By Terry Bell-Aby, Realtor, CNE, Luxury Simplified Real Estate
In the first two installments of this blog series, I made it clear these locations are not secrets but rather places that even some long-time local residents have yet to find and explore. You may wonder as the third in this series of lesser-known areas of Charleston SC, how many more areas and activities could really be considered "hidden gems?" Well, with all of Charleston's history and beauty, this series could easily last past four, but there are some neighborhoods and activities that will be left to your own exploration. Here are two more delightful neighborhoods you might want to consider, and another great surprise hidden in plain sight.
Maybe you’ve heard about the Rockville Regatta. Maybe you have some vague recollection that Rockville is way out on Wadmalaw Island. But, if you haven’t visited, you are missing a delightful town seemingly floating along the Bohicket Creek. The Rockville Regatta is a well-known annual boat party, but on any other day, Rockville SC is a sleepy resort village and lovely spot for a picnic or day of fishing. Their designation as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places has preserved the historic homes and churches. Drive through the canopies of live oaks draped in Spanish moss on Maybank Highway from James Island to Johns Island and keep going across Wadmalaw until you run out of road, then you'll hit the beauty that is Rockville.
Do you want the benefits of newer construction, the charm of ancient oaks, views of the Ashley River, and you want it all downtown? Longborough has it all. You may not have noticed it because it is tucked away behind Wagener Terrace at the north end of the downtown peninsula. This charming neighborhood was designed for a downtown vibe and is walking distance to Hampton Park, the Citadel, and some of the best new restaurants in town! The community waterfront park, walking trails, and dock are great places to explore and relax on any given day.
Fast and French
How can a long-established restaurant on Broad Street be a hidden gem? Charlestonians have long enjoyed the Fast and French Gaulart-Maliclet communal tables and cozy atmosphere. You may not know however, that they recently changed their service model to a tip-free patronage. That’s right, no tipping and even the tax is included in the price. Your very French, Seafood Normandy listed for just $21 will cost you exactly $21 out the door. My favorite is the $5 traditional ham and brie on baguette from the express menu. You’d be hard pressed to find a better downtown lunch for the money! Grab one of the eight $5 sandwiches and enjoy it while taking the garden tour I described in the first part of this series. That’s totally free.
Have a look at the other lesser-known neighborhoods and activities from the series - from golfing on the Kiawah River to fishing on the Ashley.
Note: From neighborhoods to parks and restaurants, there is always a hidden gem to discover in Charleston SC as history and beauty are weaved throughout the lowcountry.