My husband and I (aged 50) and our 19 year- old daughter worked in a one night stay for the evening of July 4th en route to visit family in the upstate and then on to the Tennessee mountains . As a SC native ho adores Charleston, this stopover was out of the way, but well worth it- even for one night!
After searching the web for three days in search of a reasonably priced room with 2 beds for only one night at a last minute notice, we secured lodging at the Charleston Renaissance at a great government rate of $134. We checked in during the hot humid temps at 3:30 and the bellman happily offered to store our two bikes without a problem. As the discussion with the hotel clerk, a recent COC grad, progressed, it was learned that she is from my itsy bitsy SC hometown and just happened to be the daughter of an old high school friend who I have not seen in years- small world. Upon check-in, my daughter and I retreated to the 3rd floor small outdoor /rooftop pool for a quick dip (after a 10 hour car trip) while my husband ventured out for a bike ride along the battery and Lockwood Drive. Unfortunately, he had a “blow out” and this mishap increased his “ride time” so he was unable to join us at the pool. Our room was clean, well-appointed, and the beds were fab.
We showered for dinner and the evening and headed first just across the street to Muse for a cocktail and then headed to Amen Street for dinner (one of the few spots with open tables when I searched on my iphone en route that day). The walk was a bit longer than we thought (slowed down by the humidity but more so by our college daughter’s decision to wear heels- she did look nice- not a smart choice- but she looked nice !) As we left our hotel, a family with two small children was heading off in a pedi-cab and my daughter commented after a few blocks that if” we” were good parents, we would have thought of that- more to come on that! We reached Amen Street 14 minutes late at which point one of the two hostesses was giving our table away- until I said “we’re here” and gasped for air. The other hostess stopped her – within 12 inches of the other party – literally-(sorry!). Wait! That’s the cute family from the hotel. They beat us there in the pedicab and already had a cold cocktail. I felt so bad that this poor family was still waiting (they had no reservations per overheard conversation) as we were finishing our meal. I offered to my daughter that they were smart about the pedicab, but I was keener about making reservations on the 4th!! By the way, our booth was the 2nd closest to the street/window and perfect for people watching on the 4th. Dinner was absolutely fabulous! We last tried to have some oysters here at Thanksgiving, but the wait was too long for the others in our party. Dinner of steamed mussels, divine cold water oysters from CT (too hot for gulf oysters!) , shrimp and grits -rich but oh so creamy and yummy, grilled….. and blackened…..no room for dessert!
We headed out for fireworks…..We had first thought about walking the Ravenel, but with my daughter’s heels (did I forget to say this was the first time that she had worn them?) and what appeared to be blisters in the growing, we walked down Easy Bay and to the Battery. We camped (sat on the high wall with our feet hanging over) and we were amazed at the beauty….fireworks from every direction! Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, and the Yorktown….cannon fires at the closure were unparalled.
I enjoyed continental breakfast the next morning on our balcony while my husband trotted out to the Bicycle Shoppe on Meeting to get his tire repaired and then head our for a morning ride of the city. My time on the balcony was so enjoyable- taking in the quietness of the city as she awoke, the smell of bacon and grits (well- could not smell the grits- but of course they were serving grits too!), deliveries of morning papers to businesses, and girls pulling up on bikes to start their day of work at the bakery and sandwich shop across the street. Our daughter slept in- of course.
After our check-out, we popped just down the street to M.Dumas & Sons for tie shopping and then headed to Mt. Pleasant for some lunch. We opted for Red’s on Shem Creek and waited just a few minutes to snag a covered table outside. Food was so- so- don’t even remember what we had- grouper sandwiches and a hamburger?- but we so enjoyed watching the sights on Shem Creek: 4-6 dolphin who frolicked the entire time we were there, tons of paddle boarders and kayaks, fishing boats coming in, an early boat already cleaning fish across the way, pelicans fighting for scraps thrown by the fishermen, etc.
On to the upstate, but I’ll be back in August for a trip with a girlfriend who has never visited Charleston! Need to book lodging but have already made dining reservations for 3 meals. Can’t wait!!