Historic Charleston, South Carolina

A Southern Road Trip Part One: Charleston

We started our November road trip in Charleston, South Carolina with a stay at the Barksdale House Inn, a beautiful bed and breakfast located on George Street in the historic district. It has been a number of years (actually a few decades) since we last visited and, while it is hard to believe that a city, which is over two and a half centuries old, can change a lot in that time, it really has.

The restaurant scene here has simply exploded. A wide range of culinary styles are offered with special emphasis on the “Low Country” recipes of the region. Seafood is featured in Southern dishes like shrimp and grits, oyster stew and she-crab soup. We stopped into Pearlz for happy hour at the bar and ended up turning it into dinner. Afterwards, walking back to the B&B, we finished the night by picking up pralines at Savannah’s Candy Kitchen of Charleston. The next day we sampled and purchased cookies from Byrd’s Famous Cookies and also stopped for lattes at a local coffee shop of which Charleston has more than a few.

There are a large number of high-end retailers that have moved onto King Street creating a unique shopping venue in the historic district. Another mecca for tourists and visiting shoppers is the city market on East Market Street. The market stretches for a number of blocks east from Meeting Street with both indoor and open-air buildings. Stalls include local food sellers, crafts, jewelry, art and a limited amount of clothing. There are also a number of stalls featuring traditional Gullah hand-woven sweet-grass baskets which are unique to the region.

The Gullah are the descendants of African slaves of various ethnic groups who live in the Low-Country regions of Georgia and South Carolina, in both the Coastal Plain and on the Sea Islands. They developed a Creole

language, the Gullah language, and a culture rich in African influences which makes them distinctive among African Americans.

Other big draws to Charleston are the Colonial and Federalist architecture and the revolutionary and civil war historic sites. Good ways to see the town are with narrated horse-drawn carriage tours operated by several different companies or walking tours which can be self-guided or with a tour company.

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A B&B In Charleston, South Carolina

Barksdale House Inn is  a comfortable B&B in a historic house built in 1778 located in the heart of old town Charleston, SC. This Inn offers 14 rooms with private baths, complimentary breakfast, newspaper, free wireless internet access and off-street parking. We visited Charleston, South Carolina recently and really enjoyed our stay at this B&B.The rooms are beautifully decorated, the bed we had was comfortable and the shower had plenty of hot water. The staff is friendly and efficient and on weekdays they put out a really nice continental breakfast (on weekends they offer a full breakfast) and an afternoon tea each day for their guests. They also allow you to leave your car parked at the B&B until 2:00 pm on the day you check out which allows more time for shopping and sightseeing.

In Charleston Pearlz for Happy Hour

Pearlz got our attention with their happy hour offerings. While they have locations in several cities the one in Charleston is located on East Bay south of Market Street in a cluster of restaurants, galleries and shops. It is a small but popular restaurant featuring a happy hour menu that includes bar snacks that you can make a meal and good drink prices. $4 house wines and a mixed drink called a Precious Pearlz Draft made with Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, Elderflower Syrup, Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, Seasonal Fruit, Cannonborough Honey-Basil Soda. They also feature PBR all the time for only $1.50. We had Southern fried oysters with bleu cheese dressing which were some of the best we’ve ever had and came with a hot sauce that was near perfection. We also had Fish Tacos which were very good and a plate of some of the biggest Peel n Eat Shrimp we’ve ever seen. Needless to say, that was our dinner.