My betrothed and I had a great excuse to visit Charleston and one of its nearby beaches for our friends’ wedding on Folly Beach, South Carolina. We arrived a day early to take in a few of the sites.

The wedding shenanigans were centered on the beach so we rented a lovely beach home with a few friends there. The house was great and just 2 blocks from the beach and pier, and 3 blocks from Folly’s main street. But even with its proximity, we did our fair share of walking.

Colleen McIntyre's trip to Charleston featured on Flee Fly Flown

Friday was our day to explore so we got an early start and headed into Charleston.

First stop was The Market after which we took a stroll to get our bearings, stop in a shop or two, and marvel at the historic buildings. The city is beautiful!

We then aimed our feet in the direction of the noon ferry to head out to see Fort Sumter. If you have time, make the trip out to the fort. The entire “tour” is 2 hours with ferry rides, a history lesson and time to walk around the fort plus you see more of the city as you head out. It’s a relatively cheap trip (you just pay for the roundtrip ferry ticket) as it’s a national park.

The rest of the afternoon was spent poking into more shops along Kings Street before heading back to Folly Beach for an evening of pizza and wine with the wedding party and friends.

Colleen McIntyre's trip to Charleston featured on Flee Fly Flown

Saturday morning the bride and a few of us ladies went to get our nails polished up in Charleston. With newly buffed and shined nails, we headed down Kings Street to enjoy bottomless Mimosa’s and a delicious brunch at Virginia’s on King. The shrimp and grits were the perfect complement to my mimosa (or 4). After brunch, the bride snuck out to get her hair done and a few of us carried on with some additional shopping.

Lucky for us Marion Square Farmer’s Market was happening in the park near the restaurant so we started there. I purchased my one souvenir there, a great necklace made from a vintage pocket knife. Love it!

The rest of the day was spent celebrating with the bride and groom.

Sunday, of course, came too fast and we weren’t ready to leave. After checking out of our beach house and stowing our luggage at a friend’s place, we hit brunch at the Folly Beach Shrimp Company, and then strolled down the fishing pier to get a panoramic view of the beach.

Colleen McIntyre's trip to Folly Beach, South Carolina featured on Flee Fly Flown

Lesson learned. Our one regret about the trip was not renting a car. If we had simply stayed around Folly Beach the entire time, no car would have been fine, but with our day trips into Charleston, renting a car would have saved us a bundle in cab and airport shuttle fares.

Also, Charleston is hot and humid even in late September (low 90s). I think I would avoid a visit in the dead of summer. My next trip will be mid-spring or October.

Points of Interest. I love picking up random knowledge and history about a place I visit. Here are a few tidbits in case you’re interested:

  1. The waiter at Virginia’s told us that the area and its cooking style are referred to as  “Low Country.” I thought perhaps it was because of its elevation in relation to other parts of the state. Turns out, it’s due to the Dutch settlers from way-back-when that used the same term for their region in Holland. I can’t confirm nor deny that he’s right, but it made sense to me!
  2. Fort Sumter was named after General Thomas Sumter, a Revolutionary War Hero, and was the place where the Civil War began.
  3. Gullah coiled sweet grass baskets are a traditional art that was brought over from West Africa and passed down from generation to generation.
  4. During the civil war, dried Palmetto Roses were given by the ladies to the men going to war to symbolize their undying love.

Civil War Quilt from Fort Sumter Civil War Museum in Charleston featured on Flee Fly Flown

We had a great time and saw a lot of Charleston, but we didn’t have time for a plantation tour. Tip! There is a shuttle service that leaves from nearby the Charleston Visitor Center that will take travelers out to the plantations. I guess it’s good to leave something to come back for and I will definitely be back!

SO, if you haven’t been to Charleston, I highly recommend it. If you have, what was your favorite experience?

- Colleen McIntyre on Flee Fly Flown

P.S. View more photos from the trip, here!