By Terry Bell-Aby, Realtor, CNE, Luxury Simplified Real Estate
Throughout the lowcountry, there are hidden gems that even long-time Charleston residents have yet to find and explore. Whether it be a tucked-away, picturesque neighborhood, a little-known park, or unexpected restaurant, Charleston is full of these lesser-known gems. Now, I won’t call these locations secrets because they simply are not. They are however, each special in their own way. As the first in a series of blogs, here are two delightful neighborhoods and a great activity hidden in plain sight in Charleston SC.
Tucked away behind the all too obvious Archdale neighborhood with its large, vibrant sign right on Dorchester Road, are the neighborhoods of Baker’s Landing I & II. It’s hard to imagine a busier thoroughfare in the Lowcountry than Dorchester Road, but these two communities are tucked away on quiet streets. Each is a small enclave of executive homes situated on the Ashley River with community docks and breathtaking sunset views across the river. With walking distance to Bosch and just a short drive from Boeing, both might be your ideal North Charleston commutes.
Across the highway from the highly visible Carolina Bay in West Ashley is a gently “patina-ed” sign for Croghan’s Landing. Turn into the neighborhood from the highway, and suddenly you find yourself in a quiet and highly walkable area with huge trees and slow moving streets. The dog walkers and golf cart drivers are treated to marsh views along the Intracoastal Waterway portion of the Stono River. You might also enjoy the West Ashley Greenway – a former railroad route that runs from James Island to Johns Island – perfect for biking, running, or a leisurely stroll.
This might be my favorite free thing to do in Charleston. Start at the cemetery and garden at the Unitarian Church on Archdale Street downtown. All year-round it is a treasure trove of plants and critters. I’d bet even your grandmother would be hard pressed to name every variety of plant found there. The paths twist around and end at King Street. Cross the street ever-so-slightly diagonally to the right, and enter the grounds at the Gibbes Museum just behind the Charleston Library Society. A more formally designed venue than the former gardens, it has its own verdant charms that foster certain serenity in the heart of downtown Charleston. When you exit this shady green, you will find yourself on Meeting Street. Cross to the cemetery at the Circular Church and follow the Zen-like paths through the beautiful and ancient headstones. “According to one gravestone historian, there are more of these unusual 18th century slate stones in this graveyard than anywhere else in the country.” Enjoy this unique way to experience Charleston’s history and beauty.
Check back for Part 2 of this series as I share more on some of my favorite "hidden gems" around town!
Note: From neighborhoods to parks, there is always a hidden gem to discover in Charleston SC as history and beauty are weaved throughout the lowcountry.