Caitlin from Sacramento Street continues our mini-moon series with her picks for the perfect stay in Charleston…
This past April I had the privilege of traveling to Charleston – it had been on my travel bucket list for years. As soon as I arrived at my darling boutique hotel – the Zero George, all I could think about was how romantic this would be for a couple’s getaway or honeymoon. The quaint city of Charleston had me madly in love – the architecture, galleries, antique shops and the food scene. It was a magical trip that already has me booking tickets for my husband and me for our anniversary next year.
If I were to plan my honeymoon to Charleston I would book a few nights at the Zero George – you won’t want to get out of bed in the morning because the beds are so comfy. One day I would explore the beautiful city by foot (Church Street is a must) and the next I’d take a drive up to Drayton Hall. At night I’d have dinner at Fig and The Ordinary (get the Oyster Sliders). After a few days in Charleston I’d head out to the islands, which I didn’t have a chance to explore last time.
Here are a few key essentials to bring on your trip.
My husband and I (and our 8 month-old daughter, Sophie) live in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. We love our neighborhood, particularly during springtime, but every now and then we like to get out of the city for a few days. Luckily we don’t have to travel far to find ourselves in some of the most beautiful parts of the country! These are a few of the ideas that came to mind when Kathryn asked me to dream up my ideal mini-moon getaway.
I first started hearing whispers of the Inn at Little Washington after moving to D.C. over ten years ago, and it’s now at the top of my D.C. bucket list. Located in the town of Washington in Rappahanock County, Virginia, about an hour and a half outside of D.C., this charming inn is the picturesque ideal escape from the city. The inn also boasts an amazing 5-star restaurant that has been selected as one of the Top 10 restaurants in the world. The best part? No cell phone reception – so a weekend away is truly a weekend away.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate is one of my favorite mini-escapes from D.C. – we even have an annual pass so we can visit whenever the mood strikes! Spring is my favorite time of year to visit: the estate is covered in huge lilacs that make my heart sing when they bloom. There are also groves of fruit trees, winding paths around manicured gardens and down to the banks of the Potomac River, and the most hilarious little lambs in early spring. We love to sit on the lawn behind the main mansion and look out over the Potomac River. It’s so peaceful.
Most people head straight to the monuments and museums located around the National Mall, but the gardens of Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown is one of my favorite D.C. attractions. Designed over a 30-year span by Beatrix Farrand, the formal gardens feature roses, wisteria, lilacs, tulips, peonies, cherry blossom trees, and so much more. It’s a wonderful place to spend an afternoon!
You can find a full list of some of our recommended D.C. bars and restaurants in my mini guide to D.C., but for a special occasion there’s really only one restaurant I’d want to visit: Volt. We first visited a couple of years ago to celebrate my husband’s return home from a 6-month deployment in Iraq and it was one of the best culinary experiences I’ve ever had. We’ve been dying to go back ever since!
A big thanks to Nole for not one, but three guest posts! Be sure to check out Oh So Beautiful Paper for tons more inspiration, mostly in the form of, you guessed it, beautiful paper!
Jordan from Oh Happy Day may be back in San Francisco, but after living in Paris for a year and a half, she is the perfect person to ask for honeymoon tips in (arguably) the world’s most romantic city…
Here is how to have the perfect Paris Honeymoon. I lived in Paris for a year and a half and even spent my honeymoon there, and here are my some of my favorite places and things to eat.
Use the Rick Steves Paris Guide. Ignore the the fact you are taking travel advice from a kind-of-dorky-guy older than your dad. Risk Steves is the best, he nails it every time.
On Your First Day:
Have a picnic on the tip the island at Pont Neuf and take one of the boat tours that leaves from Pont Neuf at dusk. It is touristy but in a good way. It’s a good way to get the lay of the land and there is nothing more romantic than seeing the way the lights dance in the water of the Seine.
Every neighborhood has a market street. Avoid the grocery stores. Go to the Bakery for a “baguette traditional” then go to the cheese store for some cheese Ordering can be overwhelming try starting with a nice slab of “Comte.” Go to the produce stand for some fruit and veggies and then go to the butcher for some charcuterie or “saucisson sec” ask them to slice it up. Grab a nice bottle of wine and you’re set.
Artazart has the best selection of art and photography books ever. Bring one home for your coffee table and when guests compliment it you can say…oh that ol’ thing…we picked it up in Paris.
Best Design-y Store in Paris:
Merci. This concept store in the Marais has constantly changing installations and has clothes, home decor and knick knacks at every pricepoint. Don’t forget to go touch all the linens. Also their restaurant is one of my favorite places to grab lunch. The salads are amazing.
Cheap and Easy Meal:
L’As Du Fallafel Falafel on Rue des Rossiers. It’s Lenny Kravitz’s favorite falafel (says it on their sign.) Plus my favorite crepe stand is on this street too. Dessert!
