If you can get past the humidity and occasional risk of hurricanes, Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the most relaxing and unique cities you will find yourself in inside of the United States. Some major points of interest that we completely fell in love with are the Angel Oak Tree, the French Quarter, and the food, especially down by the water and within the French Quarter. I know, it sounds an awful lot like New Orleans when we say French Quarter and good food! To be completely honest (even if it is not a popular opinion) I prefer the city of Charleston, be it from the lack of tourists partying constantly, or it not being as heavily populated, there is just an all-around romantic feel to the historic downtown area that I find absolutely mesmerizing. Plus, the Atlantic Ocean is right at your fingertips–which growing up on the West Coast, this was a big deal to me!
The Angel Oak Tree is an attraction that I have had many people tell me is overrated because it’s “just a tree.” While, yes, technically this is true, people that think that simply are not fully appreciating this withstanding piece of nature. The Angel Oak Tree is a form of life that has endured for what is estimated to be around 450 years, still standing after natural disasters, human development, and many other compromising factors. We were just there after Hurricane Matthew hit Charleston, and while homes near the premises of the tree were damaged from trees and debris falling, or the obvious flooding, this some 20-30-foot circumference tree (it’s a really big oak, guys) stood strong in all of its glory. To me, that is nothing short of amazing. Not to mention the roads leading up to the tree are beyond gorgeous, lined with lush trees sweeping all around the pavement. You will want to just roll down your window and stick your head out, or perhaps even take a peaceful stroll. I know that I did just that multiple times.
The French Quarter of the Historic Downtown Charleston is right next to Waterfront Park overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. There are water taxis that can be taken directly from Waterfront Park, too, which can be a great opportunity to see dolphins jumping through the water up close. We did not get a chance to go on the taxi, instead taking in the views from the quaint dock, but we fortunately still saw a beautiful pod of these intelligent creatures leaping through the wakes at sunset, and I can only imagine how wonderful the views would be if you were right there with them on the water.
We walked all along the streets of the French Quarter, taking in the views and appreciating the many delicious smells of Creole and Cajun cooking before deciding on a more traditional coastline meal at Fleet Landing where it was then recommended we go to Carmella’s for dessert. Saying that our meals were outstanding would be a serious understatement. For dinner we ate Lowcountry Seafood Pasta and Chicken Picatta, and even the asparagus was cooked to absolute perfection. Between the architecture and the food and views by the shoreline, Charleston city life did not disappoint.
There is so much each of us could go on and on about, like the cute benches that are placed in the perfect positions on the dock to watch sunsets with a loved one, the pineapple fountain being the perfect study spot, surrounded by rows of trees and an ocean view, or the brightly painted rows of houses found on an otherwise ordinary looking street. Long story short: Charleston, South Carolina is somewhere that should be on everyone’s trip bucket list.