|Charleston's Waterfront Park|
The unfortunate thing about this particular weekend was the weather. Two years prior when I visited Charleston in December, we were blessed with sunny, 60+ degree days--not so on this trip. It rained basically the entire weekend, and it was chilly. Of course, that's what we get for visiting during a time of year when the weather is questionable, I suppose.
Because this was Steve's first trip to Charleston--and because we didn't arrive until late Friday night and had to return home Sunday afternoon--we basically just spent Saturday exploring the city on foot. We saw all the major sites--The Old Slave Mart, Rainbow Row, the Battery and of course the Market. It being the Christmas season, I do have to admit that we spent quite a bit of time shopping for gifts for family members and only gave up doing so when it was time for our late lunch at Magnolia's.
Although some would probably scoff at the fact that we ate at one of the city's more "touristy" restaurants, this meal wasn't overpriced and was worth every penny. Every bite of food we ingested was outstanding, and they make a mean Mint Julep--their secret is to make them with Wild Turkey American Honey rather than straight bourbon ;o) The service was also exceptional, and that's saying something, because even though we ate outside of what are considered regular "lunch hours", and even though it was in fact "off season", it was a Saturday and the restaurant was quite busy.
|At Magnolia's for lunch|
We had one last stop on our itinerary before heading back home on Sunday, that being the Hunley Confederate Submarine housed in North Charleston. Many tout this as one of Charleston's major must-sees, and of course I can understand why--she was the first combat submarine to sink an enemy warship--but I think that her current situation leaves a lot to be desired, and unless you know for a fact that you won't be returning to Charleston within a couple years from now, I suggest leaving a Hunley stop for a future visit.
|Just a beautiful Charleston street|
For such a short visit, especially one that was punctuated with weather, we used our time wisely by seeing the biggest and best sites and catching some great shopping. If you only have time to spend a couple days in a city, I always suggest skimming some guides before you go and just taking your day or two there to explore the city. Doing this allows you to at least check out some must-sees and determine whether or not you will return to a place in the future.
|Apparently I can't fit through the Hunley manhole. Or at least not through the reproduction's manhole.|