Close to Battery Park, where the tour ends, is the Nathaniel Russell House, one of the few Charleston homes open to the public. The gigantic neoclassical house was completed in 1808 at an astronomical cost of $ 80,000. Mr. Russell, a wealthy merchant, had him built to house his wife, two daughters, and their slaves. Each floor is symmetrically constructed with an oval piece, around and a square. The residence has been restored – and furnished – by the original plans, making the guided tour all the more enjoyable.
2 Pm: Slavery Market
Charleston abolished the open-air slave markets in 1856, resulting in the emergence of some 40 closed markets throughout the city. One of them, the Old Slavery Mart, Chalmers Street, has just been converted into a museum, small and fast to go. The visit is not happy, but it allows us to learn a lot about this trade that marked the history of the South. It explains in particular how slaves were “prepared” before being sold, to increase their market value: they dyed their gray hair, they bought new clothes, oiled their skin to give it a healthy appearance The exhibition also reveals – supporting documents – how cash-strapped farmers could take out a mortgage to buy slaves. Disturbing.
4 Pm: Visit The Market
For local food and crafts, a visit to Charleston City Market, between Meeting and East Bay Streets, is a must. There are many uninteresting trinkets, as well as some of the region’s typical vacuum-packed foods that can be brought back to Canada. The spicy rice with beans and the grits – a corn gruel prepared with all the sauces in Charleston – are particularly popular and tasty. Several merchants also offer baskets of “sweet grass” woven on site. These typical South Carolina black community items are cherished and cherished memories.
9 Pm: Night Out
Although Charleston is not a metropolis with 600,000 inhabitants, it offers an impressive selection of bars and restaurants. King Street, set back from the historic center, features some of the hippest establishments. Which have nothing to do with the old idea that many are from the South? The Raval bar is an excellent choice for one or more glasses, with its Ibero-Arab decor, its attractive clientele, and its exciting wine list. In the city center, the Vendue Inn has a large rooftop terrace, arguably the most popular weekend spot. The wildlife is quite young and unpretentious. Just a few blocks away, the Pavilion Terrace Bar offers a great view of the city and attracts a clientele over 35 years old. Bicycle taxis travel Charleston day and night,
9 Am: Crab For Lunch
Seafood is an integral part of Charleston’s culinary tradition and is integrated into the diet at breakfast. At Diana’s, a “tropical” restaurant located on Meeting Street, you can enjoy an original dish consisting of a slice of fried green tomato, a crab cake and a poached egg, topped with Béarnaise sauce. Bold, singular, and extremely tasty.
10:30 Am: Magnolia Plantation
A 30-minute drive from the city center, Magnolia Plantation offers a trip back in time and a digest of all the fauna and flora of the region. This former rice plantation, where hundreds of slaves worked, today organizes guided tours that take us to the heart of dense and somewhat disturbing vegetation. During the journey, dozens of alligators, turtles, herons, and several exotic birds can be seen, as well as an impressive variety of trees and plants. You can also visit the old house of the owners, their gardens and surrounding swamps. A must see.
2 Pm: As A Chef
For cooking enthusiasts – or neophytes like me – the Maverick Kitchen Store offers daily cooking lessons from the “low country,” typical of the region. For 90 minutes, the “teacher” prepares three recipes with local ingredients simultaneously — a spicy demonstration of practical advice and anecdotes. On the day of my visit, the chef concocted a shrimp stir-fry, cheddar grits, and golden rice pudding. Instructive. And delicious: the “students” taste all the dishes at the end of the course and even receive a glass of wine — a good deal for the $ 25 requested.
4 Pm: Stop At The Beach
The new car ride to Folly Beach this time. This small bohemian community, located about 30 minutes from the city center, enjoys a long beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The sand is not the finest, but the strong waves certainly please bathers.
Montreal-Charleston (connecting) flights can cost more than $ 1,000, a high price for a 48-hour getaway. I did, however, find a $ 182 Plattsburgh-Myrtle Beach return flight, all taxes included. Charleston is a two-hour drive south of Myrtle Beach, a perfect ride. It is Direct Air Myrtle Beach, a very young carrier, which offers these cheap flights in aircraft of another era. The interior of our plane was frankly faded, with its heavily worn seats and plastic parts roughly sealed with silicone. Many will close their eyes to these details, given the low asking price.