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NYC TO FLORIDA DRIVE: CHARLESTON HOTELS/FOOD and more....

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For the third time, I am planning to spend the winter in SE Florida. Two of us will drive from our home in New York City over a period of 3-5 days. We like to discover places new to us along the drive, and have had some great fun exploring parts of the South on our past four drives back and forth. We are especially focused on finding great places to eat, and usually prefer places with local flavor, such as the BBQ temples of Eastern North Carolina, or the seafood shacks of Coastal Georgia, and chef-driven places in any location.

This coming December, I think we will drive the Delmarva route again and spend the first night in Eastern NC (we like Hampton Inn in Edenton; planning for more BBQ) before heading for Charleston. I'm thinking 2 or 3 nights there. I have been to Charleston quite a few times, on work-related trips, but my most recent visit was about 25 years ago.

So: We will spend our time downtown and I have marked a few places to eat (FIG and THE ORDINARY are currently at the top of my list but would love to hear suggestions; I'm wavering on the Sean Brock restaurants and have little interest in his new Mexican venture). We want a hotel with parking, and elevators. I am not looking at B&Bs in historic houses because we have to unload lots of stuff from the car, need a refrigerator and would like a large room this time.

Please let me know if anyone has stayed at Charleston Place, which looks well located for us. Anyplace else you would recommend in the upscale bracket?

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