Two weeks ago we packed our bags and headed to the airport for a family trip to the sandy beach coast at Kiawah Island and Resort. Kiawah resort is located 45 minutes south of Charleston and it leads for a beautiful scenic drive from the Charleston airport. As you approach the island you start to notice the overhang in trees, the luscious greenery and winding rivers along your path.
Bar on main level
We pulled up to the large resort with a huge smile on our faces knowing that this was “home” for the next couple of days and nights. We took a short ride in the elevator to our room after checkin to see what our room and view had in store. The hotel backside is shaped into a U so that most balconies give you a view of the ocean that is just a hop and skip away from the hotel. The hotel staff was great to work with and they brought bed rails for Olivia’s bed and a diaper genie for all her diapers.
After checking out the hotel room we decided to dip our toes in the ocean water and check out the beach. From our hotel room to the beach is about a 10 minute walk. Olivia was first confused with the openness of the beach and how the sand felt between her toes. After a couple minutes she was soon comfortable enough to run all over even getting her clothes soaking wet.
That evening we dined at Kiawah’s signature steakhouse called The Ocean Room located on the second floor of the hotel. We weren’t sure how Livi was going to do at dinner since she woke up extremely early and her nap was limited on the plane. The hostess sat us down with crayons and paper to keep her busy while we ordered our dishes. The dining rooms atmosphere consisted of dark woods with crystals from hanging chandeliers to the sparking wine and water glasses. I’d like to say that we made it all the way through our dinner but Livi only lasted so long. The wait staff was terrific and even boxed up our meal and delivered it to our room so we could finish eating. I ordered the filet mignon with lobster mac and cheese and Shaun had a prime grade bone in rib eye. I also ordered us a bottle of wine which was much needed after a day of travel.
The next morning we headed downstairs to start a nature guided butterfly tour right outside our hotel. It had just finished raining and the butterflies were all over the hotel grounds. On this tour we were able to catch butterflies very carefully with nets and then placed in a cup for us to look at. Then you get to let them free. We learned about the different types and even saw other wildlife during our tour.
After our tour we were starting to get a little hungry. There is a quaint true Southern restaurant called the Jasmine porch. On Sundays they serve a very well known brunch and it just happened to be open when we were walking by. We were seated next to some old vintage style windows looking to the pool and beach. The waiter recommended that I try the mimosa and who am I to turn him down at his restaurant. I happily obliged. Next it was on to the buffet. There was fresh shrimp, oysters on the half shell, seaweed salad, pimento cheese, italian pasta salad, potato salad, chicken tenders, pb&j sandwiches, fried chicken, black eye pea hummus, shrimp and grits, roasted pork loin and the items go on and on. I just about tried everything that they had to offer and even made one last stop at the HUGE dessert table filled with all kinds of desserts.
Well you know what happens when you have a full stomach after lunch….. nap time. We retreated to our now clean hotel room with complimentary fresh water bottles. That evening we drove into Charleston to meet up with some friends and get a quick tour of the town and its history.
Monday morning we woke up bright and early and had a grab and go breakfast from Beaches & Cream. Shaun and Olivia rented bikes for a beach ride (Olivia’s first) and I headed to the hotel spa. Complete silence with relaxation for the next hour you can always count me in for a nice massage. You can also get your nails done or a body treatment. If you want to pretend your treatment ran longer than expected you can escape to the whirlpool located in the women’s locker room.
There was no need to get ready because we took off towards the beach for a couple hours of fun while the weather was permitting. It started to sprinkle after a couple of hours so we headed to the pool bar for a quick lunch under the covered cabanas.
We skipped a nap this day because we went on a boat ride to look at some dolphins. It was an hour trip along some tributaries leading to the open ocean. During this trip we were able to see lots of oysters along the beach and about 15 different dolphins. I think we were more amused than Livi who was just excited to be on a boat. I wanted so badly to see a shark but no such luck even though our tour guide said they see them all the time eating the fish.
For dinner we headed just down the street from our hotel to a clubhouse on a local golf course that housed Cherrywood BBQ and Ale House. Shaun and I both chose to pick the combination platter where you could pick two meats from the following: free ranch chicken, overnight beef brisket, ribs or pork shoulder. Along with our big platters of meat we decided or got talked into doing a beer flight for the each of us. You can walk out to the patio of the clubhouse to get a good view of the course. Not only did we see a baby alligator in the nearby pond but we also saw two very large deer.
The next morning it was bittersweet as we packed our bags getting ready to head home. Olivia was starting to get sick but we wanted more time at Kiawah. Before heading to the airport we stopped at Southern Kitchen for a great send off breakfast. I had the chicken biscuit because I couldn’t leave without experiencing a good southern breakfast favorite. Southern kitchen is like a hidden gem with the restaurant not being very big but offering a true Charleston experience.
Links for more information on our stay at Kiawah Island and Resort.
Disclosure: Thank you to Kiawah Resort and Island for hosting us on our family vacation.