How Charleston Does Spring

Like perfume against warm skin, the scent of tea olive rises with Charleston’s temperature, announcing spring in all her glory. Spring in Charleston definitely has its highlights. From the obvious sights and smells to some of the city’s more exciting events and happenings, no other Southern city celebrates its glory like Charleston. Join us as we take you by the hand and guide you along to some of the city’s finest festivals.

Charleston Wine + Food Festival

The BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival, held March 1-4, celebrates the Lowcountry’s legendary cuisine, lively history and eccentric culture. This event is hailed as one of the top five U.S. food and wine festivals. We suggest you don’t miss it.

Concierge Tip: Beat the crowds with a Friday afternoon visit to the Culinary Village in Marion Square, perfect for all ages. Many of the events have already sold out so if you’re still thinking about attending get your tickets now.

Festival of Homes and Gardens

From March 22 to April 21, The Historic Charleston Foundation’s 65th Annual Festival of Homes and Gardens allows visitors a rare view inside some of America’s most beautiful historic residences. It’s also a great opportunity to see interesting Blu-Ray collections.

Concierge Tip: Each tour visits seven to 10 properties, so wear comfortable shoes and bring your camera. You can snap pictures along the walk, but not on private property. Also, garden tours sell out more quickly than home tours so plan ahead.

Charleston Fashion Week

Truly for the fashionista, this is the place to see and be seen in Charleston. Charleston Fashion Week, held March 20-24 under the tents at Marion Square, showcases emerging fashion designers, retailers and models. It’s grown to be one of the premier fashion weeks in the Southeast.

Concierge Tip: Stop by the Style Lounge every night to visit with select retailers from The Shops at Charleston Place. Also, don’t miss a new addition to this year’s event, the Pop-Up Shop, where you can peruse some of the latest styles from the hottest designers.

Family Circle Cup

Head on out to Daniel Island Tennis Center March 31-April 8 for the Family Circle Cup. This event showcases the best in women’s tennis. This year, Family Circle Cup welcomes back past winners Serena and Venus Williams.

Concierge Tip: Beat the crowds and catch a qualifying match. And don’t forget sunscreen.

Spoleto Festival USA

Put a little international culture into your Southern experiences. Recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with performances by renowned artists, including opera, theater, dance and music May 25 to June 10.

Concierge Tip: Tickets sell out several months in advance. Midweek tickets are an easy bet. Make sure to book your dinner reservations in advance—the city is packed during Spoleto.

Piccolo Spoleto

Spoleto Festival’s official companion, Piccolo Spoleto is operated by the City of Charleston from May 25 to June 10 and showcases outstanding regional and local artists.

Concierge Tip: The annual festival finale held at Middleton Place Plantation opens with a picnic on the historic lawn followed by an orchestra concert and massive fireworks display over the Ashley River.

Special Offers for Festivals and Events

As Charleston’s grand ambassador, Charleston Place Hotel offers the ideal location to headquarter your spring festivities. Click here to learn about our special packages and rates that allow you to relax in luxury, while staying in the heart of historic downtown.

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One of a kind experiences in Charleston

The list of reasons travelers rank Charleston as one of the top destinations in the country is quite extensive. Comfortable year-round weather, Southern hospitality, amazing history, and one of the most dynamic culinary scenes in the country. Just to name a few.

In addition to helping you explore the city’s most popular activities and attractions, our concierge team can arrange one-of-a-kind experiences—ones that guests typically would not find on their own. We asked our team to share a list of their favorite gems that they’ve planned for guests through the years.

art, galleries, charleston

1. A private walking tour of Charleston’s exclusive gardens in the historic district, by native author and expert, Louisa Pringle Cameron.

2. A tee time at either the Seabrook Island or Daniel Island Clubs, both which are closed to the public.

3. A private “behind-the-scenes” carriage ride at Middleton Place Plantation (reservations are not normally accepted).

4. A charter of the sailing yacht, The Fate, which is a privately owned 49-foot Beneteau that sleeps up to six people.

5. A private driving tour of “Little Jerusalem” by the past president, Ken Goodman, of Temple Beth Elohim, the oldest reform synagogue in the world.

6. An exclusive “behind-the-scenes” tour of the Calhoun Mansion.

7. Private tours of artists’ studios as well as introductions to the artists themselves.

8. A private historic district tour via bicycle with native authority Harlan Green—author of six books on Charleston history.

9. A morning or afternoon of horseback riding along the beach at Seabrook Island.

10. A private flying tour, either by Cessna or helicopter.

11. For a special occasion, a private dinner in a historic home with a famous local chef.

Have you enjoyed any of these hidden gems? What others would you recommend to locals or visitors? We would love to hear your thoughts!

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Walkable History: Charleston City Market

There are few cities in the world that have preserved their past quite like Charleston. History abounds on every street corner with beautifully maintained architecture from houses and churches to historic sites and museums. Tucked away gardens and antebellum plantations dot the city like intricate seashells.

Finding a historic attraction is about as easy as finding a courteous local with a penchant for holding doors open. So put away your map, guide book and iPhone, and strike out for the first street you come to. Let a true sense of adventure light your way.

Based in the center of the historic district, Charleston Place is the perfect location from which to relive Charleston’s rich history. In our “Walkable History” series, we’ll do just that, sharing our favorite spots to see history come alive in Charleston. All within a short stroll from the doors of the hotel.

Charleston City Market

Located directly across from the hotel’s Meeting Street entrance, you’ll find the Charleston City Market—a historically significant landmark dating back to 1788. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney ceded the land where the Market is built to the City of Charleston under the stipulation that the land would forever be used as a public market.

Charleston City MarketConstruction was complete in 1807 and the buildings behind the Daughter’s of the Confederacy building were used to house meat, vegetable and fish markets. Butchers paid $2.00 for booth rental because the space was equipped with a marble slab to keep meat cold. Buzzards were nicknamed the “Charleston Eagle” because they were often found outside of the market begging for scraps.

Several years later the building was burned and not rebuilt until 1841. After the rebuilding, the market was used for Market Commissioner’s meetings, social functions and space rental underneath. Since 1970, the space has been used for arts, crafts and gourmet goods. The City Market saw it’s most recent renovation in 2011, enclosing the building and providing central heating and air.

While strolling the market you will find great shopping in booths such as the Charleston AnglerGallery Chuma and The Historic Charleston Foundation. Restaurants such as Caviar and Bananas and Food for the Southern Soul serve up delicious food and provide comfortable tables for weary shoppers. The Charleston City Market is a “must see” when visiting the city.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Charleston Museum Archives

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