History: It’s everywhere. You can find it in Charleston’s designated historic districts, and you can find it outside of them. When we’re in Charleston we just get out and walk—down Meeting Street towards the Battery, on the side streets (some of them cobble-stoned), in and out of shaded squares. We read historic markers and dig up information on our phones, and by the end of the day we’ve walked so much that we’ve forgotten to hit up museums or shops or anything, and that’s why this post won’t be the best Charleston travel guide post you’ll ever read. But here goes . . .
Roadside: Charleston’s not the best for roadside kitsch (it’s fancy), but chances are you’ll see something good on the way there, especially if you take the backroads or come via Myrtle Beach.
Food: The city has some of the best restaurants in the south, but we’re creatures of habit and usually end up eating at the same places, preferably places that don’t have crowds. Some restaurants we like: Fish (for good seafood and a vegan tofu steak alternative), Gaulart & Maliclet Fast and French for a light lunch, City Lights for coffee. We usually go to Caviar and Bananas for coffee and vegan granola bars and sometimes for lunch. On our list for next time: Bon Bahn Mi.
Sleep: The John Robinson Cookhouse is perfect if, like us, you want the experience of staying in a historic home without that sometimes awkward bed and breakfast vibe. You can rent out the top or bottom floor of the kitchen building of the early 19th century era John Robinson home, right across from Wragg Square and practically next door to the Aiken-Rhett House Museum.
Shop: I don’t usually do a lot of shopping when we go to Charleston (too much to see), but one of these days I’ll brave King Street to see Worthwhile .
Parks: In town, White Point Garden on the Battery is a must-see. The gardens at Middleton Place plantation are supposedly the oldest landscaped gardens in the country, and I can’t think of anywhere else where you can see Civil War ruins, English-style terraces, and wild alligators all in one place. Magnolia Cemetery, on the outskirts of town, is set up like a park, with rustic pathways and spanish moss everywhere.