Remember when you were a child and looked forward to the snow? Well that seems to change as we get older.  Something about the snow makes one want to curl up in a blanket, sip on a hot drink and stay barricaded in your home. Well, I challenge myself and others to get out and travel this winter. Fall in love with the snow again and take a trip somewhere. I would like to suggest a day-trip to Charleston, W.Va.; my hometown. There are so many wonderful hidden treasures nestled in the downtown area, particularly on Capitol, Lee, Hale and Quarrier Streets.

Charleston is the perfect place to spend the day for a quaint walk with a best friend or significant other.  My favorite place to have brunch is First Watch on Summer Street. Whenever I visit Charleston I meet my dad there and order quite the spread. I am a creature of habit and request the fresh fruit crepes, a chickichanga, hot tea and water with a lemon. Check out their menu online beforehand and pick out something that strikes your fancy —  you really can’t go wrong.


Time to walk off your stuffed tummy and take a stroll over to Taylor Books, grab a nice hot cup of coffee in their cafe and browse their amazing book selection and attached art gallery. Taylor Books has been in business since 1996 and offers frequent live performances. They also offer pottery and art lessons in their basement studios. I would then venture over to Ivor’s, which is a women’s high-end boutique that has been in business for over 30 years.  You will find great service and unique pieces that you can’t find at the mall.

If you are traveling with a male companion your next stop should be at Kin Ship Goods because they offer both men and women’s fashions. Kin Ship Goods opened this past August and is owned and operated by a husband and wife that design and print their shirts in-house. They also carry other regional and local artisans.  I have never felt such soft fabrics in a tee shirt and let’s face it, there is nothing better than a soft, comfy tee shirt. If you are looking for some awesome West Virginia clothing and accessories, this is the place to snatch them up.


Then cross the road over to Hale Street. Here, you can visit Apartment Earth which showcases some local and a few out-of-town artists. If you like non-traditional art, this is definitely the place to stop to view unique pieces. They offer invitationals for art enthusiasts and just opened this past October.


If you are into antique and vintage shopping you need to enter the doors of Stray Dog Antiques. Here, you will find three floors of eclectic treasures and spend hours looking through every piece of merchandise. If luxury outerwear is your thing, then you need to visit House of Luxe Fur Boutique, which is the only full service furrier in the area and has been in business for 80 years. They carry furs, leather and cashmere outerwear along with storage pieces. Then, to satisfy a little more of your antique and vintage shopping needs you’ll need to pop in to the cozy store, Collage and take a gander.



At this point you’ve probably worked up an appetite, so head on over to Pies and Pints Pizzeria. This is my absolute favorite pizza place in Charleston and I order the Black Bean Pizza and wash it down with a nice cold beer.

After eating at Pies and Pints Pizzeria, stop and get dessert at Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream. I first experienced Ellen’s Ice Cream about 16 years ago and adored the colorful walls and delicious homemade ice cream. She’s been in business since 1997 and has all sorts of ice cream treats to entice your palette as well as quick homemade lunches.



Now, time to take your cone in hand, or glove and trek on down Capitol Street a little further. You’ll be glad you stopped in this next spot. You’ll want to buy some bread from The Charleston Bread Company which opened for business in 2006. As soon as you walk through the doors your mouth will start to salivate from the delicious smell of pastries and bread baking.



I would take a little taste of Charleston home with you and end your day at The Capitol Market, an indoor farmer’s market open year round. This time of year there are 8 indoor vendors. You can find fresh seafood and meat, vegetables, wine and cheese, as well as Holl’s chocolate and a coffee shop. When you visit The Capitol Market you are in for such a treat.

The above are just a few businesses that I think are absolutely worth a day-trip to Charleston. Now get out of your PJ’s, bundle up, jump in your car and grace downtown Charleston with your presence!

Want to hear what some of the businesses said when asked why people should visit their shops?  Check them out below!

People come here to have great, fabulous ice cream.  It’s wonderful New England Ice Cream.  We have fast service so you can get a quick lunch that is really healthy and made from scratch. ~Ellen from Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream

We make delicious bread, pastries and cookies and it’s full of happy people and happy bakers. ~Libby from Charleston Bread Company

You get personalized service, it’s fun;  it’s unique.  It’s not department store clothing.  The people that work here know their customers and they know exactly what they want.   Rachel from Ivor’s

It’s very new and refreshing art work.  A lot of it has a playful side to it and a lot of commentary; quite a variety of pieces. ~Allison from Apartment Earth

We should support local businesses.  Buy something for $4.  That $4 adds up.  It may not make a difference to Wal-Mart or Kohl’s but it makes a difference for me. Stores like this are the original recyclers. ~Gina from Stray Dog Antiques

There’s just two of us. We are the definition of a small business.  It’s local, we make all of the shirts here, we print them in the back, and they’re designed by us. ~Dan from Kin Ship Goods

Katherine: I’m the only luxury outerwear store in Charleston.  I service furs totally; storage, cleaning and all kinds of luxury wear.

We carry vintage clothing and homemade jewelry and art from local artists. Our prices are very reasonable and it s a fun place to come a lot of people come hang out and talk and eat food.