Fall in Charleston, SC ~ Road Trip Series

I’m going back to dignity and grace. I’m going back to Charleston, where I belong. ~ Rhett Butler, Gone with the Wind

Staying on the outskirts of Charleston’s downtown left an impression not unlike the scenes from Gone With the Wind.  Though the story was set in Georgia, Charleston is the historical destination along South Carolina’s coast where the Civil War began.*

The grounds surrounding The Inn at Middleton Place survived the battle, and just down the road, the sprawling Magnolia Plantation and Gardens could have been a setting from the period drama. Here, the Plantation House, “the core of which was built prior to the Revolutionary War near Summerville, South Carolina and floated down the Ashley River to Magnolia after the Civil War, is the third to grace the site in more than three centuries of Drayton family occupation.” With its wide porches fringed with flowering hanging pot plants, and an outlook over palatial gardens, it’s not hard to imagine how the likes of Scarlett O’Hara managed to navigate their way around with those voluminous skirts.

South Carolina’s low country provides a low-key, old world existence to those who live here. If you want to taste it, it helps to slow down, turn off the main highways, and you can step into a unique way of life. ~ Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel

This isn’t to say that Charleston’s downtown should be overlooked. Located along the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean, its streets are decorated with palmetto trees. It’s an area infiltrated by a growing epicurean scene, despite being filled with rows of brand name stores interspersed with pricey plus star hotels. For the architecture buff, the residential area that abuts downtown is defined by gorgeous well-preserved homes in Georgian and Federal style. With some dating from the 18th C, their colourful exteriors, shutters, planter boxes, and ‘secret’ gardens are well worth a lengthy leisurely walk, even if its under the rain.

Here’s a tip: if you’re hankering for a piece of something sweet and buttery, head into the Peninsula Grill at the Planter’s Inn for their coconut cake. The hotel’s restaurant is so used to tourists stepping in to order a piece of Chef Carter’s multilayered cream sponge based on his grandmother’s recipe, that they have slices wrapped ready-to-go.

Lovers of history and southern elegance could find no better place than Charleston to spend a weekend or an extended vacation. This city truly has something for everyone. ~ L. Woodrow Ross, Anderson Independent Mail

*DeltaSky Magazine

The Inn at Middleton Place

The Inn at Middleton Place

Overlooking the marsh from the Inn at Middleton Place

Overlooking the marsh from the Inn at Middleton Place

DSC_0565PSPlantation House

Magnolia Gardens

Magnolia Gardens

March areas like this one used to provide the Plantation's source of wealth - rice culture.

March areas like this one used to provide the Plantation’s source of wealth – rice culture.

Plantation House at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Plantation House at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Spanish moss at Magnolia Gardens

Spanish moss at Magnolia Gardens

Charleston's downtown

Charleston’s downtown

Downtown piazzas

Downtown piazzas

Historic Homes

Historic Homes

DSC_0582PSDSC_0591PSThat coconut cake

That coconut cake

32 thoughts on “Fall in Charleston, SC ~ Road Trip Series

  1. Certainly a place worth visiting. I love your pictures of the historic houses and the Magnolia plantation and gardens.

  2. I love when you write about places I have been. I spent a bit of time looking around this part of the states and I am pretty sure that I have a shot in my archive of that very same building.

    Beautiful photos and wonderful words as always Marina. Really making me want to make a return visit.

    • Thanks so much Brendan – glad we can share in this experience through our images 🙂 Always makes photographing fun when you enjoy the place – feel its beat and breathe it in. I hope you’ll return – but I am happy you have already been!

  3. Marina, what a wonderful post, full of beautiful photos. I’ve never been to South Carolina, but now I definitely want to go. You have a way of drawing your reader to the beauty of the places you write about. Well done!


  4. Love your post, as usual. I’ve always wanted to go to Charleston. My friend goes there every year and wants to retire there. She takes pictures but she never sends them to me. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks so much Karen – glad you enjoyed these images. Please do visit the city – it’s beautiful and historic. The sunsets are glorious – they paint the sky. I’ll leave you to experience that without my photos!

  5. Marina, what a beautiful place! Charleston has long been on my must-see list. (Perhaps that’s because I was a Gone with the Wind fan.) When we do make it there, it seems Peninsula Grill and Magnolia Plantation are must dos. The coconut cake looks fantastic!

  6. Every time someone takes a trip somewhere and posts photos it alway makes it look so wonderful, but then when I go I find myself always seeking out the roughest and grungiest parts of town. Maybe I’m just not cut out for tranquility and clean sidewalks.

    Still, very beautiful photographs.

  7. Great blog, great pictures! We are doing something similar on our own blog (www.Cattaildown.com) to try and document our adventures by way of a virtual scrap book. Thanks for giving us some future trip ideas, Charleston looks great!

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