Charleston – Southern Charm
If you want a to run away for a few days -or for a few weeks- Charleston South Carolina can meet all your holiday expectations with a charm that’s uniquely southern.
Robert and I could only sneak away for a few days, but we were thrilled and overwhelmed by all the options available: gourmet food, historic plantations, nature walks, golf, high-fashion shopping, craft shopping, along with breath-taking gardens, architecture, art exhibits, cultural events, and the most city tour options we’ve ever seen available. We could have chosen from…
- a pirate tour,
- a history stroll,
- a Tea Party Tour,
- a Civil War Walking Tour,
- a historic home tour,
- a pub tour,
- a culinary tour,
- a ghost tour,
- an art gallery tour,
- a boat and sea kayak tour,
- an eco tour of the Barrier Island
- a harbor tour,
- a museum mile tour,
- and many plantation tours including a Tea Plantation, a Winery, and a distillery.
Our first stop was Charleston’s Visitor Center in the old train station, where we planned our outings.I picked up many of the brochures, so if anyone is interested in visiting Charleston, the first person to email can have them! We recommend going to the Visitor’s center first to organize your options, and get a few deals.
Since it was our first time in Charleston, we decided to try out another first (for us) – a horse-drawn carriage tour. We chose one of the five options for carriage tour companies - Palmetto Carriage. Their tickets were less expensive when bought from the Visitor Center, and this company provides easy access for those with mobility issues.
Charleston has one of the most options for horse drawn carriage tours in the USA. The city downtown is divided into 5 zones, and using a lottery system each carriage on its way out is assigned a different zone. You won’t know which zone you’ll be touring – it’s all random.
Our tour operator – or as Ben named himself, “Historic Cultural Ambassador” – chatted with us about the history of Charleston, first gifted as a prize to eight friends of King Charles II in 1663, he pointed out the five historic churches from which Charleston became known as the “Holy City”, and gave many other stories and facts on the architecture, the history and the special aspects of his city.
Umbo, our horse, was great with all the traffic, and because the carriage was high off the ground our line of sight was unimpeded. If I were a photographer, I would have been in ecstasy and as a “graduated” home-school mom, I wish I’d taken our kids on a field trip to this city. It was a satisfying way to get our bearings and learn more about Charleston all in an hour’s tour.
Charleston, South Carolina is outstanding in many areas – historic homes and gardens, azaleas blooming with abandon in the spring, food options and cultural activities. However,one aspect threaded through our experience – Charleston’s charm. The people were friendly, and welcoming and it was easy to slow down to enjoy the city’s ambiance. Robert and I will definitely be returning! Maybe we’ll meet you there?
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