Need a taste of Charleston in only one day.

Old Jul 8th, 2013, 05:44 AM
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Need a taste of Charleston in only one day.

I will be in Charleston, SC for only one day in the near future. Its my first chance to see a bit of this beautiful city. Staying at the Mill House with no car. What to do? Need suggestions for one great breakfast (although that may come with my hotel room),......one great lunch.......one amazing dinner......sights to see or a really good tour that can be accessed easily without a vehicle.

I'm not an over-the-top fancy kind of traveler. More a low country lady. Coming from the mid-west, I really want to eat spectacular, fresh seafood. The beautiful homes and gardens fascinate me more than a museum. Not a big shopper, although I love local artists offerings. Not a war history buff, so forts and such aren't high on the list.

Traveling alone. Thanks for any help.
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 05:57 AM
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If memory serves (my husband and I visited a few years ago), Charleston is a most walkable city. If you are in reasonable shape, you can stroll through the city, stopping to take a home/garden tour at any home that indicates with a sign that it is open for one, and interests you. The walk overlooking the water is lovely, so be sure to make your way there. Your inn should be able to steer you in the right direction, but beyond that, it's a great place to just amble. My only concern would be the heat this time of year.
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 06:42 AM
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Don't usually advise tours, we are do-it-yourself people. But with only one day, I would find out what time the Charleston Visitor Center on Meeting St opens and make that my first stop. They have movies on historical Charleston, tours can be arranged, buggy rides, etc. I would go to their web site, and investigate options.

http://www.charlestoncvb.com/visitor...FaxaMgodT1sA3g

As to food, boy, that would be tough to choose in one day. Seafood is a specialty in Charleston. Lots of good suggestions on TripAdvisor and Yelp depending upong your desire for price, location, and formal/informal I like Poogan's Porch, http://www.poogansporch.com/, for a medium-priced restaurant. which is on Queen St., not too far from your hotel.

So many things to see and do, you should have a plan because there are many options. Don't miss the covered Market, or River Tree Sweets, where you can get delicious locally-made pralines! Keep a bottle of cold water with you - it will bot and muggy!
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 07:05 AM
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Carriage ride and a restaurant
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 07:18 AM
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Dixie or Hominy for breakfast. Husk or Cru Cafe for lunch. FIG, Hank's, SNOB, or Magnolia's for supper.

Take the carriage ride first thing.
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 11:44 AM
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Charleston is pretty compact so you can see a lot in just one day just walking around. Although it's been years, we had breakfast one day at the Mills House and remember it as quite good.
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Old Jul 9th, 2013, 05:27 AM
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Thanks to all. I have found a walking tour that actually departs from the Mill House. Would this be a better idea than the carriage ride?
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Old Jul 9th, 2013, 05:32 AM
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If "near future" is summer, I'd take a carriage ride...unless it's a very cool summer day.
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Old Jul 9th, 2013, 06:04 AM
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Starrs, "near future" is next week. According to weather.com the temp will be low 80s with a chance of rain. Not too bad. Evening temps in the hi 70s. Could be humid with rain moving in, but not unbearably hot. Is the carriage ride at all informative? I've done them in other cities without learning much. I suppose its the luck of the draw for a driver.
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Old Jul 9th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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The Charleston carriage ride drivers are excellent. That's been my experience, at least. It is literally luck of the draw because the drivers don't know until they are leaving which route they are allowed to take you on. Charleston does a fabulous job monitoring and organizing the carriage rides. If you are not a fan of them, skip it. It is nothing more than a suggestion to a question asked. Do whatever it is you like to do.
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Old Jul 9th, 2013, 08:08 AM
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Here are some alternatives -
http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/06/30....sl/index.html
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Old Jul 9th, 2013, 08:09 AM
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Carriage drivers have to pass a history test to get jobs.

There are great walking tours as well. Michael Trouche and Ed Grimball are both excellent.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 04:47 AM
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With such a short time,I'd suggest a carriage ride too and there are a couple of different routes they take. I'd suggest that you try to find one that goes past the battery and Rainbow Row. Those are the 'poster' sites of Charleston. There's so much in Charleston to do and see that although I've gone there many times throughout my life, every time I go, I learn something new. A really nice 'Charleston Experience' is to eat the "Grits and Shrimp". Many people think it doesn't sound good and I'd probably think the same thing if I hadn't eaten it, but it really is a great taste. If you aren't accustomed to eating grits, the restaurants have already prepared them so you don't have to do any adding anything on your place. So just eat them and you too will love them. One of the problems that people have with grits is that they don't know how to eat them. No problem with Grits and Shrimp as they are ready to eat.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 04:50 AM
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Correction: "don't have to do any adding anything on your plate." Sorry. I wish there was a way to edit posts on the forum.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 04:57 AM
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Not sure I understand Caroline's "no need to add anything to them" and "people don't know how to eat them"!! LOL
I LOVE shrimp and grits, and fix them--as we have been discussing in another thread.
There is MUCH GREAT eating in Charleston and shrimp and grits is right up there. BUT believe it or not, some people really do not like grits (hard to believe), and I might really suggest a really good dish of local seafood like grouper, wreckfish, oysters (nothing anywhere is like the way oysters are fried on the southeast coast),crabcakes, shecrab soup.
Enjoy. Go to SNOB, Hank's, FIG--or anywhere Suewoo suggests.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 07:50 AM
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Thanks all. I don't have a problem eating grits. I make polenta all the time and its very similar. I know this is a very short visit, but its what I have. I just want to get a nice flavor in the limited time.

Where would you suggest I shop for locally made gift items? Is there a particular street or a market?
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 07:53 AM
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Probably "the" Market. There are untold numbers of shops all over Charleston!!
If you had a car you could save a little money on the sweetgrass baskets and go out on Route 17, but there are stalls in the Market. Be prepared for sticker shock--but there is NOTHING more authentic for Charleston.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 11:43 AM
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My favorite shrimp and grits are at High Cotton, and Anson.

I agree with Gretchen. I will say the last time I went to the Market I was hard pressed to find anything local except food items. The baskets are wonderful. I have a bunch and I use them all the time.

Also look at the Philip Simmons Foundation
http://www.philipsimmons.us/index2.html
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 12:15 PM
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For more local artists' work look at the Low Country Artists Gallery on East Bay St.

http://www.lowcountryartists.com
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 12:37 PM
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I actually have a couple of sweetgrass baskets already. They were a gift from a friend many years ago. I'll have a walk around the Market just for fun perhaps. Isn't it sad when "The" Market in historic cities succumb to selling trinkets? I have found this all over the place -- New Orleans, NY, San Francisco. Travel used to be something special from special places, now they tend to have a cookie cutter personality that renders them too, too similar.

Thanks for the restaurant recommendations.
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