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I’m a New Yorker who visited Charleston, South Carolina, for the first time. Here are 5 things that surprised me.

I had by no means visited Charleston, South Carolina, earlier than. Now I am unable to wait to return.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

  • I lately took a multi-city street journey in Charleston, South Carolina.

  • Regardless of the analysis I did beforehand, there have been issues in regards to the historic metropolis that shocked me.

  • I used to be shocked to see residents driving golf carts, and canned cocktails on the market in outfitters.

I lately traveled from my dwelling in New York Metropolis to Charleston, South Carolina the place I launched into a mini street journey.

Charleston road trip

I used to be excited to get some solar and discover the town.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

I flew from New York to Charleston, from the place I set out for a two-state street journey. I spent three nights and just a little greater than two days within the metropolis earlier than driving to Savannah, Georgia, and ending in Atlanta.

It was my first time within the southern metropolis, so I did a number of analysis earlier than I left.

Charleston road trip

Homes alongside Charleston’s Rainbow Row (left), and a bowl of shrimp and grits (proper), which is a signature dish.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Primarily based on my analysis, I arrived anticipating Charleston to be a foodie’s dream metropolis with distinctive structure.

Even nonetheless, there have been a number of issues I noticed that took me unexpectedly.

Charleston road trip

I used to be shocked by the little particulars, regardless of my analysis.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Whereas I did ample analysis forward of my go to, there have been nonetheless sure issues I did not find out about till I visited and was on the bottom within the metropolis. Whereas I used to be solely in Charleston for a number of days, listed here are a few of the little particulars that I did not find out about earlier than.

One of many first issues I seen was how little outside seating there was for eating places within the historic district.

Charleston road trip

I believed there could be extra outside eating setups like this one.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

As a New Yorker, I’ve gotten very used to outside eating over the previous two years. Although, even earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic, I all the time most well-liked an outdoor desk when given the choice and when the climate allowed.

I visited Charleston initially of December, and it was round 70 levels every day — stunning outside eating climate, in my view.

Because it’s such a nice-weather vacation spot, I anticipated each restaurant to supply outside seating, particularly given the nice and cozy temperatures and rising variety of COVID-19 circumstances. Nonetheless, I used to be shocked to see solely a handful of eating places within the historic downtown space with outside tables, and after I requested employees about it, was merely instructed they do not supply it.

Whereas buying, I used to be shocked to see canned alcoholic drinks on the market in lots of retail and occasional outlets. I do not see that in New York.

canned alcohol charleston road trip

Canned alcohol sat subsequent to a case of baked items and a espresso menu.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Whereas searching in a retail clothes boutique, I seen a small fridge of canned cocktails, wine, and beer. Then, I began seeing a pattern: the drinks gave the impression to be accessible in lots of shops and occasional outlets.

I am not used to seeing canned cocktails outdoors of bars or bodegas. The one time I’ve ever been in a position to sip and store in New York is whereas searching the flooring of Bergdorf Goodman, a luxurious division retailer that I typically deal with like an interactive museum, the place an worker typically walks over with a tray of crammed Champagne flutes.

However in Charleston, the available alcohol simply served as a reminder that Charleston is a well-liked vacation spot for bachelorette events.

I did not suppose the rationale for gradual site visitors could be so many horse and buggy excursions.

charleston road trip

They had been everywhere in the streets.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Every time I drove, I wasn’t in regular gridlock. Moderately, I all the time gave the impression to be caught behind a horse-drawn carriage tour, which is a well-liked manner for vacationers to see the town and find out about its historical past.

And after I went out for a stroll, I may odor at any time when the horses had been close to — when you’ve ever been round a horse-led tour, you understand the odor.

Despite the fact that carriage homes are part of the structure in historic downtown, a lot of which have been renovated and at the moment are full properties, I used to be nonetheless shocked by the variety of excursions I noticed occurring every day.

Along with horse-drawn buggies, I used to be additionally shocked to see so many individuals driving golf carts.

Charleston road trip

I noticed no less than 5 driving round every day.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

As a lot as I used to be shocked to see so many horse-drawn carriage excursions, I used to be simply as confused after I noticed golf carts driving alongside the principle roads.

The Publish and Courier cites good climate and small neighborhoods as the explanation why golf carts have grown in reputation as alternate modes of transportation within the metropolis.

I’ve seen the carts driving round gated communities in different warm-weather areas like Florida and Arizona, however I’ve by no means seen them on important streets like I did in Charleston. Whereas it was puzzling to me to see them driving round and ready at site visitors lights, I used to be principally shocked as a result of there are no golf programs in that downtown space of the peninsula.

Marquee theaters are an indicator of historic cities, however I did not anticipate to see so many in such a small space.

Charleston road trip

There have been fantastically lit marquees alongside a few of the important streets within the historic downtown space.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

Seeing the brightly lit marquees at night time gave the streets a way of liveliness. Some had been marking occasion areas and others welcomed individuals into film theaters.

These Artwork Deco designs are frequent in historic cities and cities throughout the nation. As soon as I noticed them, it made sense to me, as Charleston is a kind of cities, however it was an exquisite shock to see all of them alongside the streets of downtown.

Whereas I solely spent a number of days in Charleston, I might like to return and discover extra of the town.

charleston road trip

I ate my manner by way of the Charleston peninsula.Rachel Askinasi/Insider

I spent most of my Charleston journey within the historic downtown space, which is the place I seen all of those particulars. Whereas the carriage excursions and golf carts posed extra of an annoyance on the street, and I used to be hesitant to eat at eating places with out outside choices, the Artwork Deco marquees and cocktails for buy had been nice surprises.

General, I believed the meals was scrumptious and the views and neighborhoods had been stunning, however I hope to get again to the town and discover areas off of the peninsula as properly.

Learn the unique article on Insider

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