Acadian Discoveries: Charleston

Charleston is South Carolina’s oldest city and a premiere tourist destination. It is always a good idea to head towards the wind and waves of the coast to combat the summer sun, but Charleston is a treat any time of the year. The colonial history of the city itself is a draw for many people with the Charleston Museum an obvious starting point. You can also explore the city itself to find the Charleston Market, the Dock Street Theater, and more. Fort Sumter is also within striking distance, where the opening shots of the Civil War were fired. Of course, it is always nice to take a bike and simply explore the architectural sights of the city at large, such as the famous row houses of Rainbow Row on Tradd Street.

Art is a central pillar of Charleston’s culture. The city boasts several excellent museums, such as the Gibbes Museum of Art. The College of Charleston is home to the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, which houses its own exhibits. You can also find exquisitely hand-crafted reed baskets from the Gullah culture, a unique blend of Southern and West African influences found only on the coast of South Carolina. The most well-known artistic attraction in the city, though, is the annual Spoleto Festival. Founded in 1977, this 17 day festival showcases a breathtaking variety of opera, jazz, classical music, dance, and theater. Since 1979, it has also included Piccolo Spoleto, a companion festival which focuses on local and regional artists of all stripes.

With so much to take in, it is important to keep your energy up. Fortunately, Charleston has a fantastic food scene. From the steaks at Hall’s Chophouse to the Southern-flavored fine dining of Husk, there is something for everyone. Considering the coastal setting, it is no surprise that you can find delicious seafood in abundance. 167 Raw is a prime choice for all of your nautical needs, but there are countless other options that are sure to please. One of Charleston’s more hidden gems, though, is Xiao Bao Biscuit. Found in a cleverly renovated gas station, this restaurant provides an excellent selection of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and other Asian dishes. You can find many options that faithfully hold to their cultural roots as well as delicious fusions. To top it all off, order one of their expertly crafted cocktails to finish the night on top.

To learn more about Charleston, and to see all of the wonderful things that this beautiful city has to offer, visit their travel information website here, and be sure to check the Acadia Community Blog every Thursday to learn more about the wonderful adventures all around us.

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