Upper King Street
314 King St., Upper King Street
Neatly organized by designer, Hampden Clothing is one of the most fashion-forward shops in Charleston, with collections from goop favorites like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Carven, Ulla Johnson, Stella McCartney, and Co. Hampden also has plenty of couches (should you need a bit of a break from shopping) and a stocked bar (should you need a drink). In addition to all that, attached to Hampden is their fabulously curated handbag/shoe/accessory shop, called James. (Stacy Smallwood, the owner, named both stores after her great grandfather, James Hampden Small.)
268 King St., Upper King Street
A King Street staple for more than twenty years, Worthwhile is located in the old McIntosh Seed House, which is an old general store. It’s hard to make generalizations about the buy here since it’s simultaneously eclectic and very intentional; you’ll find everything from Elder Statesmen and Isabel Marant to quirky local lines, plus a very cool selection of home goods and beauty products displayed on stunning wood built-in shelving–including our very own goop fragrance. Great news: If you aren’t heading to Charleston anytime soon, they have a great online shop.
Croghan’s Jewel Box
308 King St., Upper King Street
Backed by over 100 years of occupying the same King Street storefront, Croghan’s is not only the oldest fine jewelry store in the area, it’s also one of the most well-appointed. The glass display cases house a dizzying array of new and antique jewelry and the shelves lining the perimeter of the selling floor are packed to the rafters with silver and crystal collectibles and decorative pieces. The estate engagement ring offering is particularly impressive—and really fun to play with.
Blue Bicycle Books
420 King St., Upper King Street
The very picture of a beloved neighborhood bookstore, Blue Bicycle houses a blessedly easy-to-navigate collection of new and pre-loved books spanning all genres—in addition to every single title devoted to the city of Charleston itself. The on-site event space plays host to countless author signings and talks throughout the year, while for the past 14 summers (and counting), the owners have organized a kid's writing camp to nurture little ones’ composition skills and appreciation for the written word.
75 Wentworth St., Upper King Street
The Restoration is actually made up of five different buildings (one of which dates back to 1822) that served as row houses, a vinyl record shop, a department store, a telegraph office, and a restaurant/bar in past lives. Today, The Restoration's upscale, homey feel sets it apart from other boutique hotels in the city. Staying in one of The Restoration's smartly decorated suites—which combine classic Southern design with clean, modern touches—is almost akin to staying at a really fabulous Airbnb. Everything seems slightly lived in, in the best way—but then you also get the hotel amenities. (Two of the hotel perks here: Coffee from Toby's Estate and a complimentary bike share program.)
511 King St., Upper King Street
Upper King Street is known for its bars, but The Belmont is one of the more sophisticated ones. A somewhat long, narrow space, there isn't a bad seat in the house, although the two-person high-top tables that run along the glass front make for entertaining people watching. There's also a cozy couch, intimate booths, and a bar—which is the real reason you come here: The cocktails are expertly done.
The Cocktail Club
479 King St., Upper King Street
NYC's West Village meets the South in this upstairs bar-lounge perched above The Macintosh restaurant on King Street. The 1881 building has been cooly reimagined—you can see the original beams and salvaged doors through the Cocktail Club's exposed walls; and the sole, long bar is made from reclaimed wood. The layout design reads more home than bar, split into three different lounge areas, each with a slightly different vibe, a mix of high wood tables and low leather couches, fireplaces, and fun lighting accents. When the weather's nice, there is also the rooftop terrace and garden (which is where the Cocktail Club's fresh garnishes come from). The ambience here is matched by the quality handcrafted cocktails, house-made infusions, and expert spirits list.
544 King St., Upper King Street
The chef behind downtown's Fig is also responsible for this Southern oyster bar and seafood hall concept on King Street. Like many popular Charleston restaurants, The Ordinary is housed in a historic building—this one used to be a bank. But The Ordinary stands out thanks to its spectacular Southern seafood line-up. Expect to see raw bar towers everywhere, along with plenty of hot dishes from BBQ white shrimp to crispy oyster sliders and steamed grouper.