Explore Charleston’s Waterways

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While Charleston is known for its rich history, trendy boutiques and delectable cuisine – one of the Holy City’s greatest attributes is its prime location near the water. The city is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, fresh water lakes and winding rivers making endless options for water activities.

So, take advantage of what the Lowcountry has to offer and enjoy these outdoor recreations.

Schooner Pride Sail

Take an afternoon dolphin sail, sunset or moonlight journey around the Charleston Harbor and take in views of pastel colored homes along The Battery, historic church steeples and an upclose view of the Ravenel Bridge. Passengers can help raise and trim the sails or relax while listening to the history of the Holy City.

Concierge Tip: Beverages are sold on the boat, but if you want to eat be sure to bring your own picnic lunch.

Paddle Boarding

If you have never paddle boarded before then Charleston is the best place to do it, as the water is relatively flat and calm. Expect to see dolphins and indigenous birds while paddling Folly River, or if you are more advanced, adventure out on the ocean waves with Charleston Sup Safaris. If you choose to do a tour near dusk, you will see the most magical sunset and moonrise. Whether you are solo or with a group of friends, this is a great way to see Charleston’s sights and aquatic life.

Concierge Tip: Bring a disposable waterproof camera to snap a shot of the dolphins and breathtaking views.

Fishing in the Lowcountry

Saltwater fishing, inshore, offshore, fly-fishing – Charleston has it all! Experience an afternoon or sunset session of fishing on Charleston’s glistening water. Whether you are a fishing guru or a complete novice, the captain or crew will accommodate your skill level to help you catch the biggest fish out there.

Concierge Tip: If you catch a “keeper” size fish, the captain will recommend some restaurants where they will prepare it for you.

Eco Tour – Barrier Island Exploration

Curious about Charleston’s wildlife? Venture to Caper’s Island on a pontoon boat to explore the native fauna of this region and learn a thing or two. This island is one of the few existing undeveloped islands, which makes it a special place. You are bound to see dolphins, bald eagles, herons, pelicans and more. Once you reach the island, walk around its untouched sandy “Bone-yard Beach” and freshwater ponds.

Fun Fact: Married couple Shane and Morgan Ziegler started this tour company in 1997. Their dog, Princess Emma,  enjoys water activities and even partakes in some of the outdoor adventures.

Cypress Gardens Boat Ride

Cypress Gardens is a 170-acre preserve and gardens centered around a tupelo swamp enclosed with green lush plants and trees. Enjoy the tall, enchanting cypress trees while paddling in a classic wooden row boat. The ambience radiates romance, and is perfect for a couple looking for an unforgettable and intimate Lowcountry experience. As you paddle among the lily pads, keep an eye out for the turtles and birds while listening to the peaceful sounds of nature’s wildlife.

Fun Fact: A scene from the movie The Notebook was filmed on this very swamp in Cypress Gardens.

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Charleston Farmers Market

Start your Saturday morning off like a local by walking up King Street from the hotel to the marvelous Farmers Market. Charleston’s Farmers Market is open every Saturday, from 8:00am until 2:00pm, during the months of April-November at Marion Square. Experience one of the Holy City’s most beloved events featuring locally grown produce, the best food vendors in town and indigenous artists.

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Upon crossing over Calhoun Street, large white tents are visible and beam in the Charleston sun. Vendors set up along the beautiful walkway that surrounds Marion Square while market goers set up picnics in the grassy sanctuary in the middle. Saturday mornings are certainly full of energy from the people, to the live music, to the dogs, and to the overall excitement of being outside with the Lowcountry’s finest creations.

First things first, it is a must to get a spot in the renowned Crepe line. Don’t be alarmed if the line looks intimidating, we assure you it moves quickly and will ultimately be worth it! During the wait for the authentic French made-to-order crepe, try homemade squeezed lemonade or a fruit smoothie from The Juice Joint.

After eating, walk through the different tent stations and admire the resourceful art and all the vibrant colors of vegetables that jump from the tables. Red juicy tomatoes, stalks of leafy greens, rich yellow corn, sweet blueberries, and deep purple beets are just a few favorites certain to be at the Market. Hidden tip, head to the end of the market for the Best Pickles in Charleston, no really, they are the best in town!

Concierge tip: Wear a hat, wear your shades, bring cash and bring your recyclable bag.

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On the Move with the Gibbes Museum of Art

Located just down the street from Belmond Charleston Place on Museum Mile, the Gibbes Museum of Art has welcomed our guests as its own for years. Amy Mercer, Marketing and Communications Manager at the Gibbes, fills us in on its exciting developments.

This fall, we officially launched massive restoration, renovation and repurposing of the building at 135 Meeting Street. The project is designed to showcase the museum’s collection, provide visitors with a history of American art and engage the public with a center for education, artist studios, event space, a museum café and store. During the renovation the museum will be ‘On the Move’ and engage the public with programs such as the upcoming Gibbes Distinguished Lecture Series.

On Wednesday, November 19 the Distinguished Lecture Series will present New York based and internationally acclaimed architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien (shown below), whose design of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia is critically acclaimed. Williams and Tsien were recently awarded the National Medal of Arts, which recognized their contributions to architecture and arts education. President Obama said, “Whether public or private, their deliberate and inspired designs have a profound effect on the lives of those who interact with them, and their teaching and spirit of service have inspired young people to pursue their passions”.

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Founded with the generous support of Gibbes Board member and philanthropist Esther Ferguson, The Distinguished Lecture Series brings outstanding, world-renowned artists, architects, art collectors, museum leaders, philanthropists and art historians to Charleston to stimulate public discussion about the visual arts and creativity. This series was inspired by Mrs. Ferguson’s experience as a young woman trying to make her way in New York City. She remembers fondly the time she spent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s lecture series. “I remember walking out of a lecture and sitting down to cry because I’d learned so much about the art world, and because I realized how much more there was to learn!” she explained.

The significance of the Met lecture series stayed with her throughout the years, and after returning to the South, she began to dream about bringing a lecture series to Charleston. The inaugural speaker in 2013 was philanthropist and cosmetic executive Leonard A. Lauder, who donated his collection of Cubist art to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2013. Of this year’s speakers Mrs. Ferguson says, “Tod Williams and Billie Tsien are the rock stars in architecture today.”

Their studio, located in New York City, focuses on work for cultural non-profits, particularly museums and schools; organizations that value issues of aspiration and meaning, timelessness and beauty. Their inspired buildings are carefully made and useful in ways that speak to both efficiency and the spirit. A sense of rootedness, light, texture, detail and most of all experience are at the heart of what they build. “We believe in a slow process, we believe in long engagements. We have to have control over our projects all the way from beginning to end. I think they’re built beautifully because we really know how to put them together,” says Williams in an interview with Architectural Digest. Tsien adds, “Every time we work with somebody on a project, it changes our lives. Tod and I have been talking about the idea of service and how serving people really makes every project better. So it’s not just about yourself, it’s about the strengths, the power and the vision of the client you’re serving.”

Join us on Wednesday, November 19 at 6pm at Memminger Auditorium to hear more about Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s body of work and design philosophy. And follow the Gibbes on our journey as we bring art experiences out of the building and into the city!

Gibbes Luxury Package
Experience Charleston’s Grand Ambassador with this exclusive offer for the Gibbes Museum of Art’s Distinguished Lecture Series attendees.

Includes:
• Luxury accommodations
• $120 dining credit to the Charleston Grill
• Wireless internet access
• One category upgrade, confirmed at time of booking
• Sparkling wine welcome amenity
• Complimentary daily newspaper
Type in promo code GIBBES and click here for more package details.

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