After having the time of our lives in the Turks and Caicos for our actual honeymoon, my husband and I knew we wanted to plan a “one year honeymoon” this year to get away, and celebrate one year of being legally stuck together (I kid, I kid, he’s pretty awesome).

One of the things that has been so special in our relationship is how many different places we’ve travelled together. From early on when we first started dating, we’ve taken trips together, with each other’s family, and through school. I think travelling with your significant other is a really good way to not only get to know each other better, but become better people together as you learn more about the world. But, I digress, that could be a blog post all in itself – back to Charleston!

As you probably already know, I love everything about the South. The honey-coated accents, the hospitality and the rich history. Charleston, South Carolina has been on our list to visit for years, and we decided that this finally was going to be the year!

We booked a room through VRBO at the Rutledge Inn, which was just a few blocks off of King Street across from the Hominy Grill and Fuel Cantina – two amazing restaurants that you just have to try! charleston-sc-charming-akp-retreat-mint-dresser-lilly-pulitzer

photo by Ashton Kelley Photography

On our first day, we took a tour from Tommy Dew, who as it turns out moved from Richmond, VA to Charleston when he started college and loved it so much he never left! (We can see why!) We were the youngest ones on the tour by about 30 years, but with me being a total architecture nerd and Derek being a history nerd, we were right at home and probably more excited than anyone else on the tour. Tommy did such a wonderful job of explaining a little bit of everything, the history of Charleston, how the South as a whole developed the reputation it has today of “old money and tradition”, the changes that Rainbow Row went through (hint: it used to be a super sketchy place), and the reason why all of the houses in Charleston have the architectural charm that they do. Honestly, I strongly recommend taking one of his tours early on in your trip. If you’re like me and directionally-challenged, it helps you build a frame of reference for the city you’re in, understand it, and discover fun new tourist-free spots that you might want to visit! We ended the day at Cupcake Down South for a tasty treat before headed back to crash in our room!

For day two, we headed out to Boone Hall Plantation – otherwise known as Allie’s house in the Notebook! As expected, the live oak trees with Spanish moss took my breath away, and I was ready to move in and never leave!

After visiting Boone Hall, we headed out to the Angel Oak Tree, which is estimated to be 400-500 years old, making it one of the oldest living things in the country. With branches as long as 187′, it is absolutely incredible to walk beneath this tree and imagine all of the things that were there before you!

For our last day in Charleston, we decided to check out the South Carolina Aquarium. Derek and I are both scuba-divers, so we love the water, and we always enjoy hanging out with the fishes! As we tried to get to the Aquarium, we noticed all of the roads around it were closed. We thought it was weird, but finally found a parking spot about a half mile away and walked over. As we walked up, we saw a line of about 200 people waiting to go into the Aquarium. We’d heard so many good things about the SC Aquarium, that we thought wow, they must be true if people are willing to wait this long! The line moved quickly, and soon we were inside, and whisked right past the ticket stands and into the Aquarium, where we were greeted with WALLS of people. It took us a second until we realized what was happening – the Aquarium was free and the entire state of South Carolina was here! Needless to say, we weren’t there long. All it takes is being attacked by a stroller and almost falling into the shark tank to really round out a relaxing one year honeymoon to Charleston!

We got out of there quickly, and laughed the whole thing off over drinks at the Bar at Vendue with my good friend Nicole, and her boyfriend Bryant, who both live in Charleston! The view was breathtaking, the drinks were tasty, and we became best friends with our waitress – so it was clearly a successful end to the trip!

I will definitely be back to Charleston soon to visit all of the spots we missed! Have you visited Charleston, what was your favorite spot? Comment below!

XoXo,

lauren