Sticking to New Year’s Resolutions in Charleston
Americans tend to make the same resolutions year after year. According to Business Insider, there are New Year’s resolutions that are so popular, they end up on just about everyone’s list. If you’re headed to the Holy City this winter (and don’t want to blow your resolutions), we’ve got a few hotspots that will keep you happy — and on track.
We all know we need to exercise. But that doesn’t mean you need to suffer, too. In Charleston, the climate is mild all year long. This means you can easily escape your hotel for a little stroll, a bike ride — or even to paddle down the river in a kayak.
Yes, we’re biased, but we happen to think one of the best ways to get a little exercise and enjoy some fresh air is on a walking tour. You’ll get to check out some of the most beautiful buildings in the city while listening to a few stories about the people who built them.
Charleston makes getting around the city by bike a breeze. Our terrain is mostly flat, and there are myriad bike companies renting lake cruisers on a daily basis. We recommend biking over the Ravenel Bridge to Mt. Pleasant. Or, make biking your main mode of transportation while you’re here.
Charleston is home to plenty of yoga studios, so you won’t have any trouble finding one that’ll keep you limber after a long flight. If you’re staying Downtown, we recommend The Healing Gallery or Mission Yoga. If you’re planning on heading across the Ashely River for a day trip to Savannah, make a stop at Holy Cow Yoga in the morning.
If the weather is warm(ish), we highly recommend getting out on the water while you’re here. Kayaking is one of the most popular activities (as the Holy City is surrounded by water). We recommend booking a tour or just a kayak with Nature Adventures or Coastal Expeditions.
The lowcountry is known for decadent foods, like fried chicken and grits. Yet, we’re also known for plenty of foods that are a little kinder to your waistline, too. From oysters to Frogmore stew, you’ll find tasty iconic foods that won’t make you want to take a nap every day after lunch.
Charleston is known for its oysters, and you won’t be able to avoid them in the lowcountry. You can eat them boiled, grilled, baked, fried and raw on the half shell. If you’re trying to stick to your New Year’s resolutions, we recommend heading to The Darling Oyster Bar to enjoy them raw.
One of the easiest ways to stick to your eating resolutions is to indulge in cream-free soups (yes, we love she-crab soup too, but with all that butter and cream, we’d recommend eating a bowl or cup in moderation). Frogmore stew is an iconic Charleston dish. Head to Bowens Island Restaurant to enjoy some of the best in the city.
Charleston peaches are popular and plentiful. You can find them baked in pies and served with ice cream. Our advice? Just be a purist and enjoy one or two on some oatmeal at breakfast.
Ditch the Booze
Yes, we’re known for our happy hours and creative cocktails (we’ve even helped put Planters punch on the map), yet Charleston has plenty of virgin drink options to help whet your whistle, too.
Just some of the restaurants and bars getting behind the alcohol-free craze in Charleston include Le Farfalle, The Macintosh and Husk. And at casual neighborhood eatery Basic Kitchen you still have time to follow along on their “30 day Plant Based Challenge” which includes daily plant based specials available as well as recipe suggestions every Wednesday on their instagram page.
The best part is that these restaurants are creating drinks that are so tasty, you won’t even miss the spirits.
Get a New Hobby or Learn a New Skill
Want to break out of your daily routine and learn something new? Charleston is home to many one-day adult education classes.
Learn about Charleston’s food history on a food tour or mixology tour with Charleston Culinary Tours (and get a discount when you book in conjunction with any Walks of Charleston or Lowcountry Walking Tours!).
Want to learn about art history or even how to make a masterpiece yourself? The Gibbes Museum of Art hosts several classes each month.
Another one of the top resolutions is to read more. If you fall into this category, we recommend heading to one of the city’s many bookstores to get a jumpstart on your #readinggoals. From religious bookstores to comic bookstores and vintage stores, there’s something for everyone here. And at locally owned Blue Bicycle Books there are events (they host over 200 authors each year), festivals and even camps to keep you and your family motivated throughout the year.
One of the resolutions that tops most lists is cutting back on spending. While we don’t necessarily recommend starting this on your vacation, we can recommend a few cheap and free things to do in Charleston that will make budgeting a breeze.
Charleston City Market
One of the most iconic sites in Charleston is also free to visit! Charleston City Market is nestled north of Downtown and is one of the most popular stops in the city. Wander the stalls and take in the history — all for free.
Charleston’s iconic pastel homes are free to visit (the outside at least!). Snag some great photos and enjoy the beauty of these structures. While you’re at it, you might want to visit a few more free iconic sites, including the Holy City’s churches and parks.
Bar or Food Crawl
This city is home to some seriously high-end restaurants. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get some of the best food in Charleston for less than $10. You’ll find oyster happy hours (and drink happy hours for that matter), po’boy sandwiches and boiled peanuts — all for less than the cost of a movie ticket.
Want to take some extra time for self-care this year? Charleston has its share of spas, acupuncturists and estheticians. Most of the upscale hotels have equally fancy spas. We recommend heading to The Belmond for the five-star treatment, including body masques, facials and hot stone massages.