Your Charleston Summer Reading List

The long, lazy days of summer are the perfect time to kick back and relax with a good book. Whether you plan to visit the Holy City in the coming months or are just missing her soulful beauty, these Lowcountry-centric novels will have you pining for a return trip. Catch up with an old favorite, dive into an easy pool-side read or immerse yourself in the area’s history with our Charleston reading list.

Fiction
South of Broad by Pat Conroy
Considered one of Charleston’s favorite sons, Pat Conroy was a New York Times best-selling author and writer of such well-known novels as The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides. Set mostly in Charleston, South of Broad details the life of Leopold Bloom King and his close group of friends. Conroy’s beautiful prose of the Lowcountry landscape endears his readers to the locations he details.

All Summer Long by Dorthea Benton Frank
The journey of a charming New York couple’s move to the South is captured throughout this novel. Frank creates a magical story about how life is full of unexpected changes, when the couple plans to relocate to Charleston, South Carolina for a more peaceful life. This irresistible read features the iconic Belmond Charleston Place, as well as its award-winning restaurant, Charleston Grill.

Culture
Very Charleston
Very Charleston: A Celebration of History, Culture and Lowcountry Charm by Diana Hollingsworth Gessler
Through many vibrant watercolors and visually detailed sketches, Dinana Gessler conveys Charleston’s unique beauty. The book includes rich detail on almost everything from the art of entertaining to the city’s renowned architectural and garden designs. Very Charleston is a fascinating read that has become an entertaining guide incorporating maps, an index and a handy appendix of sites for visitors and Charlestonians alike.

Charleston Blacksmith: The Work of Philip Simmons by John Michael Vlach
Renowned blacksmith Philip Simmons is the city’s most celebrated ironworker and has fashioned more than five hundred decorated pieces of ornamental wrought iron. The author details the methods, motifs and materials used by Simmons to create some of the city’s most treasured pieces. His mastery of the craft is displayed in the more than one hundred photographs found in his book along with a map to see the ironwork in Charleston.

Cookbooks
The_Lee_Bros_Charleston_Kitchen
The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen by Matt Lee and Ted Lee
Written by two brothers who grew up in the very heart of historic downtown Charleston, this book is a reflection of the city’s vibrant food culture. There are 100 recipes, 75 colorful photographs and numerous personal stories that introduce readers to the city’s exciting Southern cuisine. This cookbook is sure to inform readers of some of the best recipes Charleston has to offer.

Cooking the Gullah Way, Morning, Noon, and Night by Sallie Ann Robinson
Born and raised on Daufuskie Island, author Sallie Ann Robinson highlights some of her favorite memories and family recipes from life on the island. Well-known for its Gullah culture, the islanders traditionally ate what they could grow, catch and hunt. The unique food traditions of the Gullah people, containing African, European and Native American influences, can still be found today in Lowcountry cuisine.

Charleston Receipts

Charleston Receipts by The Junior League of Charleston
This well-known Charleston cookbook was first published in 1950, and it is the oldest Junior League cookbook that can still be found i print. The collection contains more than 750 recipes, sketches by Charleston artists and Gullah verses. The renowned cookbook incorporates some of the most unique recipes from the city’s past.

History
The H.L. Hunley: The Secret Hope of the Confederacy by Tom Chaffin
The legend of the H.L. Hunley, a Civil War submarine that sank the Union’s USS Housatonic and then vanished before returning to port in the waters off of Charleston, has intrigued generations. Historian and author Tom Chaffin presents an extremely thorough yet entertaining tale of the submarine’s fate and its subsequent recovery.

Charleston_Charleston

Charleston!! Charleston!: The History of a Southern City by Walter J. Frazier Jr.
This extensive read traces the history of Charleston from its creation in 1670 and ends with the effects of Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Author Walter Frazier touches on every facet of the city; its people and institutions; its art and architecture; its recreational, social, and intellectual life; its politics and city government. All shaping the city we know and love today.

We hope that you enjoy the rich detail found in these delightful books. If you find yourself in the Holy City, we recommend visiting these great local bookstores: Belmond Boutique, Preservation Society of Charleston and Blue Bicycle Books. Belmond Boutique is found in The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place. The preservation Society of Charleston is a non-profit dedicated to recognizing and promoting local artists and designers. Blue Bicycle Books is Charleston’s premier locally-owned bookstore selling unique authors and genres.

