Entertainment

August 24, 2013

Easy Escapes | Lots to do in beautiful Charleston

Spending time in Charleston is like passing through sliding doors between the city’s remarkable history and the excitement of a modern city with a dynamic culinary, cultural and arts scene.

Spending time in Charleston is like passing through sliding doors between the city’s remarkable history and the excitement of a modern city with a dynamic culinary, cultural and arts scene.

As hospitable as it is beautiful, this famous city offers a host of opportunities to learn about all its assets and attractions, including historical sites that teach about pivotal points in the course of the nation’s development, museums and performing-arts venues.

The amazing surroundings have the Charleston Harbor and some of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast, including Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island and Folly Beach.

Visiting period homes provides insight into city life in bygone eras. A fine example is the Nathaniel Russell House. Built in 1808, this home is widely recognized as one of America’s most important neoclassical dwellings. The interior is adorned with elaborate plaster ornamentation and a stunning free-flying staircase. Be sure to check out the joggling board in the formal gardens. This is a uniquely Charleston invention.

Downtown Charleston is brimming with fine hotels and inns, many of them historic. The Mills House Hotel was opened in 1853 and hosted Robert E. Lee and Theodore Roosevelt. Completely renovated, the hotel offers a quintessential Charleston experience.

The lovely King Charles Inn, originally named The Pavilion Hotel (circa 1830), was a gathering spot of area artists, including Edgar Allen Poe.

John Rutledge, a signer of the U. S. Constitution, built a house in 1763. It is now the John Rutledge House Inn.

Check out Charleston’s Museum Mile on Meeting Street where six museums, nine historic sites and a dozen historic places of worship can be found in an easy, one-mile walk.

The Charleston City Market is a must see. Erected in 1804, the Market exists as one of the oldest public markets in the United States. It is home to 285 local vendors, including 56 artisans who weave sweetgrass baskets, one of the region’s prized indigenous crafts.

Opportunities for fine Lowcountry cuisine abound in Charleston. Three Charleston chefs have been awarded the esteemed James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southeast Award in recent years. Many of Charleston’s restaurants have a locavore, farm-to-table, philosophy.

Take in a play at the Dock Street Theatre or a performance of “The Sound of Charleston.”

Speed up your learning curve with one or two of Charleston’s city tours. Choose between walking, hailing a pedicab (bicycle) or indulging in a carriage ride.

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