Today I’m feeling like taking a vacation somewhere lowkey, warm and relaxing, but still with a rich history and decent arts community. So I decided on Charleston, South Carolina. It is a cloudy 3C (37F) in Toronto this morning and Charleston is much warmer. I want to be somewhere where I can say “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”
It’s known as The Holy City because of a large number of churches dotting the lowrise cityscape. Another thing I found interesting about the city is that it’s been billed as “the best mannered city” in the United States and won a lifetime achievement award for manners.
Things to eat.
The Sprout – Organic Cafe and Juice Bar – They have one heck of a delicious looking menu. I’d be very excited to check this one out. They have entrees and desserts. Yum
Fast and French Gaulart & Maliclet French Cafe (98 Broad St, Charleston, SC) – Ah, a french restaurant with vegan options! The O’Vegan Sandwich sounds yummy (Tapanade on Toasted Canadian Rye bread. With soup or tossed salad)
Brent’s On Broad (19 Broad St, Charleston, SC) – There are hummus and veggie sandwiches, I like this place primarily because it’s very close to Waterfront Park, and I imagine I’ll wander there at some point.
Daily Dose Cafe (1622 Highland Ave
Charleston, SC) – Word on the street is they have amazing wraps and a great atmosphere. Can’t go wrong with that.
Alluettes Cafe – Holistic Soul Food(80 A Reid St Charleston, SC) – This isn’t a vegan or vegetarian restaurant, or one with that many options, but the Pasta Primavera sounded like a viable option.
I was sad to see that Soul Vegetarian in North Charleston had closed, perhaps they will open again someday.
Things to do:
Ed Grimbles walking tours of Historic Charleston. (Starts at Pineapple Fountain located in Waterfront Park on the banks of the Cooper River.) It’s a 2 1/2 hour tour through the city with history, architecture, and anecdotes. Reservations are needed. It costs $16/adult.
After a nice leisurely exploration of the nice history of Charleston, I would want to follow up with another walking tour that looks fascinating, and could provide a nice contrast. The Darkside of Charleston tour. An uncensored look at The Holy City’s history: full of brothels, prostitutes, corruption, crime, scandal and sordid affairs. It’s 17+ and $18/person
The Moja Arts Festival – A Celebration of African-American and Caribbean Arts. With dance, literary arts, visual art, music and theatre. Generally the festival seems to happen between the last week of September and first week of October. And on the plus side, most of the events are free.
Gibbes Museum of Art (135 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC) With Colonial, Charleston Renaissance, and Contemporary art collections. It’s 9 dollar admission for adults.
Magnolia Plantation (3550 Ashley River Road – Charleston, SC) – is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry, and the oldest public gardens in America. It looks beautiful, rich with southern history and natural beauty. I’d have to make sure and visit The Audobon Swamp.
Admission to the plantation is kind of complicated, it’s 15$ admission to walk the garden & grounds, then 7 dollars for each additional thing you want to see, for example to go inside the House, Slavery to Freedom Tour, Audubon Swamp, Nature Boat, Nature Train, etc. There is an all inclusive pass for $43/adult.
Where to stay?
Charleston Notso Hostel. (156 Spring St.
I am a big fan that they have Wi-Fi in all rooms and breakfast included. They also have the option of bike rental for 15$/day
Charleston has a Regional transit system called CARTA, they also operate the downtown DASH trolly. A 1 day pass is 6$ and a 3 day pass is $12. Unfortunately there is no online trip planner.
Renting a Bicycle – This city strikes me as a place where renting a bicycle and riding around would be great fun. There are a variety of locations that you can rent from, but The Bicycle Shoppe (280 Meeting St. Charleston, SC) had great reviews and feedback so I’d go with them (if I didn’t grab one from the hostel). Their rates are fairly reasonable at 28 dollars/day for a cruiser.
Other things I want to say
I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere in Vegan MoFo land this weekend, but I’d love some suggestions for the coming week.