A Day Trip Around Town

We were staying on the Isle of Palms for our beach vacation—a mere 20 minutes from downtown Charleston.  It would’ve been impossible for the Mister and me to resist returning to this beautiful place for a look around.  I have many fond memories of visiting my cousins here when I was a child, but back then I was too young to appreciate the history, much less the amazing architecture and gardens that surround one in the Holy City.IMG_2214 As you may know, Charleston is often called the Holy City because from almost any vantage point, the city’s skyline is defined by church steeples.  These shots are of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church on King Street.  St. Matthew’s isn’t the oldest Lutheran house of worship in town, that distinction belongs to St. John’s (1742). IMG_2213Nevertheless, St. Matthew’s rich earthy color and traditional red doors and black and white entry tiles were so appealing.
We actually started our day in Charleston at the Visitor’s Center, which provided a parking garage as well as innumerable guides and maps, some paper ones for the fogeys like me and digital ones for everyone who brought their “iGizmos.”  Just down the street is Marion Park, which honors the legendary “Swamp Fox,” the Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion.  Supposedly, my family is related to FM, but since he had no sons and the documentation is rather sketchy, I am somewhat skeptical.  IMG_2215 A more believable link is that the Mister’s family always stayed at the Francis Marion Hotel when they came to Charleston to visit the Mister’s brother when he was a student at The Citadel.
Charleston is often touted as America’s most polite city, and I would have to concur, but what’s with all this gum?  Miss Janice would definitely not approve! 
IMG_2222Middle is intrigued with the colorful display; he especially liked the face in the upper right of the post.  Ewwww!IMG_2216Happily, on King Street, a diversion is always easy to find!  Everyone wanted to check out Robot Candy & Toys!
IMG_2217There were gummies for days! IMG_2218My favorites—to look at--were the blue sharks.
IMG_2219 Even Son1 and Lovely Girlfriend enjoyed this kiddie stop!
IMG_2220 Preppy wear is all the rage on King Street.  Seersucker and white bucks are the uniform for gentlemen; I even saw one charming older fellow in patchwork seersucker pants with a gorgeous needlepoint belt.  Middle decided he must have a blue and white seersucker belt, so we found one on sale!  I’m not sure what he has his eye on in this window, but if you’re wondering why the seat of his britches is so dirty, let’s just say he never met a stair rail he didn’t want to slide down!
IMG_2224 A little more shopping and some great people-watching, and the next thing we knew we were at Charleston’s new Waterfront Park, with a view of Fort Sumter.  Waterfront Park, although not as historic as The Battery, is a beautiful green space where we enjoyed a slight breeze. While everyone was still in a good mood, we decided to call it a day.  Truthfully, the Mister and I seriously wanted to keep going, but Little and her cousin Miss M were about “done in” from the heat and walking.IMG_2226A verdant spot in which to sit and contemplate, but, as you can see, it was just too hot, even in the shade.IMG_2227Quintessential Charleston colors between King and Meeting streets.  This isn’t the famed Rainbow Row, but it certainly reflects the same aesthetic.
IMG_2234Here’s a peek into the courtyard of the Peninsula Grill, one of Charleston’s most highly recommended restaurants, and one the Mister and I plan to try sans children.IMG_2238To stave off crankiness a bit longer, we enjoyed peach smoothies and a bit of air conditioning.  Middle is at an age where he likes to make goofy faces in almost every photograph, but I caught him here on the sly.IMG_2231Winding up the day in the Holy City, I took a few shots of the exterior of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church.  Founded in 1680, the congregation has met continuously since then, although the building has been destroyed and re-built several times.IMG_2230  Hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, Indian attacks, British occupation, smallpox, yellow fever, more hurricanes, slave uprisings, Union occupation, and still more hurricanes have not prevailed against this faithful congregation.IMG_2232 I’m not one hundred percent sure this is a Philip Simmons’ gate, but it certainly is a gorgeous example of wrought iron craftsmanship. 
As in most historic cities, Ghost Tours are a profitable venture for imaginative entrepreneurs.  No doubt St. Philip’s churchyard, where statesman John C. Calhoun and many other notables are buried, is a regular stop on these tours.  I absolutely love St. Philip’s response to those looking for a, shall we say, spiritual connection.IMG_2233 Can I get an amen?!


  1. Looks like a wonderful trip! Your photos are awesome!

  2. Thanks for the tour...I love Charleston! Must go back soon once I get all these kids out of the house. One of my first friends in Atlanta went to Clemson and still visits a college pal at Isle of Palms with her family every year....what a magical place to return to again and again. I wish we'd done that with our kids...we tend to be ADD travelers!

  3. I soooo want to go to Charleston! I think I'll start putting a bug in Hubby's ear right now about summer 2011. Looks like you had a great time - love the pics!

  4. Charleston is really great, but I don't recommend going in the summer unless you're making it a beach trip, too! It's just too hot! We are considering going back in October for the House and Garden Tour(!) without the kids, of course.

  5. such a lovely city! thank you for the

    my niece is attending the university
    of charleston, and i can't wait to
    visit her!

    thank you for your encouraging
    comments about sunday lane's

    good luck to your little songwriter!

  6. those blue sharks would be a big hit in this house...looks like a great time.

  7. Love St. Phillip's... it is truly a house of God!

  8. Loved this post. It brought back memories of all the summers we stopped in Charleston on our way from Greystone to Sea Island.


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