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The Charm of Charleston

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By Wayne Lazarus on September 8th, 2009

Categories: Linda's Travel Articles

Other cities in the United States have pre-Revolutionary War history, low-country beauty, exquisite coastal cuisine – even a large number of ghosts; but none have all of that plus the unique culture that is Charleston, South Carolina. Ranked as the fourth Best City in America by Travel + Leisure magazine readers for the second year in a row, (behind New York, San Francisco and Quebec City) the Holy City is not content to rest on its laurels.

Recently the city recognized its Museum Mile – six museums, five “nationally important” historic houses, four scenic parks, a Revolutionary War powder magazine, ten historic houses of worship and five historic public buildings with special ticket packages that allow visitors to focus on a particular aspect of the mile, such as the Revolutionary War. History is evident throughout this area from the 4000-year-old pottery shards found on Kiawah Island to the modern houses being built to mimic those from the 17th century. The tour of homes every fall is one way to see and experience these graceful abodes, designed to assuage the heat by catching sea breezes.

If history or architecture doesn’t appeal, the extraordinary food in Charleston is enough of a reason to visit. Numerous restaurants here have received national media accolades. The BB&T Charleston Wine and Food Festival takes place in early March and is a chance to sample the special touch here. Even the Farmers Market at Marion Square was named as fifth best in the nation by Travel and Leisure. Open from April through December, the market offers not only fresh, locally-grown produce, but arts and crafts booths, fresh crepes, omelets, donuts, shrimp and oyster po-boys.

Arts and culture is something else that the city is famous for, beginning with First Friday strolls through Gallery Row and topped off every year in May with the music, dance and theater festival, Spoleto USA.

Late April through May and late August through September is love bug season, so wax your car and come prepared to clean the hood and bumper every night.

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