After we woke up at the Embassy Suites in Historic Charleston, we headed downstairs for our made to order eggs and breakfast. This is one of perks that Embassy Suites has to draw people to their hotel – and it is worth it. Other hotels claim a hot breakfast with a make your own waffles, or a casserole dish of rubbery scrambled eggs but Embassy Suites takes your order and cooks your eggs just the way you like it with any of the veggies you want. I am not a scrambled egg person but I do love my fried egg with some sauteed onions so after having this breakfast, I was good to go.
The Charleston Visitor Center was the block behind our hotel, one of the reasons we chose the Embassy Suites. We walked over and looked at the many exhibits they had including a woman making a sweetgrass basket. Her work was beautiful and worth every dollar she was asking for it (except that I couldn’t pay that much). I do appreciate her workmanship and the skill level it takes for those fine row of sweetgrass and pine needles.
Next we paid our $2 for the movie at the center about Charleston, the history and the geography. I was a little surprised that we had to pay for a movie since most of the visitor centers I have been to show a movie without a charge. While at the visitor center we purchased tickets for a harbor cruise and a horse drawn carriage ride through Charleston. We decided to take the 1:30 cruise. Since we had a few hours before the cruise, we took the trolley to the city central area. Yes, we could have walked, and we did walk home last night, but it was rainy and at times raining pretty hard.
We went first to the City Market where we were protected from the rain. This was where we could find everything we wanted and things we didn’t know that we needed. I bought my sweetgrass basket, freshly made Pralines, a pair of earrings that is a design from one of the very many wrought iron gates around the homes in the city (intertwined hearts was my design). Before we knew it, it was time to walk to the wharf to catch our 1:30 harbor cruise. We were told it was only a 5 block walk but it took us 45 minutes and we were not walking slow. While we were walking we passed a Carnival Cruise ship that was in port disembarking and embarking new passengers. Traffic was crazy!
The harbor cruise was great – one of my favorite things we did in Charleston. It was a two hour tour. We sailed up the Cooper River, around Forts Sumter , Moultrie and Johnson, the USS Yorktown, and many more places. A relaxing time on the Cooper. We even met a local celebrity (though we didn’t know it till he was announced).
We decided we didn’t want to walk back downtown and took a pedicab back downtown and had him take us to the Palmetto Carriage Tours part of our sightseeing package we purchased at the Visitors Center. The interesting thing about this horse drawn tour is that there are about 3 different tours of the city and you have no choice in which tour you get – even your driver doesn’t know. Once in your carriage, you stop at a city booth where through the luck of the bingo ball, you are given your route. I was disappointed that we didn’t get Battery Park but instead got the homes and church route. Not sure if I want to go on the carriage ride again since I could see the same sights. Apparently the city does this to help with traffic flow but it still was a disappointment.
With the ride over, it was time to eat again. All through we day we asked many people where we could eat good seafood that wasn’t going to cost us an arm and a leg. Of course some people loved Hymans, others thought it was too commercialized and really not that good. Finally we came to a consensus with Fleet Landing – the only restaurant on the water n Charleston, or at least so we were told. The wait was about 45 minutes, not bad. We had a delicious meal of shrimp and hush puppies, and cole slaw. Just what we wanted.
To finish our evening, we took a pedicab back to the Embassy Suites and crashed in our room. We had a wonderful time in Charleston and would visit it again, particularly north and south of the city along some of the beaches. I’ve heard so much about Folly Beach and Kiawah Beach that I would like to visit them on another trip to this Holy City.