The six of us were at the airport in Seattle WA ending our July 2011 vacation. We’re never joyous at this point other than we know our baggage is checked and we’re on time for our planes. Someone tried to lift the spirits, “Where to next?” I immediately replied, “Charleston.” Neil said that he’d been thinking about that, too. Everyone nodded. We’re going to Charleston!
So the research started and all the experts agreed that if you wanted to see the most beautiful flowers and gardens, go in the spring late March or early April. The Bisbee’s were having a family reunion the first part of April so we picked March 22-27, 2013. Little did we know that the entire country would have a record-breaking cold spring!
When you want to visit a city, go to the Visitor’s Center’s website and order the free visitor’s guide. The Charleston Visitor’s Guide is a book and has handy pull out maps. Research the internet. Ask people. Put the three together and you can start planning. Do you get to do all you plan? NO. But at least you have a good place to start. We usually put together a huge list of things to do. Then we say what we like and don't like. The last part is fitting those things we want to do into an itinerary. (See our original itinerary.) We didn’t get to see many of the plantations and old homes on our list because of the weather and we ran out of time. Get dinner reservations for those restaurants you really want to visit. With a party of six, it was mandatory!! We purchased many online tickets ahead of time – theater, choir, bus tour, harbor tour.
When visiting Charleston, Ft. Sumter is a must. The Charleston Museum is a great place to start off. Take a tour. We loved our Historic Bus Tour and learned so much. We had a van for getting around, but parking is an issue because the Historic District is small and streets are narrow. There are parking garages. There is also a free trolley and if you are willing to walk, you really don’t need a car. In fact, all the hotels on the peninsula charge daily for your car. We stayed across the river at the Residence Inn because there was no car fee. There are tours that go to the plantations, so you can go on one of those without having to drive yourself.
There is so much history and fascinating architecture. Learn about the Lowcountry, Single Houses, and the Gullah. Charleston is often called The Holy City because of the prominence of churches. Charleston is usually voted by travel magazines to be in the top 5 cities to visit in the US. The food is so awesome, and many go there just for that. If you look at our photos, you’d surely think that was our reason.
Go See! We did and want to go back for more.