CHARLESTON, SC.

My mom, sister and I decided to (finally) take a girls weekend together this summer, and with only a few days to spare, we decided on a semi-local city that is perfect for a ladies trip: Charleston! Home to many a bachelorette party, an amazing food scene and historic, charming neighborhoods, we were on the go constantly, and we still didn’t see and do everything the city has to offer. There are tons of awesome Charleston guides out there from Jess Kirby, Camille Styles and Conde Nast Traveler to scan if you’re planning your trip (I did!), but here’s what we decided to do during our visit:

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WHERE WE STAYED

We decided to stay at what I would consider one of the most popular hotels in Charleston, The Dewberry. It’s vibe is quintessential Charleston with a centralized location and great in-hotel restaurants and bars. Seriously, you guys.. their signature scent—filling the entire building from the second you walk in— is to die for and The Citrus Club cocktail lounge on the top floor of the hotel has the highest rooftop bar in the city. (You must try their French 75!)

WHAT WE ATE

There are.. SO MANY.. restaurants in Charleston, and all with amazing menus and accolades. It’s really about choosing places that suite your preference, or else you’d be here for weeks eating and drinking! For brunch, we went to a Charleston classic, Miller All Day, and an even more classic option: the Sunday Gospel Brunch at Hall’s Steakhouse. I really enjoyed our daytime stops: Leon’s Oyster Bar, Minero, and Darling Oyster Bar. We also chose some more casual dinner options: Melfi’s and Coast.

While I want to stray away from listing places I didn’t actually visit, there were a ton of places that other travel guides and publications said were some of the top restaurants in the city that we didn’t have time to visit, such as Husk, Le Farfalle, Chez Nous, The Ordinary, Zero Restaurant, Fig and The Establishment to name a few...

WHAT WE DID

Honestly, most of our time was food and drink hopping. Isn’t that the best way to experience a city, after all? But we did make time for some must-do activities: strolling Rainbow Road and South of Broad, a candle-making class at Candlefish, and window shopping down King Street. I cannot wait to visit again to eat, drink and see all the things we didn’t have time for this time around!

THE CATSKILLS, NY.

The Catskills are a place I've wanted to visit for a while, thanks to ultra-chic @andnorth and @thisoldhudson, so when Mike and I decided that we wanted to take an off-the-grid cabin getaway, I knew just where we'd end up. What's so great about this expansive area of New York is that it includes many different towns over a large geographic space, so you have options as to what type of visit you'd like to have. While I made an 'Upstate New York' map on Google that included pins hours apart (yes, that's how I plan my travels...), we decided that a remote destination is what we were looking for, with a pit stop in Hudson along the way.

WHERE WE STAYED

Located in the town of Bloomville, Table on Ten is a bed and breakfast and restaurant specializing in brunch and wood-oven pizzas. We stayed in their cabin, which was ten minutes away from the main bnb in South Kortright. We had private acres of land to ourselves, complete with a fire pit, picnic table and wild berries. There are tons of amazing Airbnbs for this area, so I recommend scanning all of the options to find the one you like best. If you’re looking for something slightly less remote, hotels that I discovered in my searches were The Graham and Co., Roundhouse, WM Farmer and Sons, and The Villas at Saugerties. Maybe next time!

Cabin in the Catskills, NY | Jess Lambi

WHAT WE DID

Staying in the country meant we did a lot of relaxing; playing cards, reading, napping. It was quite the change of pace. Outside of that, we spent our mornings hiking. We did the Bramley Mountain loop and the Mine Kills Falls trail. Both were fairly short (three miles or so great for unseasoned hikers like us) and had wonderful views. I really enjoyed the Mine Kill Falls trail — there were tons of streams, foot bridges and other things to explore that kept the hike exciting. Other hikes on my list that we didn’t complete (so don’t take my word for it!) were Breakneck Ridge and Kaaterskill Falls. In the evenings, we went out to dinner. I highly (highly) recommend Brushland Eating House and, of course, Table on Ten for a casual pizza dinner straight from their pizza oven.

HUDSON

Our day in Hudson was the time we set aside to hop around and explore-- there is no shortage of shopping and eating to be done here! We had lunch at Le Perche, beers at the Spotty Dog (books and bar!!!), picked up food at Talbot & Arding and Olde Hudson and browsed around the cutest shops like Homemade Hudson, Minna and Hawkins NY. I cannot wait to visit again -- there’s so much more to Hudson that we didn’t see. I can imagine that fall is a beautiful time to go, just as summer was…

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PARIS, FRANCE.

I don't have to explain how hard it is to summarize a city as amazing as Paris. There are no favorites! But, without picking particular places or memories over others, I wanted to share some general but notable thing to do and see for those of you who may visit for your first time! What were your favorites when you visited? Or the most memorable parts of any of your travels??

A true French breakfast | What eggs, toast and bacon is to the American, a toasted baguette with butter and jam and an espresso is to the French. Um, yessss. I love that the French, as do most Europeans, don't rush a sit down meal. You're either eating on the go, or sitting for at least an hour, even for breakfast.  It was the best way to start the day. My favorite was Carette in Trocadéro for the amazing coffee and breads and Café Marly for the one-of-a-kind location in the courtyard of the Louvre.

Chez Julien | A dinner highlight... and in Paris, that's saying a lot. Great cocktails, dinner and dessert, but also a particularly great location and atmosphere. I loved that it was fairly upscale, while also being approachable and fun. Not to mention, if you order the truffle risotto, they shave fresh truffle on the top... a (very expensive) rarity in the States.

Buly | I initially heard about this shop from The Good Trade's Sustainable City Guide to Paris, never expecting to stumble upon it. But when we did, I was so happy to have visited. Founded in 1803, this beauty and grooming shop is traditional in it's products and service. I highly recommend stopping in to pick up a special gift for someone back home or yourself! Not only are the products high quality and all natural, but the time and service put into your purchase will make it feel like a million dollar steal.

A visit to Montmartre | Just north of Paris is the large hill located in the city's 18th arrondissement. This little part of town is home to a wonderful 'aerial' view of Paris, Sacré-Cœur, an iconic church, genuine artists and quaint places to eat and drink. It was a nice change of pace from the bustling city, and so charming! 

Experiencing the Eiffel Tower more than once | It may sound obvious, but believe me when I say that you are going to want to experience the Eiffel Tower more than once, at all times of day... Not only did we take the ride to the Sommet (Not recommended for those afraid of heights, the elevator ride to the top even made me uneasy!), but we sat in the park with wine to watch it sparkle at night, took photos in the morning, and also did as the Parisians did and had a picnic on the Siene at sun down. Stop by the boulangerie, fromagerie, and grocery for all of the things you need to sit on the edge of the water and live like a local.