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On 8:58 AM by Rachel Preston Prinz in
Charleston is a town unlike any other... sharing coastal habits of both the American East with Deep Southern roots. She seems almost like a town in Europe, but with a unique American style.

We especially enjoyed the areas along King and Meeting Streets when we were north of Russell Street, and pretty much everything along and south of Broad Street. The CityMarket buildings were full to overflowing, though we found that Charleston's famous sweetgrass baskets were available convenient to the cross-streets at the ends of the old market buildings without having to manage the droves of tourists.

OH! and if you are into fun traditions, get a photo of yourselves with the hat man at Broad and Church! (How could we miss that? ack!)

Many people say to take a carriage tour, and if you are into the stories and history, go for it, especially if you can afford a private carriage. Though because I am an architecture-o-phile, I'd rather walk.

Thanks to Garden and Gun and Southern Living magazines, we knew to visit the Calhoun Mansion, Waterfront Park, the Old Powder Magazine, the Phillip Simmons garden, the Ravenel bridge, the French Quarter and the rainbow rowhouses along East Bay street. We'd also recommend a trip out to Drayton Plantation, a visit to The Citadel, a pass by the Old City Jail, a visit to the College of Charleston, visit the Cathedral, and take in all the churches whose steeples rise above what seems to be each block in every direction... and be sure to pay attention to where you walk. You might be walking on ancient cobblestone streets and miss it because you are looking up too much!

We LOVED the area from Battery (on the far south of the peninsula) all the way north to Russell Street. They say the intersection of Tradd and Meeting has appeared the way it does now for 300 years. I can see why every city in the country should come study it. The historic district is an exercise in gorgeous architecture, through and through. Explore every street! There's so much to enjoy!

Note especially the tiny houses stuffed between the stately mansions, the prettiest flowerboxes in the US, the unique shutter details, the exquisite driveways (yes I said driveways!) and gardens.

The cast iron shields found on many of the buildings note that they were upgraded by various Fire Insurance Companies after fires and earthquakes decimated parts of the city in the 1800s.  Some of these plaques are beautiful in their own right.

As far as restaurants go, we enjoyed Virginia's on King, Fig, or Husk for foodie types and Toast! for breakfast. G&M Fast and French is supposed to be the epitome of espresso and french pastries, but we didn't get a chance to try it during our trip. If you aren't a foodie, there are too many decent restaurants to mention and you'll be well-fed if you check out your proposed spots on TripAdvisor.

Whatever you do, enjoy your visit! Charleston is wonderful and she feels like a home away from home!
Here's our walking map!