Let's face it, vacations can be expensive and for our family, it's time to appreciate where we live once and for all. Charleston, SC isn't ranked one of the South's top vacation destinations for nothing. It's absolutely amazing here and part of the reason we decided, the minute we stepped foot into the Holy City, that we'd never leave. It's time to cut the budget and relax in our own backyard, discover new sites and the best part, we won't even have to pack a suitcase! This summer, I'm excited to launch a new Staycation series for the blog showcasing some of our personal favorites around our little bit of paradise, here in Charleston, South Carolina. (If you're not too familiar with Charleston already, be sure to read up more about our home and one of the best city's in the South, thanks to Southern Living.)
With or without kids, one of our favorite places to venture to is downtown. There's a variety of things to do and see, in the heart of the city, that always has us coming back. Some of the favorites for our boys is the modern Children's Museum, sharks at the South Carolina Aquarium, splashing around the Pineapple Fountain, eating homemade gelato from Paolo's or hanging out in the park on Upper King. Sometimes it can be a challenge to get them to venture out of their comfort zone to try something new and different, which is why I'm excited to urge this family staycation to see and experience places off of our beaten path.
To kick-off our staycation, one of the first places on our "must-see" list was Sugar Bakeshop. I don't think I have to go into too much detail on the why (see: cupcakes & kids), but it also was in a part of Charleston that I hadn't really explored on foot and come to find out it's on the most darling little up & coming street that you should definitely check-out!
Sugar Bakeshop is a cute little bakery tucked across the street from 86 Cannon, a gorgeous inn, in case you need a place to stay. I literally had the worst time deciding on which treat to buy, while the kids' decision making was pretty on point - one vanilla with chocolate + sprinkles, one chocolate on chocolate with rainbow sprinkles. I just really wanted every cupcake and cookie in the shop.
On the side of the shop is a little secret garden to enjoy your goodies in. It was perfect for us to be tucked away not having to worry about traffic and chocolate covered fingers. In addition to cupcakes, they also have other sweet treats like popsicles, cookies and brownies. This definitely won over the entire family, so staycation - 1, hotels (with toddlers) - 0. There were two accessories that made my life one thousand times easier that I do want to share with you. Sharing is caring in my book and if it makes my life easier, I want it to do the same for you, no lie!
The stroller I've been using all around town lately is the Zippy Lite stroller by Inglesina. It's so freaking light weight and it has a patented folding system that allows you to open and close the entire thing with just one hand. See below -
It also takes up zero space in the back of my car, which makes it perfect for this whole staycation thing because I can just leave it in there and not lug it back and forth. My boys are at the awkward toddler stage where they feel confident enough to walk everywhere, except half way down the block to your destination, they insist that you carry them because hi, they're already out of breath. So as much as they refuse the stroller, they absolutely love the new Zippy Lite because it's basically as comfortable as a bed. The canopy extends all the way down, doing a fantastic job blocking out the sun and noise. And well, I'm now a happy camper because I definitely can't manage to hold two 30 lb. cupcake-stuffed boys at the same time.
Diaper Bag Companion Backpack c/o TwelveLittle
The ying to my yang (stroller), is definitely this compartmentalized backpack from TwelveLittle. It's by far the most perfect diaper bag for summer. I personally hate the word diaper bag because I carry everything but diapers in it (even when I had babies). Part of the reason I love this one so much is the fact that it looks nothing like one! The leopard print is right up my ally and it's made of durable water-resistant quilted polyester and leather trim, which makes it so low-maintence all year round. If you do happen to have a little one in diapers, it comes with a cute animal lined changing pad and there is a hidden zipper pocket on the bottom of the back side for dirty items & quick storage. It's also earth mama friendly because it's free of harsh chemicals such as PVC, BPA and Phthalates. I'll be carrying this one for awhile!
I'm so excited to continue our staycation series featuring our favorite family-friendly hot spots around Charleston - until next time....
Thank you to Inglesina USA and TwelveLittle for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are 100% honest and completely my own.