Tips from Our Team: Spoleto Festival 2013

Spoleto Opening Ceremonies - photo by the Post and CourierJust a few blocks from our front door, the Charleston City Hall sets the stage for our beloved Spoleto Festival’s opening ceremonies. Broad Street, named by One of the 10 Greatest Streets in America by the American Planning Association, is always buzzing with activity, but during Spoleto Festival season, our neighborhood truly comes alive. The festival’s most iconic Spoleto performance venues are within walking distance of the John Rutledge House Inn, making our downtown Charleston bed and breakfast a great option for travel in late May and early June.

Our Innkeeper, Kathy Leslie is entering into her 14th Spoleto season as an Innkeeper in Charleston. She is nearly expert in navigating Charleston during this action-packed three weeks. Our concierge, Cassie Falk, also has some fantastic recommendations for experiencing Charleston’s nightlife. Here’s what the two had to say —

With thousands and thousands of people flocking to Charleston for the Spoleto Festival 2013, what is the best way to beat the crowds?

Kathy says – Be sure to plan ahead, make hotel reservations and dinner plans in advance. You can call the inn for assistance. We can help guests plan ahead for a great, worry-free experience.

Thousands of art enthusiasts flock to Charleston during Spoleto Festival. Our central downtown location means guests can walk just about everywhere and avoid traffic. Many Spoleto venues are just around the block like the Charleston Library Society and recently renovated Dock Street Theater. If you grow weary of walking, a pedicab is a great way to travel around town.

Which events on the Spoleto Festival 2013 lineup are you most excited about?

Kathy says – “One of the favorite performance is the Westminster Choir – they are here year after year and still draw a great crowd.” You can see the Westminster Choir perform at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul on Coming Street on May 30 and June 3.

For guests who typically enjoy the Charleston home and garden tours each spring and fall, check out Behind the Garden Gates. This self-guided tour covers many of Charleston’s most beautiful neighborhoods, including the nearby Church Street and Legare Street. It celebrates Charleston’s own personal works of art: stunning architecture and secret gardens.

What would you recommend a guest do before taking off for an evening at Spoleto?

Kathy and Cassie say – Take advantage of our complimentary afternoon tea! In the Signer’s Ballroom, we serve hors d’oeuvres from Circa 1886 alongside tea and lemonade. Guests can also grab a glass of sherry or brandy. Charleston in May is beautiful, and the view of Charleston from our breezy second story piazza is incredible. Take time to plan your night or recall memories from your trip thus far. This is also a great opportunity to meet and chat with other guests – it’s always great to hear about other folks’ Spoleto experiences.

Before heading back home to the inn for the night, which restaurants and bars would you recommend guests experience?

Kathy and Cassie both recommend unwinding with wine and a quick bite to eat after a show.

Kathy’s recommended restaurant? Muse Wine Bar on Society Street. Grab a seat on the balcony, split a bottle of wine and relish in the restaurant’s Mediterranean atmosphere. Muse serves great seafood dishes and everything is the perfect size to share.

Cassie suggests Social Wine Bar, which is on East Bay Street. They offer a fabulous wine selection, many of which are on tap, serve small plates and woodfired pizzas. Social’s atmosphere is fun, lively and always buzzing. For a more quiet, relaxed setting, she suggests O’Hara and Flynn on Meeting Street, where the proprietors are lovely and live music is featured on Thursday and Friday nights.

Enjoy the John Rutledge House Inn during Spoleto season in Charleston! Our special Spoleto weekday rates start at $289 (Sunday-Thursday) and weekend rates start at $340. Each day we offer a hot, complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, evening cordials, free internet access, and the best location in downtown Charleston. Check our availability or take a look at our other special rates and packages.

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