Bright lights, big cities, lobster rolls, rocky beaches, dreams of White Christmas– we love us some New England.
Lucky for us, JetBlue’s new direct service to and from New York City and Boston means we can make fast, easy, economical trips to visit our friends up north. Many of the things we find so endearing and lovely about the Northeast can also be found right here on downtown Charleston’s 1.5 mile-wide peninsula. Here’s JUST a few-
History – There are so many tales to be told here in Charleston, that the city is often called a Living Museum. No admission is necessary to see our many fascinating ‘items’ on display – cobblestone streets, forts and canon balls, a 1500+ year old Angel Oak tree, centuries-old romantic gardens. You can dig in and learn more with horse and carriage tour, join a Bulldog walking history stroll or take a boat to Fort Sumter. Peek inside downtown’s historic homes during the upcoming 66th Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens (March 21-April 20.) History is everywhere.
Great Accents- Trade a “you guys” for a “y’all.” No matter how long your visit, we bet you’ll return home from Charleston with a bit of Southern twang and some fun new sayings. “Bless Her Heart”, “That Dog Can Hunt” – learn ‘em and love ‘em. No need for Rosetta Stone – Southern Living Magazine put together a Pinterest Board with some of their favorite Southern sayings and a quick translation.
Good Food- Charleston is emerging as a foodie town not only in the South, but nationwide. In fact, the folks behind the Charleston Wine + Food Festival helped recruit one of the culinary world’s hottest events – the James Beard Foundation Dinner- to come to Charleston this spring. The dinner at Fort Moultrie (March 18th) will feature some of the country’s most talked about chefs from Charleston’s very best restaurants (even Executive Chef Marc Collins of our Circa 1886 Restaurant.) The beauty of food in Charleston? You can get your fill of classic Southern dishes like Shrimp and Grits and/or experience delicious Northern Italian food at Lucca and authentic Asian fare at Xio Biao Biscuit. Visit during Charleston Restaurant Week to try it all (and them some!)
Seafood – This deserves its own category, really. Charleston has so much incredible seafood, it’s worth noting by itself. Not only do we have fresh-from-the-sea shrimp (and a festival to celebrate!), but briny local oysters, and Southern-born fish like Snapper, Red Porgy and Sea Bass, on the menu. Many Charleston restaurants are on board with the South Carolina Aquarium-sponsored Sustainable Seafood Initiative, meaning they only serve fresh, ‘in-season’ seafood.
Baseball – ‘Tis (almost) the season! Whether your allegiance lies at Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park, Charleston has a version of baseball which is… much less polarizing. Charlestonians love the Riverdogs – our minor league baseball team. Riverdogs games feature baseball in a unique Southern fashion. At the Joe Riley Stadium, you can catch a bag of boiled peanuts from Tony the Peanut Man, sip on a locally brewed beer and grab a seat overlooking the nearby Ashley River and green marshland. If you’re lucky, you might even see Bill Murray on the field. The Riverdogs begin their season on April 11th and have a full schedule of games through September.
Culture, Museums, Fashion, Shopping – New York City is a mecca for all things culture, and Boston is too, but the scene here in Charleston is pretty amazing. Our city is a hotbed for an ever-growing creative class, who share art of all kinds with the community – paintings, literature, photography, clothing, furniture… Check out the Gibbes Museum of Art, plan a visit during a First Friday Art Walk along Broad Street and strike up conversation with the artist of the painting you’re admiring. Grab a front row seat at Charleston Fashion Week (March 19-24), take in a show at the world-renowned Spoleto Festival USA (May 24-June 9). Oh and do some shopping along King Street to take a piece of it home with you.
Ok. So our bias is slightly skewed South… Maybe y’all should come visit us here in Charleston instead. Here’s one last reason why-
GREAT WEATHER (and walkability)- By the time the first signs of spring show in the northeast, downtown Charleston is already in full bloom. Once our camellias, azaleas and magnolias start budding, we know it won’t be long until the car is packed with beach chairs, coolers and paddle boards. Let’s also add into the equation how easy it is to get around downtown. So easy in fact, that many of our guests report the first time using their car is when they’re packing it up to go home. If your feet get tired, adorable trolleys and pedicabs are ready and waiting around every corner. Another great way to take it all in? Rent a bike to weave in and out of secret alleys and riverside roads.
Right now, our windows are open, the air is fresh, and blue skies greet us each morning. Isn’t it time you visited Charleston? Choose from our four downtown inns and be our guest this spring.