The Betches’ Bachelorette Guide To Charleston

Planning sucks, and bachelorette parties are a ton of work. So we’re taking all the guesswork out of planning a bachelorette party by breaking down top bachelorette destinations. Our guides will tell you where to stay, eat, party, how to get around, and give you a sample itinerary that you can follow. You’re welcome.

Charleston, South Carolina, is a hotbed of old money, history, amazing food, and ritzy shopping. If you aren’t into the blackout scene and want to take things a bit slower than you would in, say, Vegas, Charleston is your new bachelorette party destination. This gorgeous old city is warm and perfect for sundresses, like, 80% of the year; plus you can wear a big hat and feel classy while you’re day drinking. By evening, you can wander the award-winning wine bars before popping in for a James Beard Award-winning meal.

Just a note: We suggest heading to Charleston before hurricane season, since that can be, well, occasionally an issue. The best times to go are November-May, and if you’re into being very sweaty, June and part of July can work, too.

Situate yourself around King Street and “under” Marion Square on a map; this is where you’ll find of tons of shopping, bars, and restaurants right in the old part of the city. Everything is completely walkable, and you definitely won’t run out of things to do.

How To Get There

There are plenty of direct flights from all over the country feeding into Charleston’s airport, so no need to hop through multiple layovers or deal with tiny planes on the way to this destination. Nonstop flights from the New York and Chicago areas range from about $200-400, which is pretty damn reasonable if you ask me. You’ll fly directly into Charleston International Airport, about 20 minutes away from the heart of downtown. Driving is also a decent option if you’re living anywhere near Atlanta, Richmond, or Charlotte, since it’s a pretty straight shot and anywhere from 3-6 hours total. Not bad, if you ask me; plus, you can listen to music and bond with the other girls on your drive.

Where To Stay

Obviously, the number of people are at your bachelorette party will determine where you’ll stay. Luckily, there are tons of Airbnbs and hotels all around downtown Charleston that range in price and room size. Personally, I suggest an Airbnb. The restaurants (especially those with amazing brunch and breakfast cocktails) are all incredible, so paying for a hotel breakfast seems like a waste. On my trip, we rented a huge loft and only paid about $100/night for three nights. We doubled up in queen and king size beds and had two full bathrooms, which worked perfectly for six girls. Plus, our spot was situated on upper King Street—within walking distance of literally everything.

If you feel like you need a hotel, I’d suggest the Renaissance Charleston Historic District, The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel, or the Hyatt Place Charleston/Historic District. All of them are in downtown, albeit in slightly different areas, but are within walking distance of everything you’ll want to be doing. Plus, they all have pools, a gym, restaurants, and amazing views of the city. The biggest downside is having to find adjoining rooms so you can all cuddle once you’re blackout.

How To Get Around

Whether you’re staying at a downtown Airbnb or one of the hotels above, getting around will be a breeze. Everything within downtown is walkable and, of course, there are plenty of Ubers if your feet get tired. If you decide to stay out further from the city—say, near Sullivan’s Island because you wanna beach bum it—you’ll need to Uber into downtown, but even then it shouldn’t be more than a couple bucks for a ride. Most of where you want to eat, visit, and drink is within the downtown/old area of Charleston, so making that your base will make getting around later much easier.

Where To Eat

You’ve got your transport (hot tip: it’s your feet) and you’ve got a bed to pass out on. Let’s move on to eating until we can’t feel feelings anymore! Charleston has some really, really, amazing restaurants, several of which have been nationally (and internationally) recognized for being f*cking delicious. For brunch, I’d suggest Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit  or The Daily for a more casual meal (and if you need to keep your sunglasses on for the next few hours. A “nicer” brunch experience can be had at Eli’s Table or Pogan’s Porch.

