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.

Continue reading
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.

Continue reading
Discovery, Featured

Family Friendly Fun

With the long leisurely days of summer here, it’s a perfect time for the whole family to plan their next vacation. The promise of great weather and ample activities makes Charleston the perfect destination for a family getaway. There are horses to ride, stingrays to touch, pirate ships to climb, and fly balls to catch.  Seabrook Island Beach Horseback Riding Located just a short hour drive from downtown Charleston, explore the picturesque beaches of Seabrook Island. The Equestrian Center at Seabrook Island is one of the few beach rides on the East Coast and caters to riders of all skill levels, from pony rides to professionals. Your family can choose between three miles of trails or the beautiful beachfront. After your excursion, enjoy a gourmet picnic packed by our team with delicious Southern delights.  The South Carolina AquariumLocated 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 LandingCharles 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 LowcountryTake 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 from Charleston Place 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. Family Time Savor summer’s warm embrace, and escape on a family adventure with Charleston Place, A Belmond Hotel, as your guide. Set out for nearby Seabrook Island to ride horses on the beach and relax under the oaks with a gourmet picnic lunch. Then, return to your home away from home to lounge by our rooftop pool and end your day with a movie-night in your luxurious suite. Our hotel is the ultimate family friendly retreat in the center of it all. To book Family Time, visit our website or call 888-635-2350.
Continue reading