By A Hibbard, Guest Contributor
As a native northerner, I'm one of the many transplants who visited Charleston SC and quickly came to realize that living in this charming southern city was definitely meant for me. I simply couldn't help but be drawn to this historic coastal town, with its slower pace of life, seemingly endless sunny days, and friendly, welcoming locals. Naturally, before moving to Charleston I did my research, but there are certain quirky things you learn, and grow to love, once you make the move. Actually, that has become one of my favorite things about living in Charleston, discovering these amazing little things that make you feel like an insider, and falling more in love with the city everyday.
Here are the 10 things I didn't know before relocating to the Holy City:
- Fort Sumter is actually in the harbor and not part of the peninsula. Ok, maybe I didn't pay attention in history class, but I'll admit it was exciting to take a boat out to see this piece of history.
- It's actually quicker to get somewhere by boat than it is by car. As Charleston is known for its "sea islands," residents find it faster to hop in the boat rather than travel over the bridges, especially if you're going from Johns Island or Kiawah Island to Isle of Palms or Wild Dunes.
- How easy parking could be in a small city. Coming from Boston, where I used to drive around for 45 minutes just to find a parking spot, you can imagine how unbelievable it seemed having a plethora of open meters and even some free spots down along the Battery.
- How many pounds I could put on by exploring all of the AMAZING places to eat and drink on the peninsula ... but then could happily walk them off wandering the streets of the French Quarter and South of Broad neighborhoods lined with historic homes, courtyard gardens and window flower boxes.
- It's a port, not only for industry, but for cruise ships, which you can take to the Bahamas, or other tropical places if Charleston isn't warm enough for you.
- There are countless historic plantations to visit and you'll be awe-struck by their beauty. I had never seen an "alley of oaks" quite like the one in Boone Hall Plantation (or on my own dirt road on Johns Island).
- Why Charleston is called the "Holy City." Ok, again I definitely could have Googled this, but seeing the number of steeples in the downtown skyline with my own eyes really proved this one true.
- The Charleston peninsula is surrounded by water and affected by the tides. On the days when the tide is really high, some downtown streets are partially under water. But being tidal ... it's gone and dry before you know it!
- Waterfront Park is home to a giant fountain in the shape of a pineapple. That makes sense in a city where everyone is just so darn friendly.
- There's never really an "off season" - for tourists OR beautiful weather. Regardless of time of year, Charleston's popularity as a world class destination city grows exponentially every year as more and more people realize that it truly is unlike anywhere else in the world.
NOTE: Eight months later and I still have barely scratched the surface of history lessons and endless activities that Charleston has to offer. If moving to Charleston is on your mind - don't just take my word for it. Find out everything you can about this amazing city. Start imagining your life in Charleston by exploring our "Buying Charleston" page, it has everything you need to start dreaming...