“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” ~ Martin Buber
Once I had my much needed caffeine fix, it was time to explore. As City Lights Coffee was just off of King Street I made my way there first. The city streets were quiet, as it wasn’t quite tourist season yet, and many of the shops were just beginning to open.
King Street was a smorgasbord of old and new. Trendy upscale shops located in old historical buildings, with brightly painted facades and palm trees out front along the cobble stone.
The Battery and White Point Gardens
It was a gorgeous day, much warmer then what the weather-people had said it would be. Having left thirty degree temps, this mermaid NEEDED some water and the Battery was the perfect place to walk to get that.
The Battery was a former artillery and coastal defense along Charleston and has since been turned into a promenade where people can run, walk, and enjoy the ocean air surrounded by gorgeous antebellum style historical houses.
The almost six acres of White Point Gardens boarders the southern terminus of the Battery, and creates a stark green contrast of nature and shrubbery to also enjoy.
Because of the cold front they had been having, not much was in bloom but I can imagine it is a vastness of green and vibrant blooms during the warmer months.
In another life (and if I could flipping draw) I would have been an architect.
I adore architecture, (and alliterations) which is why I have such an affinity for old historical cities.
While many US cities are much more modern compared to their European counter parts, Charleston oozes that rich vibrant history and has preserved much of the past that gives it isn’t charm and character. It was easy to picture ladies in big hooped skirts, and men walking around in britches with perhaps a patch over their eye.
Yes my imagination does run away with me, I am a writer after all.
Much of the fun of the afternoon was being able to walk along the streets.
There are so many buildings to look at and I had no shame in taking pictures of people’s houses, and they didn’t even seem to mind either. Yes, I wasn’t as stealthily as I thought.
It seemed like every street was unique with loads of character. Filled with gorgeous courtyards and flowers, Charleston was like one big Secret Garden. Full of beauty, but also surprises discovering now treasures.
One of the biggest attractions, and a recommendation I kept getting, was to see Rainbow Row.
Rainbow Row is a historical landmark of thirteen Georgian houses painted in colorful colors, which coined its names. Located in the historical district, it is one of the most photographed sections of Charleston.
Rainbow Row is a historical landmark of thirteen Georgian houses painted in colorful colors, coining that phrase. It is one of the most photographed sections of Charleston.
Perhaps it was because of the hype I received before I saw it or the fact their were a gazillion cars parked out front, ruining pictures (yes, I am a brat), but I was disappointed. A quick walk, and some pictures, and that was the extent of it.
Ironically, just a block away, there was a gorgeous cobblestoned street that housed some stunning architecture. It is a quick walk, and as it is located in the Historical District, is easy to see and knock of the ol’ bucket list.
Charleston Waterfront Park
I continued my walk to the Charleston Waterfront Park, home to the famed Pineapple Fountain.
Pineapples are a sign of greeting and hospitality, and as such are a symbol that South Carolina uses often.
It fits right into that Southen Hospitality. The fountain was built in 1990 after hurricane Hugo and has since been a photographed hot spot for all to see.
After walking six miles in heels, I was exhausted and decided to find some lunch closer to the hotel on King Street. I have already written about what amazing café au lait this restaurant had, but the food was equally incredible!
Café Framboise is brightly lit with a modern hipster feel. There is tons of seating with a variety of selections from high tops to window seats to larger tables. They offer baked goods as well as ready made salads and crepes to order.
I ordered a crepe with pesto chicken, beschamel sauce, and avocado. It was delicious! I hadn’t realized how hungry I was, until I sat down and smelled the food!
The workers were so incredibly nice creating a friendly atmosphere, that made it pleasant to spend the afternoon hanging out there.
I perused some shops before I went back to the hotel to take a nap and regroup. The early morning had definitely caught up with me and I relaxed until my friend arrived.
I had researched restaurants and Eli’s Table kept coming up. The menu looked delicious and it had won a bunch of awards.
When we got there it was a happening place. It was also much fancier then what had been mentioned in the reviews. Thankfully they still sat us, and even gave us complimentary champagne. (winning!) I settled for a Southern staple of shrimp and grits, which were unbelievably yummy!
I was in food heaven, so much so I slacked on picture taking! It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.
Have you been to Charleston? What is your favorite place to see?