Wander South of Broad
Picturesque neighborhood teeming with private gardens
With it's gorgeous homes and cobblestone streets, South of Broad is one of the most charming neighborhoods in the country. The best way to see it is wander around, getting lost among the streets and alleys, always stopping to read the historic landmark plaques on the sides of the buildings. In addition to the beautiful Legare, Church and Tradd Streets, there are fairytale like alleys including Stolls Alley and Longitude Lane. While most gardens in the neighborhood are not open to the public, it is a perfect place to peep through the beautiful iron fences. Be sure to check out the William Gibbes House Garden at 64 South Battery, George Mathews House Garden at 37 Church Street, Thomas Rose House Garden at 59 Church Street, Capers-Motte House Garden at 69 Church Street, and the Calhoun Mansion Garden at 16 Meeting Street.
Beautiful spot for light bites and coffee
This adorable cafe with a picture perfect patio serves up light breakfasts and lunches, with vegan and gluten free options. If you are in a hurry, their coffee and pastries are great on the go. If you like this spot, try their new place in the French Quarter, Harken Cafe.
Fishin' In Scrubs
Nathaniel Russell House
Opulent and impeccably restored mansion with free garden
Nathaniel Russell spared no expense when constructing his elaborate home that was considered one of the finest in its day. The crown jewel of the structure is the three-story, free-standing staircase, but the most moving part of tour is the stop at the cramped living quarters of the enslaved workers, which are in stark contrast to the lavish home. While most house museums don't allow you to access their gardens outside of their tour, the Nathaniel Russell House garden is open to the public.
51 Meeting St, Charleston, SC
Mrs. Whaley’s Garden
Your chance to experience a private garden
In 1997, the feisty eighty-five year old Emily Whaley decided to write a memoir about her life and her wonderful garden. The book, Mrs. Whaley and Her Charleston Garden, went on to be a New York Times best seller and she herself along with her garden shot to fame. Even though she only lived a year more after the book was published, her daughter now lives in her old home and is custodian of her precious garden. And unlike almost all of the private gardens in the city, you can actually visit this quiet oasis. Just walk down the small driveway past the golf cart until you reach the wrought iron gate with the sign that says “Mrs. Whaley’s Garden: Invite Your Soul to Visit.”. The garden is open most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and they request a $10 donation.
Mrs. Whaley's Garden
Glorious Gardens Tour
See the city's private gardens
For a month each spring, the Historic Charleston Foundation puts on the Festival of Houses & Gardens. It is the only time that privates gardens are opened for the public to see. Join one of the Glorious Gardens tours during that month for a three hour leisurely stroll through seven private gardens.
108 Meeting St, Charleston, SC
Historic Charleston Foundation
Trendy spot for a healthy meal
This airy restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating serves up healthy and creative dishes from local, fresh ingredients. They have many vegan and vegetarian options including the Cauliflower Wings, but you should get those whether or not you eat meat. See if you can eat outside in their beautiful back patio garden.