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Old 04-17-2014, 01:48 PM   #1
GrumpySue
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Charleston, SC

My husband and I are stopping in Charleston, SC for three days to break up our drive home from WDW and would love to hear from anyone who has been there. What to do, where to eat, where to avoid, etc. We have never been there and have no clue where to start !!
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Old 04-17-2014, 01:58 PM   #2
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My favorite place! I love Charleston so much!

Dh and I stayed at Patriot's Point for our last trip.
http://hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hot...THX/index.html. It's a nice location just over the Ravenel Bridge. There are several hotels in that area, that's just where we stayed.

We love the French Quarter! Here's a link to a walking tour..
http://explorecharleston.net/Walking..._Quarter_I.php

They do have horse drawn tours, but we prefer to walk from the French Quarter down to the Battery. The Aquarium is so nice, if you like that kind of thing. If you want to take the boat over to Ft. Sumter, I'd advise buying your tickets in advance. It does sell out!

Our favorite restaurant is South End
. There's probably better, but that one is special to us and we eat there every time we go.
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:20 PM   #3
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The South End menu looks awesome, my husband will love it. We have already gotten tickets for a carriage tour and boat ride to Ft. Sumter. How is it walking around at night, do you feel safe ??
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:29 PM   #4
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I actually lived there for almost three years.

For the best in town super fancy meal: Halls Chophouse
hands down, that place is AMAZING.

The market is fun, tons of local vendors, everything from sweetgrass baskets to cypress bowls and local art.

Make sure to try some she crab soup when you're in, it is FANTASTIC! Halls, Hymans, and Fleet landing have great she crab soup. Fleet landing is right on the water which is cool. Tabbuli is great if you are into hummus and things of that nature, it's the trendy new healthy place at the moment. FIG, and Cypress are also great restaurants. So is 82 Queen.

The horse drawn carriage tours are cool, but they really sardine people in there so just be prepared to be pretty close to those around you.

Outside of downtown there are a few beaches, namely Folly beach and Isle of Palms. I prefer Isle of Palms as it's more relaxed, but Folly is more of what locals consider the party beach. Both beaches are very nice. Look out for jellies though. Red's Icehouse is a nice waterfront dining place also (super casual), you can sometimes see dolphins there.

If you get a chance, visit a plantation. Magnolia plantation is my favorite, the gardens are beautiful and they have tons of peacocks that come right up to you! Also, Cypress Gardens in Moncks corner is where the notebook and parts of the patriot were filmed. You can rent a boat like they did in the notebook and set off. We preferred to have a tour guide do it (I think it is like $5?) but it was really fun and you will see a lot of wildlife.

It's right by Goose Creek (don't go there. It's not fun and just a suburb which is kind of sketchy) which has a big Navy base (why we were there) so don't be surprised if you see a lot of guys in uniform walking around.

Patriots Point is also fun if you want to walk around an aircraft carrier and a submarine. The aquarium is overpriced & nothing compared to ones like the Shedd in Chicago and the one in Atlanta. Skip it unless you have kids dying to go. The battery is pretty and romantic at night. There is just nothing to do there except look at the water so keep that in mind.
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Old 04-17-2014, 02:35 PM   #5
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You can look at the houses on the Battery. They're beautiful. One of my favorite things.
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:17 PM   #6
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I've been to the market in downtown but was not impressed. The crowds were unbelievable, wall to wall people. Probably won't go back. On Saturdays there is a farmer's market in the square which we enjoyed. Depending on the weekend there may be entertainment also. We enjoyed Patriot's Point and were able to find a coupon for admission. We also went to the Charleston Tea Plantation which was fun. We also visited the Angel Oak Tree on John' Island, that was interesting. DD lives there now so I've been there quite a few times this past year. I'll be back in two weeks - this time we are going back the the Tea Plantation, picking strawberries at a local farm, and visiting a plantation. We visited the beach in December but it was freezing, hope to get there again when I'm back in July. I haven't done the carriage ride but DD and her husband did, they enjoyed it.
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Old 04-17-2014, 07:49 PM   #7
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I live here--in "sketchy" Goose Creek. M'kay. Lol.

I recommend a ghost tour--Bulldog Tours is one of the better ones.

Hyman's is good, but can be crowded during tourist season. They do have a carry out storefront nearby, from which I like to grab fish and chips or a sandwich (also, I love their hush puppies). One of my other favorite restaurants is Blossoms. And I agree with the South End Brewery recommendation.

I love the downtown Waterfront Park area to just sit and people-watch.

