26 October 2017

Suitcase. Discovering The Charm Of Charleston

After the big city lights, it was time to head for some southern charm. Charleston is somewhere I'd been wanting to visit for a while now and boy did it have plenty to offer... Why don't you pull up a chair and make up cuppa, because there's plenty to see here!...

Dating right back to the 1600s, Charleston is like a true southern belle; a cultivation of beauty and style. Although compact in size, the city boasts some truly beautiful homes that look as though they could be doll houses! The streets are lined with oak trees draped in spanish moss, something I wish we had in Australia.

Combine these picture perfect elements with the smiling locals and you have an incredible combination. Did you know Charleston is a multi-time winner of America's friendliest city? I'm not surprised!

Zero George is a boutique hotel in town that boasts one of Charleston's top restaurants. I enjoyed an incredible 4-course meal here. From the very first bite I knew I was in for something special! The amuse bouche included an edible pot plant, my parmesan tortellini featured a liquid filling that burst in your mouth, my Beef Wellington was one of the best I've ever tasted and my dessert of Tres Leches with honeycomb (a typical Latin American milk-soaked cake) was utterly divine.

If you do find yourself in Charleston my recommendation would be to hire a car. Whilst you don't need it in the city centre, there is plenty to see within an hour's drive like the angel oak tree. It took my breath away. Believed to be at least 400 years old, this tree's boughs stretch further than you can possibly fathom. Easily the size of a large house, even to a logical thinker like me it felt full of magic. I couldn't help but be reminded of the talking tree in Pocahantas!

Many of the plantation homes in the area were lost in the conflict between the north and the south over the years, however you will find The Magnolia Plantation founded in 1676. Boasting the oldest gardens in America, wandering the many paths, bridges and lanes was an incredible experience. It's no wonder they used it as inspiration for the Gone With The Wind movie.

Boone Hall is another one that is worth a visit - and it's still a working plantation today. You might recognise the house from The Notebook... But if you only have time for one plantation I recommend visiting Magnolia, I think it feels a little more authentic.

After giving myself a good dose of history I decided to take a little trip over to Sullivan's Island. This sandy stretch has some incredible beachfront homes, but I will say the water wasn't a patch on Aussie beaches. Sorry Charleston.

By the time my last full day rolled around, I found I'd had so many locals tell me about Savannah, just over the border in Georgia. It seemed it would be remiss of me not to take a drive and have a look... I'm so glad I did.

Seemingly like a cousin of Charleston, Savannah is brimming with beauty, charm and elegance. The city offers many green squares, one of which is Chippewa Square, where they filmed the Forest Gump bench scene!

My mumma always said life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Everything here, from the cobblestone streets, to the historical architecture, to the Spanish Moss draped trees and beautiful parks, makes Savannah, like Charleston, a top pick for one of America's prettiest cities.

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Photos by Krissie.