Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Exchange and Provost, Charleston, S.C.

Our last stop on Charleston’s Museum Mile was the Exchange and Provost Dungeon.

To the right is our tour guide. An animontronic figurine is to the left.

The tour provides a lot of historic info about the city, pirates, George Washington’s visit and the city’s part in the American Revolution.

Down in the dungeon, you’ll find animontronic figurines that’ll tell stories about the prison and building. On the way to Charleston, we met a couple who used to volunteer as pirates and other characters at the Exchange. Now that the museum uses mechanical storytellers, there’s no need for real people, except for the lone tour guide.

This is a well with water and fake rats located in the dungeon.
It’s supposed to show the horrid conditions prisoners had to stay in.

I think that is unfortunate because it would be neat to talk with various people about the building and its history. I’m sure providing more than one volunteer would offer a greater depth of knowledge about the building than one tour guide and prerecorded machines could provide (though our guide was very knowledgeable).

Still, this is a good stop along the Museum Mile.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Nathaniel Russell House, Charleston, S.C.

The Nathaniel Russell House was the second stop on our tour down Charleston’s Museum Mile.

This is another merchant’s town home and is built in the Federalist style. We visited this home with combined admission to the Aiken-Rhett Home (see prior post).

Of course, like the Aiken-Rhett House, we were not allowed to take any photos inside. Though it was raining, we did get a couple photos of the gorgeous gardens behind the home.

It would not stop raining!

Another good stop along the Museum Mile.

Aiken-Rhett House, Charleston, S.C.

On our tour of the Charleston Museum Mile, we visited the Aiken-Rhett House.

This home was built in the 1820s and is an excellent example of town homes during this period.

This home was built by merchant John Robinson and later sold to William Aiken Sr., another merchant. Aiken’s son, William Aiken Jr., later became a U.S. representative and S.C. governor.

The Rhett name comes from Aiken Jr.’s daughter, Henrietta, and her husband, Major A.B. Rhett, who raised their family in the home. (History from the Historic Charleston Foundation’s website.)

Like many historic homes, we were not allowed to take photos inside. We did, however take photos of the courtyard, stable and other structures behind the house:

This is the back of the home.

One of two outhouses. Very elaborate for a toilet!

Courtyard behind the home.
Slave quarters is to the right, which includes a kitchen and rooms for the inside servants. 

Stable and carriage house across the courtyard from the slaves’ quarters.
I believe more slave quarters were above the stables, as well.

You should definitely make this one of the places to visit in Charleston. You can combine admission with the Nathaniel Russell House, which will be my next post.

Museum Mile, Charleston, S.C.

A good way to see the historic area of Charleston, S.C., is to walk along the Museum Mile.

This historic walking tour (self-guided) is a great way to squeeze in as many museums and historic sites as possible. A majority of the sites are located up and down a mile-stretch of Meeting Street. But the Museum Mile’s map will also take you to homes and buildings down some side streets, all within walking distance.

For many of the sites admission to one historic home or building will get you a discount into another property. So plan you tours wisely!

We only had one, rainy day to visit so we decided on visiting Aiken-Rhett House, Nathaniel Russell House and the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon. Admission to the Aiken-Rhett House and Nathaniel Russell House are $10 each or $16 to visit both.

If we’d had more time, I would have loved to visit the Edmonston-Alston House and the Gibbes Museum of Art.

I’ll share photos and info about the homes we did visit in future posts, so stop back by to check ’em out!

Where to Eat: Tommy Condon’s, Charleston, S.C.

While in Charleston we relied on coupons to help scope out and select places to eat.

During our rainy walk around the historic district of Charleston we stopped in at Tommy Condon’s, an Irish pub at 160 Church St. Since we ate there for lunch we got $3 off an entree. If we’d ate there for supper, it would have been $5 off.

Right now, the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has a coupon to the restaurant for buy one entree, get another free.

For lunch, Chris got fish and chips and I got shrimp and grits, a dish you should try anytime you’re in or near the Low Country (or here). We also shared a cup of She-Crab soup, another Low Country dish that I wanted to eat before leaving the coast.

Mmmm … she-crap soup with some sherry! A perfect way to begin the meal.
Shrimp and Grits, which included tomatoes, ham and green onions. I’ve never had shrimp and grits with tomatoes before, so that was a welcome surprise.
Chris’ delicious lunch of fish ‘n chips. It wasn’t even greasy. Not in the slightest!
Fun Fact: This is the only type of seafood Chris will eat.

Tommy Condon’s should be your go-to place for a quick bite if you’re walking the Museum Mile or exploring historic Charleston. There are other restaurants in the area, most within walking distance, so be sure to check them out, too.

County Parks, Charleston, S.C.

One of the features that impressed us about the Charleston, S.C., area were the many county and municipal parks and their quality. I swear the county parks were like being in a state park. Awesome!

We visited Mount Pleasant Palmetto Islands County ParkNorth Charleston Wannamaker County Park and Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park (where the Mount Pleasant Pier is located). And, in the next county over in Monck’s Corner, Cypress Gardens, which I’ll blog about later.
If we would have had time (and less rain), I would have loved to visit James Island County Park and Folly Beach County Park.
Here’s some photos from Palemetto Islands County Park:

There was a large marsh between the park and neighboring subdivisions.
The park is located among several housing developments.

Sidney on a boardwalk across part of the marsh.

A combination bird-watching tower and playground.

You cross this pond using a bridge to get to the visitors’ center.

Charleston, S.C.

Recently we took a trip south to spend a few days in Charleston, S.C.

I was expecting a place similar to Savannah, Ga., but it was nothing like that. There is still a lot of history and historic places in the Charleston area, but the look of the city was decidedly different.

Instead of feeling like we were stepping back into time in the historic downtown area, Charleston felt very modern though there were certainly older buildings and homes mixed in.

We did see one cobblestone street and the area near the Battery had many historic homes.

I guess I was just expecting streets and neighborhoods to be more intact. My expectations were too high and kind of tainted my view, I’m sure.

It rained, no poured, the day we walked around the city and visited historic sites. So we didn’t walk down too many side streets, mostly sticking to Meeting and King Streets and exploring just parts of Bay (Battery), Church and Tradd Streets.

Over the next several weeks I’ll introduce you to a few things we did and saw during our trip.

First off, here’s a smattering of pics from the downtown area, in no particular order:

Pretty sure this is S. Battery. If I’m not right, please correct me!

White Point Gardens, near the Battery.

Chris thought this was neat.

I believe this is E. Bay Street.

The rain didn’t slow pedestrian traffic, though I bet it’s more crowded when it’s not raining.