If you like doughnuts, I highly recommend Glazed (it's on lower King Street).
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:08 PM   #8
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I'm enjoying all these suggestions as I, too, am headed to Charleston, SC next weekend for my first trip! Keep the ideas coming - my DH and I are looking forward to our trip.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:13 PM   #9
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My daughter and I stopped for 2 days there and were excited to see some of it. Unfortunately for us we encounted a lot of very rude people. The hotel would not help us with places to eat and when we visited some of the old houses on display the tour lady was VERY rude to my daughter and I. Not sure if is was because we were the only Canadians there or not. It seems that there was a big fight or fort near there and we were told we were stupid for not knowing about it. Not a good experience for us and one we do not want to repeat. It was a spur of the moment decision as we were driving home and just decided to stop. I am sure there are a lot of very nice people there, just not the one's we encountered.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:53 PM   #10
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You'll love Charleston! I'd suggest starting with a carriage tour just to get a quick history of the area and to learn about all the different things to see and do. The market is cool, though it does get pretty crowded so best to get there early. Lots of great shopping in that area. The aquarium is nice, though there are better places to spend your time. Be sure to check out the houses along rainbow road and the battery. They're are absolutely beautiful and the history behind them is just amazing.
Food wise you have so many great options. I'll second Fleet Landing, great shrimp and grits and it's right on the water. Hanks is also good especially if you love seafood (though pricey and hard to get in). Eli's serves a great brunch and Pearlz oyster bar is a great little bar. There's also a great little dessert bar called Kaminski's. They serve some amazing homemade desserts and drinks!
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:30 PM   #11
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I third Fleet Landing for awesome seafood with a great view. I'd also recommend SNOB (Slightly North of Broad) for a wonderful, inexpensive lunch.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:09 PM   #12
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There is a lot of truly outstanding food in Charleston. We like Husk (Bon Appetit's "Best New Restaurant in America" a couple years ago), 82 Queen, SNOB and Magnolia's. Doing lunch is a good way to keep the cost down. If you're going to be there on Sunday, try a brunch. We did Magnolia's last summer and had a great time.

I like Hyman's as well as the next person (I especially like the prices because I'm usually paying for six), but it's not fine dining.

The tea plantation and Angel Oak are about a 30-minute minute drive from Charleston. I personally can take the market or leave it, but you may want to at least look at it.

If you're into art, there are many nice galleries in Charleston.

Last edited by tar heel; 04-17-2014 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 04-17-2014, 11:15 PM   #13
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I lived in Charleston about 7 years ago and have made a couple trips back since.

I'd check out the tree mentioned earlier. It makes great photo ops.

Isle of Palms is the nicer beach, but Folly has man made waves, so you can rent boards and surf. There is also a lighthouse at the far end of Folly beach. You can't actually walk to it as it is surrounded by water, but you can get a good view of it from shore. It's just off the beach. The only way to get in close is on a boat.

I did a great speed boat tour one time around the harbor. It was a "historical" tour just my speed. "And now if you look to the left we can wave hi and bye to the fort built in...." It was really a lot of fun, fast, wild, a little informative, and wet. We did get to go in close to the lighthouse and slowed down to get some great pictures.

I've also done an Eco tour to Bull Island to see Boneyard Beach. I definitely recommend a trip to that beach at some point. There are the most amazing bleached trees and driftwood there you have ever seen. I have some beautiful pictures of me all dressed in white, sitting on the driftwood, with nothing but the waves and water around me.

I use to like to visit the outdoor market and found it fun to browse through, but my last trip it wasn't as nice as it use to be so not sure about how it is now.

I remember liking the aquarium, but it was very small. If you are like me and just really like aquariums give it a shot. I did very much enjoy it. However, if they really aren't your thing, I'd skip it. It's nothing compared to the aquariums in Atlanta, Chattanooga, or Gatlinburg.

Hope you have a great time.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fairestoneofall View Post
I live here--in "sketchy" Goose Creek. M'kay. Lol.

I recommend a ghost tour--Bulldog Tours is one of the better ones.

Hyman's is good, but can be crowded during tourist season. They do have a carry out storefront nearby, from which I like to grab fish and chips or a sandwich (also, I love their hush puppies). One of my other favorite restaurants is Blossoms. And I agree with the South End Brewery recommendation.

I love the downtown Waterfront Park area to just sit and people-watch.

If you like doughnuts, I highly recommend Glazed (it's on lower King Street).
Didn't mean to offend you. I lived in goose creek the whole time we were there. Honestly, I would consider most parts of it sketchy. Though, there are a few nice areas. It's a mix. Either way, nothing there for a tourist to do.


Also, there is a great cupcake place downtown I forgot to mention. It's called cupcake.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:44 AM   #15
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Thanks for all your replies, I am really looking foreward to this trip. We will be driving back from Disney, do you think it is better to take US-17 into Charleston or continue up 95 to Route 26 and back down ?? Which one is faster, more scenic, safer etc. ??
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