We didn’t see many of these….flowers, I mean…. in Charleston. With a high temperature of about 30 it just was not happening.
On the other hand, there were no crowds or lines, the sun was shining, the galleries were open, and the restaurants were craving our business.


I had been to Charleston once before, many years ago, and remembered an amazing amount about it. But I had forgotten (or never realized) just HOW many exquisite, manicured, gem-like gardens there are in such a small area. I don’t think any other city I’ve ever visited has this kind of garden, house, and city design. Street after street. Alley after alley. Garden after garden. You look in one, through a charming iron gate, and then are eager to move on to the next as each one is such a visual treat. Interspersed with all this visual candy are the historic houses that offer tours, also have gardens, and are so full of details that it’s hard to take it all in.

First, a few garden views. No, they are not spectacular images nor are they filled with beautiful spring flowers. But the view through these gates was tantalizing…






And now for food.
Do you know about Benne Wafers or Lime Wafers?

These Benne Wafers are just about the best thing you will ever eat. Truly. They are yummy. Benne means sesame in Bantu; these were grown from sesame seeds brought from Africa centuries ago. You can buy them HERE.


Carolina Key Lime Cookies are equally good and irresistible.

 And how about this crepe, filled with sweet cream and fresh fruit, that we shared for tea one day? Mighty fine…


 And now for some houses. While I wasn’t able to take many good pictures of houses as it was just too cold to stand outside (especially without gloves), I did catch these, and then played with them in PicMonkey:




And finally, some C O L O R



If you’re interested in going to Charleston for their annual Garden Tours, take a look at
Historic Charleston Foundation
The tours run from March 20-April 19: a perfect time of year to visit. I’m very tempted! If you are going, let me know and perhaps we can meet up!

As to hotels and places to stay. We played it very low key this time; we weren’t at all sure the weather would cooperate and besides, this was to be an exploratory trip, with  many more visits in the future. So we stayed at The King Charles Inn on Meeting Street. It was more than adequate with quiet, large rooms, a full breakfast featuring home made quiche that was very good, and staff that was very helpful.
But of course, in all our walking we did zero in on some very nice, small inns that appealed to us and which we will choose next visit.
Among them were
The Elliott House Inn
The Kings Courtyard Inn
Fulton Lane Inn

One last travel tip. Somehow I came across this article from The Washington Post: Survival Guide to I-95.
Yes, I know, it’s dated 1998. Well, it’s still valid and we stopped at
Percy & Willie’s in Florence

photo copy 2

It was a perfect half way point for us and we were there
just at noon. I had the baked potato soup as mentioned
in the article, and yes it was delicious and the restaurant was all we had hoped.
If you’re traveling this route and can’t bear the usual highway food offerings then this is the place for you!

Hope you have enjoyed this mini travel guide to Charleston and please, do let us know if you have any recommendations or suggestions.