Charleston is one of the oldest colonial towns in North America (established in 1670), second only to Quebec and St. Augustine, FL. History abounds in this coastal city - some of it more pleasant than others. Charleston holds the unfortunate statistic for being the port that received West African slaves - one in four slaves were shipped to her shores. Charleston was also a very prominent battleground in the Civil War - due in part to the close proximity of Fort Sumter.
Plantation owners in the lowcountry experimented with various crops before specializing in rice and indigo. The Emancipation Proclamation ended the prosperity of rice growers - mostly because rice was such a labor-intensive crop and with the workforce greatly diminished, the plantation owners were unable to continue.
The architectural interest alone is reason to visit Charleston. The antebellum houses, in particular, are stunning. A large portion of the city was spared pillaging from the Union during the Civil War because of the sheer beauty that existed within the city walls.
Of course, one of our favorite parts of our tour included eating. We enjoyed dinner at Hyman's Seafood - a landmark establishment in the center of the city.
|scallops - this was supposed to be a sandwich - huge, huh?|
|famous shrimp and grits - to.die.for.|
|calamari and crab cake - yum.|
We also enjoyed touring the waterfront - it was so nice to be in the sun - and the weather was pleasant, 60 degrees and sunny!
We enjoyed gelato before heading to our car - perfect ending to a perfect day!
All in all, we saw lots of the city, but not everything. I'm hoping Rob and I can sneak away for a long weekend sometime this spring or next fall! It's a beautiful city - if you have the chance to visit, take it.