For dinners, I would like to take this opportunity to heavily advocate for FIG, Husk, The Ordinary (an amazing raw bar and eatery), and SNOB. All of these options specialize in low-country fare (think the best shrimp and grits you’ve ever had) as well as amazing seafood and just general farm-fresh seasonal eating. If you’re looking for a wilder bite of things a little outside of downtown, I recommend Xiao Bao Biscuit—especially if you’re a little hungover and hunting for upscale Asian fusion for lunch. As a note, most places will require a business casual or at least “put together” look for dinner. You aren’t going to get kicked out for wearing shorts and flip-flops, but I wouldn’t recommend it. These are spots that Bill Murray has eaten in, okay? Show some respect.

Daytime Activities

I wouldn’t describe Charleston’s daytime scene as wild, however, there are a LOT of bars (rooftop and otherwise) where you can start sippin’ early. We recommend a boozy brunch at one of the spots listed above, then wandering through Charleston’s historic houses (including the famous and adorable Rainbow Row) after a traipse down King Street—home to all the absolute best shopping where you will, without a doubt, at some point, feel VERY poor (in a fun way). You can also make your way to the Charleston City Market, a huge indoor/outdoor area with tons of artisans, farmers, and purveyors hawking everything from wine to grits. I remember going here, nearly blackout, and buying spices from an old lady, two bottles of wine from a farmer man, and a painting from someone, although things were fuzzy by that time. If that isn’t living my best life, idk what is.

There are also a few spas if you feel like really recharging before a night of heavy eating and drinking. The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place is a great option right in the middle of town, and has plenty of treatments to help prepare your body for all of the toxins you’re about to pour into it.  When you’re ready to take in views of the city before dinner, head to a rooftop spot like The Rooftop at The Vendue Hotel or the rooftop bar at The Market Pavilion.

Where To Drink

After dinner and if you can move, it’s time to keep drinking and do some dancing. Head to NV Dance Lounge, part of Henry’s on the Market for live DJ’s, bottle service, and a club atmosphere on Friday and Saturday nights. Just a note: no flip-flops allowed. If that isn’t your scene, The Whiskey Lounge, located upstairs in Henry’s, has lots of cushy seating and a great bar.

 

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Tonight Country/Rock with Mike Thompson and the 1 2 Dale 4 Band 9:00

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If you haven’t noticed, though, Charleston isn’t much of a club town, which you can attribute to the old school money running the joint. I’d highly recommend bar hopping between several great spots like Proof, Bin 152, Prohibition, The Gin Joint, and Blind Tiger Pub in lieu of the whole shots and clerb scene. Remember: ho, but make it Charleston classy. Plus, you can get pretty f*cked up at dinner, too, which we did and very much enjoyed. Keep those bottles of wine comin’.

Thursday, Day 1

Pro Tip: Concentrate on sunsets via rooftop bar tonight, since your days will be packed from here on out.

  1. Arrive at hotel or Airbnb
  2. Pregaming and drinks at the homestead while you get ready for dinner by 4pm
  3. Hit a rooftop bar like the one at The Vendue Hotel, then prepare to walk to dinner
  4. Dinner at SNOB
  5. Hit up more bars like Proof, or wander into whatever looks inviting (most everything is open until at least 2am)

Friday, Day 2

Pro Tip: Wake up and chug some water, sweetie—you’ve got a big day ahead.

  1. Brunch at Poogan’s Porch (after coffee and Insta scrolling, of course)
  2. Walk the shops on King Street and blow some money before heading to see Rainbow Row and the Charleston City Market
  3. Dinner at The Ordinary, where you can order oysters and champagne to show everyone how fancy you are
  4. Stop in at Prohibition for more drinks

Saturday, Day 3

Pro Tip:

  1. Chug coffee at your Airbnb, then head out for a light and casual lunch at either Xiao Bao Biscuit or The Daily
  2. Head to the spa to wash the toxins away
  3. Back to the homestead, get cleaned up
  4. Head out for pre-dinner drinks at Bin 152
  5. Dinner at HUSK
  6. Hit up some of the bars you didn’t make it to, or get drunk and go on a ghost tour (there are several; most will require reservations ahead of time)

Sunday, Day 4

  1. Brunch at any of the other places you didn’t get a chance to check out yet
  2. Don’t miss your flight!!

Images: Unsplash (2); Shutterstock (3)