Thursday, November 18, 2010

An east coast jewel, Palmetto style.

This is what South Carolina is famous for: Palmetto sunsets!

After the National BBQ Festival, Melissa and I needed to decide where we were going to go next. We had chosen either Savannah, Georgia or farther north to Charleston or Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. In the end we elected to drive to South Carolina. I figured we would visit Charleston for two days and then move on to Myrtle Beach for another two days before moving on. The drive from Waycross, Georgia is only about four hours long and we arrived late Sunday afternoon. When we drove in to downtown Charleston from the south, I did not expect to see what we did as we arrived. Wow, is it a beautiful city! As it turns out Charleston is one of the most popular places to visit on the east coast, and has the charm and character of San Francisco. The downtown core itself is like stepping back into time. Imagine London, England on the southeast coast of the United States, surrounded by Palm trees and in a climate like Bermuda. The official nickname for South Carolina is the Palmetto state.
I honestly had no idea when I arrived, that the first shots of the American Civil War started there and that many of the buildings from that era, are all still in place and in fact, privately owned and lived in! Amazing..
We found a hotel not far from downtown just across the Charleston Harbour in the suburb of Mt. Pleasant, which is home to some great attractions including the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum. For you movie buffs, Mt. Pleasant is where the film the Notebook was filmed. Yes, all the women in my household cried when they watched it or read the book.

On Monday morning we headed back downtown to wander the old streets, as well visit a well known South Carolina barbecue restaurant called Jim & Nicks BBQ. Vegans be warned, I had to order the pitmasters plate which had every living animal from a farm, slow cooked, and beside my potatoes. Mmmm! We ended up spending all afternoon, just walking the streets and admiring the old architecture. Private homes, churches and buildings that are 200 years old or older just part of the normal way of living.

Tuesday we spent the afternoon touring the Patriots Point Museum. Patriots Point Museum includes the WWII USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, the USS Clamagore submarine as well as many aircraft from WWII and including present day fighter jets such as F-18's. Our visit was awesome and took us the whole afternoon to see it all. We were allowed to tour the inside of both the carrier from top to bottom, and in the case of the sub end to end. We finished the day off by driving out to the city of Isle of Palms where some of the really wealthy live on the Atlantic Coast. We enjoyed the sunset on the beach, and even got to watch some dolphins fishing on the schools of small fish right off the beach!
USS Yorktown

F-14 Tomcat on deck of the USS Yorktown.

We were enjoying Charleston so much we decided to stay put and continue our visit there. On Wednesday we visited the South Carolina Aquarium and really enjoyed it. The aquarium has a very cool way of showcasing the local habitats from the mountains all the way down to the swamps and ocean. They have put together a great setup and it is well worth the visit.

We followed up our visit at the aquarium with dinner at another famous barbecue restaurant, this one in Mt.Pleasant and called Melvins. Melvins BBQ was voted as having the best hamburger in America by the famous chef Emmeril. To top off our dinner we decided to take in the theatre and watch the latest Jackass film! Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O always make me laugh. The best part of this cinema was that it is a restaurant/bar. You pay for your tickets and when you sit down in the theatre to watch the film there is a table in front of you with a menu. Wait staff arrive and take your order for you which includes dinner and drinks. I had already had my fill of barbecue but I had to order a jug of soda just because I could.

Boone Plantation
On Thursday, Melissa made me take her to the Boone Plantation. It is still a working plantation and has a history that is absolutely fascinating. The Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens is an antebellum plantation located in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The plantation includes a large Colonial plantation house, a number of slave cabins (which were occupied by sharecroppers well into the 20th century), several flower gardens, and the historic "Avenue of Oaks"; a nearly one mile drive up to the house with live oaks on either side, originally planted in 1743. Boone Hall plantation sits on Wampacheeoone Creek in Christ Church Parish about 10 miles (16 km) from downtown Charleston. The earliest known reference is 1681!

Melissa in the "Avenue of the Oaks".

Friday we had to leave and head back to Georgia as I will be spending the weekend barbecuing again. This time with Myron Mixon.


  1. Fascinating Justin, keep the stories coming...

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