I first fell in love with Charleston, South Carolina about 16 years ago when I took a road trip to visit my family at their new home in Florida. I spent a couple of days in Charleston on the way home, and it immediately captured my heart. The laid-back lifestyle, the quaint Charleston single homes with gas lamps beside the front door, and the genuine southern charm have brought me back several times since that first visit. It has been about 5 or 6 years since I was last here, and as soon as I stepped off the plane I wondered why I didn’t make it back sooner. It’s hard to believe that just a short 2 hour flight can transport you to such a completely different part of the country.
I was racing to the airport for a 3:30 flight this afternoon, but was fortunate that it was delayed and I had time to grab a sandwich for “dinner” before hopping on the plane. Less than 2 hours later, I was on my way to the Charleston Historic District. I quickly checked into my hotel next to the City Market, dropped off my things, and was back out the door. The weather is calling for rain all weekend long so I wanted to take advantage of the blue sky while it lasts! My first stop was at the Sunset Serenade, an outdoor concert to kickoff the 2018 Piccolo Spoleto Festival, a 17 day arts festival featuring local artists in conjunction with Spoleto Festival USA. I stayed for a couple of songs, enjoyed a glass of wine, and then walked to the Waterfront Park along the Cooper River. From there, I slowly weaved my way along the streets and alleys of the Historic District, peeking in gardens and homes along the way. Several of the homes in the Historic District feature the iconic Charleston gas lamps and many also have hidden gardens with fountains tucked away behind arches and fences. I walked for about an hour before deciding it was time to call it a night.
I’m determined to make the best of a wet weekend, though tomorrow looks to be the most promising of the days weather-wise. A perk of being here during Spoleto/Piccolo Spoleto Festival is that there is no shortage of indoor music, dance, and theater events to keep me entertained despite any rain.