Not everyone can take a week or two for a honeymoon immediately after their wedding day, but even if you plan to take a longer trip later, at Snippet & Ink we believe in spending at least a day or two enjoying your newlywed status before launching back into “real life” – even if that means a stay-cation in your hometown, or a mini-moon somewhere nearby. With that in mind, we’ve asked some of our favorite bloggers to share their ideas for a mini-moon, starting with the lovely Ginny Branch and her hometown of Atlanta.
Although I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia I really never appreciated how truly cool this city really is. It took my return to my hometown after a 3 year stint in New York to see beyond the World of Coke and The Varsity. This city is a foodie’s wonderland and some of the best eatin’ south of the Mason Dixon line. And our shopping scene has finally stepped up its game thanks to areas like Virginia Highlands and the Westside. Now when people ask where to go shopping I no longer have to point them toward a mall. Phew.
1. The Optimist: Ford Fry’s Fish Camp & Oyster Bar has not lost an ounce of steam after Esquire’s crowning it “Restaurant of the Year” in 2012. This place oozes great design wherever you look and the food doesn’t disappoint.
2. The Pie Shop: Dangerously good pies. Mims Bledsoe clearly makes these pies with love and quite possibly a little bit of magic. I recommend getting a few to sample because it would be a disservice to just try one.
3. We may not be Portland or New York but I think Atlanta has several legit places to satisfy your caffeine craving. Whether you try Dancing Goats, Octane, or Steady Hand you really can’t go wrong.
4. Cacao: Who doesn’t need a little chocolate with their espresso? Atlanta’s chocolatier employs the use of time-honored, traditional chocolate making processes combined with high-quality organic ingredients. The Love Bar is worth sharing… or enjoying all by yourself.
5. Hugh Acheson’s Empire State South is outstanding and a place where you could order blindly and walk away completely and utterly happy. This place is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is equally as delicious any time of day. Noteworthy moments are the Phatty Cakes in the am, and the In Jars in the pm.
6. Holeman & Finch: This is the place to go for bespoke cocktails and a guaranteed thumbs up from your man. Although neither quiet nor intimate, this watering hole is the perfect place to reward your husband for a day of humoring you while you shop.
7. Abattoir: This brings me to my absolute favorite restaurant. Chef Anne Quattrano is the grande dame of this city. Almost every Atlantan chef worth his salt has cut his teeth in one of Anne’s kitchens. Don’t let the meat-heavy menu intimidate you, there are options for even the most discerning of vegetarians and ladylike of eaters.
8. Brunch being my favorite meal of the day is one I take very seriously. My trifecta of happiness goes to Sun in my Belly, Rise and Dine, and Buttermilk Kitchen. I recommend wearing a pair of elastic-waistband pants and bringing your best appetite. Follow with a nap.
1. Speaking of Anne Quattrano, Star Provisions is my dream store. It boasts the DNA of a general store but with high brow sundries. I, on far too many occasions, have justified yet another hand carved wooden spoon or fog linen tea towel, much to my husband’s chagrin.
2. The Goat Farm is home to my studio I share with floral & event designer Amy Osaba, not to mention a variety of some of the best artists, photographers, and chefs in town. A little bit of a hidden gem, this re-envisioned Cotton Gin Factory is now a creative hub for concerts, film festivals, and art shows to name a few. Oh, and the filming location for The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games… NBD.
3. Kudzu Antique Mall: If antiques are more your speed, I highly recommend making a trip to Kudzu. Many a prop has found its way home with after a trip here.
4. Morgan Kylee: I had the privilege of going to highschool with the shop owner and so thrilled she has opened her successful boutique that boasts such brands as Rick Owens, Apiece Apart, and MiH.
5. Bella Cucina: Owner Alissa Barry knows how to create a beautiful life and thankfully you can buy a little bit of that fantasy at her store. My recommendation is to purchase one of her market totes and fill with jars of her pestos, infused salts, dipping crackers, and maybe a hand-carved bread board or two.
6. Seed Factory: This impeccably curated children’s boutique is worth a visit even if you don’t have children of your own. Here I satisfy my fix for Fog Linen women’s clothing and the heartbreaking beautiful, handmade dolls by Jess Brown.
7. It wouldn’t be a fair roundup of Atlanta without mentioning the tastemakers and smitten kitten husband and wife duo, Ann and Sid Mashburn. They are the authority on all things classic, preppy, and cool. I’m also confident they are responsible for igniting the dapper gentlemanly vibe that has infused Atlanta’s menswear scene.
8. An honorable mention, about an hour outside of Atlanta, is Serenbe, a sustainable community on a sprawling 1,000 acres of land. I am partially biased since this is where I married my husband, but this place is nothing short of magic. Walk the grounds and visit with the menagerie of chickens, goats, donkeys, and sheep or take a horseback riding lesson at the stables. The restaurants and shops nestled within the town are just as impressive as the majestic scenery. Trust me, it’s worth the drive.
Thank you Ginny! Check back all week for even more mini-moon ideas…