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Charleston, SC recommendations?

I am going to be there the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Staying in the downtown historic area. Will also be visiting Savannah, GA.

Anyone have any tips or suggestions? I found some old threads here, but they are all closed and the newest was 2015.

I don’t care much about going to a gay bar, but if there are any that are GREAT I would check it out. I like museums and architecture and if it’s nice weather, being outside. I like quirky or weird places. I like all kinds of food, but I don’t eat meat.

Thanks in advance guys! Oh, I’m from the South so I don’t really need any lessons on race relations. Thanks!

by Anonymousreply 22November 25, 2021 10:53 PM

You, do know the weather will probably not be great right? Being on a peninsula Charleston can get very windy, and it gets pretty cold. It wasn't that long ago when they actually got snow on Christmas day, I think they were the only area of the state that got snow. However, if the weather is nice, take a walk around the battery and look at Rainbow Row, King Street is a very nice shopping area, and taking a walk to the lighthouse end of Folly Beach is wonderful. A walk around the historic College of Charleston is nice because they have some historic buildings preserved on campus. It is a great fun city.

One tip, no matter what anyone says do not try Hyman's Seafood. It is overpriced and not worth the wait. Basically any other local option is better.

by Anonymousreply 1November 24, 2021 11:44 PM

Thanks r1. I don’t mind cold, but I just don’t want ice/snow. We will just cancel if it’s bad weather.

by Anonymousreply 2November 25, 2021 1:45 AM

I saw some Germans in a porno making marzipan candies using a twink's butthole as a mold. You could do that.

by Anonymousreply 3November 25, 2021 1:49 AM

R3, I love twink butthole marzipan!

by Anonymousreply 4November 25, 2021 2:13 AM

Shouldn't you be asking the Senatrice?

by Anonymousreply 5November 25, 2021 2:24 AM

It's nice if you like antebellum stuff (I tire easily) and Early American architecture. It's much better in summer or early fall. There are nice beach areas outside of town, kayaking on a nearby river and if you like plantations, there's a big one outside of town. Even if it isn't cold, it's likely to be gray and dreary---north or south, all of the east N of Florida is dreary, gray and damp during winter. People like to say that they don't have snow and it isn't that cold, but its even more depressing than a place with snow (which at least reflects light and brightens up things).

by Anonymousreply 6November 25, 2021 2:25 AM

many people feel Savannah is disappointing by comparison. The historic district is rather small and only a few of the squares remain intact.

by Anonymousreply 7November 25, 2021 2:31 AM

Don't drink the water, for God's sake.

by Anonymousreply 8November 25, 2021 3:08 AM

Patricia Hearst bought a home there a couple of years ago. You could always drop by for a cup of tea.

by Anonymousreply 9November 25, 2021 3:24 AM

Fine Dining: Chez Nous, The Ordinary. Casual: Xiao Bai Biscuit, Lewis BBQ. Stroll Church & Legare streets to the Battery.

by Anonymousreply 10November 25, 2021 3:58 AM

Poster above who just saw your no-meat comment… Try Harbinger Cafe, Basic Kitchen. Xiao Bao still a good option.

by Anonymousreply 11November 25, 2021 4:01 AM

OP I failed to mention there are some wonderful museums in Charleston, but I don't know their operating hours during Christmas. In fact, the Charleston Museum is one of the oldest museums in the country. Charles Towne Landing is fun to walk around and to get an idea of what Charleston was like when the first settlers arrived. The Gibbes Museum of Art is very nice, with an emphasis on local artists.

If you like to view religious buildings Charleston has many fine examples, it is known as the Holy City for a reason. Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim is the birthplace of Reform Judaism in the US. The Circular Congregational Church is remarkable, as are many more. Also, the cemeteries are beautiful.

Savannah is a let down if you compare it to Charleston. If Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans are the three grande dames of Southern coastal cities, Charleston and NO are the belles of the ball and Savannah is the old maiden aunt. I think it is because the French settlers strove to create the Paris of the New World and Charleston's settlers wanted to create the London of America. Savannah was just a nice city for convicts.

Also, if you see things named Chicora, it is the native word for this land and has been adopted as a poetic name for the state.

by Anonymousreply 12November 25, 2021 4:05 AM

Thanks, everyone! I’m taking notes.

by Anonymousreply 13November 25, 2021 5:11 AM

[quote]Patricia Hearst bought a home there a couple of years ago. You could always drop by for a cup of tea.

