Discovery

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.

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 tents 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.

The Charleston Farmers Market will be open this year from April 13th until November 30th.

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

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Discovery

Family Friendly Fun

As the summer months grow near, it’s a perfect time for the whole family to plan their next vacation. The promise of great weather makes Charleston the perfect destination for a family getaway. There are stingrays to touch, otters to watch, pirate ships to climb, and fly balls to catch. Visits to the South Carolina Aquarium, Charles Towne Landing, the Children’s Museum of the Lowcounty, and the Charleston RiverDogs are the perfect way to fill your getaway with family-friendly activities for kids of all ages. 

The South Carolina Aquarium
Located right on Charleston Harbor, The South Carolina Aquarium is home to more than 5,000 plants and animals. Its Toddler Cove play area features life-size aquatic play structures, perfect for those that like to jump and climb. The largest exhibit in the Aquarium, the Great Ocean Tank which extends from the first to the third floors of the Aquarium, is the tallest in North America and contains more than 300 animals. The Aquarium’s exhibit, the Saltmarsh Aviary, features a Touch Tank where guests can touch horseshoe crabs, stingrays, and other marine animals.

Charles Towne Landing
Charles Towne Landing, a state park that was once the site of the first permanent settlement in the Carolinas, has a natural habitat zoo featuring animals indigenous to the Carolina Lowcountry including bison, bears, and elk. The  Otter Exhibit features a viewing area that provides a look at the animals’ movements underwater. Programs are also held regularly on The Adventure, a replica trading ship moored at the park.

Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
Take a visit to the recently renovated Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry; Charleston’s only hands-on learning environment designed just for children up to 10 years old and their families. The museum’s eight interactive exhibits range from a full-scale pirate ship to a Medieval Castle to an area just for infants and toddlers. And the museum is within walking distance to the hotel.

Charleston RiverDogs
Bring the whole family to a Charleston RiverDogs baseball game. Games are held every week at Joe Riley Jr. Park downtown. Each night, the RiverDogs have a variety of family-friendly activities. From face painting to kids running the bases, to kids eat free and fireworks displays, there is entertainment for everyone.

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Discovery

The British are Coming… Back!

With the exciting new addition of the connecting flight between Charleston International Airport and London Heathrow, we are taking a trip down memory lane to examine Charleston’s roots and the British influence on the development of the city. The English influence in the Holy City can still be found today in Charleston’s architecture and design. Charles Towne Landing Located just off the Ashley River, Charles Towne Landing reflects the city’s oldest colonial history. English settlers landed on this site in 1670, establishing the first permanent colony in the Carolinas and naming the settlement Charles Town, in honor of King Charles II. The city’s name was eventually changed to its current spelling after the Revolutionary War. Charleston Harbor quickly became a busy seaport, which transformed the world of commerce and economic growth for British America. The colony became a crucial site for exporting raw materials and rice. As imports of dry goods and luxuries from Britain increased, Charleston gained the nickname of “Little London,” and the growing community began to thrive in the New World. Architectural Influence Charleston is a destination celebrated for its well-preserved architecture. No history lesson is needed to appreciate the cobblestone streets and quaint, colorful houses. A great deal of Charleston’s earliest structures were largely influenced by English Georgian-Palladian architecture, the prevailing style in the colonial era. One of the primary examples of this is the Old Exchange Building on East Bay Street built between 1767 and 1771. Constructed with the finest materials available, the building’s multi-pane windows, symmetrical facades, pillars and columns, and entry hall signified its sophistication. Many other structures that pre-date the Civil War followed this style and are still standing today, including the United States Custom House, Magnolia Plantation, the Powder Magazine and the Charleston Museum. Charleston’s church architecture is of strong English derivation. St. Michael’s Episcopal, the city’s oldest standing and most notable church, was inspired by the design of architect Sir Christopher Wren. Its beautiful white brick and 186-foot high steeple made it an icon of the city and a trendsetter for other Charleston churches, which replicated its style. From a bird’s eye view, you can see why Charleston is often referred to as the Holy City. Homes in the downtown peninsula are also derived from English design. The Charleston single house was adapted from the English row house plan. These single houses are positioned sideways to make the most of the narrow and deep Charleston lots. The tiered piazzas attached to one side of the house contain large windows and doors. The front door facing the street side is also called a “privacy door” because it leads into the piazza, not the actual house. English-Style Gardens English settlers planted the seeds to Charleston’s abundant, blossoming gardens and are still the source of inspiration for many downtown gardens today. The sub-tropical climate and rich soil create a paradise for agricultural growth and beauty. The famed Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is America’s last large-scale Romantic-style gardens with sections more than 325 years old. Former rice fields were converted to a beautiful landscape that exists to cooperate with nature rather than control it and reflects balance and symmetry. Middleton Place is another historic plantation famed for its manicured flowering garden with sculpted terraces and parterres inspired by the intricate design and elegance of 17th century Europe. Gardens of this style can also be found in some of the private homes of historic downtown. Charleston Tea Plantation Tea production and consumption is another example of English-influence that was a long work in progress until 1888. Charleston first received tea plants from China in 1770, and failed attempts to propagate the tea followed for the next 150 years. Dr. Charles Shepherd was the first to be successful in 1888, however, his founding Pinehurst Tea Plantation closed when he died. In 1987, William Barclay Hall purchased the land where the Charleston Tea Plantation is now located. Shepherd’s tea plants were transported to this site and after 24 years of research Hall created his “American Classic” tea which is the first 100 percent American-grown tea. The Tea Plantation has since become an American icon and the American Classic is very much admired among tea lovers. Belmond Charleston Place Not only is English influence found in the development of the city, you can find it within our walls as well. From the moment you step inside, the lobby will enchant you with its Georgian open-arm staircase and glistening chandelier. The “Quadriga” sculpture in the fountain located at the front entrance was created by British sculptor, John Mills, and embodies early European style. Experience more British culture at our upscale pub Meeting at Market and indulge in our signature Fish & Chips. If you fancy a spot of tea, you can savor afternoon tea in our lobby bar, the Thoroughbred Club and on the hotel’s private Club Level. If you’re interested in making reservations at either of these locations, don’t hesitate to reach out to our concierge. Pinkies up!
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