Desirable Places in Charleston, SC to Escape Life

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By Minta Pavliscsak

Ever have one of “those” days? Sure you have; we all have. The type of day where you just want to be alone and escape life for a bit. Between work, school, family, friends, and the constant connection with technology, places where you can just be alone are difficult to come by.

However, as long as you do not check in on Facebook or Yelp when you get there, you can seclude yourself and escape life if you wish to do so. Turn off your phone, bring a book, magazine, your puppy, a notebook, or simply your own thoughts, take a few deep breaths and enjoy your solitude.

Here are a few of the best hidden places in Charleston to escape life, if only for a few minutes.

Folly Beach: You have a few options here. The best places to go to be alone with your thoughts are as far east as you can go on the island, and as far west as you can go. On the east end you will enjoy a scenic view of Morris Island Lighthouse. The far west end is a bit further of a walk, but totally worth it. The walk there is part of the destination itself.

Charleston Waterfront Park swings at night: There’s not a sound much more soothing than the sound of water, and when accompanied by the feeling of gently swinging back and forth under the moonlight, worries seem to melt away. Bring a comfy sweatshirt, even in summertime as it tends to get a little chilly.

Melton Peter Demetre Park (formally Sunrise Park): If you want a unique view of Charleston and the surrounding areas, here is your spot. Nestled deep within James Island, this is the perfect place to start your day or spend the afternoon in peacefulness.? In the distance you can view the Cooper River Bridge or the church steeples of the peninsula.

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Allan Park

Fishing and Crabbing Dock at James Island County Park: Even if there is someone fishing, they usually just nod to say hi and focus on catching a big one. The dock is large enough for you to have your own spot to yourself. Bring your fishing pole, crab net, or just sit and enjoy the view.

Allan Park: Located just off of Ashley Avenue near Hampton Park, Allan Park is a splendid half acre of tranquility. There is a large fountain in the center and plenty of grass for picnics. There are also benches around the fountain if a blanket is not your thing.

Caw Caw Interpretive Center: Located about sixteen miles from downtown Charleston, Caw Caw Interpretive Center has remained virtually untouched over the years. Once several rice plantations, it is now home to a multitude of wildlife which you can enjoy along over six miles of trails winding throughout swamplands, cypress trees and boardwalks.

Magnolia Cemetery: Not many people think “relaxing” when it comes to cemeteries, but trust us on this one. Magnolia Cemetery is located on the banks of the Cooper River and in our opinion has to be one of the most beautiful places one could spend their resting days. Taking a stroll through this 92 acre stretch of land can give a whole new meaning to “escaping life”.

MUSC Urban Farm:? Right in the heart of the medical district off of Bee Street between Ashley and Courtenay is a safe haven.? In the heart of this square escape is an educational community garden where you will find everything from lemons, to rosemary to sunflowers with free gardening and nature lessons weekly.? Just outside the garden are open grassy areas and benches to relax, have a meal or just daydream.? Also, enclosed in this area are stretching equipment to keep your body physically fit.? This is a true mental and physical realm of health and solitude in the heart of the Charleston peninsula.

 

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Magnolia Cemetery

We know there are more, but we do not want to give away all of the secrets! If you have a favorite spot that you like to go to escape life and would like to share, please comment below.

GALLERY: Gone but not forgotten – Stono Baptist Church and Cemetery – Ravenel, SC (175 Years Old)

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By Mark A. Leon

Life happens in a heartbeat.? Generations come and go and often times, we preserve the legacy of those that shaped the world we live in.? Some foundations lose their value and become relics seen only by passing cars on the highway.? Yet history has a way of maintaining the ruins and reminding us of the families, communities and pioneers that struggled to give us the joys we have today.? Through their faith, they found meaning and salvation.

The Stono Baptist Church in Ravenel, South Carolina was founded in 1842.? Today, the church sits in ruins, but the names of those that graced the halls of this small church remain forever resting.? Surrounded by mating bugs, dragonflies, bees, broken glass and corroding wood remain something beautiful, a 175 year old church that continues to stand proud.? There may not be services or congregants now, but its memory lives on.

Take a photographic walk with us as we explore the Stono Baptist Church and Cemetery, celebrating 175 years of faith and bond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Philip’s Church and Cemetery: A walk through Charleston’s past

By Mark A. Leon

Whether you are a local or tourist you know the steeple of St Philip’s Church on Church Street in historic downtown Charleston.? It is one of the most recognizable aerial landmark in this city.? It is also situated between the Dock Street Theater and historic market.? It is a true landmark of Charleston history and decor.

It is also the final resting place of some of the most recognizable names in Charleston, South Carolina.? The cemetery is the final resting place for Pinckney, Gaillard, Rhett, Rutledge and John C. Calhoun.? For those history buffs out there, Charles Pinckney (1757-1824) was one of the original signers of the United States Constitution and Edward Rutledge (1749-1800) was a signer of the Declaration of Independence along with his many delegated and elected positions in state and federal government.

If you have not experienced the St. Philip’s Church and Cemetery up close, make sure this is part of your next planned trip to the Historic District of Charleston, SC

While you wait, here are some images of the grounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serenity and Peace at Magnolia Cemetery

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

There are few places that truly transcend you to a place of absolute peace and extraordinary beauty.? From the bridge over the water, to the explosion of colors from the fresh grown flowers to the ominous tranquility of generations of Southerns laid to rest, Magnolia Cemetery is an absolute must.? With the backdrop of the Cooper River Bridge over the layer of high grass, you are transplanted out of Charleston to a journey through history from the early settlers, through the Civil War to today.

