Arts & Culture, Discovery

A Symbol of Southern Hospitality

A leisurely stroll along any of the charming and historic streets of the Charleston peninsula lend the eye and ear many enchanting sights and sounds. Glances to the left and right can reveal hidden gardens filled with sweeping ivy and the gentle sound of bubbling fountains. And there is always the faint clip, clop of horse’s hooves on cobblestone streets. If you look closely enough, you may notice that one symbol in particular seems to pop up quite often, the pineapple. This has become ubiquitous to the Charleston area, but few know what the tiny emblem actually represents.

Sprinkled all over downtown, pineapples can be spotted on doors, atop gates, adorning houses and even on some pieces of jewelry. So what’s the deal with these little fruits, and why are Charlestonians so obsessed with them? It’s because the pineapple has historically served as a symbol of Southern hospitality. According to Levins.com, pineapples were often the main attraction of the large and decadent centerpieces commonly found at extravagant Southern dinner parties. The fruit therefore came to represent the warmth of friendship that was shared at gatherings, as well as the prestige of being in attendance. Some Charlestonians will also tell you that pineapples use to be given as presents on someone’s doorstep, as a sign of friendship. As architects and dignitaries began to pick up on the symbol and what it represented, pineapples were soon incorporated into many of the architectural details in Charleston.

The history of the pineapple explains the popularity of one of the most iconic, photographed spots in town. Visit the Pineapple fountain at Waterfront Park while sightseeing, or after a lovely dinner, as it’s a treat to see any time of day. If you visit the park during daylight hours you can snap a picture of the Charleston harbor behind the fountain, and as soon as the sun sets you can behold the pineapple lit up and glowing against a gorgeous starlight sky. The fountain is a landmark for many visiting the Charleston peninsula, and is a must-see experience.

One of the best ways to understand what the pineapple truly represents is to visit Charleston for yourself. The city is known for making visitors feel right at home with its hospitable charm, and the pineapple is just a token of this feeling. The next time you visit the Holy City, take some extra time to notice the cheery way that locals greet each other. Charlestonians pride themselves on being welcoming to all who visit, and that is one reason why those who have experienced Charleston say that it is unlike any other city. In fact, Charleston has been consistently ranked by Travel + Leisure as one of the friendliest cities in the United States.

Because of the unique history of the pineapple, visitors and locals alike have come to sport jewelry that features this Southern symbol. Whether it’s a commitment to being hospitable to all, or a charming reminder of time spent in the Holy City, people seem to love all that the pineapple represents. If you want to add a piece of pineapple jewelry to your collection, you won’t have to look too hard, just venture down King Street and visit the many boutiques which feature a variety of pineapple-inspired pieces. The charm pictured below can be purchased from Pandora in The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place.

The Palmetto Cafe at Belmond Charleston Place especially prides itself on being welcoming to guests who dine here. As a token of this sentiment, and as a delightful end to your delicious meal, guests are served a candied pineapple slice that has been dipped in milk chocolate. Hoping that each guest feels the warmth and hospitality of Charleston when they visit, this pineapple treat is the perfect end to an exceptional dining experience.

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Arts & Culture

It’s Tee Time in the Lowcountry

Most people know that the game of golf originated in Scotland, but did you know that the first game of golf ever played in North America was in Charleston, South Carolina? In the 1700s Charleston was the major port city on the East Coast. Many Scottish merchants working within the port were able to ship clubs and golf balls from Scotland to the United States through Charleston’s port. One Scotsman in particular, David Deas, organized a group of men to play regularly at Harleston’s Green, an area between what is now Calhoun and Bull Streets. While records show that they played for fun, they did seriously put Charleston on the map as the first golf course and club in North America.

Today, the Lowcountry is known for its perfectly balanced golf courses, which provide challenging courses adjacent to breathtaking views. Charleston offers a variety of golf courses residing along the water, from Patriots Point Links on the Charleston Harbor to the Country Club of Charleston beside Wappoo Creek. With many golf courses in the Charleston area designed by the very best players, River Towne Country Club by Arnold Palmer and Kiawah Island Resort Turtle Point Golf Course created by Jack Nicklaus, it is no wonder these challenging yet inspiring courses are among some of the best in the nation.

In 2012, the PGA Championship was held at Kiawah Island Resort just south of the Peninsula and will return in 2021. This renowned championship brought big players to the area like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island also rank among the top 100 Greatest Golf Courses according to Golf Digest.

With over 20 golf courses in the area providing varying levels of difficulty, one thing is for sure; the Charleston region continues to carry on its great golfing heritage.

 

Resources: FinleyOnGolf.com, GolfDigest.com

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