Travel Notes: Charleston, SC

The stars aligned and I finally found my way to Charleston, SC. This city has been on the top spot of my must visit places for a couple of years now and when it finally happened, it did not disappoint. Arriving late in the day, I was glad to have chosen The Grand Bohemian Hotel. Colorful, laid back, whimsical, stylish and unexpected, the aesthetics of this place appealed to me in a big way.

 
 

The hotel was a short block away from historic King Street where you can shop at familiar top brands or unique boutiques.

Charleston is a very walkable city and along the way, you will see beautiful mansions, charming flower boxes, and points of interest Charleston is known for. Here are a few:

College of Charleston
A public liberal arts college, it was founded in 1770 making it the oldest college in South Carolina and 13th oldest higher learning institution in the country. For Spring graduation, students completing their undergraduate degrees wear white dresses or white dinner jackets while December graduates wear black dresses for women and black tuxedos for men instead of caps and gowns.

Charleston Library Society
A cultural institution for life-long learning offering lectures and programs on topics related to literature, history, and the book arts for all ages.

Sweet Grass Baskets
A Charleston treasure, sweetgrass basketry is one of the nation’s oldest and most beautiful handicrafts of African origin. It is made from locally harvested bulrush – a strong but flexible marsh grass that thrives in the sandy soil of Lowcountry.

Citadel Ring Statue
Unveiled in 2011, the bronze ring stands at about 6 feet tall and 8 feet long and weighs about 3,000 pounds. It is located at the gateway of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.


In Charleston’s historic district, blooming window boxes add beauty and charm. Most houses extend nearly to the sidewalk making window boxes the perfect gardening space.

The Battery
Famous for its stately antebellum homes, the Battery is a landmark defensive seawall stretching along the lower shores of the Charleston peninsula which is bordered by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers.

Rainbow Row
One of the most photographed in Charleston, Rainbow Row is the name for a series of thirteen pastel colored historic Georgian rowhouses located on East Bay Street. The houses were constructed in 1740 but it wasn’t until 1931 when Dorothy Porcher Legge and her husband Judge Lionel Legge purchased the section of houses that the colorful transformation began. Dorothy Porcher Legge was the one who decided to paint the homes on this row a pretty shade of pastel pink to make the area look nicer. Eventually, other residents on the street started to paint their homes various pastel colors as well.

Pineapple Fountain at Waterfront Park
The pineapple has long been the symbol of hospitality and this fountain is an iconic site in Charleston.

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church
The oldest European-American religious congregation in South Carolina.
City Market
Throughout the 19th century, the market provided a venue for area farms and plantations to sell beef and produce and served as a gathering place for locals. These days, you will find plenty of souvenirs, jewelry, and sweetgrass baskets.  It also houses the Charleston’s Confederate Museum.

Since the last book I read was Margaret Bradham Thornton’s Charleston: A Novel, I found myself imagining Eliza retracing her steps in the city she left behind and eventually returned to.

 

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