kiawah or bust

September is almost here and I am finally about to get my summer tan! We leave tomorrow for our first vacation as a family – to Kiawah. Here’s hoping Natalie sleeps on the way down and that we don’t have any Griswold-esque moments.

It’s been about 25 years since my last vacation to Kiawah, so this is basically like a first time for all of us. We plan to explore every part of the island as well as nearby Charleston. Of course we’ve asked some friends, including the Bebenroths (and you know you can trust their palates!), for restaurant recommendations. But if you know the area and have any must-try places for us – or event tips, things to see, etc., please share.


  1. James
    Posted August 20, 2009 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Try the Hominy Grill in Charleston.

    Also, visit the winery on Wadamalaw Island and try their muscadine wines as well as their Firefly Sweet Tea vodka.

    I also highly recommend visiting the tea plantation — the only one in North America.

  2. Michelle Yu
    Posted August 21, 2009 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Well Kiawah has certainly grown over the years! It is one of my favorite places on Earth. You will enjoy all of the great dining on the island as well as in Charleston. We really like the Jasmine Porch at the Sanctuary Hotel. You will also love the Newton Farms grocery store right outside the gates. While I miss the nostalgia of having to drive to the Piggly Wiggly to stock up for the trip, stocking up at Newton Farms is a real treat. Have a great trip!

  3. Jason
    Posted August 21, 2009 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Killer food in Charleston. If you can, check out a sushi spot named Tsunami, or Bocci’s Italian restaurant. I haven’t been there in about 6 years, but I do remember the amzing food that town has to offer. Enjoy!

  4. Amy
    Posted August 21, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE Kiawah and Charleston. Magnolia’s in downtown Charleston is delicious. ( We took our then 3 month old there for lunch.
    Also, I know you aren’t much of a sweets person, but Market Street Sweets is a MUST for southern pralines.
    And while I haven’t been here, next time I go to Charleston (or NY), I plan to find a bakery called Baked (

  5. Tony
    Posted August 21, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Been to Charleston twice in the last six months, both very short business trips, but managed to get in some good eating while there. Slightly North of Broad was very good and highly receommended. I would say if you have one meal in Charleston, make this it. I also enjoyed a nice little french bistro called 39 Rue de Jean. This one is way off the beaten path in Charleston, but the Moules Provencal were fantastic. Enjoy, we’ll be expecting a full report upon your return.

  6. Posted August 21, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    have fun and twitpic some fun pictures.

  7. Posted August 21, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Ditto on SNOB ( Slightly North of Broad ) But when in Rome ! There is so much good Low Country food down there, Homney Grill for one. Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path. Also you gotta get one of those expensive saw grass bowls & boiled peanuts. On Another note if you don’t drive straight thru, there is a little town outside of Charlotte, NC called SouthPark that has the only Dean & Deluca Wine Bar. Plus good hotels

  8. Justin
    Posted August 24, 2009 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I have been reading your blog for awhile, but never posted. I live in Charleston so I figured I’d comment. My two favorite restaurants (both downtown) are FIG and Trattoria Lucca. FIG has a local, seasonal menu that’s always pretty awesome. Trattoria Lucca is really good Italian that is away from the touristy parts of town and more neighborhood-y. I would second Rue de Jean as being a good French place, but sometimes the service can be a bit slow.

    If you want something casual, Taco Boy makes some interesting tacos. It can get pretty noisy later in the evening though. There’s also Basil which makes the best Thai food in town and has sidewalk seating.

  9. Amy
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    When you are in Kiawah, rent bikes and relax on the beach. That is all you need to do to enjoy IMO.
    In Charleston, our regular activities include the market on market street and other shopping, a carriage ride, battery park, and strolling down the little streets near battery park to enjoy the gardens and beautiful homes.