This is the second part of my roadtrip from spring break 2017. The first bit is described here. Enjoy!
Coming from Asheville to Charleston was a bit of culture shock. Asheville is artsy, quirky, bold and colorful. Charleston is colorful too, but its palette is softer, more tasteful, and refined. Sort of like Asheville's sophisticated big sister. The architecture oozes with old money and Southern charm. Everyone wears khakis, button downs and pastel colors. It was kind of like stepping into another world where everything feels posh and pretty.
The first day was all about Downtown. I kicked it off with a walking tour, which was fun and informative. Plus, because we were walking, we had a chance to stop and see the beautiful buildings up close. I booked a tour with Brian from Charleston Sole. He’s got great reviews on Tripadvisor and a tour lasting more than 2 hours was $20. This guy seems to know everything about the city, from historical facts to modern-day trivia. He told us Stephen Colbert lived in one of the beautiful houses down near the Battery.
Here’s some of my favorite photos from the day:
Later on I caught the sunset at the Battery and ate dinner with the two girls who were also staying with my Airbnb host. We went to Hyman’s Seafood, which is a little expensive. To keep the cost down, we each ordered soup and split some hush puppies (yum). For desert we went to Jeni’s ice cream. I tried two flavors of sorbet I absolutely loved: Riesling Pear and Black Currant. They even taste good together!
Only drawback I can think of for the downtown area: I couldn't find any free parking spots that were okay to use for over 2 hours. If you want to spend the day walking about, be prepared to pay, and bring some cash!
I lucked out with my Airbnb on this leg of the trip. My room was only 30 bucks a night and the owner of the house had a really sweet Pitbull who kept me company sometimes. That doggie loved attention, and I was happy to supply it.
After waking up late, I threw my tot bag in the car and set off for Folly Beach. As I drove, I listened to Real Estate’s self titled album, which did an excellent job of setting the mood for a lazy beach day. Since it was a weekday, not many people were out. I had a nice view all to myself. After I finished my book (Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me), I watched the seagulls and walked up and down the beach.
Next I drove to Sullivan’s Island to watch the sunset. I was lucky and had a nice view!
After this, I drove to meet an old friend from college who’s working on his MD/PhD degree (wow!) at Medical University of South Carolina. We walked along the battery and the waterfront park, which was neat to see at night. We grabbed gelato somewhere too, but I forgot the name of the place.
First thing I did was visit the Angel Oak Tree. I was not prepared for how massive it was. What a sight! Here's a giant photo to help you get the effect:
Next I visited the Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. In hindsight, I wish I’d brought a sketch pad or some paints! It’s so beautiful there.
The best part of Magnolia was seeing all the animals at the Zoo & Nature center. Even the deer weren’t afraid of people! One came up close to me and licked my flip flops. The peacocks were pretty, but you could tell they did not want to be touched. And boy, were they loud!
I couldn’t resist the chance to see one more beach sunset, so I drove to the Isle of Palms and took some more photos. Nice way to end the day.
As far as food goes, I used a Starbucks gift card to buy a box lunch, which I ate on the beach. For dinner, I stopped at Luke ‘n Ollie’s Pizzeria on the way home. Really friendly staff and the Hypocrite pizza (veggie pizza topped with pepperoni) was yummy. It was about $14 for a good size pie.
Hope to come back again some day!
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