Recently I visited my good friend from high school in her new city; Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston is a wonderful city filled with great food, architecture, history and surrounded by natural beauty and I highly recommend a trip there. I'm also really happy I visited for a week, I was able to slow down and explore without any rush. I spent a day in Savannah and I honestly didn't enjoy that city as much. Below are a list of my favorite places to eat, visit and explore.
There is a long stretch of sea wall at the bottom of the Charleston peninsula called The Batter, it was build as a defensive sea wall during the civil war. Now it's a beautiful walk way with wonderful views of the sea and city and has a beautiful park; White Point Park. I would suggest walking along the walk way and spending a moment to do nothing at all in the park. White Point Park was lined with beautiful curling oaks and palm trees, it was a perfect place to enjoy a warm day.
The Gibbs Museum is a small fine art museum with pieces mostly made by American and some Mexican artists from the 19th century on. The building it's self is beautiful, I'm a sucker for an interesting floor tile design. My favorite piece however was a a permanent installation by Patrick Dougherty. This piece called Betwixt and Between was made from local wood collected by volunteers and is inspired by Charleston many steeples.
Boone Hall Plantation
This beautiful plantation is known for it's beautiful oaks covered in spanish moss that line the drive in. Many movies have been filmed on the property including The Notebook and hundreds of marriages happen there every year, including, more recently, Ryan Reynolds and Black Lively. This plantation is still a working farm, known for it's strawberries and tomatoes. But in it's heyday this plantation produced rice, bricks, pecans and cotton.
There's a tour of the land and farm in a tractor pulled coach, a tour of the house and a Gullah presentation. All three are nice but the Gullah presentation was the most interesting to me, learning about the African American, specifically the Gullah history and culture was so informative. The pure beauty of the plantation is the main reason I would recommend visiting, trees and land are a site to see.
There are a bunch of tourist-y things to do down town that should be a part of your trip, not matter how corny they are. Some of those things include Rainbow Row (a collection of pastel colored homes in a row), City Market, Waterfront Park and the Old Slave Mart. You could include The Battery in this list but I think that's important enough to have it's own mention. The way I took in this historic and tourist-y area was just meandering around, getting lost in the back streets and stumbling upon a new historical site. The houses in this area are so beautiful it makes getting lost feel imporant. Click through the images below to see more of downtown.
This completely free attraction was one of the most beautiful. This tree is over 400 years old and is so large some of the limbs have grown into the ground and come back up. I can't emphesise how glad I am to have driven the 45 minutes to see this tree.
I took a ferry from Coastal Expeditions that took about 30 minutes (the ferry was about a 30 min drive from Charleston) to get to Bulls Island. This is a remote island off the coast of the peninsula that has beautiful swamps and beaches. The ferry ride it's self was ecotourism and I learned about the ecosystem in the estuaries off the coast.
Once you're on the island you can explore what ever you would like as long as you're back in time to catch the return ferry. The main attraction is Boneyard Beach, this beautiful beach with dead trees that have become like driftwood, but still stand tall as trees leaving the land scape to look like it's scattered with bones. I was also very fortunate to have run into an adult sized alligator and on the way home I saw a dolphin. This may have been my favorite part of my trip, highly recomended.
Fast and French
Delicious french food that is fairly priced and, not surprisingly, comes quickly. The tables are shared so prepare to knock elbows with strangers.
An adorable cafe that has every hip food from acai bowls to avocado toast. I had the best chai tea latte (made with turmeric!), almond butter toast and roasted brussel sprouts. The seating is limited inside, but expansive outside, go on a nice weather day.
Vegan and Vegetarian food in a bohemian interior. They have some really interesting smoothy flavors and great pizzas. I had a berry smoothy and hummus plate.
Back In The Day Bakery
This is the only place I ate in Savannah and it was my favorite part of my day trip there. I got biscuits and gravy (with an egg) and a lavender shortbread cookie. SO WORTH IT.