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Top Breathtaking Carolina Sunsets

As Charleston gets warmer and the days grow longer, there isn’t a better way to end the day than with a Holy City sunset. The Lowcountry provides so many great places to take in the beauty of sundown so grab a friend and head to one of these charming spots between 7:30pm and 8:00pm to the catch the last few rays of the day.

FullSizeRenderFullSizeRender-2The Battery

This inviting park is one of the most visited places in Charleston due to its vast history and gorgeous landscape. Take a stroll along this park at sunset to enjoy the beautiful views with a waterfront backdrop. Arrive early, bring a picnic and blanket and revel in the beauty of the day’s end.

IMG_2648Pitt Street Bridge

Spend the day exploring the Old Village of Mount Pleasant then retreat to the Pitt Street Bridge to experience one of the undisputed, best views of the Lowcountry.  A favorite with locals, the bridge is always filled with people fishing, biking, walking dogs and enjoying the gorgeous scenery. With tidal flats and salt marshes on your left and the Charleston harbor to your right, this hidden gem will leave you yearning to come back again and again.

1194Schooner Pride Sail

Take a sunset sail on board the Schooner Pride and see the sun slip below the horizon from the harbor. The boat sails around the waters surrounding the peninsula so you will see a marvelous sundown set against church steeples and historic architecture. Help the crew raise and trim the sails or just sit back and enjoy the stunning views.

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Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge

Visiting the Ravenel Bridge is a must when exploring Charleston. Drive or stroll to the middle of the bridge where the Cooper and Ashley Rivers meet and take a break on the benches at dusk to experience an unbelievable sunset. Don’t forget your camera! Almost as beautiful as sundown itself, the bridge offers great charm of its own.

A Charleston sunset is unlike any other so leave yourself plenty of time to take it all in. You’ll be dreaming of it until your next visit to Charleston, which we hope is sooner rather than later.

 

 

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Concierge’s Top Hidden Things to do in Charleston

Hidden_CHS

Maybe your idea of the perfect vacation is charting the open seas on a 49-foot yacht with friends and family. Or perhaps challenging your culinary skills and spending an evening with a famous local chef is more your forte. Whatever it is that you wish to do during your stay in Charleston, the concierge team at Belmond Charleston Place is here to make it happen for you.

Our concierge are well-versed in all things Charleston and can offer recommendations on where to find the most savory Lowcountry cuisine, provide directions to Charleston’s grandest attractions and open doors to activities not typically offered to Charleston visitors. Here at Belmond Charleston Place, we would like to make your stay with us an unforgettable experience by helping you discover the charming, hidden parts of Charleston that are typically not otherwise open to the public. All you have to do is ask!

Below is a list of excursions we can arrange that guests may not find on their own.

For the gardener: Exclusive private walking tour of Charleston’s private gardens in the historic district, by native author and expert, Louisa Pringle Cameron.

For the golfer: Tee time at either the Seabrook Island or Daniel Island Clubs, both of which are closed to the public.

For the sailor: Charter of the sailing yacht, The Fate, which is a privately owned 49-foot Beneteau that sleeps up to six people.

For the theologist: A private driving tour of “Little Jerusalem” by Fran Bennett, including Temple Beth Elohim, the oldest reform synagogue in the world.

For the architectural enthusiast: An exclusive “behind-the-scenes” tour of the Calhoun Mansion.

For the romantic: A morning or afternoon of horseback riding along the beach at Seabrook Island.

For the adventurer: A private flying tour, either by Cessna or helicopter.

For the historian: Explore African-American history in the Lowcountry and the surrounding sea islands with a private Gullah driving tour.

For the foodie: Enjoy the top culinary destination in the nation with a personalized culinary walking tour of local restaurants and neighborhoods.

For a special occasion: Savor a private dinner in a historic home with a famous local chef.

Whether you’re the type of traveler to follow an adventurous itinerary or if your ideal vacation only requires a few beach chairs and catching up on some R&R, the concierge team at Belmond Charleston Place wants to make your stay in Charleston a journey like no other. Download our Concierge’s Top Hidden things to do in Charleston list here, see our sample itineraries for Charleston here, or call us at 843 722 4900 today to start planning your next unforgettable trip to Charleston!

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