First settled in 1670, history and charm seep from every cobblestone and window box in the city. It's a city without skyscrapers. In fact, the church steeples are still the tallest buildings dotting the sky line. The city seems to start at the Battery - a peninsula that sticks out into the Cooper River. On the water side is a sidewalk where you can see Fort Sumter and on the opposite side are huge old houses painted in the most magnificent colors. It's amazing to me how old Charleston is - and I know it's not old when compared to European cities or Mayan ruins, but it's old for America! We had an amazing time and can't wait to go back and explore more.
We started off Sunday at Folly Beach, a.k.a. "The Edge of America," and a barrier island to South Carolina. This was my first time on the East Coast side of the Atlantic and it was so different than the Gulf of Mexico. The waves were gigantic - people were surfing. The water wasn't the pretty blue-green of Destin (although we've been told that depends on what barrier island you are on), and the sand was more grey with a mix of shells and rocks. But it was beautiful and very much a local little seaside town - I think we only saw two or three out-of-state tags.
We parked along the highway and walked to the beach through this access path.
The overcast day didn't keep anyone away it seemed.
This was one of the bigger (and brighter!) beach front houses. I love this two-toned color.
We saw some guys catch a small shark on the pier. Yikes!
It made me really glad we hadn't gotten in the water.
The downtown area - very cute with lots of good food choices.
We ate at the Folly Beach Crab Shack and had crab legs and shrimp.
It started raining while we were there and
we were so glad we'd left the beach before it started to pour!
Folly Beach is about 20 minutes from downtown Charleston. After checking in to our hotel and unloading the car, we headed into Charleston to see the sunset. First stop was the Citadel. I kept looking for Frank Underwood (of House of Cards). It had cleared up by this point and the sunset was gorgeous.
After going around the Citadel, we drove towards the heart of downtown to walk around the Battery and watch the sun set. So beautiful. I love the brightly colored houses and the window boxes deserve their very own post! We did this each night we were in Charleston, and it really was my favorite part. The sunset + water + beautiful, historic homes = perfect evening stroll.
We used Off the Beaten Path South Carolina to figure out where to go and what to see. This is one of my favorite quotes from the author: My grandmother, who was from the Midlands around Columbia, used to huff and hiss, "Charlestonians are all right but everybody knows they're too poor to paint and too proud to whitewash."
Obviously not true anymore, but it was an interesting insight!