All photos courtesy of The Saturday Evening Pot
This post is the third in a new series of guest posts called The Place Where I Live. Learning a bit about the place people call home is a great way to get to know them better, and also makes a wonderful resource of insider knowledge for places you might like to visit one day. (If you love the place where you live, and would like to write a guest post in this series,please email me.)
Anne of The Saturday Evening Pot is another one of the wonderful people who helps to make the blogosphere the great community that it is, and I am so glad to welcome her today to share the beautiful place where she lives.
Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places
Some retire here for the warmer climate. Families vacation at our beaches, Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island being one named as one of the Top 10 Beaches in America. And some come to visit historic Charleston. I’m talking about the great state of South Carolina, the place where I am proud to live.
I am not a South Carolina native, but have grown to love it after having called it home since 2001. In just those 11 years, we have lived in Columbia, the Charleston area (twice) and the Hilton Head area. There are lots of great things to experience in our state, from the zoo and more in Columbia to the history and culinary treats of the Charleston area to the popular beach vacation destination Hilton Head. My family vacationed most summers in Myrtle Beach, SC, which was about a four-hour trip from where I grew up in North Carolina.
My husband and I have also visited Beaufort, SC for a mini-vacation. You can read more about this in my guest blog post for Nomadic Foodie, where you will find photos and information about The Rhett House Inn and a recipe for Shrimp and Grits. We enjoyed some much needed R and R during that trip and would return in a heartbeat to The Rhett House Inn. It is a beautiful AAA Four-Diamond Inn and lives up to this reputation!
My husband and I actually honeymooned in Charleston, having no idea we would return there to live two years later. We stayed at The Meeting Street Inn, a luxury inn with “rice” beds in each room. It’s conveniently located in the downtown area, where you can walk along The Battery, shop at the “Charleston Slave Market” or other stores and eat at at variety of restaurants. We learned it is always best to check preferred dress code for restaurants as we entered The Peninsula Grill dressed in our comfy clothes for a day of strolling and shopping in downtown Charleston. We were treated very well, but seated at a corner location in the restaurant. The food was good but we were a tad embarrassed as we noticed we were underdressed!
One of my favourite places that we visited was the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.Whenever you visit you will enjoy a beautiful and colourful “floral kaleidoscope” because they have planted flowers that will bloom in each season. We were there during the Spring:
Also in the Charleston area we have enjoyed visiting the Angel Oak Tree on John’s Island, a massive live oak estimated to be 1500 years old.
If you do visit Charleston, I highly recommend eating at The Mustard Seed Restaurant on James Island. It is by far my most favourite restaurant ever. The unique menu includes dishes with flavour combinations unlike what you are probably accustomed to finding at any given restaurant. It has been some time since we have eaten there, but the price point was affordable and the atmosphere comfortable and relaxing.
Next up I will introduce you to Myrtle Beach, SC, which I especially enjoyed visiting again as a parent, seeing my son giggle as the waves rolled towards us the first time we took him down to see the ocean. He was not a fan of the sand at first, but he warmed up and loved playing in it, as you can see from the photo collage at the top of this post.
One of the fun and educational activities for families with children in Myrtle Beach is Ripley’s Aquarium. Children especially enjoy the exhibit where they can touch the tops of the stingrays as they swim by.
Another fun place for families is the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC. We were lucky enough to visit during feeding time for one of the big lizards.
As Mommy to a little boy who loves trains, we have also visited the SC Railroad Museum in Winnsboro, SC, about a one hour drive from Columbia. It was the highlight of our son’s year…no…better make that his life, so far at least
We got to take a ride on a train, touring an old railway. Let’s just say that when it was over, it was such a tremendous experience for him he was not thrilled about going back home to his boring, boring toys!
We have not yet visited the beach at Hilton Head Island, but it is a beautiful place and we have talked about possibly vacationing there as a family sometime in the future. So many things we’d like to do with our children…and so little time!
As I have said, South Carolina definitely has much to offer tourists. I will leave you with two things: First, a list of resources that may be helpful if South Carolina sounds like a place you would like to visit:
Top 10 South Carolina Attractions (Historic Charleston is #1 & Myrtle Beach #3)
Best Local Food in South Carolina (this blog includes a review of The Mustard Seed)
The Chocolate Affair (A benefit for Community in Schools, a non-profit I worked with for several years. If you plan to visit Charleston, check the date and make a reservation to participate if you wish. Eat chocolate and support a worthy cause..win, win!)
And secondly, the following thought about our state. In my humble opinion, South Carolina lives up to it’s slogan: “Smiling Faces. Beautiful Places.” Come and see for yourself!
Thank you so much for this wonderful post, Anne!
Anne is “The Lucky Wife” to “The Chef” and the blessed mom to a son and daughter. Coffee is a must start to each day, and her food weakness is chocolate-peanut butter anything. She co-authors the blog The Saturday Evening Pot, with her husband. It includes a good variety of basic and simple recipes as well as those e a little more adventurous. For a great recipe to give you a small “taste of Charleston”, check out The Charleston Omelet. Anne and The Chef would love to have you join them for The Chef’s Challenge for a chance to win a custom recipe for you or your family!
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