Charleston may be the most historically rich city in the South. It began its existence in the 17th Century as Charles Towne, the oldest English city south of Virginia. Rice and indigo (popular for its blue dye) created a demand for labor, and the slave trade moved in to fill it. Moving ahead, three signers of the Declaration of Independence hailed from Charles Towne. And, of course, Charleston (name changed in 1783) was the cauldron of the Confederacy, and troops firing on Fort Sumter led directly to the Civil War.
So if you appreciate history, you’ll love Charleston. But there’s a lot more here for you, even if you don’t care two hoots for its past. There’s beautiful architecture. Outstanding lowcountry seafood (Seafood a la Wando at Hank’s – oh my!) and award-winning restaurants. Interesting shopping. Stylish beaches, from Isle of Palms to Kiawah.
A great way to see Charleston is to stay in one of its many comfortable and historic bed and breakfast inns. Walk the city and see the gardens, the row houses, the galleries, and the famous battery. Go out and visit Fort Sumter. Let your hair down and ride one of the carriages, getting a primer on Charleston from a local character.
Oh, and here’s a tip. Have a meal at Gullah Cuisine Restaurant (http://gullahcuisine.com/) in neighboring Mount Pleasant. If you get there for lunch, there’s a buffet that includes collard greens, okra soup, succotash and cabbage, along with fried chicken and pork chops. In the evening, be sure to try Gullah rice. Oh, mama, shut my mouth.
I think I just talked myself into making another visit to this Great American city.