Charleston, South Carolina. The name alone exudes history and southern charm. It finds its way on the top ten and top twenty five city lists both nationally and internationally. Condé Nast Traveler magazine designated Charleston a “Top 10” travel destination in the United States. TRAVEL + LEISURE included Charleston in America’s Favorite Cities of 2011, and a number of the top 100 hotels in the U.S. are located in the Charleston area, including Wentworth Mansion. Take a stroll through the city market or along one of the beautify beaches, explore the aquarium, dine aboard a dinner cruise, and relax at Wentworth Mansion and you’ll swear you were part of a movie set. The southern lifestyle and pace is awaiting around every corner.
Charleston is a great walking city. The waterfront, the markets, and the historic areas are all within walking distance from each other. We visited Rainbow Row on East Bay Street and the history of Charleston came to life through the architecture and color of the buildings. The patios, the Caribbean color scheme, the doors, the style… all unique to Charleston.
Consisting of four blocks of open-air buildings, City Market is one of the most vibrant and historic places in all of the South. Strolling through the Market, we encountered an assortment of vendors selling goods including paintings, pottery, sweetgrass baskets, and jewelry. Steeped in history and charm, the City Market reaffirmed our ideas about the friendly people and laid back pace of Charleston. Each vendor chatted with us as if we were friends and they all cooed over Athena, even the men. When one elderly lady saw Athena giggle, she said that she must be talking to the angles. She shared her beliefs about children and their connection to God and the angles as a matter of fact. Another man stopped and put down everything he was carrying to kneel next to Athena and look at her precious face. He reminded us of how truly blessed we were before continuing on with his day. Not one person was in a hurry, regardless of the excessive heat. Not one person rushed past us. There was an unhurried leisure about the building and we fell into step.
Our stroll along the beach added to our relaxed, peaceful state. The warm Atlantic waters and gentle breeze were a welcomed touch. I wanted to stop time and stay in that moment with my family forever. In our busy lives, we often forget to stop and enjoy every moment. Charleston forces you to slow down and take in the salty air.
By the time we visited South Carolina Aquarium, we were on Charleston time and it allowed us to really see everything the aquarium had to offer. I held a hissing cockroach, I touched a stingray at the Touch Tank, I listened to the volunteer talk about sharks, and I held Athena in the carrier on my chest so she could she it all along the way. She may be too young to fully appreciate the beauty of the aquarium but it felt great to experience it with her, and Darren, next to me regardless.
There was no better way to experience Charleston and enjoy our Saturday evening than
from the deck of a SpiritLine yacht. The Spirit of Carolina offered a unique dining experience with breathtaking views of the Charleston harbor. The three hour harbor tour was unforgettable. We savored a four course gourmet meal, took in the sunset about the Charleston skyline, and watched as others danced the night away.
The icing on the cake was the Wentworth Mansion. The 21-room mansion turned hotel was the Ms. America of hotels. Beauty. Style. Grace. Every luxury was carefully planned and executed. Every room has its own fireplace. On your pillow at turndown: chocolate truffles. Italian crystal chandeliers, hand-carved marble, gracious hospitality, and luxurious amenities, Wentworth Mansion is effortlessly perfect. They’ve captured the intrigue and magic of Charleston.
Charleston is more than a city. It is a reminder to experience and appreciate the simple things in life. Whether it be snuggling together as a family in bed at Wentworth Mansion, watching the sun go down from a dinner cruise, leaning about life under the sea at the South Carolina Aquarium, or strolling through the streets of the city, Charleston brings out the southern charm in everyone.