Fall is finally here. You know what that means, right? It’s time to book an epic fall vacation! And it just so happens that Charleston is on our bucket list right now. In addition to being super easy to get to, it offers a little bit of everything. We’re talking amazing food, outdoor activities, history, culture, and lots of Instagram-worthy photo opps.

Heading that way? Check out our list of the most happening spots to eat, drink, sleep, and play!

PlantationsMansions and Plantations Galore
There’s no better way to soak up Charleston’s rich history than by visiting some of their stunning mansions and plantations. Our favorites? The stunning Edmonston-Alston House, which puts on quite the holiday show with their Christmas 1860 tour. And Middleton Place (pictured), which has the most stunning gardens ever, a house museum, and a restaurant.

RITASWatermelon and Tuna Nachos (!)
Charleston is also home to five awesome beach towns. At Folly Beach, don’t miss out on the chance to taste Rita’s Signature Nachos at Rita’s Seaside Grille. We’re talking nachos topped with queso, jack cheese, black beans, peppers, onions, blackened tuna, and watermelon pica. Odd combo, we know — but it definitely works!

French Quarter InnWine & Cheese Happy Hour Exists
It’s true. The French Quarter Inn‘s epicurean amenities are something to write home about. And they’re all complimentary. In addition to a warm welcome glass of bubbly, there’s also an epic wine and cheese spread each afternoon, and a classic southern turndown service that includes Port wine and hand-crafted chocolates from famed Christope Paume. Oh, and freshly baked cookies and milk for when you stumble home at night.

The Gin JointCreative Cocktails (and Punch Service)
The Gin Joint knows how to do cocktails. They offer a killer seasonal cocktail menu (seriously, we’re sad to see summer’s Dirt Farmer go), and even adult punch service for parties of three or more. Or you can live on the edge and let the bartender make something unique. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on happy hour Monday – Thursday, 5-7 p.m.

MiraYou Can Drink Rosé All Day
A Napa Valley winery tasting room in the heart of downtown Charleston? You betcha. Pop into Mira Charleston after a day of sightseeing to learn all about the wine making process — followed by a tasting, of course. Bonus: they have a delicious Syrah Rosé and Pinot Noir Rosé, so you can sip on rosé all day long.

HuriyaliGorgeous (and Healthy) Acai Bowls
Should you need to take a break from all the fried green tomatoes and shrimp and grits, check out Huriyala Gardens. Their bowls and juices are a real (healthy) treat, and super ‘grammable too. An Acai Bowl paired with Coco Leche (coconut water + coconut meat) is a solid way to start the day.

Drawing RoomArtful Lowcountry Bites
Check out Drawing Room (inside The Vendue, a posh art-inspired hotel) for some artful Lowcountry bites via talented Chef de Cuisine Forrest Parker. With a focus on local and sustainable ingredients, he’ll wow your palate with modern, yet classic, Southern dishes.

Middleton Place s-gThe Best Shrimp and Grits Ever
In case you didn’t know, shrimp and grits is a Lowcountry staple. You’ll see it on pretty much every menu at every restaurant in town. Our current favorite spots to order the savory dish are Middleton Place Restaurant (pictured) and S.N.O.B.

Fried ChickenAnd, of Course, Fried Chicken
Expect to see variations of sinful fried chicken everywhere as well. It’s hard to resist. (We’ve tried.) But in case you’re feeling guilty, you can always power lunch it up at S.N.O.B (which stands for Slightly North of Broad, btw) with this Fried Chicken & Watermelon Salad. It contains greens, OK?!


Image: Charlestononly

Burning Calories Can Be Fun!
After all the eating and drinking you’ve done, it’s time to burn some calories. Luckily, you can rent sweet cruiser bikes from Affordabike and cruise around the city. And for those of you OrangeTheory addicts, there’s a local studio at your disposal.

xx, The FabFitFun Team