The tranquility of the moment at every turn, the shelter under the sprawling trees, the precision design of the tombstones and the silence make this one of the most remarkable cemeteries in all the land.

Whether you have laid a family member to rest, a tourist passing through town, a fan of the afterlife or just possess the curiosity to learn more about our history, this spot offers you a place of solitude that opens some of the keys to our past and reminds us of the respect and courtship of the South.

After you view some of these remarkable shots, make a plan to spend some time not just walking through, but absorbing this hallowed resting ground.

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A Week in Charleston…Without Breaking the Bank

Article by Mark A. Leon

Charleston is a rich city that combines the traditional elements of Southern hospitality, historic preservation, fine dining, arts, entertainment and even ghosts.? This is a city with rewards and splendors stretching outside the peninsula and throughout the neighboring communities.? One thing is certain, we have many options to fulfill our interests and curiosities.

With so many rewarding options at our fingertips, sometimes we lose sight of some wonderful things that don’t get the recognition they deserve.? We thought we would take you with us for one week in Charleston and offer up some “not so well known” ideas to enjoy.

Monday:

East Bay Meeting House Open Mic Poetry – Located at 160 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC, the Monday Open Mic Poetry, hosted by Jim Lundy, is a cultural mix of emotion, insight and creative expression.? The performance begin at 8:00 PM, but if you want to share your talents music or poetry, come at 7:00 PM to sign up for the evening.? The event is free, but we welcome you to have a cocktail, glass of champagne, wine or tea.

Wild Olive Monday and Tuesday Wine Specials – If you have not indulged in one of the finest restaurants in Charleston, you must take a trip to John’s Island on Monday or Tuesday to enjoy a selection of red and white bottled wines for $19.00.? It is a perfect way to start or end your evening.? Wild Olive is open until 10 PM.? Head to the bar area and enjoy great wine and conversation for $19.00 a bottle.? Wild Olive is located at 2867 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, SC.? Make sure you go early to Johns Island so you can see the awe inspiring Angel Oak.

Tuesday:

Palmetto Brewery Open Mic and Craft Beer Located at 289 Huger Street, Palmetto Brewery offers an outdoor stage and indoor watering hole for some of the best local craft beer.? On Tuesdays, from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM, locals and visitors showcase their talents while the rest of us enjoy a cold frosty brew.

The Drawing Room Artist Performance and Half Price Wine – Every Tuesday, local artist Fred Jamar will paint right before your eyes while you enjoy half price bottles of wine.? Quite an artistic way to spend a Tuesday in the French Quarter.? If you are still wanting to enjoy the night air, head in the elevator to the Vendue Rooftop Bar.? You can find this at 19 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC.

chs2Wednesday:

Improv Comedy at Theater 99Every Wednesday at 8:00 PM for $5.00, you are treated to two Improv comedy shows.? Great local comedy for a laughably cheap price.? Theater 99 is located at 280 Meeting Street.

Thursday:

Free Historic and Civil War Walking Tour There truly is a free walking tour in Charleston.? A free two hour tour with each tour being a different focus.? Did we mention Free (Which means you have to sign up early).? At 9:30 AM, there is a Historic Charleston Tour and at 1:00 PM if you are feeling like more exercise, join the Civil War History Tour.

Friday:

Mace Brown Museum of Natural HistoryThis one is for kids and adults alike and free of charge.? The College of Charleston is home to one of the most remarkable collections of natural history artifacts from sharks skeletons to a prehistoric bear.? This is a truly educational and fun way to spend a Friday morning or afternoon.? They are only open to 4:00 PM and located at 202 Calhoun Street.? School groups or other public groups that would like to visit the museum should call (Geology Department Office), or email museum@cofc.edu to schedule their visit.

Magnolia CemeteryYou want to feel the spirit of ghosts in Charleston?? Forget the ghost tours.? Head just north of the peninsula and walk through the final resting places of patriots, soldiers and citizens that founded and built this great area.? The cemetery does lock its at 5:00 PM in the winter and 6:00 PM in the spring and summertime and they are located at 70 Cunnington Avenue, Charleston, SC

Saturday:

Walk the Arther J. Ravenel Jr. Bridge / Hit Up the Charleston Farmers MarketStart your Saturday morning right with a beautiful 5 mile walk to both ends of the Arthur J. Ravenel Jr. Bridge / Cooper River Bridge.? Enjoy views of the Charleston Harbor from up above and then head over to Marion Square for the Saturday Farmers market.? Don’t get there too late, many vendors begin to wrap up shortly after 1:00 PM.? Get some fresh fruit or a smoothie or just lie in the park.

Caw Caw Interpretive Center / Wildlife Preserve – What you will see in a two plus hour walk – Hundreds of species of birds, alligators resting on the edge of the water, snakes, swamps, marsh, rice fields and open skies for miles.? All for $2.00 a person and only 15 miles outside the city limits.

Sunday:

Prohibition Swing Dancing / Free LessonsEvery Sunday at 6:00 PM Prohibition offers free swing lessons with open swing beginning at 7:00 PM with the V-Tones.? It is a dance party set in the backdrop of the 1920’s.

?Jazz at the Pier starring the beautiful Starr Acheson –?Every Sunday from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM on the Folly Beach Pier is live jazz music starring local singer Starr Acheson.? Enjoy jazz and the ocean waves as you watch the final hours of the weekend slip away in style.