A wonderful article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Lynn and Cele Seldon entitled “The charms of Charleston” examines our fair city. The authors write, ” If there’s a more romantic city than Charleston within driving distance of the Atlanta area, we haven’t visited it (at least not yet). For certified romantics and “foodies” like us, few places in the region — or practically anywhere in the world — can rival the port city’s blend of grace, beauty, history, tradition and romantic dining spots. Charleston has a way of charming couples with romance around every gas-lamp-lit corner or restaurant table. It’s great to visit over Valentine’s Day weekend — or any time.”
Taking a carriage tour, sailing the Charleston harbor and shopping in the market are just some of the favorite activities spelled out in the article. The beaches and plantations such as Middleton Place and Boone Hall are mentioned in the article as some of the most lovely places to visit in the south.
“In the city and out on the plantations, America’s oldest gardens explode with vibrant colors and are a delight, as the scent of the flora is like no others and the vision of the alluring azaleas, roses, and camellias is almost too exquisite to capture with a camera. Charleston is beautiful and aristocratic, a place where strolling couples peek at centuries-old houses behind gates that are alive with Carolina Yellow Jessamine —- the state flower of South Carolina.”
If you have a love of history, then the authors recommend visiting the Holy City especially because of its house museums including the Nathaniel Russell House and the Aiken-Rhett House to name a few. Art lovers are also invited to visit Charleston because of the wonderul exhibitions at the Gibbes Museum of Art.
Listed below are recommendations given by the authors of where to stay and where to eat.
WHERE TO SLEEP
The romantic month of February, and beyond, generally leads to some varying packages ideal for visiting couples. Charlestowne Hotels (see below) has a range of romantic offerings, including “Just the Two of Us” at highly-recommended French Quarter Inn —- including two nights in a deluxe room, a private carriage tour for two, a $75 gift certificate at tasty Tristan, champagne and chocolates upon arrival, afternoon wine and cheese reception, and gourmet in-room continental breakfast each morning.
The Charming Inns group (see below) has many packages, including a two-night package at Fulton Lane Inn through March 4 that includes deluxe accommodations and dinner for two at Circa 1886 (starting at $560). For a splurge, their Wentworth Mansion February package includes accommodations at the luxury hotel, a dozen red roses, candlelight turndown, and a $150 gift certificate at adjacent Circa 1886 restaurant. It starts at $595 anytime in February, though it’s $995 per night (two-night minimum) over Valentine’s Day weekend (with dinner for two at Circa 1886 on Valentine’s Day instead of the gift certificate).
For something truly unique, couples who book a comprehensive seven-hour health assessment at King Street’s Cenegenics Carolinas (www.cenegenics-carolinas.com) in February receive a complimentary dinner for two at Circa 1886 and discounted rates at Wentworth Mansion.
Recommended romantic accommodations options include:
- Charleston Place. Doubles from $389, 205 Meeting St., 843-722-4900 or 1-800-611-5545, www.charlestonplacehotel.com.
- Market Pavilion. Doubles from $209, 225 East Bay St., 843-723-0500 or 877-440-2250, www.marketpavilion.com.
- Wentworth Mansion. Doubles from $470, 149 Wentworth St., 843-853-1886 or 1-800-466-1886, www.charminginns.com.
- Planter’s Inn. Doubles from $275, 112 North Market St., 843-722-2345 or 1-800-845-7082, www.plantersinn.com.
- Lowndes Grove. Doubles from $275, 266 St. Margaret St., 843-853-1810 or 877-307-9243, www.lowndesgrove.com.
- William Aiken House. Doubles from $275, 456 King St., 843-853-1810 or 877-307-9243, www.williamaikenhouse.com.
- Charming Inns (varied options). Doubles from $139, www.charminginns.com.
- Charlestowne Hotels (varied options). Doubles from $75, www.charlestownehotels.com.
- The Inn at Middleton Place. Doubles from $179, 4290 Ashley River Road, 843-556-0500 or 1-800-543-4774, www.theinnatmiddletonplace.com.
- Wild Dunes Resort. Doubles from $100, 5757 Palm Boulevard, Isle of Palms, 877-221-0901, www.wildduneresort.com.
- Woodlands Resort & Inn. Doubles from $325, 125 Parsons Road, Summerville, 843-875-2600 or 1-800-774-9999, www.woodlandsinn.com.
- The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island. Doubles $273-$545, One Sanctuary Beach Drive, Kiawah Island, 843-768-6000 or 877-683-1234, www.thesanctuary.com.
WHERE TO EAT
- Tristan. Entrees $26-$55, 55 South Market St., 843-534-2155, www.tristandining.com.
- Fish. Entrees $17-$26, 442 King St., 843-722-3474, www.fishrestaurant.net.
- Trattoria Lucca. Entrees $14-$20, 41 Bogard St., 843-973-3323, www.trattorialuccadining.com.
- Charleston Grill. Entrees $28-$48, 224 King St., 843-577-4522, www.charlestongrill.com.
- Peninsula Grill. Entrees $25-$39, 112 North Market St., 843-723-0700, www.peninsulagrill.com.
- Circa 1886. Entrees $25-$40, 149 Wentworth St., 843-853-7828, www.circa1886.com.
- Maverick Southern Kitchens. Featuring the varied downtown dining of upscale High Cotton and creative Slightly North of Broad. Both on East Bay Street, www.mavericksouthernkitchens.com. Couples may also want to consider a cooking class at their Charleston Cooks location on East Bay Street (including several special “Couples Night” offerings).
- Hospitality Management Group. This trio of dining venues features an array of delectable downtown options on East Bay Street with varying atmospheres, menus and prices. www.magnolias-blossom-cypress.com.
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