Monday, March 5, 2012

Charleston, SC~ My Favorite Place on Earth!

The Pineapple Fountainin Waterfront Park

The first time Juston and I made our way to Charleston, SC was in 2008. It was part of a trip through the southeast that included stops in Knoxville, TN to visit friends, then on to a state Park in North Carolina, followed by a stop in Charleston, before making the last leg of the trip through Hunting Island , SC and Savannah, GA. The initial reason for wanting to go on this trip was to see Savannah, home of my favorite lady, Miss Paula Deen and location of The Book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which I'd just read. I never imagined that I'd fall in love with Charleston the way I did. It has all the things I love in live in one place! Horses, history, shopping, amazing food and the beach! What more could a girl ask for?

 Poogan's Porch on Queen Street
We spent most of our first trip to Charleston just meandering through the streets, peeking through gates into the magical gardens of the old historic homes and just doing the 'musts' for first-timers; the horse drawn carriage ride, shopping on King Street, hitting the downtown restaurants (you can throw a rock and hit one that would be amazing), and hanging out at the Battery Park. 
 Historic Charleston City Market
At the time we made our first trip here, I was working as a personal trainer and had a client who owns a condo just outside of Charleston in Isle of Palms. He gave me a list of places we had to see and eat. The top of his list was the open air market pictured above.  There are so many local artisans selling their various wares in the market from stone ground grits to sweet grass baskets and tons of things in between. You could spend a whole day just in the open air market looking around.
Home on the Battery
We try to make it back to Charleston now at least once a year, but it if we're lucky, we make it more often than that. Every time we go, one of the first places I like to walk to is The Battery. No matter how many times I see the homes on the Batter, I never cease to be in awe of their beauty. The fact that these gorgeous homes have withstood everything from hurricanes to wars only lends to make them that much more impressive. I can only imagine what one of these homes looks like inside, but just the pleasure of looking in from the outside is enough to keep me coming back year after year.

 The Exchange
There is obviously something for everyone in Charleston. Above is a place we found on our most recent trip over Thanksgiving and needless to say, my husband was probably most thankful for this discovery. The place was called The Charleston Beer Exchange. We walked out of this place with more bage that I ever fill on King Street in the gorgeous shops!
Jestine;s Kitchen lunch, Pecan crusted chicken, fried okra, mac and cheese.
The plate pictured above was literally one of the most incredible meals I have ever had in my entire life. I'm sure just about anything you get from Jestine's Kitchen would be amazing, but I don't think I could ever make myself order anything besides this plate, unless we went for lunch and dinner, of course ;) Jestine's is a staple in Charleston and I would definately recommend it in addition to TONS of other places we've eaten over the years!
Downtown historic Charleston isn't all the area has to offer! We've also ventured out to the beautiful beaches of nearby Isle of Palms, The Boone Hall Plantation, where part of The Notebook was filmed, Fort Moultrie and so many other places close by. I can't say enough how much we love this place. If you ever get the chance to go to Charleston, do yourself a favor and don't pass it up. There is so much to learn, see and do that it will not disappoint you! It is truely like going back in time to be in such a preservation-minded place that values the past as much as the present and future. After all, that's what the South is all about.

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