Take a walk in Charleston, South Carolina, and you’ll be reminded of this Southern town’s Civil War history. You’ll see its architectural gems. Flowers and color are everywhere. And you’re bound to get hungry when you get a whiff of barbecue or some other culinary delight wafting on the summer air.
Almost as soon as we started our 10,000-step tour in this historic part of town, I realized I could walk 20,000 steps and still not see everything. We took our stroll — and with temperatures hovering near 100°, we took it very slowly — from the fountain at the end of Vendue Range, past the battery, around to Catfish Row (we missed it and had to double back) and into the shopping districts and restaurant row, with a stop for brunch and another to shop. Well, we stopped for shopping a couple of times.
Our tour began along the Waterfront Park just south of the cruise ship terminal on the Cooper River. We didn’t have to go far to find some of Charleston’s most famous houses, the colorful Rainbow Row, a string of 17th century row houses saved from destruction in the 1930s.
We watched a fisherman pluck a silvery fish from the water, admired the gracious architecture of the grand houses along the Battery, including the Edmondston-Altston House, an Ante-Bellum house from which Gen. P.T. Beauregard watched the bombing of Fort Sumter.
After a walk under the shade trees of White Point Gardens at the south end of Peninsula Charleston, we went looking for Cabbage Row, also known as Catfish Row since they figured in George Gershwin’s opera “Porgy and Bess.” A big fan of the opera and Gershwin, I was delighted to see this in person.
Enough history! It was time to return to the 21st Century for some shopping after we found something to eat and drink. Finding good food is never a problem in Charleston. We found pitchers-full of iced tea and wonderful food at the Mills House hotel, fortifying us for the rest of the walk.
With the Shops of the Historic Charleston Foundation across the street, we had to start our shopping there. I wanted everything but settled for a few minutes browsing in the air-conditioning. This time, anyway.
Checked my Fitbit at this point and we were halfway finished and ready for King Street. King Street has everything. Designer duds to antiques, souvenirs to art.
Our path took us into a number of the shops as we made our way to leafy Marion Square. We were in Charleston at a very sad moment, only a couple of days after the murders at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church. The feelings of grief were poured out in banners and signs all over town. Although we walked near the church, we decided it was better not to go there and we paid our respects in other ways.
Our walk was nearing its end as we wandered through the stalls of Charleston’s famous market and then down Restaurant Row on East Bay Street. It ended appropriately enough with the smell of barbecue from Southend Brewery and Smokehouse scenting the air in the most amazing way.
What else did we see along the way?
A sampling…all so beautiful–