Clapping On The Down Beat

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i (heart) Charleston: Day 4 & 5 November 12, 2012

Filed under: Interests,Sharing and Caring,travel — clappingonthedownbeat @ 9:46 PM

We slept in a bit, checked out of the B&B and headed to Clary’s Cafe for a stick-to-your- ribs breakfast.  Hmmmmm grits.

We then headed off to Charleston South Carolina, which is only a 2 hour drive.  We checked into a Marriot, off the Bay, but just west of the downtown/historic area.  The hotel had a shuttle that did take us down to Old City Market.  We had some time to walk around before catching the 2:30 boat out to Ft. Sumter.  This area along King street and around Old City Market was more commercialized than Savannah.  Old City Market had stalls with vendors selling local items, but along King street it was like a mall with stores like Gap, Vera Bradley, Coach, and other high-end boutiques.

Charleston has about 80 churches in the downtown area alone.  It is also home to the Citadel.

  

The ride out to Ft. Sumter was pretty, looking back at Charleston.

  

Ft. Sumter, where the American Civil War began.  Named after General Thomas Sumter, Revolutionary War hero, Fort Sumter was built following the War of 1812, as one of a series of fortifications on the southern U.S. coast. Construction began in 1829, and the structure was still unfinished in 1861, when the Civil War began.  Seventy thousand tons of granite were imported from New England to build up a sand bar in the entrance to Charleston Harbor, which the site dominates. The fort was a five-sided brick structure, 170 to 190 feet long, with walls five feet thick, standing 50 feet  over the low tide mark. It was designed to house 650 men and 135 guns in three tiers of gun emplacements, although it was never filled near its full capacity.  Decades of growing strife between North and South erupted in civil war on April 12, 1861, when Confederate artillery opened fire on this Federal fort in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back.

      

After a tour of the Fort, we headed back on the boat and walked over to Virginia’s.  A local family establishment with great southern food.    I grabbed a caramel and chocolate covered pretzel rod at a local confection shop on our way back to pick up the hotel shuttle.  It was fun to hear where everyone else riding back had gone to dinner.  Pearlz Oyster bar sounded like a huge favorite.

Our last vacation day we spent heading out to see the old plantations.  They were about a 20-30 minute drive from the hotel.  The first one we stopped at was Drayton Hall.  http://www.draytonhall.org/overview/introduction.html

Dating back to 1738, Drayton Hall maintains ist nearly original state and it is the oldest preserved plantation house open to the public.  The tour guide was fantastic and had a wealth of information about the time and the family who owned it and lived in it, unchanged, till 1970’s.

  

After Drayton Hall we drove by the other two plantations located down the road a few miles, Magnolia (which was Drayton’s parents plantation) and Middleton.  We then headed back to Savannah for an early dinner and to catch out plane.  We ate at Belford’s which ended my southern food feeding frenzy.  I had a fantastic salad with candied pecans and a lump crab cake.  Hubby had she crab soup and seafood ravioli in a killer sauce.  We headed out to the airport, about 20 minutes away, to catch our evening flight back home.

It truly was a fantastic vacation and I enjoyed every minute of it.  I would highly recommend a trip to Savannah, even if it’s just for the food!

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