With the house wrapped up, we were anxious to plan something. Charleston was a relatively inexpensive and easy stop. James would like it, and we really enjoyed ourselves the last time we visited. And May had to be more pleasant than August.
We booked award flights on American Airlines. Not the most extravagant use of miles, but it made sense because the flights were expensive with cash.
For the hotel, we were again staying at the Hyatt House. The location is pretty central, though not in the middle of any particular tourist area/attraction. It included a decent breakfast and all rooms are suites.
We Ubered around the first couple days, but rented a car our last day to head out to the beach. If you stay in the actual city of Charleston, there is no real need for a car.
The flight, car to the hotel, and checking in were uneventful. Despite having to connect to get to Charleston, it is still not a difficult trip.
After settling in, we ubered down to the fountain downtown. We had seen this the last time Alyce and I were in Charleston and thought James would enjoy it. We were right, and fortunately it was up and running. James played for a while; Alyce and I relaxed and watched.
After we pulled him away from the fountain, James put on some dry clothes and we caugh an Uber to Butcher and Bee for dinner. I thought I had read something about this place having good burgers, but I think they were only served at lunch. That was a bit of a bummer, but the food ended up being good.
After dinner, we Ubered home. But, before bed, we walked to Jeni’s for an ice cream treat.
Breakfast at the hotel was good enough for an included breakfast – eggs, bacon, sausage, etc. It held us over until dinner time.
The plan for the day was to go to Patriot’s point. This is a park with some old Navy ships and a submarine. There is a lot to see, and we did not catch everything before James ran out of steam.
We started at the submarine, which was very cool. The living quarters were tight. I’m sure the modern subs are better, but you’re still stuck in a can underwater for months at a time.
From there, we did a quick tour of a battle ship then made our way to the aircraft carrier. It was all enjoyable – for us and James. We bought a group picture on our way out, and James picked up a couple souvenirs in the shop (a scope and a compass).
We made our way back to the hotel and prepared for dinner at Indaco. Indaco is an Italian restaurant, and we all enjoyed our food. James had some pizza, so he was pleased too.
Back at the room, we caught the series finale of Game of Thrones. Although the final season was completely falling apart by this point, we still wanted to watch.
We ate breakfast and then made our way to a pirate tour we were confident would be right up James’s alley. It was. He had a great time. The tour was reasonable (~$50) and lasted 2 hours or so. Good activity for kids.
The tour was not too far away from the fountains, and James was dying to go again. It was an easy enough way to spend part of the afternoon.
Charleston has a free trolley that goes around the city. We caught that back to the hotel and it worked out just fine. I’ll have to remember it for our next trip.
Dinner reservations were at Barsa Tapas, which as you may guess is a tapas style restaurant. This was another very good meal, as seems to frequently be the case in Charleston.
After breakfast, I walked to pick up the rental car from Avis. I don’t recall having any issues picking it up.
The plan was to head to Isle of Palms beach. Parking was $10, and we called ahead to rent a set of chairs for $25…well worth it. James – as he always does – enjoyed the time at the beach. You won’t hear any complaints from us either when it comes to beach time.
The hotel has self parking, but it was $20 a day. Not bad for a night, but also a reason we waited until the last day to rent a car.
One additional positive to having the car was that we could drive to Leon’s for dinner rather than having to deal with Uber. As on our previous trip, Leon’s was fantastic. We got the whole fish, fish dip, and oysters. Plus, we managed to save some room for dessert on our final night, so we found our way to Jeni’s ice cream again.
After that, we got a good bit of packing done and called Charleston a wrap. The trip to the airport/flight home was without note.
This was our second trip to Charleston, and – like the first – we had a great time. Our first trip maybe highlighted some of the more grown up things to do; this one had some of that mixed in with a lot more kids stuff. Having done it, Charleston was good city to bring a kid to…at least in the warmer months.
Our food on the first trip was better overall, as expected given that we were dining with James on this trip. Still the food was very good and generally everywhere was fine for kids. Leon’s was great again. Barsa Tapa and Indaco were right behind it. Butcher and Bee was good, but likely my least favorite. Though that may have had to do more with the fact that I had my mind set on a good burger for that dinner (and didn’t get it).
The beach and Patriot’s point were well worth the time – especially with James. As mentioned, he also had a blast playing in the fountains.
Another good trip to Charleston, I would not be surprised to fnd ourselves back there again soon. It’s easy to get to, relaxing, has good food, and we can use Hyatt certificates at the hotel (so, cheap). The only question is whether James gets to come on the next one.