An Endless Summer in Charleston

Although summer may technically end September 21st, in Charleston, summertime stretches long into October. The summertime feeling is vivacious with perfectly refreshing ocean water and local events in full swing. Charlestonians know how to keep the summer attitude going and celebrate all the city has to offer.

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With the opening of the Belmond Charleston Place rooftop pool bar, you can soak up glorious views of King Street, take a dip in the infinity pool and delight in refreshing beverages. Local favorites such as the Farmers Market and Second Sunday are still underway through the summer offering delicious local foods and great shopping. Plus, the recently renovated Gibbes Museum of Art offers the new exhibit Beyond Catfish Row: The Art of Porgy and Bess, inspired by the popular play from this years Spoleto festival.

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Concierge Tip:

If you are interested in viewing downtown from a horse drawn carriage, the tour offers a relaxing afternoon of history and experience. Grab a fresh squeezed juice or refreshing smoothie from Whisk to stay cool during the trip. And afterwards enjoy lunch at local favorite Cru Café, located in a traditional old Charleston house.IMG_5672

Each season offers something unique in Charleston, and with thriving events and the relaxation of the summer, it is the opportune time to see the Holy City. Plan your stay with Belmond Charleston Place and delight in luxurious accommodations, 20% off Premier rooms, suites and Club Level. With Club Level accommodations including complimentary all-day food and beverage, afternoon tea service and a full bar selection guests are able to relax after an exciting day of exploring the city.

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Scenic and Historic Jogging Routes

Maintaining your fitness routine while on vacation has never been easier. Belmond Charleston Place, located in the heart of the historic district, offers the ideal location for guests to enjoy several scenic jogging routes which highlight the best of Charleston. Jogging along the streets of the city today, you will get a sense of how life was in the 19th century when a horse and carriage was the primary mode of transportation. Plus, you will get to experience some of Charleston’s treasures up close.

HISTORICAL LOOP: 1.3 miles

For the casual jogger, this 1.3-mile loop is the perfect way to see historic Charleston. You will pass many well-known landmarks:

  1. Confederate Museum: Operated by the Daughters of the Confederacy and open to the public.
  2. Circular Congregational Church:  Known as “White Meeting House,” for which Meeting Street was named.
  3. 134 Meeting Street: Site of the Institute Hall where the Ordinance of Secession was signed.
  4. Gibbes Museum of Art: Houses many valuable paintings and is open to the public.
  5. City Hall: Erected in 1801 as a branch of the First Bank of the United States. Purchased by the City in 1818. It houses portraits and busts of many prominent people in history including Trumbull’s famous portrait of General Washington.
  6. County Court Houses: Began as State House in 1752, burned in 1788 and was rebuilt on old walls.
  7. U.S. Post Office and Federal Court: Site of the City Guard House which was destroyed in an earthquake in 1886.
  8. Saint Michael’s Episcopal Church: Its bells have crossed the Atlantic Ocean five times. George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette both worshiped here when in Charleston.
  9. Heyward-Washington House: Home of Thomas Heyward, signer of the Declaration of Independence. George Washington stayed here while in Charleston.
  10. Old Exchange Building: An independent government was set up here in 1776 by the Provincial Congress. The Provost Dungeon is located in the basement and is open to the public.
  11. U.S. Custom House: Started in 1849 and completed in 1879, it is still operating today.
  12. City Market: Established 1788-1804, it houses shops and boutiques, as well as an open air market.

 

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BATTERY RUN: 4.6 miles

For the more ambitious jogger, try the Battery Run. This 4.6-mile run takes you through the same course as the Historical Loop, adding a bit more challenge and scenery. You will run along Charleston’s breathtaking Battery where, on a clear day, you can see Fort Sumter which received the first shot of the Civil War on April 12, 1861.

Next onto Colonial Lake, recently renovated and a favorite spot among local runners, and it is easy to see why, with its sense of serenity and beauty. Now down Charleston’s famous Tradd Street, named after the city’s first born child, and finally to the Historical Loop completing the Battery Run.

Share your favorite route with us or contact our concierge for a route that best fits your pace.

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Downtown Discovered: King Street Historic District

The Historic District of downtown Charleston is home to many smaller neighborhoods within the city center, each offering a slightly different perspective for visitors. Our previous posts in this series had us discover the iconic South of Broad neighborhood and the artistic French Quarter. Now, we will shine a light on Belmond Charleston Place’s own neighborhood, the King Street Historic District.

Location:

This diverse area downtown encompasses one of the city’s main thoroughfares and arguably its most famous, King Street. Considered the heart of Charleston’s commercial district, it has been developed into three distinct areas: Upper King Street Design and Dining District located north of Calhoun St; King Street’s Fashion District in the middle and the Lower King Street Antiques District. We will focus on the middle and lower districts as Belmond Charleston Place sits in the very center, extending along King Street from Hasell to the corner of Market Street.

Concierge Tip:

If you find yourself in town during the appropriately named Second Sunday on King Street, this monthly celebration is the perfect time to stroll freely as the street is closed to vehicular traffic. Restaurants place tables outside, shops open their doors and locals and visitors alike meander to the tunes of street music and live performers.

History:

Not included in the business district nor even within the original walls of the colonial city, King Street was primarily used as a route in and out of town until the mid 1700s. As Charleston entered the 19th century and experienced a great period of economic growth, merchants began to take up residence along King Street. With the addition of a railroad between King and Meeting Streets, the area further flourished with a variety of high-end and specialty shops, eventually becoming the thriving commercial center it is today.  

Concierge Tip:

Named one of the “10 Top Shopping Districts in the USA” by Forbes Travel, King Street is a shopaholics dream. While name brand stores are aplenty, make sure to stop into a few of its hidden gems, like Croghan’s Jewel Box, family owned for more than 100 years. Berlin’s for Men, located on the corner of King and Broad Streets, has been outfitting gentlemen in the Lowcountry since 1883. If your list is long, The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place likely have you covered, with more than 20 stores on the lobby level.

Places of Interest:

If window shopping is more your speed, plan to spend the afternoon exploring the Antiques District of lower King Street. More than a dozen antique stores occupy this portion of lower King Street, each specializing in a certain period offering one-of-a-kind selections. Founded in 1922, George C. Birlant & Co. is one of the largest and oldest antiques establishments in the South. After ogling 19th-century furniture and English silver, stop in for charcuterie, cheese and a glass of wine at the quaint and rustic Bin 152, which also doubles as an art gallery and antiques market.

Concierge Tip:

While some of its buildings are located on King Street, the College of Charleston’s main campus is located just a block away from the Fashion District. Founded in 1770, it is the 13th oldest college in the United States and as such, features many historic buildings. The most notable, Randolph Hall, is a National Historic Landmark and overlooks a large grassy area known as the Cistern. Grab a picnic lunch from Caviar and Bananas, a gourmet market and café, before stopping into the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. This university arts center showcases emerging and established modern artists and features five to seven exhibitions per year.

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