Charleston Itinerary help

Jul 8th, 2010, 06:48 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Charleston Itinerary help

Going to be in Charleston August 9th & 10th. So far, this is my plan, but any advice or recommendations would be appreciated. Traveling with wife, 3 year old son, and my mom (65). Not planning any historic house tours, but hope to do self guided walk in historic district.

Monday 8/9/10 (traveling from Atlanta)

4pm arrive in Charleston
Park near City Market and begin walking tour there.
Make way to Waterfront Park, The Battery, and back up Meeting and King.
I have The Charleston Walking Tour by Alan Hartley for reference.

6pm Dinner at Virginia's On King. Any reviews or other ideas?

8pm Charleston sunset.
I heard there are a couple of rooftops that have great view of the harbor.
Any one know of best place for sunset photo op?

9pm Late check in at hotel on Mt Pleasant side.

Tuesday 8/10/10

9am Charleston Lighthouse and/or Fort Moultrie

10:45am Fort Sumter tour departing from Patriot's Point

1:30pm Lunch. looking for South Carolina style BBQ. Hometeam BBQ any good?

2:30pm Charles Towne Landing

4pm Folly Beach/Morris Island Lighthouse

5pm Angel Oak Park

6pm Check In Edisto Beach

Since we will be in Edisto, we might possibly come back to Charleston for more one day of touring. Our hotel has free breakfast, so we will need to eat dinner once and lunch once while in Charleston. I have read about a lot of good places, but we will prefer family and budget friendly places to eat. Other recommendations will be appreciated. We will go to Savannah after leaving Edisto Beach on Friday. Thanks.
smerik17 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 06:54 AM
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I liked Virginia on King's quite a bit. Their fried chicken was excellent. It seemed like a good value place to me.

You might want to try to fit in a horse-drawn carriage tour. Although I suppose you will cover most of that with your walking tour that first afternoon.
china_cat is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 07:12 AM
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Skip Angel Oak - It's really just a clump of trees that spread out over a large area. Go to the website and look at the photo - you'll have "been there/done that!

We took the kids there back in the mid-80's and to this day we all joke joke about Angel Oak everytime any of us discusses "tourist traps" and the the worst places we ever visited.
RoamsAround is online now  
Jul 8th, 2010, 08:10 AM
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china_cat, thanks for review on Virginia's. Carriage tour is an option. I will look into that a little more.

RoamsAround, that is hilarious! We will skip it. Thanks.
smerik17 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 10:19 AM
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The restaurant I was most impressed with in Charleston was SNOB. Terrific food, notably better than anyplace else I tried.

Bessinger's is a local spot that does decent mustard-based sauce style BBQ. It's located out west of downtown, within reasonable distance of the Ashley River Road plantations and Charles Towne Landing. I liked their pulled pork best the time I went, preferring this to their pork ribs or pulled chicken. Sides were reasonably good, with beans being the best.
bachslunch is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 11:27 AM
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Thanks bachslunch.
smerik17 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 12:13 PM
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The advice on Angel Oak is good in that it is almost an hour's drive from Folly to the Oak tree, which is interesting if you are in the neighborhood but not worth a drive of any kind. If you are going to be on Edisto, I can't see the reason to visit Folly at all. Same type of sand and ocean on both beaches. No cute shops, adequate restaurants but not compelling.

Morris Island lighthouse cannot be visited or easily seen from Folly. It can only be reached by boat. the light house on Sullivan's is not as historic but it's right there near the Fort.
dove is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 02:03 PM
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Go to the rooftop at Market Pavilion for the best rooftop view. They give priority to guests of the hotel. If you can't get up there go around the corner to Vendue Inn.

I agree about the carriage ride. August is hot so bring a bottle of water apiece. Have you considered checking into your room before you go downtown? You may want to return to your room to cool off before supper. I realize it's in Mt P, but it doesn't take but a few minutes to get across the bridge. I do it everyday. There are actually some great budget friendly places to eat in Mt. P.Boulevard Diner, Mustard Seed, and Page's Okra Grill are all family friendly and won't bust up your wallet.

I disagree about the Angel Oak. It's one huge tree and it's not touristy at all. There's a basket lady out there on the porch in a rocking chair. She'll be happy to talk to you about her craft. I would however combine it with another activity-it's a ways out. The Charleston Tea Plantation is out there and is worth a trip. I agree with dove. Skip Folly.
suewoo is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 02:10 PM
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Thanks, dove. That may give us more time to schedule more downtown stuff and rearrange day 2. Anyone review Fort Moultrie or Charles Towne Landing? Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon? Anything better for my 3 year old? We are skipping museum tours and home tours to try not to bore him to death. We have an aquarium in Chattanooga so we aren't too crazy about going to other aquariums. We are looking for fun (and cheaper) ways to experience Charleston.
smerik17 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 04:06 PM
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I'm with suewoo about the Angel Oak. It is purportedly the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi and I think it's amazing. It is not 'a clump of trees that just spread over an area.' It is one oak tree whose branches spread over 160 ft across with a trunk diameter of over 25 feet. Most of the side branches are as big as any whole tree trunk.

Depending on your route to Edisto (if you're taking 17) you could take a quick detour to Angel Oak that day, get some great photos (please don't stand on the tree branches, just next to it), learn about some local history in the gift shop, and be on your way to Edisto. If you hang a left from 17 on Main Road, it's only about 5 miles down the road on the right. The best's free! My sis has taken pics of her kids there every year; what a great series of photos she has of them growing up!

You might reconsider your walking tour starting at 4 pm. I would probably check in at the hotel, let your toddler have a swim or nap, head to the historic district for dinner as planned, then do the walking tour when things hopefully will be a little cooler and then your rooftop sunset drink. Obviously if you get a cool spell, that might change, but August in Charleston is usually really warm and a miserable 3 year old does not make for a good vacation. A carraige ride as previously suggested might also work.

