Downtown Discovered: South of Broad

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Downtown Charleston is typically referred to as the Historic District but within the city center, a host of smaller neighborhoods exist, each offering a unique personality and experience for visitors. In our newest blog series, we will introduce you to some of Charleston’s most notable neighborhoods, starting with arguably its most famous – South of Broad.

Location:
As its name suggests, South of Broad is located south of Broad Street, at the southernmost tip of the peninsula. Bordered by the Cooper and Ashley Rivers, this primarily residential area offers spectacular views of the Charleston harbor, where the two rivers meet the Atlantic Ocean. The neighborhood is also home to Rainbow Row, one of the most famous streets in all of Charleston.

Concierge Tip: A visit to South of Broad isn’t complete without a stop at The Battery. Wander along the newly renovated, raised promenade for unparalleled views of the harbor. See if you can spot Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began, in the distance!

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History: 
Considered the most exclusive and affluent of the downtown neighborhoods, South of Broad is also one of it’s oldest with residences dating back to 1721. While a variety of architectural styles exist, most homes were built by wealthy plantation owners or merchants in the Georgian-Palladian style. Located on one of the most picturesque streets south of Broad, The Sword Gate House (located at 32 Legare Street), is named after the distinctive “Sword Gates” that stand guard at the entrance to the property. Each half of the gate has a central cross, formed by a vertical spear and a horizontally placed broadsword. A matching pair mark the entrance to The Citadel, the military college located downtown.

Concierge Tip: While wandering South of Broad can be a history lesson in itself, consider a tour of one of the historic homes in the neighborhood. The Heyward Washington House, where George Washington stayed on his tour of the South, the Edmonston Alston House or the Calhoun Mansion, the largest private residence downtown at 24,000 square feet, are open for tours. The Old Exchange Building and Provost Dungeon, which offers daily tours, has hosted pirates, patriots and presidents since the Colonial era.

Points of Interest:
Famous for its lush gardens and detailed iron gate-work, South of Broad is best explored on foot or by horse-drawn carriage. Admire the flourishing window boxes and peak into the private gardens (but do mind your manners – these are private properties!) Look for urban alleyways like Stoll’s Alley, Philadelphia Alley or Price’s Alley, each offering an intimate view and journey back in time.

Concierge Tip: Plan to enjoy a picnic lunch at White Point Gardens after exploring the neighborhood. Stop by Goat. Sheep. Cow., with its 200-year-old brick walls and exposed beams, to pick up cheese, wine and charcuterie. Or, grab lunch from Burbage’s Grocery, a small, self-serve corner grocery in business since 1948.

While you may have known South of Broad as the title of a Pat Conroy novel (an author also see on our Portraits of Charleston wall), the neighborhood offers much more for visitors to Charleston. Grab a map from our concierge, and savor the best of the South as depicted through one of the most beautiful areas downtown.

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Explore Charleston’s Picturesque Parks

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Historic downtown Charleston offers no shortage of Instagram-worthy spots, including a variety of picturesque parks and outdoor spaces. Grab some grub, a blanket and indulge in a leisurely picnic lunch or dinner at one of Charleston’s prettiest parks.

Just a seven minute walk from Belmond Charleston Place, listen to the bells of St. Michaels from Washington Park, while surrounded by a beautiful gated garden. This has been a favorite gathering spot of Charlestonians for more than 300 years and features beautiful statues, from historic to whimsical.

Sit under the gentle mist of the Pineapple Fountain at Waterfront Park, which is just a twelve minute walk from the hotel. This city park  features private alcoves, flower gardens, stone pathways, a pier with wooden swings and stunning views of Fort Sumter and Charleston harbor.

The Battery, one mile from the hotel, is located alongside the Charleston harbor. This beautiful shaded sanctuary filled with multiple monuments including Revolutionary and Civil War-era cannons and statues commemorating individuals notorious during the 18th century.

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Relax under shaded trees and surround yourself with architecture dating back to the 19th century, just a ten minute walk from the hotel. The Cistern Yard is the core of the College of Charleston campus and home to national landmarks such as Randolph Hall. Built in 1828, this monument is one of the oldest buildings still in use in the U.S..

Enjoy the urban green space of Marion Square, a quick ten minute walk from the hotel, once used as a military marching ground before the Revolutionary War. This park, which hosts a Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, is the perfect spot to appreciate monuments such as the Holocaust memorial.

Amid the ruins of the old Charleston Museum and one mile from the hotel, Cannon Park provides a historic, stunning atmosphere. The remaining columns of the old museum create a beautiful focal point in this park designed by Frederic Law Olmstead, the designer of Central Park in New York City and the grounds at the Vanderbilt Mansion.

Staying at Belmond Charleston Place? Let us pack a picnic for you; A variety of menu options await. And please use the map below to guide you at your leisure.

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Sail Into Summer

With summer in full swing, most of us are spending our days basking in the warm sun. Bathing suits and shorts are on our mind but did you remember to pack a hat or a pair of sunglasses? From boating on the Charleston Harbor to dining out with friends, The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place have everything you need to look hot while staying cool. Take a peek at our summer picks below, and find the perfect item to help you look and feel your best.

1. Bathing Suit

Whether you’re sunbathing on Sullivan’s Island or lounging by the pool, looking fabulous is a must. Enhance your bathing suit collection with this bright pink, flirty and fun one-piece. Pair it with a hat or sleek sandals, and you will have a beach-chic look. Splash into Everything But Water’s bathing suit collection to find your ideal style for relaxing summer days.

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2. Skirt

Looking for a skirt that can take you from boutique shopping to dinner on King Street? White House Black Market’s floral printed skirt, decorated with scarlet red flowers and ivy green leaves, is light, breezy and perfect for dining alfresco at The Palmetto Cafe.

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3. Handbag

Make a statement with this bold bag in a beautiful lapis color from Kate Spade. This “eye catcher” of a purse will turn heads and is the ultimate conversation starter. Enjoy wearing the Lillian Court Medium Harmony handbag, large enough to carry all of your summer essentials, from sunglasses to sunscreen.

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4. Shoes

Master the nautical look with the maritime shoe haven, Sperry Top-Sider. If you’re sailing the ocean or pulling off a casual day outfit, these classic boat shoes are a must-have. From Washed Canvas design that looks like you’ve been at sea to the Authentic Original boat shoes, Sperry Top-Siders are the perfect finishing touch to your summer look.

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5. Sunglasses

Treat yourself to a new pair of shades this summer. From Chanel and Ray Ban to Miu Miu and Oakley, Sunglass Hut carries the latest designer eyewear that will complement your outfit while protecting your eyes.

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6. Bracelet

This delicate sterling silver bracelet, decorated with small Charleston themed charms and turquoise gems, is a thoughtful and tasteful souvenir for a loved one or yourself. Explore Pandora’s collection of earrings, bracelets and one of a kind charms and take home a memory of Charleston.

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7. Hat

Ready to finally try that fedora you’ve been dreaming about? Now is the time! Tommy Bahama’s white paper braided fedora with a frayed brim can be worn with a polished outfit or styled for an outdoor adventure. Keep the sunlight out of your eyes while looking fashionable.

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8. Tunic

Our favorite summer look – easy, breezy tunics are back! This soft and airy garment from Calypso St. Barth is embellished with shimmery gold and hints of orange. Throw this turquoise cover up over a bathing suit or spruce it up with a pair of white jeans.

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Keep up with the summer trends by following The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place on Instagram @TheShopsBCP and find your perfect look by visiting The Shops on King and Market Streets.

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