Charleston was everything I had hoped it would be and more. Like any place, you have to explore to find the memories you will treasure. My first impression from looking online and in guide books was that the entire city looked like rainbow row, but that was not true. Rainbow row is its own special little space in the city. It is a modern city with a beautiful history. I will be making an article about the many wonders of Charleston, however, this is my list of top ten experiences to plan for your own trip to South Carolina’s gem.
- “Rainbow Row” and the old buildings of historic Downtown Charleston.
2. Outdoor eating. There are many places with outdoor dining as well as hidden courtyards such as the Blind Tiger Pub where we ate our first night in the city. We loved the food (and the prices) so much that we came back our last night for some delicious truffle fries!
3. Waterfront Park. Never before have I seen people legally wading into public fountains! You do not have to hold yourself back, just waltz right in! The waterfront park also boasts a lovely shoreline, free binoculars for viewing, and swinging benches!
4. The Charleston Market is iconic of historic downtown Charleston. What I loved is that they don’t just sell tourist trinkets like t-shirts and key chains, they have authentic local foods, teas, hats, and their famous sweet grass baskets.
5. Historic carriage ride tours can be seen all over the city. Even if you do not take one, you can enjoy watching them trot by.
6. Sadly, the rainy weather kept us away from the beaches, but on a nice day there is a wide selection of beaches and islands to hop.
7. The Plantations are a must-see because they are the heart of Charleston’s history. There are so many to choose from. Our top two were the McLeod Plantation and the Middleton Place Plantation, but we have heard incredible things about Magnolia, Boone Hall, and the Charleston Tea Plantation.
8. We did not have time for the breweries and distilleries, but if you’re going with a group this can be a fun activity to add to your list. The Firefly Distillery sounded amazing.
9. Southern cooking and sweet tea. You have to try a sweet tea while you are there and if you can find catfish on the menu, it is worth a taste! Our favorite dishes were the homemade mac n’ cheese, cornbread, peach cider, and rice and bean dishes we found in the city.
10. The animals you will meet. We made friends with cats, lizards, horses, sheep, goats, gators, and even a peacock named Mr. P.
There is so much to discover. Honorable mentions: The Charleston aquarium, the Charleston Museum, Firefly distillery, the Powder Magazine, the Provost Dungeon, and Fort Sumpter. What is on your wish list?
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