Just make sure you're not wearing white if it's after Labor Day.

by Anonymousreply 14November 25, 2021 6:09 AM

I saw the hottest stripper who ever lived dancing on a table top in Charleston sc in his underwear. Just before Covid. Maybe he’s still around. It was a small bar/club downtown

by Anonymousreply 15November 25, 2021 6:17 AM

It's not mostly antebellum. Most of the largest and most luxurious old homes were built after the Civil War (another fact they will try to hide from you).

by Anonymousreply 16November 25, 2021 6:52 AM

Do not bother with the home tours. They look grand and inviting but they are cash grabs by foreign owners, and most rooms are cordoned off. In some cases all rooms are cordoned off and you are limited to hallways only. I love everything about Charleston except that - Southern hospitality does not exist there!

Tomato Pie at Jestine's Kitchen, yum.

by Anonymousreply 17November 25, 2021 7:11 AM

Fort Sumter of course

by Anonymousreply 18November 25, 2021 10:08 AM

[quote] It's not mostly antebellum. Most of the largest and most luxurious old homes were built after the Civil War (another fact they will try to hide from you).

I'm not sure if it is a majority. There are some houses from the colonial period, left, I've been in them. But, remember, Charleston was heavily shelled by the Feds during the war. In 1886 Charleston suffered one of, if not the most powerful earthquake to hit the East coast. It has been hit by numerous hurricanes. It is amazing that so many older buildings has survived to modern times.

I have always thought that it is an amazing testament to the ability and talent of the mainly slave men that built them. I don't want to romanticize slavery, but I also don't want to forget it. Those buildings are a record of their existence and are monuments to their humanity. They were enslaved but still able to create beauty that still stands to this day.

by Anonymousreply 19November 25, 2021 5:03 PM

The house tours only work if you like seeing a lot of overstuffed furniture and fussy rooms that couldn't have been kept without "help".

by Anonymousreply 20November 25, 2021 9:03 PM

The Aiken-Rhett House is one of the best historic house museums in the U.S. and for me the most evocative site in Charleston.

Built in several phases between CA.1820 and 1851, it was owned by one of the largest enslavers in the South, a case of the time-tested benefits (happiness not among them) of new money marrying an old name (Harriet Lowndes Aiken.) Hugely rich they chose to remodel, and remodel again and again. They kept the house from the 1730s to the 1970s when they gave it for use as a house museum. In 150+ years, they closed a bedroom off when Harriet died, another bedroom when one of her son's died, and a huge dining room on another occasion. The florid flocked wallpaper was allowed to peel in giant curls off the walls in the Charleston humidity. No problem, they just used other rooms. Harriet disliked her husband and took long, sometimes years long European trips, collecting sculptures in Rome and paintings for an art gallery added in 1851; at some pints age traveled with a group of enslaved people who tended her countless trunks and crates and pressed her Worth of Paris gowns.

The family mostly stopped accumulating after the Civil War and the rich lot lived elsewhere, leaving the less rich to shack up in town among the relics of their past and the closed off rooms. Roughly a u-shape, one rear wing was the quarters of enslaved people and stables, another the kitchen and ser ice spaces, and the front house furnished with things acquired by the family over about 24 years.

It's tatty state is so strongly evocative that it is being maintained that way, introducing some mostly invisible conservation measures to preserve rather than to restore. It is not the most beautiful house in Charleston, though the Aiken's could have afforded it, but its rich story of it's black and white inhabitants is also probative in making people think about the past, how things were, how they survive, and why - and the things pieced together only long after the fact.

It's far from a picture perfect recreation of what a group of people would lije to portray about the past. Instead it's something of a laboratory where you work backward from artifacts and sparsely furnished spaces in states of disrepair to contemplate a real mix of questions

by Anonymousreply 21November 25, 2021 10:08 PM

R21 It is amazing, and I can't believe I forgot to mention it earlier. Yes, I like to see some fully restored things, but their preservation not restoration ideology fits that house perfectly.

Also, I forgot to mention, if OP like tv and film, I would suggest watching a few Charleston filmed/set productions because it is always fun to pick them out. Large portions of the Scarlett miniseries was shot in Charleston, as was The Patriot and Cold Mountain, among others. North and South shot some in the area as well, Boone Hall Plantation was the Main family's plantation.

Also, I just realized, when did we change from saying slaves to "enslaved people?" So many of these newer preferred terms sound so clinical that it makes the people seem more distant and unknowable, separating us even more from understanding our past. After the first generation it is kind of a misnomer, as well. After the first people were enslaved in Africa, sold to the Europeans and brought to Charleston or wherever, their decedents weren't enslaved, they were born in slavery. To "enslave" is to take a free person and to make them into a slave.

by Anonymousreply 22November 25, 2021 10:53 PM
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