One of the things I get the most enjoyment from is doing detailed trip planning for the many trips we take each year. Since joint retiring in 2012 (me 2011, spouse 2012), we have spent approximately 50% of our time, about two and a half years, traveling. We have had some amazing, amazing experiences, and eaten at so many restaurants I couldn't possibly keep count - somewhere around 150 would be my best guess. And though every so often an activity or meal doesn't measure up as expected, I would slot those as being less than 5% of the overall things we have done and eaten.
All of this to explain why our time in Charleston, which comes to a close this morning, was jam-packed and unforgettable. We can rest when we're dead, right?
Rather than belabor each and every thing we did, I'll just list them as links, and include either one, two or three asterisks as an indication of how we rated them on a scale of one (low) to three (terrific).
Things We Did (in alphabetical order)
Aiken-Rhett House **
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge Walk *** Free!
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist * Free! (Plus we attended Easter Mass here, which was quite lovely.)
Charleston City Market * Free! (We are not shoppers. If we were, this would be deserving of two asterisks.)
College of Charleston ** Free!
Drayton Hall Plantation ***
Fort Sumter National Monument***
Historic Charleston Walking Tour ***
H.L. Hunley Submarine **
Middleton Place Plantation ***
Nathaniel Russell House **
Old Slave Mart Museum **
St. Michael's Episcopal Church *** Free!
Unitarian Church *** Free!
And then there was the food. Oh, my, the wonderful, incredible food and drink of Charleston. We enjoyed each and every morsel and drink we ingested! And before I list where we ate and drank, I do want to assert that we walked everywhere, easily over 25 miles during our stay, and for that reason our clothes fit the same tonight, at the end of Day Four, as they did at the beginning of Day One. As I indicated, we travel a lot, so we really can't use the excuse that 'we're on vacation' as a reason to lose caloric control. Don't I wish though!
Similar to above, below are links to where we ate, along with the same asterisk rating system, and a couple of notes on what we felt the standout item was.
Where We Ate (also in alphabetical order)
Callie's Hot Little Biscuit** (We've had better, but did appreciate that they had eight different types.)
Caviar and Bananas*** (We shared a fabulous Cuban panini for lunch one day.)
The Darling Oyster Bar*** ($5 Bloody Mary's)
Jestine's Place*** (Fried Chicken)
Kilwin's*** (Ice cream)
Leon's Fine Poultry and Oysters*** (Fried Chicken Sandwich)
Poogan's Porch** (We ate here Easter Sunday evening, and our choices of open restaurants accepting reservations was slim. We would likely not have chosen this restaurant otherwise based on Trip Advisor reviews.)
The Rarebit*** ($5 Happy Hour Moscow Mules, Chicken and Waffles)
Tebow's Hot Boiled Peanuts*** (Cajun style!)
There aren't enough words to indicate how wonderful this city is, nor how much fun we had, so I'll leave you with a few photos instead:
|Drayton Hall Plantation, one of the only plantations in South Carolina to have been left undamaged by the Civil War, the earthquake of 1886, and Hurricane Hugo.|
|Timbo's Hot Boiled Peanuts were ahhmazing!|
|Flowers everywhere because, Spring.|
|Looking out at Charleston Harbor from Fort Sumter.|
|Bloody Marys at The Darling Oyster Bar. See the hush puppy on a stick that came with? So good!|
|Someone could make a book about Charleston doors!|
|We walked over Arthur Ravenal Jr. Bridge and back, five miles round trip.|
|St. Michael's beautiful interior with Tiffany stained glass.|
We're off to Congaree National Park this morning, one of the newest national parks, and number 36 to be visited by us. With 59 national parks in total, we'll have just 23 left after tomorrow.
Make it a memorable day wherever you are!