Arts & Culture, Discovery

Celebrate the Winter Solstice with These Top Charleston Events

‘Tis the season for bundling up with a warm beverage and exploring some of Charleston’s most exciting winter events. Known for our mild winter climate, there is always an opportunity to discover something new in Charleston without fighting through frosty weather. From the exotic wildlife exhibit to wholesome Christmas activities, there is an event for everyone this winter season. Holiday Festival of Lights Now – December 30 This event is a must-see if you are in Charleston for the holiday season. Located in James Island County Park, this dazzling light display is mesmerizing for people of all ages.  To make life easier, Adventure Sightseeing can pick you and your group up at the hotel and take you through the spectacle. If you plan to drive yourself, be sure to stop through Santa’s Land to partake in some holiday cheer.  From roasting marshmallows over a roaring fire pit to taking pictures with Santa, the Holiday Festival of Lights is a treasured tradition every year.  Holiday Train Display at Belmond Charleston Place   Now – January 2 Our hotel is known for its gorgeous holiday decorations, including the famous holiday train. Modeled after the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, this festive train takes an adventurous journey through 300 feet of tracks paved with sparkling snow and quaint villages. Don’t just take our word for it, however, because the train leaves the station every few minutes to wind through the snowy landscape for you to observe. New Year’s Festivities in the Lowcountry December 31 Finding the perfect New Year’s party can be a challenge, so look no further than downtown Charleston for the most memorable night. Multiple bars and restaurants are holding events such as The Alley, Cedar Room, The Rice Mill, and many more. And don’t forget, the exclusive Yorktown Countdown at Patriots Point will feature Charleston fare and live entertainment from all imaginable genres.  From casual gatherings to upscale galas, Charleston is filled with a variety of New Year’s Eve celebrations. Charleston Marathon January 12 The New Year brings new resolutions, so why not check off participating in one of the most exciting races that Charleston has to offer? The Charleston Marathon is a multi-layered race that has events for the most advanced runners to the casual fitness enthusiasts. From the Shrimp and Grits 5K to the half and full marathons, there is a race for every level of runner (or walker). After the event, there is a post-race celebration for everyone to enjoy. Lowcountry Oyster Festival January 27 Named one of the “top 20 events in the southeast” by Southeastern Tourism Society, the Lowcountry Oyster Festival is the world’s largest oyster festival.  Located at  historic Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens, the festival includes legendary “Oyster Shucking” and “Oyster Eating” contests, live music on the main stage, wine, a selection of domestic and imported beers, a children’s area and a “food court” showcasing a variety of local favorite restaurants to satisfy everyone’s taste.  Buy your tickets now to celebrate with friends and family. Bacon and Bourbon February 16 Bacon and Bourbon has become a tradition for locals every year. From 18 top Charleston chefs and more than 30 various distilleries, this event is a haven for bourbon and food aficionados. With live music, laser skeet shooting, bull riding competition, and of course, unlimited bourbon and food, this event is truly a unique experience that everyone will love.   Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) February 14 – 17 SEWE is without a doubt one of the most recognizable events that Charleston has to offer. This unique occasion connects nature and wildlife to our bustling city. From art displays, to pop-up shops, wildlife exhibitions, and competitions, this is a weekend you have to experience for yourself.  To make this event truly an experience, book our SEWE Offer to have easy access to special events and art galleries held within our hotel. Charleston Wine and Food March 6-10 When springtime approaches, it’s the perfect time to sit back and explore all of the decadent food and beverage options Charleston has to offer. With a variety of different wines and exotic food, there is something for everyone to try in the Culinary Village located in Marion Square.  Or for a more unique experience, explore exclusive events like the Truffle Shuffle or Le Club 843. If you decide to indulge in the festival, make sure to check out our package, Wine, Dine, and Unwind. With two tickets to the Culinary Village, transportation to the festival, and complimentary valet parking, this offer is one you won’t want to miss out on.
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Arts & Culture

Make the Most Out of December’s Art Walk

The last Art Walk of 2018 will take place on Friday, December 7, and there’s no better way to explore Charleston’s historic art district than by foot. From 5PM-8PM, more than 40 galleries will be participating in the event, which will allow you to see a range of artwork while mixing and mingling with artists and indulging in light bites and beverages. Here are our top four ways to make the most out of this year’s final Art Walk.
Dress Comfortably

