We picked Memorial Day weekend to visit Charleston South Carolina, and despite the weather, it was a perfect way to spend Memorial Day.
TSA at Chicago O’Hare has been totally messed up so we arrived at the airport at 4:00 am for our 7:00 am flight (desperate for coffee). We flew into Myrtle Beach on Spirt airlines. I was nervous flying Spirt but since this was literally 1/2 the price of other options and only a 2 hour flight, I had to try it. More about this choice later.
The day we arrived was a beautiful sunny day, we drove in on the Arthur Ravenel Bridge, and then into The Battery and White Point Gardens. The Battery is an amazing historic area with great, colorful mansions and beautiful views. We did some exploring to get our bearings, stopped at the tourist center for a map, and then headed to our hotel for check in. Our hotel was actually an old Rice Plantation called Middleton Place, located in North Charleston. We spent quite a bit of time exploring the grounds and lounged around the welcome area for a while, watched a beautiful sunset and then went to bed early since we were exhausted.
The next few days were spent in Charleston. We explored as much as we could on foot, and also drove around a bit to view some of the neighborhood and old historic homes. Parking was expensive with options either in a lot or metered, but we found that there was limited free parking near White Point Gardens and since we are willing to walk most everywhere, it became our go to parking area. Some of the places we visited were the Old Slave Mart Museum, Charleston City Market, Waterfront Park, Nathaniel Russell House Museum, Magnolia Cemetery, and Edmondson-Alston House. One of our highlights was visiting Patriots Point and touring the USS Yorktown. An amazing museum with so much to explore and so much history to absorb, we spent hours there.
One of the goals of this trip, beside visiting this beautiful historic city, was to explore surrounding neighborhoods. Chris and I have been discussing where we want live when we retire, and South Carolina is on our list of places to consider. So in-between exploring Charleston, (and dealing with a tropical depression storm) we ventured off to visit other communities as well. We stopped by Folly beach (too many people since it was Memorial Day weekend), Mt. Pleasant, Sullivans Island and Isle of Palms (very high end), Summerville and Bluffton. We really wanted to explore Columbia and Greenville but the rain storms made it very difficult to drive around too much, so we didn’t go. I have to plan another trip for the Western end of SC and NC/Tennessee for another time.
I do not have anything good to say about my food experience in SC. I am very upset about this because I was really was excited to try some good southern cooking and have heard raving reviews about the food in SC. Unfortunately, I did not find anything worth raving about. The one good meal we had was at Angel Oak, collard greens were very tasty and our food (Fried Chicken for Chris and Salmon for me) was good, not great, but good. We did find a Belgian Gelato place that was outstanding, AWESOME actually, went there twice for ice cream.
So, back to Myrtle Beach on Tuesday for our flight home, and after waiting around for 4 hrs. finally got word that our flight was CANCELED due to a passing storm in Chicago. CANCELLED?? really? for a passing storm? After waiting in line for over an hour to get reassigned, we found that the next opportunity to get back was THURSDAY and this was not acceptable, we checked other airlines which were leaving the next morning and the cost was outrageous!! So, we ended up talking with another couple that was driving into Chicago and decided to share the ride in and drove all night to get home. We were exhausted and ended up missing another day of work, which we really didn’t plan or want to do. I don’t think the drive would have been so bad if we would have planed for it, but since this was totally unplanned and our rest stops were very brief, it was quite miserable.
We really did like South Carolina, and look forward to when we can explore this wonderful State again!!!