Our wedding anniversary always lands smack-dab in the middle of a crazy-busy time at work for both hubby and me. So this year, instead of grumbling, we took a few days off afterwards and escaped to Charleston, South Carolina. If you haven’t been there, you are missing a treat.

I love old houses and historic architecture, so Charleston happily let me gawk and drool and snap photos to my heart’s content. As we walked the historic district, we noticed that most of the homes—with their gorgeous porches–don’t face the street. They stand sideways, porches overlooking private gardens. Called “piazzas,” the porches were considered a room, so the front door led directly from the street onto the porch. I will admit to a severe case of “porch envy.”

Historic Home, Charleston, SC

Historic Home, Charleston, SC

The next day was cold and rainy, but hubby and I took the boat ride out to Ft. Sumter anyway (www.fortsumtertours.com), and explored where the first shots of the civil war were fired. We also sailed past the USS Yorktown, a retired aircraft carrier that is on display at the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum (www.patriotspoint.org).

USS Yorktown, Charleston, SC

The USS Yorktown, Charleston, SC

 

A horsedrawn carriage tour of the historic district isn’t complete without a glimpse of the mansions lining the High Battery. We found out the city keeps a close eye on the horses, tracking their number of trips and making sure each horse gets enough time off and even has their temperature taken each morning.

 

Carriage Ride along the High Battery, Charleston, SC

Carriage ride along the High Battery in Charleston

 

Now a house museum, one of my favorite mansions is the Edmondston-Alston House, where General P.T. Beauregard sat on the balcony and watched the bombardment of Ft. Sumter on April 12, 1861, which started the civil war.

The Edmondston-Alston House, Charleston, SC

The Edmondston-Alston House, Charleston, SC

 

As we clopped along, our tour guide told the story of a northerner who once visited Charleston and was completely frustrated by the slow pace of life. He finally questioned a local artist who calmly replied, “If you’re already where you want to be, why rush?”

With that in mind, I’ll end here, rather than cram in more information. I’ll do another post in the future showcasing more of the treasures of Charleston.

For more info, two great Charleston websites are www.mycharlestononline.com and www.explorecharleston.com.

Have you been to Charleston? What did you like best?