Charleston, South Carolina

This was an impulse trip and yes, we booked it because we wanted authentic southern/soul food. We had the worst staycation ever in October. We were in Philly enjoying Halloween stuff when I got news my grandma died (mom’s side). It was unexpected. We headed back to Manhattan as soon as we found out. When we got the email from Jetblue that they were having airfare sales, we were like this vacation sucks. We were already stressed out on top of it and haven’t had much us time. So we immediately got in touch with our jobs and were like – we need these days off in January. Charleston was a pleasant getaway and it cost us $740 airfare and hotel for 3 nights, travel insurance for 2 people, not per person. Great deal and such good food. Also flying south is cheaper than vacationing locally. Keep an eye out for those airfare sales.

We like our 2-3 night getaways to the south because we get to eat authentic southern/soul food. We go to Harlem to eat that food and it’s not as good as the soul food in Philly. But in the South – it’s to die for. On top of that we are bored of NYC. We don’t like what it’s becoming. Each neighborhood is losing its character faster and faster as the waves of gentrification keep erasing the true faces of NY. So we started to explore other areas and we are finding we love how other places preserve their history while ours develops over everything.

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Charleston, how you won our bellies over. I forgot to take pics of all the yummy food we ate because we were too busy eating them! Hominy Grill and Jestine’s were our favorites. We ate at Jestine’s 3 times. We have a list of places to try when we go back. We asked every cab driver and tour guide. We don’t like fancy food, we like to go where the locals go and Charleston did not disappoint. At Hominy the fried chicken, ocra stew, and fried green tomatoes were our favorites. At Jestine’s, the fried chicken, meatloaf and desserts – oh my god. So worth shortening our lives over that food. Our guide’s answer was they all eat the same place 🙂

Think they have a thinner building than us. This one is about 9 steps wide if I remember correctly. So cute. Ours is in the West Village and is about 11 of my steps wide.

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It’s also a pretty city that’s safe to walk around. We walked everywhere. Next time we will go on historic city tours. We like to leave some mystery for next time so we can fly down, explore and most importantly eat.

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The one thing that we suggest is if you have never been to Savannah or Charleston go to Charleston first. We kept comparing it to Savannah which is a really beautiful city and that took a bit away from Charleston for us. Even our local Charleston tour guide said Savannah is more beautiful.  The only reason why we kept comparing them was because we’ve read so many articles saying Charleston is prettier. The food is better in Charleston but the people are just as charming in both places. To be fair, there were a lot of fires that burned the city throughout history so a lot had to be rebuilt. If you want to see the south at it’s prettiest go during azalea blooming season in Spring. One last thing, bring shoes that can we worn on cobblestones and uneven ground.

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When we flew home, the TSA guy checking our IDs and tickets chatted with us for a while. We held up the line. We found out his friends are almost neighbors of ours and he loves Bay Ridge! Bay Ridge isn’t considered hip like a lot of other parts of Brooklyn. We hope it stays that way, we don’t want it to change. It’s one of the few places that feel like a real NY neighborhood. When the guy went on about where he’s eaten, a diner called Hinsch’s now Stewart’s, we eat there too. Such a small world. That was a nice ending to our trip.

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15 thoughts on “Charleston, South Carolina

  1. We went to Charleston and Savannah in 2010. We enjoyed Charleston better but that was partially because my wife hurt her foot so we couldn’t do much walking in Savannah. Did you notice all the different designs on the wrought iron gates in Charleston? Our favorite place to visit though is St. Augustine.

    1. Yes! The gates are really neat. We went on a Gullah tour and they spoke about Phil Simmons the local folk artist. We liked all the little squares in Savannah. St. Augustine is on my list too. Someone said it,s walkable. What,s your opinion? We don’t drive at all. Too bad she hurt her foot. We,d go back to both cities. Spring time next time.

  2. Charleston looks beautiful from here! I confess I have never been to the US South. I should go at some point, since I wrote my senior thesis on the impact of the Civil War on Southern literature and owe my BA to them. 🙂 On the other hand, Southern food has become a “thing” in the Bay Area, so we’re seeing more restaurants offering chicken and waffles, poor boy sandwiches, fried catfish, Hoppin’ John and corn bread. It’s good but I don’t think I could eat like that very often without pushing my cholesterol levels into the danger zone, lol.

    I can’t remember seeing your post about Savannah, also another city I want to visit. The movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” got me thinking about a trip there, but I don’t get paid vacations yet, so I guess that one is for the bucket list when I retire. 😉

    1. Pretty sure we shorten our lives whenever we go south. You can hit Charleston and Savannah in one trip. 2 hours from each other. There’s an old church, the old Sheldon church in ruins that I’d love to see. Go during azalea season – we haven’t gone at this time yet but would plan for it when we go back. My Savannah posts are scattered through the month of May last year.

      How did you family hold up in the storm? Bet the kids loved the snow! Felt so bad for everyone shoveling but all the kids were going crazy in the snow. I got to do my annual snow roll. I love plopping down and laying in the snow.

      1. They stayed in and watched the snow fall, like everyone else. 😉 They also took my grandson outside to play in it, because you gotta do that if you’re a kid, right? I need to update my own blog with his picture. He looked just wild with glee, jumping around in the snowbanks.

        Now you’re making wish I could go roll around in the snow! I suppose it’s mostly mush at this point, but I saw the photos of Times Square during the storm and how it was so quiet, people could walk in the middle of the street without so much as a police car rolling by. I miss doing things like that during a heavy snowfall. When I lived in Minnesota, I loved going for walks in the snow at night. It was quiet, and you could see the snow glowing on the streetlights and on the windows of houses.

        I also am wishing for red rice and beans now. With a huge side of cornbread and butter. Yum.

      2. Yes, playing in snowstorms is a must no matter how old or young 🙂 I’m sure I’d hate it if I had to maintain a building or home. I’ve always lived in an apt building so I’m spoiled. One friend said we NYers don’t know what the rest of the country is like – I didn’t start to understand that till a few years ago. He’s right – don’t know how to drive, don’t have to shovel (he owns a home in CT), and most of us don’t have to maintain property. If we live in coops or condos there’s someone to take care of that.

        The cornbread wasn’t too good. We liked the biscuits down there.

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother. I have not spent much time in the deep south, so it was nice to see the pictures. I love okra, though, so I understand the attraction there. We ate it lots in Texas, not so much in Colorado (they don’t grow or sell it here). Cheers!

    1. We didn’t get much history this time around. Didn’t have enough time 😦 Reverend John Grimke Drayton is an interesting guy. I’ll talk about him when I post about Magnolia plantation later on. He inherited the plantation but he himself wasn’t for slavery. HE taught his slaves how to read and write which as illegal at the time and got away with it by calling it bible study.

    1. Yes, we are hooked on airfare sales and flying to wherever if it’s walk able and
      the price is right 🙂 Just booked Vancouver last night. 5 nights in Victoria and 5 night Vancouver. We realized in Dec we’ll have to go on a short trip. Time and budget but what the heck – we’ve been wanting to go to Vancouver for the last couple of years 🙂 Early May. Yay.

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