Sunday, July 25, 2010

I'd Retire Here, if I ever Planned on Retiring

The second most preserved city in the world (Rome is the 1st), Charleston, South Carolina is an amazing visit! An ideal travel destination for honeymooners, lovers of architecture, and history buffs (it is one of the few cities to boast both revolutionary and civil war history), Charleston is a delightful city!

When you visit Charleston you can't go wrong lodging in the historical district of the town which is more conducive to walking or biking than to driving, as parking is a bear unless you are independently wealthy and like traversing narrow streets with lots of pedestrian. For maximal enjoyment you will want to find a bed and breakfast or hotel that is south of Calhoun Street. We stayed in the Francis Marion hotel, a quaint hotel built in 1924 (Charleston Place and the Vendue Inn are others I'd recommend looking into, may be pricey). The downside of this hotel is its lack of pool and the ease with which sound transmits in the halls. The upside is the character, the rooms that end with 08 & 28 are furnished with two bathrooms! Other positives are the hotel's location by Marion Park, Starbucks, and the cigar shop next door!

When in Rome do as the Romans and when in Charleston you should take in:
1. Fort Sumter - the 1st 'shots' of the civil war
2. White Point Gardens - "battery park"
3. The Market - an open air market with crafts and local wares
4. Rainbow Lane -
5. The churches of Charleston - can be toured during hours open to the public
6. The grave yards of Charleston - from which comes the terms dead ringer, saved by the bell, and grave yard shift
7. Tour by horse drawn carriage (The Old South Carriage Co) - day
8. Tour of the city jail (Bull Dog Tours) - night
9. Farmers market - Saturday mornings
10. Tour a plantation or a historic home
11. Visit 1 of 6 Charleston museums
12. Bicycle - tour the city on rented bikes
13. Stroll the historic district admiring the wrought iron fences and picturesque homes.

Recommended restaurants:
1. Virginia's - southern cooking ($20)
2. Sticky Fingers - bar-be-cue ($12)
3. Hyman's - seafood ($15)
4. Fleet Landing ($22)
5. Sweet Water Cafe - burgers and sandwiches ($10)

Note: the weather is hot, but the morning and evenings are not. If you decide to run, bike, or tour, run early and stroll late.

Final Thought: if I were to retire in Charleston, I would become a tour guide because they can make things up and no one know the differences. I would also take up photography while being an interim pastor at one of the local churches. Ever the capitalist I could sell my photography at the Farmers Market the proceeds of which would allow me to by a multimillion dollar historic home located on the peninsula where I would run a bed and breakfast (for missionaries on furlough and over-worked pastors of course, how else could I justify the purchase?!)