Arts & Culture, Discovery, Sip & Savor

Holidays in the Holy City

Whether basking in the blissful temperatures or indulging in centuries-old traditions, Charleston is a magical place during the holidays. Garlands adorn Antebellum mansions. Magnolia wreaths flank wrought-iron gates. Twinkling lights wrap the trunks of Palmetto trees. From holiday markets to special menus featuring the finest Lowcountry cuisine, there’s never been a better time to Celebrate in Charleston.                                                  Timeless Traditions A living history museum, Charleston embraces the holiday season with a reverent look towards the past. Tour the festively decorated Edmondston-Alston House by candlelight, warm up in the courtyard with a glass of hot cider as carolers sing, then listen to a local storyteller perform Gullah Christmas stories at Christmas on the Battery. Or set out with a private guide to Magnolia Plantation or Middleton Place. Torch-lit gardens beckon guests to warm up fireside while yuletide traditions and 18-century reenactments celebrate the sights and sounds of the Lowcountry.                                                 Holiday Comforts Treasured family recipes are the touchstones of holiday traditions and Charleston’s rich culinary history is on display during the holiday season. Gather friends and family around the table for a delicious feast at one of the city’s best restaurants, Charleston Grill or The Palmetto Cafe, where guests can find special menus for the holidays. Or sip a hot toddy by one of our outdoor fire pits while nibbling on holiday themed cookies.                                                 All the Trimmings Home to luxury brands, boutique shops and local favorites, give the gift of Charleston this season. Steps from our guest rooms, explore The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place, with gifts for men, women, children and home. Or walk out our doors and onto King Street, considered to be one of the finest shopping districts in the country.                                                 Festive Moments Bring your family together for an unforgettable celebration in an unprecedented year. It’s an invitation to come together and reconnect with loved ones, enjoy the salty sea air and create new memories together. From holiday décor in your suite to special family photos with a professional photographer, mark the occasion in grand style. Holiday Headquarters There’s perhaps no better time to escape to Charleston. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted with twinkling Christmas trees, grand wreaths and rows upon row of garland in our lobby. Step into our courtyard garden and by wowed by the magnificent 40-foot lighted Christmas tree that towers over the Market Street Circle fountain. Take part in cherished holiday traditions and embrace the spirit of the season in charming Charleston. To learn more about our offerings, click here.
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Arts & Culture

Holy Matrimony in the Holy City

A city of awe-inspiring beauty, Charleston has been named one of “America’s Most Romantic Cities” by Travel + Leisure and the “World’s Most Romantic Cities” by Food & Wine. Imagine saying I Do under a canopy of live oaks or in a centuries-old church. Whether you desire an intimate affair or a celebration for hundreds, Charleston is home to storied locations that are perfect for your special occasion. The Gadsden House Encompassing all of the charm of historic Charleston, say ‘I Do’ in the outdoor courtyard or intimate rooms of the Gadsden House. Built in the late 18th century, it’s one of the most grand historic homes in downtown. Merchants Hall Boasting spectacular views of the City Market, Merchant Hall celebrates its industrial past with wood columns and exposed brick. After years of thoughtful design and execution, this circa 1856 venue has been reimagined for luxurious weddings and events. Gibbes Museum of Art The beautiful Beaux-Arts building offers a unique setting for your big day. Rich in history and charm, exchange vows under the opulent glass dome or host your reception in the classical gardens. White Point Gardens Become Mr. and Mrs. under the grand oaks of White Point Gardens with views of the Cooper and Ashley Rivers. Moss laden trees and panoramic vistas of the Battery make this a favorite for intimate I Do’s. Then, retreat to Belmond Charleston Place for an intimate celebration at the award-winning Charleston Grill. Belmond Charleston Place From a grand ballroom reception to a micro-wedding for close family and friends, Belmond Charleston Place is the perfect destination for a wedding. Make an entrance on our Georgian open-arm staircase, or plan pre-wedding cocktails in one of our verdant courtyards. Intimate or extravagant, our grandiose venues offer ample space to celebrate your union. Alternatively, have our team arrange your big day at one of these exclusive Charleston locations.
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Arts & Culture, Discovery

Charleston’s Best Beaches

No Lowcountry vacation is complete without a trip to one of Charleston’s beautiful nearby beaches. Each beach has its own distinct charm, but all are guaranteed to make a great day trip and memory. Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, and Folly Beach are all barrier islands located about 15 minutes from the downtown area. The popular summer days and even the months surrounding it offer perfect temperatures for swimming.  Even in the winter, you can find people sun bathing and combing the sand. The waters are known for being fairly mild with extremely gradual slopes.  Water coverage does, without a doubt, vary on the low and high tide times so check your charts.  If you fear little space to move and high-rise hotels, then you can breathe a sigh of relief; all three beaches, like the rest of downtown, pride themselves on staying laid back and local.

Sullivan’s Island is the smallest and most natural of the surrounding beaches. Located at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor, the island is a mix between ultimate relaxation, natural landscapes, vibrant restaurants and shopping scene, and a touch of history. The views of Fort Sumter, Morris Island Lighthouse, and the Battery are unparalleled, and the occasional meandering cruise line is always a spectacle.

Concierge Tip: Visit Fort Moultrie on the eastern end of Sullivan’s Island for an unforgettable American history lesson.

Folly Beach is a great example of the classic beach town. The surfer-esque style is home to some of the best riding in the area, and great for those who enjoy some lively company. The beach stretches six miles, and has plenty of space to find a more secluded spot. While your heading north away from the crowd, you will arrive at what is called the Washout, named for the damage struck to the area from Hurricane Hugo in the late 80’s.  If you brought your surfboard, then this is the place to use it.  The area is most consistent in producing solid waves for more experienced riders.  Just outside of Folly Beach the area is dotted with fun restaurants and bars, perfect for post beach drinks and appetizers.

Concierge Tip: Visit the Folly Beach County Park at the west end of Folly Beach.  It features dressing areas, outdoor showers, and a swimming area with lifeguards on duty.  Perfect for kids!

Isle of Palms, also known as IOP, boasts beautiful white sand beaches and luxurious waterfront homes.  The beach area is about the same size as Folly, and has great places to rent kayaks, boats, stand up paddleboards and even charters. One major convenience of IOP are the public bathrooms, rinsing areas, and parking. After a day at the beach, visit some of the local restaurants, bars, and shops.

Concierge Tip: Keep up with the Isle of Palms Turtle Team for updates on where to search for nests and tracks. Take a look at the photo gallery as well to see the most recent turtle hatchings.

All three beaches are sure to please any visitor, with their laid back Southern attitude, and beautiful Charleston sun.  Just remember to leave the alcohol at home and be mindful of your pets, and you are sure to have a great time. While the beaches are a quick drive from the hotel, transportation to and from can be arranged by our masterful concierge team.

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