Just as frost was reaching Brooklyn, our plane bounced through the humid, Southern skies into Charleston for a quick weekend look at a city I've long wanted to see.
As we drove to our hotel Friday night,I'd already happily concluded this wasn't really a city. Charleston (pop: just over 125,000) felt more like a quaint small town.
The walk to dinner in the warm evening mist started to relax the Northern tenseness out of me--and the crispy cornbread did the rest.
Saturday morning brought one of my favorite parts of the trip: a culinary tour of Charleston, starting at the farmer's market. We selected bunches of produce here,
walked around the upper portion of the town (which feels much more up-and-coming and artsy as opposed to the lower more refined side).
Eating and texting while biking!
And then went into a not-yet-open restaurant for one of the most delicious meal of my life. Five courses made from what we'd selected at the market just 45 minutes before.
We spent the afternoon walking among the outrageously beautiful homes (sans camera), taking a historical carriage ride, stopping in a local cafe, and generally admiring the gas lamps and colorful buildings.
The waterfront was lovely at sunset, and I completely sponged up the marsh air and seeing this guy relax.
The pier had huge swings that sat four people. Such a charming touch. And look who was there---just the best in-laws! (Thank you for the weekend away!)
The scale of the clean, beautifully restored, historic buildings is unmatched by any American city I've seen. Here's a look at the rest of the town. Amble slowly, quietly through.
We had such a completely refreshing trip (we didn't drive the whole time, and came back so calm!), that I wanted to mention some of the things we loved most, in case you ever find yourself in Charleston.
Accommodations and Tours
French Quarter Inn: Complete with gracious amenities like free room service, a pillow menu, warm cider all day long, and afternoon cheese and wine.
Charleston Culinary Tours: Such a deal and astoundingly delicious food.
Husk: Mmmm, cornbread
Hom: The chef served us on the culinary tour. This is a gourmet burger joint with (brownie points!) a ping pong room!
FIG: Excellent service, and truly fresh, wonderful food (my fave restaurant on the trip)
Low Country Bistro: For famous chicken and waffles, and plenty of low country goodness
Magnolias: A refined, tall-windowed bistro--and very good shrimp 'n grits
I loved this city so much more than I expected, and can't wait to go back someday. It was truly a hospitable place.