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A Slice of Southern Charm: South Carolina

Ansonborough beach Brasserie Gigi champagne Charleston dolphins golf Hank's Seafood helicopter Hilton Head Island horse drawn carriage horseback riding hotels Peninsula Grill pool restaurants sand dollars Sea Pines Resort South Carolina tennis The Spectator Travel yacht Zero George

With all of the havoc Joaquin has wreaked in South Carolina I thought it fitting to focus on time I’ve spent there in the past and the weekend getaway we’re hoping to take in the spring. I know from personal acquaintances living in Charleston the damage that the storm has done and they are just a few of the Carolinians trying to cope. My thoughts go out to everyone affected and I hope that things return to normal as quickly as possible. (photo source)

I grew up going to Hilton Head Island every April as a child during school spring break, another area of South Carolina that received quite a hit from the hurricane. Every year we stayed at The Sea Pines Resort at the southern tip of the island. Each morning we would go and dig for sand dollars along the shoreline while looking for dolphins jumping through the waves. Between our sand dollar treasure hunts and afternoons playing at the beach or pool it was tennis lesson time. The first time I ever picked up a racquet was on the courts of Sea Pines Resort and I couldn’t have been more than 5 years old. The first time I ever rode a horse was also at Sea Pines at their onsite stables. For several years I would return to ride my favorite horse, Professor Higgins. It was an idyllic place as a child. Now that I’m grown and working on my golf game I’m hoping to get back to Hilton Head to try out the links and experience what Hilton Head is most famous for.  (photos courtesy of Sea Pines Resort)

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In addition to Hilton Head I’ve also wanted to get to Charleston. For the past couple of years my husband and I have thrown out the idea of a long weekend getaway there. We still haven’t made the trip but it’s on our radar and I have my sights set on two boutique inns where we could stay as well as restaurants to wine and dine at.

My top choice for where to stay when we finally make our way to the southern city is Zero George. I came across the boutique inn when I was researching possible Easter weekend getaways last spring (note: all of my hotel choices in Charleston were booked solid over Easter weekend so if that is a possible travel weekend for you I would make reservations sooner than later). Zero George is a collection of 5 restored historic residential buildings within the Ansonborough district of the city. To me it looks to be the epitome of southern charm.

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A hotel with more of a modern twist is The Spectator just one block from the Historic Charleston City Market in the French Quarter neighborhood. The hotel offers some pretty great packages for two night stays and one that seems well worth considering is the The Charms of Charleston Package:

  • Helicopter tour with champagne, exploring the Charleston peninsula and surrounding area
  • Private horse drawn carriage tour through Charleston’s historic district
  • Charleston harbor sail on a chartered yacht
  • $100 gift certificate to High Cotton, SNOB, or the Old Village Post
  • Transportation to and from Charleston International Airport
  • Luxurious accommodations and valet parking for two nights at The Spectator Hotel

I would say that seems like a pretty great start to a romantic weekend retreat.

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Three restaurants in Charleston that I’ve heard and read great things about are Brasserie Gigi, Peninsula Grill and Hank’s Seafood. It could be that I’m writing this post during lunchtime, but I can’t help but notice how utterly delectable each dish looks and the wonderful style and ambiance of each restaurant.

Brasserie Gigi:

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Peninsula Grill:

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Hank’s Seafood Restaurant:

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It is already turning into a hectic fall and winter, but I know  the spring in the south would be beautiful. Perhaps we’ll try and get a trip to Hilton Head or Charleston scheduled soon so that we don’t have an issue with booking like last April. I know there are so many other things to see and do in the state. Luckily for us South Carolina isn’t too far from where we live so I know we might be able to get there a few times to explore more than we can handle in a single long weekend. “I do declare” that I’m looking forward to the southern hospitality, beautiful scenery and scrumptious meals.

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