Sunday, January 11, 2015

CHARLESTON, SC : JAN 2015 : ATTRACTIONS

We visited Charleston, SC in Dec. 2001 and enjoyed it so much that when we had a chance to visit again this month, we jumped at the chance to go back. And there are benefits for going in January, during the short off season. We didn't have to wait in line and got great hotel rates. It didn't seem all that cold to us, we just threw on some extra layers. The down side was there were some things we wanted to do but couldn't because they were closed.

Scott and Tom the horse

Carriage Tours :
We did enjoy the horse-drawn carriage tour of downtown. There are five different companies that do these tours although I believe they all go the same places. They are all similarly priced and some have coupons on their websites that you can print off to get a discount.

Historic houses on East Bay St.

Walking Tours :
There are also companies that offer guided walking tours. We printed off some walking tours we found on-line and enjoyed walking around the "South of Broad" area, particularly Meeting St., Church St., and East Bay St., but if we went back again, I'd probably opt to pay for a guide.

Charleston Harbor



Harbor Tours :
There are several options for harbor tours by boat, but not in January, so we didn't do this. Perhaps next time.

Looking into the courtyard of the Gibbes Museum of Art from the back patio of our hotel room

Museums :
I was especially interested in the Gibbes Museum of Art, which was just around the corner from our hotel. The photo is of the museum's courtyard taking from the back patio area from our room. Unfortunately the museum is under renovations and won't be open until the Spring of 2016.

White Point Gardens


Historic Homes Tours :
There are several historic homes that offer tours. If we'd been there longer, we might have visited some.

Ft. Sumpter :
We didn't visit Ft. Sumpter on this visit, but we did go when we were there in 2001. We enjoyed it and I can't imagine that it's changed much. You do have to take a water ferry to get to it.

The Charleston City Market

Shopping :
If shopping is your thing, there are many options. The first is the Charleston City Market where you can buy souvenirs, jewelry, and hand made items such as sweetgum baskets. I really enjoyed Charleston Crafts, which is an artist co-op, so you're buying directly from the artist. If you like upscale shopping, the area on King St. from Market St. to Queen St. has been compared to Rodeo Drive. I enjoyed walking down it at night when all the shops were lit up but everything was closed so there was no one else around.

Just outside of Charleston

If you're visiting Charleston and want to go to the beach, Folly Beach is just 20 minutes from downtown Charleston.

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