While the majority of the galleries are confined to the French Quarter, there’s still a lot of ground to cover. We suggest wearing comfortable walking shoes to help navigate uneven walkways and cobblestone streets. Depending on the temperature, you’ll want to have a jacket in tow. If you forgot proper attire, stop in to The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place where you’ll find a unique collection of shops to browse.
Make Dinner Reservations

Plan the perfect evening, post-Art Walk, with a stop at Charleston Grill. Savor Four Diamond Dining while indulging in highly creative and uniquely presented cuisine from only the finest ingredients. Wine Director and Sommelier Rick Rubel is the mastermind behind the largest wine collection in Charleston. The traditional French service creates a flawless dining experience, and you can relax in the warm, intimate ambiance while enjoying the sounds of nightly live jazz.
Spend Time At Mary Martin Gallery

Stop by the Broad Street location of Mary Martin Gallery to view the contemporary wildlife art exhibit from Laura Palermo. Here you’ll experience fine art, conservation, and a personal bird experience in collaboration with Charleston’s Center for Birds of Prey. Plus, check out the second Mary Martin Gallery, located in the East Gallery of The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place, where they will be showcasing local artists.
Savor The Holiday Scene at Belmond Charleston Place

After dinner, take a stroll through the hotel lobby to discover a replica of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE). Marvel at the train’s intricate design as it travels across 300 feet of track. Complete with a hand carved, eight-foot mountain, hundreds of handcrafted trees, and a miniature world of ski resorts, hotels, inns, shops, and vintage automobiles, this scene will certainly put you in the holiday spirit.



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Arts & Culture, Discovery

Charleston’s Spooky Side

Halloween is approaching frighteningly fast. That means it is time for pumpkin carving, costume parties, candy corn and of course, getting spooked! Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and has been named one of the top ten most haunted so it is the perfect place to get into the Halloween spirit. In this blog post, you will learn about some of the spookiest sites in Charleston. Stop by on your next visit to Charleston…if you dare.

Old City Jail
Located at 21 Magazine Street is the Old City Jail, arguably Charleston’s most haunted location. It was operational from 1802 to 1939 and was featured in an episode of the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures”. Denmark Vesey, famous for leading a slave rebellion, and 19th-century pirates were jailed here before being hanged. The most intriguing tale regarding the Old City Jail involves Lavinia Fisher, the first female serial killer in the United States. She and her husband, John Fisher, operated a hotel called the Six Mile Wayfarer House. After many male travelers were discovered missing after last being seen at the hotel, it was discovered that Lavinia and her husband were robbing and murdering their guests. The couple was sentenced to hang on the gallows behind the Charleston Jail. Before being hanged, John prayed that his soul be saved while Lavinia was anything but repentant. Lavinia requested to wear her wedding dress and yelled “If you have a message you want to send to hell, give it to me – I’ll carry it” before jumping off the scaffold herself. Today, the Old City Jail is an official “Save America’s Treasures” project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the White House Millennium Council.

Provost Dungeon
The Provost Dungeon is located at 122 East Bay Street beneath the Old Exchange Building which was used as a customs house and post office. Soon after taking control of Charleston in 1780, the British started housing local criminals and insubordinate soldiers beneath the Exchange Building. Pirates and deserters were also housed in the “dungeon”. Some people were only held here for a short time before being transferred to other jails or prison ships but others remained until their death. Today, costumed guides lead you through a piece of history that tells the story of what it once was like to be condemned and confined in terrible conditions.

U.S.S. Yorktown
Now decommissioned and docked at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, the aircraft carrier known as the U.S.S. Yorktown was active during WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam. Over the years, there have been a number of reports of unexplainable noise, sightings and activities from visitors, employees and area law enforcement officers. The spirits of those who lost their lives while aboard the ship seem to still be on active duty. The U.S.S. Yorktown was featured on the Syfy Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” earlier this year. Their findings include ghostly figures caught by thermal imaging, unexplained footsteps and voices. The U.S.S. Yorktown is now offering guided ghost tours that detail these findings as well as other accounts.

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