Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lowcountry

Last month, we traveled to Columbia, SC for a conference, and of course, we couldn't drive straight home. South Carolina has far too many destinations to explore.

Our first stop was an overnight stay at Daniels Island, just to the northeast of the Charleston peninsula. I've visited Daniels Island on several occasions to attend functions at a corporation located there, and find it both charming and odd. Situated between two of Charleston's major rivers, Daniels Island is a newly (in Lowcountry terms) developed, upscale community complete with homes, golf courses, parks, walking trails, restaurants, corporations and more. However, since it is a Master Community, the buildings and streets have a continuity that tends toward the Disney-resort feel. And while a nice place to stay because of its conveniences, cleanliness, and proximity to I-526, it lacks, in part, the weathered look and Gullah influence that gives the Charleston area its unique flavor.

After a night at the Hampton Inn on Daniels Island, we packed up and headed into Charleston. We've traveled to this historic city on numerous occasions, as reported in several blog posts. There is much to do there and in the surrounding towns, but despite our roaming tendencies, I'm a creature of habit and prefer to stick with the familiar. So today was "Try Something New Day".

An overdue visit to Boone Hall was on the table, along with a trip to something on the map called Raven's Run (turned out to be a private, gated community) and Dewees Island (alas, also a private community.) But we headed into Charleston and drove around parts of the city we've never seen. Charleston's charm never ceases to amaze me.



We also took a tour of the old slave mart (not to be confused with the Slave Market on Market Street.) But that deserves its own post, so more on that later. Afterwards, we headed to the waterfront. Between the SC Aquarium and the Battery is a serene park complete with fountain and pier. We spent time there, taking pictures and watching boats sail near Castle Pinckney, then we went to the Fleet Landing Restaurant for lunch.

It's a shame it took this long to find the Fleet Landing. Located on Concord St, just north of the pier, the simple white building has a good view of the Cooper, good service, and good food with prices that fit most budgets. Since today was "Try Something New", instead of sticking with gumbo or crab cakes, I ordered the special: pan-seared redfish, Charleston red rice, and the veggie of the day. Absolutely mouth watering. I even tried the veggie, which, unfortunately, turned out to be collards. My first taste. Eaten with red rice, it was palatable.

Another relaxing day in the South Carolina Lowcountry. We headed home, but I ached to stop of one of the many destinations along the way: Mt. Pleasant, Francis Marion National Forest, Cape Romain, Georgetown, Pawleys Island, Huntington Beach State Park, Brookgreen Gardens and of course, Murrells Inlet. All located along South Carolina's Hwy 17.

We did make a brief stop at Litchfield Books, located on Hwy 17 in Pawleys Island. We visit the shop whenever we're in the Murrells Inlet area because of their nice selection of regional books. On this occasion, I purchased George Washington's Guide to the Waccamaw Neck and Georgetown. From the pages I leafed through while at the store, it was clear this locally written, locally published volume contains history about this area that I'd not yet encountered.

So much to see. So much to learn. Just another day in South Carolina's exotic Lowcountry.

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4 comments:

Julie said...

So beautiful. Like you, I love the old parts of Charleston best. The history is the flavor of that beautiful place. Last year, I read about a company on Daniels Island that sounded fantastic, though. They allow (and encourage) their workers to take time off to do volunteer work. I think it was paid time off. Sounds like a dream...get paid and help people.

I may be mistaken about the company being on Daniels Island, but it really rings a bell.

Anyway, I do love your wonderful pictures. I'm glad you got to go and enjoy it all.

Kimberli said...

I wonder if it was Blackbaud, the company that made Raiser's Edge (the program I used) and various other programs for non-profits. I attended a class and a philanthropy conference at their headquarters on Daniels Island (I wouldn't have minded working there myself.) Sound familiar?

Glad you enjoyed the photos. I hope they captured the heartbeat of that city.

Julie said...

Yes! That was it! I wish I could find a job like that. It also looked like they have a huge facility with a gym and dry cleaners (if I remember that correctly). But I was mostly impressed by the idea of taking time off to do volunteer work or a mission.

Kimberli said...

I dealt with the folks at Blackbaud for four years and was highly impressed with each contact. If we lived in that area, I would beg them for a job!

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