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.” 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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Featured, Wellness

Ways to Wellness

As the seasons change, it is the perfect time to bid farewell to old habits and welcome new resolutions. Whether you set out to discover more of your corner of the world, get into shape, or adopt healthier eating habits, your journey to a new lifestyle doesn’t have to come to a halt while you travel. A stay at Charleston Place, A Belmond Hotel allows you to maintain optimal wellness; from state-of-the-art fitness equipment and personal training sessions to healthy dining options and savory mocktails, the hotel has plenty of healthy lifestyle options. Read on to discover how you can indulge in the good life while maintaining your wellness habits. Stay Fit on the RoadFor the ultimate, calorie-burning workout, visit our fitness center. Equipped with a full range of free weights and the latest cardiovascular machines, including three Peloton bikes, boost your energy and stay in shape during your stay. Or, allow our team to install a Peloton bike in your suite. You can Rise and Ride from the comforts of your private guest room. Kick Start Your Personal Fitness PlanSet out on a wellness adventure and take in the majesty of the morning in the Holy City. In a city filled with such charm and character, the best way to explore is by foot. Walk the waterfront, do HITT exercises in the historic district or run over the famed Ravenel Bridge with a private guide. Discover Healthy Dining Options Charleston is known for its decadent Lowcountry dishes and Southern staples, but healthier options are available at our dining outlets. Start your morning at The Palmetto Cafe with fresh Green Juice or an Acai Bowl, break for lunch at Meeting at Market to indulge in their crisp Cobb Salad, and end your evening with a delicious veg-forward entrée from Charleston Grill. A third of the menu at this fine dining gem is currently vegan or vegetarian. Bask in Wellness at The SpaThere’s no better way to unwind and relax than with a restorative treatment at The Spa. Located on the fourth floor of the hotel, you’ll find our haven for beauty and wellness. Whether you choose to indulge in a full body massage, facial, body scrub, or hand and foot therapy, each treatment will help you rejuvenate the skin you’re in. Embark on a Self-Guided Walking Tour Just steps from the hotel, you’ll experience some of Charleston’s most coveted landmarks, museums, and the Historic City Market. A city best explored by foot, visit our concierge team to pick up a self-guided walking map that will take you by the Holy City’s iconic spots. Sip and Savor MocktailsWhether you’re looking for a cocktail without the calories or have simply resolved to cut alcohol from your lifestyle, visit the Thoroughbred Club or Charleston Grill for savory mocktails. The alcohol-free handcrafted drinks are the perfect way to indulge in great flavors among live music seven days a week. Slather on SunscreenLocated just steps from the horizon-edge swimming pool and Clocktower Terrace, you’ll discover sunscreen dispensers filled with SPF 30 available for our guests. Thanks to The Spa’s charitable initiative, I Will Reflect, the dispensers are located throughout the city and hotel and are free to use. Be sure to slather on sunscreen before you bask in Charleston’s vibrant sun. Indulge in ‘Me Time’Relax, disconnect, and slow your pace from the comforts of your spacious guest room. As you cozy up on the bed or in the reading nook, we invite you to savor the moment, and indulge in that most prized possession: your time. This season, take time to explore all that the Lowcountry has to offer with a stay at our cosmopolitan retreat. Located at the very heart of downtown Charleston, in the historic district and within walking distance of all the major attractions, our hotel is the perfect base for a city adventure. Book your stay, and contact our masterful concierge team or spa staff to help organize your next wellness adventure.
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Discovery, Featured

Explore Charleston’s Waterways

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, estuary marshes, 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. Along the way enjoy views of pastel colored homes along The Battery, historic church steeples and an up-close view of the Ravenel Bridge. Passengers can help raise and trim the sails or relax while exploring the Holy City’s vibrant coast.

Concierge Tip: Beverages are sold on the boat, but if you want to eat be sure to bring your own picnic lunch. The hotel can pack one for you, with a host of Southern delicacies.

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 the winding waterways behind Shem Creek, or if you are more advanced, adventure out on the ocean waves. If you choose to take a tour near dusk, you are sure to see a 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, nearshore – 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 and crew will accommodate your skill level to help you catch the biggest fish out there.

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

Bulls Bay Eco Tour

Curious about Charleston’s wildlife? Venture to Bulls Island on a pontoon boat, an explorer’s dream. Learn a thing or two about the native fauna under the expert eye of famed naturalist Captain Don. As one of the few existing undeveloped islands in the area, this hidden retreat is a special place. You are bound to see dolphins, bald eagles, herons, pelicans, alligators and more. Once you reach its sandy shore, explore its untouched “Boneyard Beach” and freshwater ponds.

Fun Fact: When you book the Bulls Island Discovery package, you’ll have the island completely to yourself. Salty sea air awaits.

Cypress Gardens Boat Ride

Cypress Gardens is a 170-acre preserve and gardens centered around a tupelo swamp enclosed by lush greenery. Enjoy the tall, enchanting cypress trees while paddling in a classic wooden row boat. The ambiance radiates romance, making it the perfect destination for a couple in search of an intimate and unforgettable 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 in this very swamp in Cypress Gardens.

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