Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Charleston - Part 1

 Before visiting Charleston, I pictured it being a city on the water filled with tall houses, large porches, historic buildings, southern accents, and horse carriages. After visiting Charleston, the image that comes to mind is very similar to the image I had before my trip with a few additions/changes: amazing food, plenty of places to run, no high rise buildings, “ghost” tours, and LOTS of history.
Even though our trip flew by, I think three nights was the perfect length for our visit. 

Here is my mini recap of our first two days (day three and four will be on the next post):

 Day 1 – We woke up incredibly early to start our drive from Birmingham to Charleston. After passing through Atlanta, Augusta, and making a small stop in Columbia to see the University of South Carolina, we arrived in Charleston!! We stayed at the Hampton Inn in the Historic District (off of Meeting Street); shopping on King Street and great restaurants on East Bay Street were all within walking distance. Not to mention they had cornhole set up at the hotel. I am still terrible due to my complete lack of hand/eye coordination.  
After checking into the hotel we walked down Meeting Street and there were drink specials everywhere. We walked to Broad Street and decided on Slightly North ofBroad (SNOB) as the restaurant for our first meal in Charleston. While waiting on our table at SNOB we stopped in Social for a drink. They had champagne flights so my drink choice was easy.

After some really good smoked salmon, we walked to the Pavilion Bar on top of Grill 225 and the Market Pavilion Hotel on the corner of East Bay Street and Market Street. In my opinion, this is the best view in Charleston and it would be my top choice for a drink. The rooftop venue not only has a great view, but also heaters, a pool, and a bar. This was the perfect way to end our first night!

Day 2 – We ran from the hotel down King Street to The Battery and then ran along the water while the sun was rising. I was so mad at myself for not taking my camera that morning. Later that day we went to Hyman’s for lunch. The tables all name various celebrities that have sat at that particular table. Sarah Jessica Parker sat at our table! 
We did a carriage tour and learned some unique and interesting things about Charleston. You cannot go to Charleston without doing one of the carriage tours. 

Our tour started at the Palmetto Carriage Barn

We bought joint tickets for both a carriage and ferry tour through Palmetto Tours. After the carriage tour, we took the ferry to Fort Sumter. It was nice to relax, but the ferry tour was not my favorite. If you are a history person, then you will enjoy it. My favorite part of the ferry tour was probably seeing Jimmy Buffet’s yacht and that wasn’t really part of the tour. 

View of Fort Sumter from the ferry

Arthur Ravenal Jr Bridge

We saw some really beautiful houses on our tour and here are two of my favorites.

Chris (my cousin) and his wife live in Moncks Corner and met us for dinner Friday night at South End Brewery. The brewery/restaurant/bar is three stories, brick on the inside and outside, on East Bay Street with good pub food and little to no wait. We spent four hours at dinner catching up! It was so great to see some of my family and to introduce them to Chad. 

 South End Brewery
Flight of South End Brewery's Beers
with my cousin and his wife
After one drink at the Roof Top of Vendue Inn and Blind Tiger, we crashed! I have to say the rooftop bar on top of the Market Pavilion Hotel was 10x better than both of those.

I'll post on Days 3 and 4 tomorrow.