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Trip Report Two Days in Charleston, S.C.

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On Feb. 17 we drove from Savannah (described in a separate posting) to Charleston. Before dropping off our rental car in downtown Charleston, we stopped at the Ft. Moultrie National Monument, which is about 10 miles past Charleston. We saw the 20-minutes film and perused the visitor center. We didn’t have time to walk around the fort, which is on the other side of the street from the visitors center.

We then drove into Charleston, dropped off our luggage at our B&B, then dropped off our rental car, and walked back to the B&B, stopping at the Charleston Visitors Center along the way. We were too late for their main movie, but we saw a number of short videos, which were useful for orientation, and picked up maps and brochures.

We stayed at the 27 State Street Bed & Breakfast, in Wurdeman's Study. We were in Charleston during SEWE (Southeast Wildlife Exposition), and lodging was difficult to find. At $199 (+ tax) per night, 27 State Street was one of the best prices I found. The location was terrific. Nearly everywhere we went was a short walk from the B&B and, like Savannah, Charleston has free bus transportation within the historic district. Donna, the proprietor, was extremely helpful. When I made the reservation for the B&B, about three weeks before we arrived, she told me that it would be a busy weekend and advised that I make reservations for meals then. She kindly made dinner and lunch reservations for us. The room where we stayed was very nice (though the TV was very small), and the bathroom was terrific – granite countertop, drawers and cabinets for storing things, and a high ceiling. Breakfast was light (pastries, fresh berries and other fresh fruit, and fresh orange juice) but good. It was served between 8 and 10 am on the verandah. (It was also an option to have it served in the room.)

Dinner our first night was at Fulton Five, a very nice Italian restaurant.

Saturday morning we went to the Old Slave Mart Museum, which opens at 9 am. It was on the same block as our B&B. The museum is well done and definitely worth a visit.

At 10:30 am we met Michael Trouche for his 2-hours Charleston Footprints walking tour (http://www.charlestonfootprints.com). Michael, a 7th-generation Charlestonian, gives a SUPERB tour. He is very knowledgeable about the city and its history and weaves in personal stories that make the tour particularly enjoyable. I recommend him very highly.

After the tour we walked by the colorful houses on Rainbow Row to the High Cotton restaurant, where we had a very nice lunch. I tried Shrimp and Grits, which were delicious.

After lunch, we took the free bus to The Aiken-Rhett House. This house has been conserved but not renovated. The audio tour was excellent.

We then walked across the street to the Charleston Museum and spent the rest of the afternoon there. It’s a very good museum, and we easily could have spent more time there than we did.

We ended the day by walking through Marion Park, where many SEWE activities were taking place, and then through the blocks of pavilions of the Old City Market. By then it had started to rain, so it was nice to walk through the covered market pavilions.

Dinner that evening was at Hank's Seafood. Food was very good, but we had to wait nearly 30 minutes to be seated despite having a reservation and showing up on time.

Our last morning in Charleston was Sunday, and many things are closed then. The Old Exchange Building and Provost Dungeon, which was just a few blocks from our B&B, was open then (it opened at 9 am), and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit there. There is a guided tour of the dungeon in the basement, both with a human guide and from animatronic storytellers. One tours the main floor and second floor on one’s own, but docents are readily available to answer questions. We learned a lot about the history of Charleston.

We them walked back to our B&B, packed up, and took a taxi to the airport.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Charleston and Savannah. Both cities are very easy to navigate. Both are filled with history, and both have excellent restaurants.

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