I can’t believe it took my wife and me 15 years to finally make it to what many consider to be the most romantic city on earth (sorry, but Paris is way over-rated).
There are various elements involved in a wonderful romantic getaway. The accommodations are one aspect. The ambience of the locale is another. But you also have to factor in quality restaurants, friendliness of the people, and cultural attractions.
What is so lovely about Charleston is that for a very large part of the historic city, the look and feel is consistent (charming historic buildings that have been maintained to look like they were built 100-300 years ago.) Sure Charleston does have some run-down sections but they are way on the outskirts.
For our getaway we stayed at a very unique property. The William Aiken house has been restored to be a place for receptions, weddings and corporate
events. They have converted the old Gothic-style carriage house into 2 very spacious suites, complete with a kitchenette.
Although it is on the north side of historic Charleston, it was a very lovely 10 minute walk to get to the core of the city and there were some great restaurants nearby as well. One of the city’s best restaurants, Fish, is located adjacent to the William Aiken house and if there weren’t so many fantastic restaurants to try, we could have eaten there every meal.
We timed our trip so we could be there for the annual Festival of House and Gardens so we could see inside some of these lovely historic structures and take a peek at the Charleston gardens, the subject of which many books have been written.
On the outskirts of Charleston are two existing plantation homes and gardens which I would recommend to anyone. You could easily spend a half day or more at both Magnolia Plantation and Middleton Place. If you can time your visit for the blooming of the azaleas (typically late March) then you will be in for an amazing spectacle.
If you are wanting to celebrate your romance over a lovely dinner, the Charleston Grill is one of the mostromantic (and expensive) places in town. Here’s a secret though. If you only order an entree, they will still bring you a little appetizer (or two) and a small dessert sampler, compliments of the chef.
If you stay at the William Aiken house I would highly recommend the Bookstore Cafe two blocks away for breakfast and another great breakfast place is Hominy Grill. And some of the best Thai food we have had is across the street at Basil.
Charleston has enough charm, culture and great restaurants that you could stay for a week and not feel bored. But even a weekend stay would be enchanting. Just watch out for the hot and humid months of June, July and August.
William Aiken House
456 King St
442 King St
460 King St
412 King St
224 King St
207 Rutledge Ave
4300 Ashley River Rd
3550 Ashley River Rd
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