Charleston, South Carolina is named after King Charles II. It has weathered both the Revolutionary and Civil wars as well as an earthquake and a hurricane. Amazingly, the centuries of styles and wear all blend together offering true southern comfort and hospitality.
The area has so much to see including a 1500 year old live oak tree (Angel oak), a tea plantation, Foley Beach and much more. We focused our attention on the historic downtown.
Charleston’s earliest European settlers were English but the developing seacoast town also attracted a mixture of ethnic and religious groups from France, Ireland and Germany. The city was also home to the largest and wealthiest Jewish community in North America. At the riverfront park, there is a pineapple fountain offering the city’s hospitality. Walking along the water towards the battery, the palm-edged park offers views of Fort Sumter and the pleasure boats in the harbor. The horse drawn carriages giving tours share stories of the magestic and historic mansions. These include the Rainbow Row which are a series of thirteen colorful Georgian row houses. Winding through cobblestones streets with 21st century tourists gawking at charming homes with colorful window boxes and colonial ironwork completely juxtaposes centuries. The French Quarter was once filled with stores run by French merchants. It is now filled with art galleries and restaurants mixed in with residential homes. The entire area is mixed with theaters, homes to tour, shops, and restaurants. The Market Hall and Sheds have been in place since 1807. It is originally where fresh meat and produce were brought daily and it became a hub of commercial activity. Today the market is filled with some food but mostly crafts, souvenirs and artisans weaving sweet grass baskets. It is still a hub of commercial activity, just different wares.
It was difficult choosing a place to eat. Every place looked inviting and every menu delicious. We decided to sample quite a few sweet and savory tidbits and quite a few drinks in several locations. Who knew you could mix grain with grape and have a Screwmosa. No headache there.