Charleston Journals

Charleston in High Summer

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An August 2004 trip to Charleston by callen60

Travel Photo by IgoUgo memberMore Photos
Quote: Charming and historic, Charleston is easy to explore and full of good food. Nearby Hilton Head's beaches are beautiful, but I'll pass next time.

Charleston in High Summer

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Overview

Quote:
Low country cuisine is unique to this area, and if you love shrimp, seafood, and sauces, you won't want to quit eating while you're in town. The variety of restaurants is large enough that you won't have to. If your budget permits, be sure to give yourself a night at one of Charleston's many premier dining places--we chose 82 Queen. (An alternative strategy is to visit these places at lunchtime.)The tour to Fort Sumter is worth it. In 1861, the Civil War probably could have started anywhere, but it erupted here in Charleston Harbor. The 2.5 hour boat trip and tour of the Fort does a good...Read More

Lodge Alley Inn

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Hotel

Quote:
A Bluegreen Vacation Resort, we stayed here through our timeshare ownership. It's in a wonderful location, right in the middle of historic Charleston, close to the harbor, and perfectly situated for exploring the city on foot. The rooms are in a complex of older buildings, all terrific renovations that kept many of the original brick walls, wooden floors, and other features while creating modern and comfortable rooms decorated in a style consistent with Charleston's 18th-century English origins. Ours was very spacious, with high ceilings and a columnar brick fireplace through the middle of the room that nicely divided the bedroom from the large living room. The walls appeared to be origina...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 28, 2006

Lodge Alley Inn
195 E Bay Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
(843) 723-4019

The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa

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Hotel | "The Westin Resort at Hilton Head"

Quote:
A large beach-side resort, the Westin itself didn't leave me dissatisfied. The hotel meets the usual high Westin standards, with nicely appointed rooms, a Heavenly Bed, and (in our case) a balcony with a sliver's view of the ocean. (I wasn't expecting more; I booked it through Hotwire for about $125, half of rack rate.)I discovered that I don't really care for places of this scale, and I really don't like Hilton Head. We spent 1 night here in between Charleston and Savannah, and I think both of us would have been happy to spend more time in the car that day, one more night in either city, skipping Hilton Head.The island itself is a maze of private compounds: the "plantatio...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 28, 2006

The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa
2 Grasslawn Avenue
Hilton Head, South Carolina 29928
(843) 681-4000

82 Queen

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Restaurant

Quote:
Our original plan was to select one of Charleston's many excellent restaurants for a high-end dinner and find other options for the rest of stay. We abandoned that plan after eating here. Specializing in excellent presentations of South Carolina's unique Low Country cuisine, 82 Queen gave us one of the best dining experiences we've ever had. Calm, elegant, and graceful, 82 Queen appears to full of Charleston residents.We were seated at a white wicker-like table in a beautifully lush and shaded courtyard. The service was excellent, and making selections for each course was difficult. They're famous for the She-Crab Soup, but the Southern Barbeque Shrimp with Grits was also delicious. My ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 28, 2006

82 Queen
82 Queen St
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
+1 843 723 7591

Breakfast & Lunch

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Restaurant | "Breakfast & Lunch in Charleston"

Quote:
There's so much good dining in Charleston that a few days visit will only let you experience a small fraction of the huge variety of good places to eat. When lunch time came 'round, we found lots of reasonably priced places to have a good meal, thus saving our dining dollars for dinner.Noisy Oyster (24 N. Market St., (843) 743-0044): Right on the northeast corner of Bay and Market, this place serves traditional seafood sandwiches, fried seafood, etc. There are no windows, and at the booths on the exterior it's like being on the street (which is a good thing here). We popped in here immediately after arriving to grab a quick lunch before beginning a walking tour. What you see here is what y...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 28, 2006

Breakfast & Lunch
Throughout Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina

Quote:
A long-standing Charleston landmark, Hyman's is a wonder in self-promotion. Somehow it comes off being fun: the T-shirts everywhere, the coupons for free crab dip all over town, the free umbrellas if it's raining, the million autographed photos from the famous and formerly famous who've eaten there, the business-card sized lists of good advice (one of which is still in my wallet, actually).The building is a multistory maze that makes you glad you're being escorted to your table. You can order nearly anything that lives in the ocean and have it fried, grilled, baked, blackened, or dusted in confectioner's sugar. The kitchen must be an amazing place, because the service is fast and the food ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 28, 2006

Hyman's Seafood Restaurant
215 Meeting Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
(843) 723-6000

Slightly North of Broad

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Restaurant

Quote:
S.N.O.B., says the sign. It's your first tip-off that this restaurant, "A Maverick Southern Kitchen," is aiming for a bit of fun along with its first-class dining. Having previously abandoned our plan to spend high dollar for only one meal in Charleston, this was our first choice for our last night in town. The wide-open kitchen and the executive chef in a multicolored baseball cap with a handlebar moustache support that first impression.But there's no doubt that they take the cooking seriously. The "maverick" idea comes out in the way traditional Low Country cuisine is used as a launching pad for all kinds of interesting combinations: crab cakes, but over a saute of corn, okra, squash, an...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 28, 2006

Slightly North of Broad
194 East Bay St.
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
(843) 723-3424

Drayton Hall

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Attraction | "Plantation Life: Drayton Hall and Middleton Place"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Europeans settled this area in the late 17th century and quickly began to establish large plantations along the Ashley River, whose rich land was the source of wealth. Several of these compounds have been preserved, and it's hard to understand life in this area without visiting them. The three major ones are all fairly close together on Ashley River Road (State Road 61), about 40 minutes northwest of central Charleston: Drayton Hall, Magnolia Place, and Middleton Place. If you purchase the Heritage Passport, it includes admission to Drayton Hall and the gardens at Middleton (normally $25 each or so).It's well worth the drive out here. You may wish to avoid heavy traffic times (you're cutti...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 28, 2006

Drayton Hall
3380 Ashley River Road
Charleston, South Carolina 29414
(843) 769-2600

Rooftop at Vendue Inn

Attraction | "The Rooftop at Vendue Inn"

Quote:
Right off the harbor, this is a great place to have a drink or a meal. We sat outdoors at the edge of the large patio, enjoyed the late afternoon, and watched the sun set. The bar and restaurant take up the whole roof of this sizable building, and the restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating. There's live music nightly, too. It was a great place to unwind after a day of walking all over town. We just ordered appetizers to complement our draft beers, but they were good. The view is unmatched. Charleston must have an ordinance limiting the height of construction, and only church steeples poke up above you here. You can see the whole expanse of the harbor, the Battery, and out to Fort S...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 28, 2006

Rooftop at Vendue Inn
19 Vendue Range
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
(843) 577-7970

Fort Sumter National Monument

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Attraction | "Fort Sumter"

Fort Sumter National Monument Photo, Charleston, South Carolina
Quote:
It's farther out here than I expected: Charleston Harbor is large, and Fort Sumter sits at its very entrance, a half-hour boat ride from Liberty Square on the northeast side of central Charleston. Admission to the Fort is free, but the ride is $13. The visitor center at Liberty Square contains some excellent exhibits on the origins of the Civil War, as well as how the idea of liberty has evolved throughout American history. This center itself is worth an hour before leaving. The tour gives you about an hour at the fort and arrives back at the dock after a short but enjoyable tour of the harbor. It lasts a little over 2 hours in all. The fort was subjected to the bombardment that opene...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 28, 2006

Fort Sumter National Monument
1214 Middle St
Sullivan's Island, South Carolina 29482
+1 843 883 3123