Kiawah/Charleston Valentine's Weekend (4-Day Feb)

Description:
couples getaway
first-timer
A Valentine's Day weekend escape to "the romantic capital of the South", and its charming neighbor - Kiawah Island.
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Trip Itinerary

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The Sanctuary at Kiawah

February is a bargain time to stay at the Sanctuary at Kiawah. It is still considered the winter season (i.e. lower rate) but it usually gets pretty warm towards the end of the month. The rate almost doubles starting in March when the spring rate kicks in. We initially booked an oceanview room (which was really a pool-facing room with partial oceanview) but decided to upgrade to an oceanfront room at check in. The south-facing balcony with an ocean view like this was totally worth the upgrade. We found out that it was cheaper to upgrade at the front desk than booking an oceanfront room upfront. However, one runs the risk of no availability.

If you want to stay active, the resort offers golf, tennis, and a range of other activities. We took some great private lessons at Roy Barth Tennis Center. The rate was very reasonable starting at $75 per hour (go for the head coach if possible for $5 more). There is one drawback with this resort that they charged extra for activities that are usually complimentary, especially in light of the expensive room rates. For example, $20 per person for morning yoga class, $12 per person for half-day bike rental, etc.

The Ordinary

There is nothing ordinary about the Ordinary. Housed in a beautiful old bank building, the spacious restaurant has two dining floors along with additional seats at the raw bar. The high ceiling and the classy decor create an elegant feeling yet the dining atmosphere was quite casual and relaxed. The food was extremely fresh and well-prepared. We stuffed ourselves with a triple-deck seafood tower and a few other tasty plates.

Magnolia Plantation

Plantations were a staple of the economy, culture and lifestyle of the pre-Civil War South. Charleston has a handful of them where you get to explore both their natural beauty and rich history. We only had time to visit one. After chatting with our Airbnb host, the choice came down to two - Middleton Place and Magnolia Plantation. The former showcases a bit more history and lifestyle of plantations while the latter has a bit more garden/nature grounds to explore. We decided to go with Magnolia and saved Middleton for a future visit.

Established as a rice plantation in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia today has 60 acres of gardens where flowers bloom year-round and animals roam free. We got up-close-and-personal with a few feathered friends in the Petting Zoo. We also took two tours both of which we loved:
- Rice Field Boat Tour during which we spotted alligators and turtles.
- From Slavery to Freedom Tour during which we learned the history and the contributions of the African-American families at Magnolia from the 1850s to the late 1990s.

Journal

Show

The Sanctuary at Kiawah

February is a bargain time to stay at the Sanctuary at Kiawah. It is still considered the winter season (i.e. lower rate) but it usually gets pretty warm towards the end of the month. The rate almost doubles starting in March when the spring rate kicks in. We initially booked an oceanview room (which was really a pool-facing room with partial oceanview) but decided to upgrade to an oceanfront room at check in. The south-facing balcony with an ocean view like this was totally worth the upgrade. We found out that it was cheaper to upgrade at the front desk than booking an oceanfront room upfront. However, one runs the risk of no availability.

If you want to stay active, the resort offers golf, tennis, and a range of other activities. We took some great private lessons at Roy Barth Tennis Center. The rate was very reasonable starting at $75 per hour (go for the head coach if possible for $5 more). There is one drawback with this resort that they charged extra for activities that are usually complimentary, especially in light of the expensive room rates. For example, $20 per person for morning yoga class, $12 per person for half-day bike rental, etc.

Journal

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Airbnb Charleston Cottage

Wenche's Airbnb house in Mt. Pleasant was our very first Airbnb experience and it gave us the confidence that there would be many more to come. Located in the quiet Mt Pleasant area, the giyse is not far from downtown Charleston (10-15min drive over the Ravenal Bridge). The house was large and beautiful, and had that southern charm to it. Our room, the Red room, was spacious and spotless. Wenche was a superb host - she cooked great breakfasts, knew all the ins and outs of the Charleston area, and shared many tips about where to go and eat taking our short stay into consideration.

Journal

Show

The Ordinary

There is nothing ordinary about the Ordinary. Housed in a beautiful old bank building, the spacious restaurant has two dining floors along with additional seats at the raw bar. The high ceiling and the classy decor create an elegant feeling yet the dining atmosphere was quite casual and relaxed. The food was extremely fresh and well-prepared. We stuffed ourselves with a triple-deck seafood tower and a few other tasty plates.

Airbnb Charleston Cottage

Wenche's Airbnb house in Mt. Pleasant was our very first Airbnb experience and it gave us the confidence that there would be many more to come. Located in the quiet Mt Pleasant area, the giyse is not far from downtown Charleston (10-15min drive over the Ravenal Bridge). The house was large and beautiful, and had that southern charm to it. Our room, the Red room, was spacious and spotless. Wenche was a superb host - she cooked great breakfasts, knew all the ins and outs of the Charleston area, and shared many tips about where to go and eat taking our short stay into consideration.

Journal

Show

Magnolia Plantation

Plantations were a staple of the economy, culture and lifestyle of the pre-Civil War South. Charleston has a handful of them where you get to explore both their natural beauty and rich history. We only had time to visit one. After chatting with our Airbnb host, the choice came down to two - Middleton Place and Magnolia Plantation. The former showcases a bit more history and lifestyle of plantations while the latter has a bit more garden/nature grounds to explore. We decided to go with Magnolia and saved Middleton for a future visit.

Established as a rice plantation in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia today has 60 acres of gardens where flowers bloom year-round and animals roam free. We got up-close-and-personal with a few feathered friends in the Petting Zoo. We also took two tours both of which we loved:
- Rice Field Boat Tour during which we spotted alligators and turtles.
- From Slavery to Freedom Tour during which we learned the history and the contributions of the African-American families at Magnolia from the 1850s to the late 1990s.

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