Sightseeing in Charleston

{alicia}

I know, will I ever shut up about my vacation? That would be a negative. In fact, there was so much to say about my trip to Charleston, SC that I had to break it up into two posts. Today we’re going to focus on things you must see, and later we will talk about the food.

I should also warn you that this is going to be a photo-heavy post. This actually breaks my heart a bit because there were so many more pictures I wanted to include. But enough about that, let’s start with one of the loveliest moments from the trip (one of MANY): The Battery.

The Battery, Charleston, SC

Isn’t this ridiculously scenic? The Battery was named after the defense artillery that shacked up there during the Civil War. There were even cannons posted along White Point Garden (the nearby park). As if there wasn’t enough to gawp at, there were also these insane antebellum houses that lined the street.

The Battery, Charleston, South Carolina

I found Barbie’s dream house.

The Battery, Charleston, SC

Umm, I’d like to move in please. K, thx.

If you head north on East Battery, it will turn into East Bay, which will bring you to our next point of interest. Rainbow Row reminds me of the South’s version of the Painted Ladies in San Francisco. The pastel-colored houses run from 79 to 107 E. Bay and are a huge draw for tourists and photographers.

Rainbow Row, Charleston, SC

A bit obscured, but you get the gist.

I can’t even hate on the hordes of snap-happy people because I was probably the worst. I was taking pictures of everything–this includes brass door knockers in the shape of pineapples, and streets I found quaint.

Charleston, SC

I mean, look at the road and palm trees!

The problem was everything was quaint! Oh, stairs covered in creeping fig? LET’S TAKE A PICTURE.

Charleston, South Carolina

Don’t be too impressed. I only know this is creeping fig because a tour guide told me so. Apparently, English ivy causes damage to homes because of the tendrils that work its way into every little crack–who knew?

Charleston is highly walkable (the farthest we walked to any given location was 25 minutes), so if you enjoy this sort of thing, I’d advise you to hoof it through the neighborhoods. You are bound to stumble upon all sorts of eye-pleasing sights. The houses here are so charming!

Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC

This was actually the entryway to a church.

Another church! This time the French Huguenot Church.

Another church! This time the French Huguenot Church. See that rain? The weather was perfect except for this moment.

Charleston, SC

This epitomizes Charleston to me.

I even came across a garden with my namesake, which is funny because I spent the whole vacation whining about not being able to find a “Share a Coke” bottle with my name. This sort of counts.

My garden!

Mine!

I haven’t been able to find any information on who Alicia actually is (my guess is that it might have something to do with Alicia Rhett?). If anyone knows, please share!

If you’re looking for something a bit unique (and possibly sacrilegious), check out the Unitarian Graveyard–allegedly haunted by Poe’s Annabel Lee. We didn’t stay long because I have a tendency to creep myself out.

It was many and many a year ago/In a kingdom by the sea/That a maiden there lived whom you may know/ By the name of  Annabel Lee.

It was many and many a year ago/In a kingdom by the sea/That a maiden there lived whom you may know/ By the name of Annabel Lee.

If you’d rather rest your feet for awhile, there’s also the possibility of taking a carriage tour. Many companies depart from the City Market, so head there to get your ticket (around $20 per person), and reserve a time and carriage. Just ask one of the operators sitting at the carriages or in the kiosks.

Charleston, SC

For people who are leery because of animal treatment concerns (I was one of those people), our guide assured us that Charleston has strict regulations to protect the horses and mules. While this was comforting, I still felt conflicted about it, and I’m not sure I’d do it again. Don’t get me wrong, Palmetto Carriage Works was great; I’m just having a moral dilemma here.

Since the city is so small, and traffic gets out of control, the tours are divided by zones. The route you take will depend on the luck of the draw. We ended up in the Battery and Museum districts. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and had all sorts of nuggets of information–this is the guy who taught me about creeping fig! He also pointed out St. Philip’s leaning steeple:

St. Philip's Church, Charleston, SC

I guess I can sort of see it? An earthquake caused it to tip.

We only had two days in this wonderful city, so I’m sure I missed a lot. Feel free to comment and tell me where I should go next time!

Honorable mentions:
Philadelphia Alley
King Street
Sullivan Island (technically a 20-minute drive from Charleston)

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7 thoughts on “Sightseeing in Charleston

  1. In the Caribbean, Europe and North America, the pineapple became associated with the return of ships from extended voyages. It was served as a centerpiece at celebratory dinners as proof of having been to the New World, as they were not available elsewhere. The pineapple became an emblem of welcome and hospitality that made its way into contemporary art.

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  2. That’s it: after reading this and seeing your photos, I am officially longing to return to Charleston. I haven’t been since 1998, during a road trip from the UK. This time when I go back I shall have to visit that graveyard since I’m a fan of Poe. Thank you for sharing your highlights.

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  3. Pingback: Looking Back on 2014 | Wander & Whine

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