I love being a tourist, whether in my hometown or in Charleston, where I have recently moved. Since moving to Charleston, my tourist habits have not subsided. In fact, they have only escalated considering all there is to do! After extensive research based on friends, rumors, and Pinterest, of course, I have compiled a list of things I want to do and places I want to see in the Holy City. Call it a bucket list of sorts.
Maybe I’ll bring you guys along on these adventures through blog posts and maybe you will be inspired to go on a few of them yourself. Because even though we are all here to receive an education, it is a good idea to take a break from the books and explore every once in awhile.
Walking tours: Just like in any city, you can learn more about the culture by walking the streets than you could by driving through traffic. There are so many different kinds of tours in Charleston that focus on certain aspects of the city. As a history nerd, my main focus is on the history of the Holy City. Hopefully, I will find more information about the wrought iron gates found all over the peninsula. They are in front of practically every house, church, and important buildings. They all have different designs and I am sure they have a rich history. The tours give me an opportunity to learn more about them.
Ghost tours: These are very similar to walking tours because most ghost tours have a decent amount of walking on the wonderful Charleston sidewalks (ever heard of the Charleston shuffle?). However, they are obviously focused on all the ghost stories of the city. With such a rich history, there are stories around every corner!
Carriage tours: It is an unwritten rule that you have to take a carriage tour if you want to be a true Charleston tourist. I went on one when I was younger and I would love to go on one again. Plus there is minimal walking and maximum sightseeing with stories from your guide. It is a win-win.
Rainbow Row: It is one of the most popular images of Charleston for a reason. Almost every touristy souvenir has Rainbow Row on it. I am not sure why the row is so popular, so if you go be sure to let me know. There has to be a reason because there are many other rows of pastel colored houses in the world.
The Marion Square Farmers’ Market: A farmers’ market a couple blocks from campus? Count me in. Dining hall food gets old and makes me miss fresh fruit and vegetables. There is also food from local restaurants and food trucks. Let me just say I love food trucks. There is something about them that always makes food taste better. Surprisingly, there is not just food at this farmers’ market. It has street performers and local artisans selling all sorts of goods. You can buy all kinds of things from artwork to dog leashes. You can definitely find me here on Saturday mornings.
Poe’s Tavern: Poe’s is on Sullivan’s Island so it is a little far from campus, like find a friend with a car kind of far, but it is totally worth it. It’s an Edgar Allen Poe themed restaurant on the beach. I’ll be honest, that is not something I expected when a friend recommended it to me. Burgers and literature is not a combination that I’ve ever seen before, but I’m excited to try it out.
Queen St. Grocery: It’s an adorable corner store on Queen St. that I have walked past while exploring the city. I honestly cannot tell you why I didn’t stop and get a crepe. I love crepes and it just looks like such a cool place. I have also heard that they are on the inexpensive side. That is music to my ears as a college student. Next time I wander past I will definitely stop in and see what this place is all about.
Waterfront Park: This is where the “Insta-famous” pineapple fountain sits. Talk about photo opportunities. The park is right on the harbor with many trees (mostly Palmettos, I mean we are in South Carolina), walkways, and benches. It is a great place to de-stress and take a walk. Or maybe do all the reading you’re behind on…
Cooper River Bridge Run: Anyone who knows me knows that running is not my forte. In fact, I really do not like running at all. However, the experience seems so cool and everyone looks like they have so much fun. The event itself is a six-mile run across the Cooper River Bridge starting in Mount Pleasant and finishing in downtown Charleston with a big festival in Marion Square. A part of me wants to do it but another part of me knows that I will die from all the running. Maybe I will turn it into a Cooper River Bridge Speed Walk.
Another Broken Egg Cafe: My parents ate breakfast here the day after they dropped me off at my dorm. Let me tell you I was jealous when they sent me pictures of eggs benedict and french toast. I love breakfast food and they were just rubbing it in my face. One day I will go myself, without them, and make them jealous with whatever amazing breakfast food I pick.
Kaminsky’s: My family friends that live in Charleston rave about this place. We have always tried to go, but on a Friday or Saturday night, the wait is about 45 minutes. I am willing to wait for a seat in a restaurant dedicated to desserts, but not everyone else in my group is as dedicated as I am. I plan on going and waiting no matter how long it takes and I will report back.