Road Trip Series, Part 3 ~ Charleston, SC Part 1

Staying at the Inn at Middleton Place meant being steps away from an otherworld – Middleton Gardens. No amount of research could have prepared me for how I’d feel when, after walking along a dirt path lined with trees and unruly vegetation, I’d stumble upon an exquisitely beautiful, painterly scene of manicured green. I felt like a kid in a storybook: lost in a rain storm, trying to find my way through the thick of trees in a strange place, and suddenly discovering a magical land.

Beauty aside, Middleton Gardens are layered with history. Having survived the American Revolution and the Civil War, the Middleton family owned the land from 1741 to 1865. Henry Middleton – a President of the First Continental Congress, lived here, as did Arthur Middleton – a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Henry Middleton – Governor of South Carolina and later Minister to Russia.

The images below are of Middleton Gardens, interspersed with a handful of insightful quotes by some of Charleston’s biggest fans. I hope they give you a sense of place. Enjoy!

Spanish Moss

Spanish Moss

Lovers of history and southern elegance could find no better place than Charleston to spend a weekend or an extended vacation. This city truly has something for everyone. ~ L. Woodrow Ross, Anderson Independent Mail

Ashley River and marshes

Ashley River and marshes

Water. The river. The marsh around the river. The tidal creeks. The dock over the river. It’s where I grew up, it’s home. ~ Chisholm Seabrook, CACVB Marketing Manager

DSC_0341PSAt the time of the American Revolution, Charleston stood as one of the young nation’s largest, wealthiest, and most dynamic communities, a city some called Little London. Plenty of cities have since surpassed Charleston in population, but this sultry and gracious metropolis at the confluence of the Cooper and Ashley rivers remains unparalleled in charm. ~ Patricia Schultz, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die

DSC_0343PSIn Middleton Gardens…

DSC_0346PSCharleston has a landscape that encourages intimacy and partisanship. I have heard it said that an inoculation to the sights and smells of the Carolina Lowcountry is an almost irreversible antidote to the charms of other landscapes, other alien geographies. You can be moved profoundly by other vistas, by other oceans, by soaring mountain ranges, but you can never be seduced. You can even forsake the Lowcountry, renounce it for other climates, but you can never completely escape the sensuous, semitropical pull of Charleston and her marshes. ~ Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline

DSC_0417PSDSC_0371PSDSC_0365PSSiren of the South: history buffs, foodies and fishermen all love the Lowcountry. ~ Jane O’Boyle, Yachting

At the Stableyards - water buffalo, horses, ducks..

At the Stableyards – water buffalo, horses, ducks..

I cherish the ability to see beauty each and every day. Whether its the smile on a person walking by, a blooming confederate jasmine or a heron standing gracefully in marsh grass as its finally turns green for the summer, Charleston is a bountiful feast for the eyes—and the soul! ~ Catherine Dority, CACVB Community Relations DirectorDSC_0403PSI’ve been all over the world and Charleston is the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen. ~Stephen Colbert, Emmy Award-winning comedy writer and best-selling author

DSC_0414PS

What I cherish most about Charleston is its resilience.  After a fire, an earthquake, a hurricane, and two wars (let’s not forget the pirates!), Charleston continues to thrive in new and interesting ways.  We are fortunate to live and work in such a great city!   ~Angelique Butler, CACVB Inquiry Service Manager

DSC_0440PS

Morning Musings ~ Charleston, SC

Curled wisps of Spanish moss, draped over the branches of statuesque cypress, swaying back and forth; the wind in the willows. Inhaling the heady scent of jasmine mixed with freshly cut grass; stopping to linger for a full embrace.

An abundance of glistening green surrounding me – the leaves of palms, camellia and azalea bushes awake, washed, and polished by the rain’s droplets. A herd of sheep grazing on the manicured lawns of the gardens at Middleton Place; their bleats at a minimum during the breakfast hour, looking up at times to pose for a photograph.

At the backdrop: a plush of green and brown marsh grasses stretching to infinity, meeting with the grey cloud cover at a line of the horizon.

This is the Charleston I was greeted with in the morning, and it is the image I leave with of this charming historic city.

In the Mill, looking over the gardens of Middleton Place

Sheep in the gardens; marsh in the far distance

Camellia flower

Spanish moss over willow oaks