott has opened his own eponymous BBQ spot, Rodney Scott’s BBQ to much fanfare. Having earned accolades from Bon Appétit, you’d be crazy not to wait on line for Scott’s “whole hog” fare like spare ribs and pulled pork alongside pit-cooked chicken and must-have sides like mac and cheese, cornbread and hush puppies. And while you’re there, grab a banana pudding to go before checking out the impressive pit housed in an adjacent building.

Fig, which is just as hard to get into now as it was when it first opened, is well worth a visit for dinner. Lowcountry favorites like poached Carolina shrimp, mustard-crusted fish and fish stew Provencal will wow your taste buds and the always-packed yet quiet room is a perfect place to spend an evening. The sticky sorghum cake (think sticky toffee pudding) for dessert is not to be missed.

Where to Spa:

Kiawah Island is a barrier island golf resort and community located just 45 minutes south of Charleston on the Atlantic Ocean. Boasting five championship golf courses, the 225-room The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island resort and luxury villas and homes to rent, there is enough on the island to keep you busy for days. The Sanctuary spa is the ultimate retreat for the mind and body. With 12 spa rooms and artisanal treatments to calm and restore, you’ll want to spend all day lounging in the relaxation rooms, whirlpools, steam rooms, saunas and other amenities that the facilities have to offer. The magazine selection and snacks alone are enough to keep you occupied!

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