Charleston, SC - Trip Report

Jun 28th, 2009, 03:41 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 932
Charleston, SC - Trip Report

My husband, 20 month old and I just returned from a 9 day (2 travel and 7 in the city) vacation in Charleston, SC. We had a wonderful time and fell in the love with Charleston. I won't go into to much detail .. if you have questions, please feel free to ask. We were fortunate in that it only rained once the whole trip - and it lasted 15 minutes. Weather was in the hight 80's and mid-90's - with very high humidity. Some days we had a nice breeze.

We stayed at the Andrew Pinckney Inn. Trip Advisor gave it good reviews. In addition to the good reviews, it offered the lowest rate for a place in the historic district. We opted to stay in a Value Queen Room. When I made the reservation, i did not pay close attention to 'queen' .. as in queen bed. My husband is 6'7, so this did not bode well with us .. as we are use to a california king at home. We were able to get a rate of $159 sun-thur .. and then $199 for fri and sat nights.

Our room was 202 - 2nd floor backing to Hanks' Seafood, and we were right on the street. The room was extremely small. To make a long story short, we unfortunately had to deal with a young girl at the reception desk who was not very friendly nor really interested in helping us upgrade to a larger room. I went back twice to speak with her but to no avail. She did offer to give us free parking and knock $20 off per night, which for 7 nights, was pretty good so we took it. Room was musty, bit outdated although the sink was new in the bathroom. Shower was not. Lots of noise at night out our window due to restaurant staff camping out below our window on their breaks, etc. Pinckney Inn was a great location .. we would possibly stay here again but would need to see the room prior to doing so. We would never stay in a Queen Value room again. The room didn't look anything like the picture on the site. But we weren't going to let this ruin our trip.

Saturday night was our 1st night in Charleston and we had dinner at Hyman's Seafood. Definitely a tourist spot, but we were tourists so we enjoyed it. Food was ok. My husband enjoyed his along with the boiled peanuts. It was here we also had our first taste of the FireFly Sweet Tea Vodka. Loved this.

Our first full day in Charleston was Father's day. We started the day with a carriage tour with Old South Carriage Company. We had Dennis the horse and Rebel as our guides. We were lucky and got the East Bay/Battery route. We really enjoyed the tour. Throughout different times of the week we walked around the Old Market and in the evenings after dinner we usually stopped along Market st at Kilwins to get a fresh lemonade, pralines or stroll the 'touristy' shops. I didn't find any of the shops along Market Street to be much interest - most were somewhat chatchke. Nap time so my husband and daugter headed back to the hotel ... I went off on my own - down East Bay, the Battery, Meeting, Church, Broad, Queen, etc. taking pictures of all the wonderful homes, mansions, gates, doors, window boxes, etc. Daughter woke-up and we headed out to do the Hunley Submarine Tour - this was great and would do again if we could. We then visited Magnolia Cemetery - love the craggy trees there and old tombstones. Dinner was at the Southend Brewery and Smokehouse on East Bay. This had to be my least favorite place of the trip. Food was very bland.

Monday we went to the Whirlin' Waters Water park - outside of the city - our 20 month old loved it and it was refreshing in the heat. We ate lunch at the water park. After lunch we went back to the hotel for my daughter's afternoon nap. When she woke up we strolled down King Street and did some shopping. For dinner we ate at Poogan's Porch. My husband tried the fried alligator and really enjoyed it. After dinner we walked down East Bay towards the Battery. We let our daughter run wild in the park. She chased the birds and squirrels and made friends with a dog.

Tuesday we went to Drayton Hall. Loved this - was my favorite plantation - history wise. We had the manager as our tour guide and did an excellent job. Her enthusiasm and love for Drayton hall really showed in the way she talked about Drayton Hall. We then went to Middleton Place Plantation and ate lunch there. We didn't care for lunch at Middleton Place. We toured the ground. Our daughter was getting cranky so we decided to skip Magnolia Plantation. In hindsight, I wish we would have done Magnolia instead of Middleton. Our daughter fell asleep in the car - so we made a few stops (Sugar Bake Shop, Piggly Wiggly) and 45 min. later she woke up. We headed to the Aquarium - enjoyed this. For dinner we wanted a break from seafood and the low country so headed for Bocci's Italian restaurant.

