Charleston was named as the “best city in the world” by Conde Nast in 2018. Charleston’s cityscape is influenced by the Colonial, Georgian, Federal, Classical Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Victorian, and Art Deco architecture style. While walking in King Street, you will see Horse-driven carriages, cobblestone streets, and an endless row of fantastic food joints.
I went to Charleston for a one day trip and in my opinion, you need more than a week to fully cover Charleston. The night before our trip we drove to Columbia, SC to stay at a friend’s place, which is a little more than two hours from Charleston. We planned to drive early morning to Charleston. The trip started with a 90’s pop music session and we had fun singing along. The first thing that we had planned was a ride to Bulls Island. We reached Bulls Island on the ferry at 9 am. The tours are conducted by Coastal expeditions and the cost of the tours range from $40/person – $75/person. We chose the Boneyard beach expedition which was for $40/person. Bulls Island is one of the four barriers of Cape Romaine Wild Life Refuge. The estuary that leads to Bulls Island is home to seagulls, oyster beds and bottle-nose dolphins. The Bulls island has a variety of sea turtles, crabs, and pelicans. The boat ride is 30 min long and I would advise you to bring along a jacket as it gets cold on the way even in summers. Once we reached Bulls Island then we had two options of coming back which were either to take the 12 pm ferry or the 4 pm ferry. If you get stranded on the island then don’t worry because you are not going to spend your night on the island. A rescue team consisting of helicopter shall be sent your way but that would come at a huge price.
We forgot to bring insect repellant but were relieved as we bought one on the boat. However, after a few minutes, we realized our mistake. Due to early morning showers that day, all kinds of insects and mosquitoes were out. Even though we had the insect repellant bought from the ferry, we got bitten by an insane amount of mosquitos as it was highly ineffective and useless. I think the best solution would be to wear full-length clothes and get a good quality insect repellant otherwise you will spend a lot of your time running from mosquitoes, scratching yourself and not be able to enjoy the beauty of this wonderful place. After doing kung-fu with the mosquitoes on the trail, finally, we managed to reach the beach. Now as soon as you arrive on the beach on the left side there is boneyard beach and on the right, there is a shell beach. As we wanted to catch the 12 pm ferry back, we decided to only visit Boneyard beach. While walking along the shoreline we saw many dead jellyfish and horseshoe crabs, tortoise nests, and small ghost crabs. Boneyard Beach is a dark beauty; it is a graveyard of dead trees. The constantly shifting coastline has killed pines and myrtles, while salty sea winds have stripped trunks and limbs of leaves and bark. One of the most remarkable moments of this trip was when we saw a bunch of pelicans flying above us in a synchronous pattern. We got so caught up in the moment that forgot to click a picture. The to and fro walk to boneyard beach took us approx an hour and a half.
Once we were back in our car we decided to go back to our hotel and freshen up and get some energy into us via some good food. For our stay, we got a good deal on a suite in Hamilton Inn by Hilton. Once we were all cleaned up we headed to La Nortena Taqueria Mexican Grill for lunch. Everyone ordered a different variety of fajitas. As my fav source of protein is shrimp, so I ordered shrimp fajitas. The food was extremely good in terms of both quality and quantity. I ate so much that I had difficulty walking post-lunch but still could not resist licking my fingers. Our earlier plan was to visit the famous Angel Oak tree but due to the long lunch, we had to drop that plan as the area closes at 5 pm. So I reserved it for the next trip because it’s Charleston and you would want to keep coming back. Next, we visited King Street, the local market of Charleston. We browsed through a lot of interesting stuff, such as a variety of colorful butterflies and insects preserved in amber and puzzle boxes that ranged from two to over a hundred steps. From there we made our way towards Waterfront Park at Sewee Bay. The area consists of two fountains which are like a cooling center for kids in the summer. We sat in the shade on the bridge and relaxed. After an hour we decided to head to a decent rooftop bar and have some cocktails. We choose the rooftop bar at Vendue. If you don’t want to sit in the sun then Vendue has a bar in its lobby area which is quite cozy as musicians are playing and singing soothing jazz music.
Charleston is also a land of thunderstorms in summer. When we were sipping our cocktails we were warned of an approaching thunderstorm and everyone started to move towards the lower level. My friends and I waited till the last moment as we were too excited to photograph the approaching storm. The view was thrilling and fantastic at the same time.
Finally, as the rain started to pour, we took solace in the lobby of Vendue and waited till the rain eased up little so that we can roam in the Charleston streets. Charleston I feel is a place to celebrate love and friendship. The place is lit with hanging lights throughout the streets and the classy restaurants accentuate the elegance. At that very moment, I decided that my next trip to Charleston would be an all-girls trip. We had dinner at Jestine’s Kitchen. I choose this place based on a review of a blog post but I don’t think the review was very genuine because I don’t think I would visit that place again. The waitress looked like as if she had been in a fight, the quality of food was not optimum and even the eating options were limited. It was a southern-style restaurant food so most of it is just fried, chicken or shrimp or okra. The cornbread was sad.
After our disappointing dinner but our brain still full of serotonin from the Charleston vibe, we came back to our hotel around 11 and happily devised our next trip plan to Charleston.
I read somewhere and totally agree with the statement that Charleston is a land of pineapples, plazas, pinks, showy styles, brick floors, chandeliers, brandy in crystal decanters, churches, carriage, weddings, lush ivy, planters, and palms