If you do a walking tour, see if it includes the tiny public walkway off of East Bay between Tradd and Water Streets that cuts through to Church Street. It's hard to believe that it's a public walkway and so cool. It's easy to imagine what it was like 200 years ago in Charleston when cutting through here!

I think some of your planned times might be a little tight...For example, by the time you disembark from the Ft. Sumpter tour, get back to your car, move your car/drive to Hometeam BBQ as planned or walk all the way down to the restaurant area of Charleston and actually eat lunch, I think you will find that it will be way past 2:30 and then you still have to get back to your car and head to Charles Towne Landing; CTL closes at 5 daily. Also, I didn't mention before...Angel Oak closes at 5pm. (They lock the gates and you cannot see the tree from the gates.)

As for the's a pretty good one. They have a whole habitats of SC thing from the mountains and streams all the way to the beach. There is a touch tank in the lobby that would be a great precourser to your time at the beach. I think they have an albino alligator right now. My DS also loves the Serpentarium on Edisto, but I don't know how into reptiles and alligators your child is. We've eaten a casual lunch at the Seacow Eatery that we enjoyed and was reasonable, but that was a few years ago. We've also eaten at the The old Firehouse in Hollywood on the way to Edisto. Maybe someone else can chime in about Edisto restaurants.
dsgmi is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 04:15 PM
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You are heading to my favorite city in the world and you've gotten some good comments and suggestions...I am going to throw a few ideas in the mix, as well.

Monday-I would tour the downtown area, as you've already described. You can see a lot just by walking. I don't know if you will be able to cover both King and Meeting Streets, though, if you are already walking down past the Waterfront Park and around to the Battery. I think you may find it is too hot to walk basically the length of the historic district three times.
My suggestion: Park near the Market (We often use the bank parking garage between Pinckney and Haynes St.) Walk up to Meeting Street and then turn left and head toward the Battery and White Point Gardens. You will see lots of gorgeous homes. When you get to the Battery, pause and admire the view of Ft. Sumter, then continue on up East Bay, so that you can take in Rainbow Row. Vendue Range will be on your right and this is where the Waterfront Park is. By now, you will need to cool off for a few minutes! If there is time left, you can stroll through the Market area and see the vendors. If you have extra time, you can take in King St., but it is mostly shopping.

After your walking tour (which might take longer than 2 hours, depending on your pace), I would head over to Mt. Pleasant and check into your hotel. It will be so hot downtown that you will probably want to rest and freshen up before dinner. Then, I would head over to The Boathouse on Isle of Palms for dinner. That way, you can relax as you eat and then take in the sunset from your dinner location. This means much less rushing around from spot to spot. OR, if you are looking for more budget friendly and still trying to hit BBQ, you could go to Hometeam BBQ on Sullivan's Island and then see the sunset from the Breach Inlet bridge OR you could eat dinner at Boulevard Diner in Mt. Pleasant and then walk the Ravenel Bridge to get some great sunset photos.

I think your 3 year old would enjoy Ft. Moultrie, because there is lots to climb on and explore. It's also pretty inexpensive to visit.

After Ft. Sumter, I would eat lunch somewhere near Patriot's Point in Mt. Pleasant (Boulevard Diner, if you didn't eat here the night before) or somewhere downtown, since your next stop is Charlestowne Landing. You might try lunch at Virginia's on King or at Hominy Grill, if you're looking for lowcountry style cooking.

I think I would allow more than 1.5 hours at Charlestowne Landing, although you might not need it. While you can actually get great views of the Morris Island Lighthouse from the end of Ashley Ave on Folly Beach (although you have to walk the last 1/4 mile), and while the Angel Oak is fascinating to see, I don't know if either is really worth the detour, because both are quite a distance off your route to Edisto.
BetsyinKY is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 04:19 PM
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Sea Cow is still good, and Waterfront is excellent. There's a great farm stand, King's on the right as you make your way onto the island. They have excellent prepared foods as well as produce straight off the farm. Their website has what's in season:
suewoo is offline  
Jul 8th, 2010, 07:46 PM
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Wow! Ya'll have some great ideas and tips! Thanks so much.
smerik17 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2010, 07:58 AM
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The massive and ancient Angel Oak Tree is a national treasure and a universally recognizable symbol of the lowcountry. There is nothing like it!

Visiting the tree, which belongs to Charleston County, is absolutely FREE. You can spend as much or as little time as you wish. If you pack a lunch, you can picnic in the park.
kiawahvilla is offline  
Jul 9th, 2010, 07:59 AM
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If you decide to visit the Angel Oak, keep in mind that the park CLOSES at 5 pm.
kiawahvilla is offline  
Jul 9th, 2010, 10:39 AM
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I have to agree with those who encourage you to visit the Angel Oak Tree. It's one of the most remarkable things I've ever seen.
SusanCS is offline  
Jul 11th, 2010, 08:25 PM
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If you go to Angel Oak, you can trot along to Folly Beach. There are many fun, casual restaurants there. There's a restaurant on the pier that looks out over the water. After eating you and your 3 year old can walk out toward the water.
sanchesnutt is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 06:23 PM
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Great comments already, but just to add:

I agree with skipping Folly if you're going to Edisto. Angel Oak is on the way to Edisto and is worth a quick stop. Amazing site to see in person! August is hot no matter what time of day, and it's the humidity that kills you! With everything you have packed in your trip you may be asking for a cranky 3 year old quickly. I'd probably do a carriage ride so you don't have to walk so much... bring lots of water! Even one of those hand-held water fans is a great way to keep refreshed. I use it on my kids to keep them cool.

Here's a site that also may help you:

Have fun!
lovncharleston is offline  
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