Wednesday we headed towards Mt. Pleasant. Boone Hall. This is also my favorite plantation but for it's beauty. The Avenue of the Oaks is beautiful Could be why North and South is one of my favorite mini series. After Boone Hall we headed to Sullivan's Island. We wanted to take pictures of our daughter on her first beach visit. So we had a cute sundress on her for this outing. Lunch was at Poes - one of my favorite places as I love a good cheeseburger and hand-cut fries! For dinner we ate at the Charleston Crab House. After dinner we went down the Harbor park by the pier and let our daughter run around.

Thursday we went to Folly Beach. My husband grew up in Florida so was use to Florida Beaches - he wasn't real impressed with Folly. There was a bunch of 'sea trash' that washed ashore along with reeds everywhere .... sand wasn't that nice. but it was a beach and our daughter's first time swimming in the ocean so we had a good time. Lunch was at the Lost Dog Cafe at Folly Beach - awesome lunch. Dinner was Jestine's Kitchen.

Friday - Patriots Point - we toured the USS Yorktown and the Clamagore. Lunch was again at Bubba Gumps. We toured the Old Slave Mart Museum and Calhoun Mansion. Dinner was at Buccaneers - one of our favorite places to eat of the trip! Great food, service and atmosphere!!

Saturday morning we left for home!! We had a wonderful trip and were sad to be home!! Thank you to all that helped in suggesting places for Father's day on a previous post!!
katzen is offline  
Jun 28th, 2009, 04:04 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Having grown up in Eastern North Carolina, I didn't go to Charleston until I was in my thirties! Shame on me. What a beautiful town though. I really loved the antebellum homes on the Battery. Did you get a chance to go to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens? This was one of our favorites. Hydrangeas everywhere. Glad you enjoyed your trip. Hoepfully the humidity wasn't too bad.
ncsuchemist2002 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2009, 04:09 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
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OOPS...I just read that you skipped Magnolia. Oh well, maybe next time.
ncsuchemist2002 is offline  
Jun 29th, 2009, 07:42 AM
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Posts: 5,020
Enjoyed your trip report. We are going to Charleston for the first time in September. Have been doing a lot of research. It's always nice to hear about some of the places you plan to visit from someone who has actually been there.
Giovanna is offline  
Jun 29th, 2009, 09:16 AM
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ncsuchemist2002. Magnolia will definitely be on our list to do next time!

If I can help with anything, please let me know! Enjoy your trip .. Charleston great .. beauty and history rolled into one.
katzen is offline  
Jun 29th, 2009, 10:37 AM
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Thank you so much. Will certainly call on you if I need some help and/or answers!
Giovanna is offline  
Jun 29th, 2009, 10:46 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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loved reading your TR. We took our first trip to Charleston back in April, and did many of the same things you did so it was nice to hear about someone else enjoying them as well:

-Old South Carriage tour (very entertaining and informative and afterwards my daughter kept looking for earthquake bolts)
-Poogan's porch (fried chicken and biscuits mmmmmm)
-Hymans (twice as my daughter loved it!!)
-Poe's tavern (Best cheeseburger)
-Sullivan's island
-Patriots point

We stayed at the Hampton Inn historic district. A little more walking but the room was huge (L-shaped double queen) and the hotel was great. Some other things we did (for Giovanna):

Fort Sumter (very interesting)
Children's Museum
Charleston Museum
Toured a house but can't remember the name but it was used as the Hazzard house in North and South.
Cupcake (wonderful cupcakes)
Jestine's kitchen (worth the wait)

Just a word about Hyman's, it gets a really bad rap as too touristy from many people but we were tourists and the food was really good. One of the Hyman brothers came to our table both times to see if everything was OK. Daughter got the biggest kick out of sitting at the same table as Mathew Broderick.
gmoney is offline  
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