Charleston, SC is full of history and amazing architecture. It’s the second largest city in South Carolina and it lies just south of the geographical midpoint of the Atlantic Ocean coastline and is located in the Charleston Harbor.
Founded in 1670 as “Charles Towne” in honor of King Charles II of England. It adopted it’s current name in 1783.
Rich in history and it’s well preserved architecture, beautiful houses and buildings are all over this easily walkable city. And boy…did we walk!
In 2012 the city of Charleston was named the “Top US City” and the “Top Destination In The World” by Conte Nast travelers. On top of these honors it has also been voted, “2012 Reader’s Choice Awards” and “#2 Best City In The US and Canada”, among many others accolades.
It’s easy to see why. Best City in the World? I’m not so sure. However I”m not sure what their criteria was for “Best City”, I would imagine people in NYC, Paris, Venice and even Moscow would disagree. Maybe they were comparing cities of similar size? Then I could say, yes, this could be the best. Easily walkable, no huge skyscrapers to muck up the beautiful sky, beautiful historic buildings that are in spectacular shape and the people are always so nice down here. But we will keep exploring and see if we come across another city that lives up to “the best”. I’m sure everyone will have an opinion about what city they like the best.
While walking around looking at the beautiful buildings, we kept coming across cemeteries.
They seem to be everywhere. And rightly so, with the city being founded back in the 1600′s theirs bound to be quite a few dead people. It’s amazing to see how they built this city up around them. By that I mean, there are buildings built around the tombstones and graves literally. So you could be walking around town, come across a church and enter the grounds. The sidewalk up to the church will be windy as it goes around the graves. From this picture above you can see how the tombstones are right against the buildings. They wasted no space.
This particular gravestone is significant because it was the grave of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, one (of two in this cemetery) of the original signers of the Constitution of the United States.
Yup…these tombs were from the 1700′s and 1800′s. And they are all over the city. As I said earlier, there’s lots of history here. It’s amazing to me that with all the hurricanes, floods, etc, that this area has seen in the centuries it has been around, that these tombstones and buildings have survived through it all. You know the saying, “They don’t build them like that anymore.” Well, I think they were referring to Charleston.
Beauty is everywhere in this city. People really take pride in their homes, historical or not. Although I can’t even imagine how many historical homes there are here. It seemed like every house and building we looked at had some type of plaque noting it’s significance. The historical society here must keep themselves very busy.
The doorways that adorn these homes are very inviting. Their are gas lanterns, plaques, plants and vines and many pieces of ironwork.
And the gardens that these people keep! Just looking through some of these gates and in the side yards, they have some very green thumbs down here. The above picture is just one example. Although there were many others that were more elaborate, I didn’t want to pry either and invade people’s privacy into their yards. I only took pictures that I could from the street.
We did get to some shopping. As this city has a rich and diverse shopping area too. On King Street you can find all the, what I call “rich”, stores like Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Kate Spade plus many more. We strolled the street but all we ended up doing was finding lunch at a nice bbq place.
We found the old City Market more interesting. Build between 1804 and the 1830′s, it originally housed a meat, vegetables and fish market. Today it houses a variety of vendors from crafter’s, basket weavers and of course food.
Charleston’s City Market is one of the oldest in the country. The nice thing about it was that it didn’t feel too touristy.
Yes, you had the horse drawn carriages that looped around the streets.
You had the sweet grass basket vendors everywhere. You even had the touristy candy shop where they pull their own taffy and make their own fudge. But somehow it still seemed quaint.
And of course, we were walking around the city on Valentine’s Day and came across this old movie complex, which was neat in itself. But it had a special message on the marquee.
Now everyone say Awww!
In my mind she says yes.
Well done Charleston!