This photo just screams “Charleston!” Azaleas in bloom, the steeple of St. Philip’s Church, gaslights… and it is taken from a cobblestone street. When strolling the streets of the city, amazing vistas can be had from a stunning number of places. Who knows what you will see around the next corner or behind the next house!
Widely considered to be the oldest building in Charleston and one of the oldest in South Carolina, the Pink House gets its name from the pinkish hue of the Bermuda Stone used in its construction (and not just the paint color!). Located on the cobble stoned Chalmers Street, its exact dates of construction are not known, but is believed to have been built between 1694 and 1712. Originally used as a tavern, its most recent incarnation was as an art gallery. One of its more unusual characteristics is that there is only one room on each of its three floors. If you really like it, it’s for sale!
One of the most photographed building in Charleston, St. Philip’s is the home to the oldest congregation in South Carolina. The original church was built in 1681, and ultimately replaced (after fires and other structures) by the current building which was built between 1835 and 1838. While the main building was designed by Joseph Hyde, the famed steeple was designed by renowned architect E.B. White and added about 10 years later. Fittingly, St. Philip’s is located on Church Street.
One of the great spots in Charleston to watch the sun rise is Waterfront Park.
Perched on the edge of the peninsula, Waterfront Park provides panoramic views all across Charleston Harbor — out to Fort Sumter and beyond. Whether you are looking out at the water or through one of the beautiful fountains in the park, it’s a special place to be in the early morning hours.
While it sometimes may seem like it, not all days in Charleston are filled with sun. When the fog rolls in, it adds a different layer of beauty to the city. Noises are muffled and the sound of the fog horns from the water traffic travel across the city with a bit more urgency. At night the spooky spots become even spookier and the history of the city become palpable. During the day, as seen below along the High Battery, it adds a layer of mystery, as you wonder what beauty will emerge as you travel down the walks and streets.
The City of Charleston is way more than just the historic district or even the peninsula. Encompassing a great deal of land in West Ashley (or “West of the Ashley” as some folks like to refer to it) and James Island (much to the consternation of some James Islanders), the beauty of Charleston includes amazing marshes, waterfront, parks and even some plantations. This view of the peninsula and across to the Ravenel Bridge is from Harbor View Road on James Island.
Anywhere along the Ashley River will give you spectacular views of the setting sun (there are lots of Glimpses that capture that). Sometimes lost in the magnificence of the combination of the sun and the water is the effect that the sun has on Charleston itself. As the sun was dipping below the horizon, some of the beautiful Live Oak trees in White Point Garden started to glow in the wonderful light created by that time of the evening.
When walking along the High Battery, there are many sights to see. From from the Ravenel (Cooper River) Bridge to Patriots Point, Fort Sumter and the homes on East Bay and East Battery, there are lots of land based things to look at. On the water, there is a whole other world — from dolphins and cormorants to boats of all shapes and size. Huge container ships steam through Charleston Harbor on their way to the port, kayaks paddle by and powerboats zips water-bound tourists along to check out the houses from that vantage point. And there a lots and lots of sailboats…here’s one heading out to open water.
These colorful houses are called the Three Sisters. Located on Meeting Street, the sisters are often mistakenly thought to be part of Rainbow Row (which is on East Bay Street) because of their bright colors. Myth has it that the colors represent the hair color of three sisters that lived in those houses. While that’s a nice story, the reality is that the nickname comes from their similar architectural styles.
Colonial Lake is one of the great spots in Charleston. It’s an active tidal pond that traces its history back to 1783, when the land was set aside for public use. The lake itself was created in 1869 and was fully enclosed with its cement walls in 1885. Currently it’s undergoing a year long major ($4 million+) improvement, which is going to result in a really spectacular park and a lake that is cleaner and healthier.
When the winds are not disturbing the surface of the lake, it becomes a wonderful mirror for the beautiful homes that surround it. And at Christmas time, the tree adds an additional bit of magic.