The Beach Club Charleston
I’ve always had a thing for the South. For some reason, my hair curls perfectly in the humidity (a truly weird flex, I know), and the restaurants encourage you to eat fried chicken for every meal: Want some breakfast? Chicken and waffles. Need a snack? Chicken biscuit. Hungry for dinner? Get the fried chicken plate.
And, if you’ve been following my Tinder Passport journey for love, you probably already know that I have a thing for Southern gents. There’s just something about that Southern drawl that really gets my little butterfly feelings fluttering.
So when I had the opportunity to go back to Charleston to experience the amazing, historical city again (and, okay, maybe see one of my Tinder boos), I carpe diem’d that shit as fast as I could.
I stayed at The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, Charleston’s only waterfront resort—AKA the Instagram destination of your dreams. The boutique hotel has le most lavish accommodations for your baecation, fam-cation, or literally just your vacation: Your room will have an ah-mazing view of the sailboats in the harbor (seriously, they make even the seagulls look cute), the pool and beach chairs, and the USS Yorktown, an aircraft carrier built for the Navy during World War II.
A few li’l goodies to pack for Charleston right this way:
Here’s errrything you have to do when you stay at The Beach Club, no matter what time of year you go—the weather is pretty much always perfect in C-town (okay, Charlestonians don’t actually call it this).
BOOK NOW The Beach Club
The Tiki Bar is conveniently located right by the pool with a bunch of fruity cocktails—the kind where you don’t actually taste the alc.
Pro tip: You won’t realize how strong the frosés are until you’re at the bottom of the glass, so limit your intake if you don’t want to shadily drunk text your coworker at 11 a.m. asking how work is. (Drink a glass of water every time you down one of these bad boys.)
And when you get hungry, order the warm pimento cheese (just literally like a really good queso dish) from the Tiki Bar, then follow it up with whatever bar food your heart desires. (I had a craving for a hot dog, but you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.)
If you feel like eating somewhere that requires you to wear something other than a bathing suit, head on over to The Beach Club’s restaurant, the Charleston Harbor Fish House. Seafood’s not really my thing, but even I thought the shrimp pappardelle was *chefs kiss*.
I don’t love massages—feeling sore three days after a lady kneads into my back for “relaxation” is not usually my idea of bliss.
But I tried a 50-minute Blue Eucalyptus massage ($ 130) because, hey, why not—and I’m glad I did. The full-body treatment is more like a rubdown than anything else. Afterward, fill your feed with thirst traps of you in your robe, because your skin will be g-l-o-w-i-n-g, girl.
With the Schwinn bikes (free from The Beach Club), we pedaled our way through a cute, charming area called “Old Village,” which is three miles from the hotel.
Known for its live oaks, quiet neighborhoods (yes, we casually rode on the street and no, I wasn’t afraid for my life), and ’60s-vibe soda shop—where we obvi stopped for ice cream— this might have been my favorite part of the whole trip. If you’re up for a slightly longer, six-mile ride (my tired booty was not), bike to Sullivan’s Island, AKA the beach.
You can book these directly through The Beach Club, and trained professionals from the College of Charleston will teach you how to sail a boat a la Shailene Woodley in Adrift.
Before you think, “Meh, not for me,” I’m prone to motion sickness and still came out of this adventure alive—and dry! I couldn’t tell you how to tie a knot one of the four ways these instructors explained multiple times, and I still have no idea what “Trim the Sails” means, but it’s a fun alternative if you like being put to work instead of just lounging on a boat all day (though, TBH, I’d still choose the latter).
Despite being from Kansas, I’m totally a beach girl—so knowing that sand and saltwater were only a few miles away put a permanent smile on my face (hell-o, beachy waves).
I went to Folly Beach, and although it’s about 16 miles away from the Beach Club, it’s totally worth it. The people are friendly, and you can spend time strolling the shoreline looking for broken oysters and shells. I found comfort in discovering sand still stuck to my bathing-suit bottoms when I arrived back in NYC.
Take a water taxi ($ 8 one way) from the marina to downtown Charleston in less than 15 minutes. Not only is it way more scenic than the back of your Uber driver’s head, but it also drops you off right on The Battery, a green and honey-suckle-smelling promenade with large oak trees and fountains.
Walk through Waterfront Park and snap a cute Insta in front of the Rainbow Row houses (yes, people actually live in these pink, purple, and orange homes). You’ll also see plenty of gazebos that look like they’ve been plucked straight from a Nicholas Sparks novel. The pineapple fountain isn’t the worst thing to look at either.
Warm nuts? Yes, please! Suzanne Pollak, Dean of the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits, taught us how to throw a proper dinner party that included creating the perfect fluffy biscuit and shrimp and grits, but you can organize any sort of etiquette or cooking event with her if you’re interested in a different kind of Saturday-night rendezvous.
And remember: In a sea of square-shaped biscuits, always make a heart-shaped one.