What is it about Charleston, South Carolina that makes a visitor feel at home?

It’s more than The Battery, more than the tourists, more than the colorful, majestic, historic houses. Maybe it could be the open welcoming of the people.

We spent two nights in Charleston and only nipped the top of seeing this city that continues to retain its character decade after decade. It’s an easy place to walk around, just keep a wary eye on the tourists and their sometimes erratic driving.

We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott on Calhoun Street, which was an easy location for walking and navigating the city. The staff was very helpful, the hotel quiet, and our view was colorful.

King Street boasts dozens of restaurants and a wide variety of cuisines. We found Pane e Vino by wandering into The Hidden Countship, an Italian Boutique. Donatello, the owner, is from Italy so we asked her for an Italian Restaurant recommendation. Pane e Vino had a relaxed atmosphere with delicious, delicate food.

Our other evening meal was at Rue de Jean with the entrance tucked down a narrow alley. Other than the waiter seeming a bit frazzled, we couldn’t have had a better experience. The ambience, sitting outside, was quiet and comfortable.

If you haven’t guessed, Alex is a foodie. Not being a cook, I pretty much look at food as nutrition, not that I don’t care about the taste, but I’d rather eat and keep on with my hike or being a tourist. That said, even breakfast is an event for Alex. We found two delightful, decidedly different, places. Jack’s—a casual diner with great staff and simple, but yummy food and Breizh Pan Crepes—authentically made in the truest French manner.

Our weekend was full of rain, sometimes light, sometimes torrential. Despite that, Charleston was a unique experience that bears a return trip sometime very soon.

 

Next week, a tour of a couple of plantation houses and a few other sights.