7 Things We Love About Charleston


Heart Fence

Charleston is a magical city, full of history and mystery. We lived there a few years ago and there are still things we miss.

Single house-J Neathery_2

1. The Houses. Charleston is an architectural dream for “house lovers” like us. Talk about kids in a candy store! And one of our favorite styles is the Single House – a Charleston original designed for our climate. They’re just one room wide, with two and three-story porches called “piazzas.” We think the Charleston Single House epitomizes the romantic Southern home.

2. The Tourists. Can you believe it? Often the residents of a tourist destination grow weary of the constant ebb and flow of strangers. Not us! We really enjoyed watching and interacting with the tourists – they’re always happy, smiling, intrigued, and mesmerized by this city we love. And they’re travelers like us.


3. The Horses. Many of the tourist carriages are drawn by massive draft horses, Percherons and Belgians with names like Ashley, Cooper, and Indigo. Our corner was the nexus of two routes, and we often heard their call-and-response whinnies to stablemates as they passed. There’s almost something heroic about these giant horses as they haul the tourists around, straining against their harnesses, clomping softly on their thick “rubber tire” horseshoes.


4. The Gardens. We are totally enchanted by Charleston’s hidden treasures – the gardens that are tucked in and around any structure. They come in every shape and form, from formal and manicured, to wild and whimsical. No matter what, they’re always a cool oasis.

Our Shotgun

5. The Shotgun. That’s just another name for our apartment! We lived in this great old Victorian house that was built in 1913, not long after the Big Earthquake of 1886 demolished the old Roper Hospital that previously stood on this site. The house has been carved up into skinny apartments, resulting in a “shotgun” (because you could fire a shotgun through the front door and the pellets would fly straight out the back door). Wonky walls, creaky floors, beautiful architectural details – we’re sure do miss it.

Yellow house and car

6. The History. It’s impossible to live in Charleston and not be confronted on a daily basis by its long and interesting history. Charles Towne was founded in 1670 and has a rich, complicated history. In these 341 years it played a strategic role in both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, has been plagued by pirates, epidemics, fires, hurricanes and earthquakes. It has flourished, crashed and been reborn. All of these events have molded Charleston, and the results surround everyone that visits and lives in Charleston today. It’s the daily ringing of church bells, street after street of classic 18th and 19th Century Architecture, and families that trace their ancestry back to Colonial England and West Africa. What a pleasure for us to live there.


7. The Daily Walk and Jog. We’ve lived many places and have always been enthusiastic walkers and joggers. When it comes to pleasant, interesting and fun places to exercise, Charleston is the high-water mark for us. Our neighborhood was as central as you could get in Charleston – a real pleasure to experience. Quiet tree-lined streets, historic houses, secret gardens, and water on 3 sides – no more than a half mile away. We were only 2 blocks from the College of Charleston, so the area has a high energy, college vibe that’s cool. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Old Door

And last, but not least, we love that although Charleston is beautiful, everything is not perfect. Age before beauty. Nuf said.

So Long, Y’all,
Terri and James


Author: gallivance.net

We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at gallivance.net.

34 thoughts

    1. Hi Andy! Once you’ve visited, it’s hard to get Charleston out of your system! We first visited many years ago and vowed that we would live there one day … and we did! It was a dream come true. ~Terri

      1. Yes, he’s a graduate of The Citadel. I was living in Atlanta at the time and couldn’t afford to have everyone out to my hometown in Hawaii (his family is a lot bigger than mine) so we settled on Charleston. Couldn’t have been more perfect for an April wedding…

  1. I love Charleston too! It is a unique spot and so beautiful and historic, It just refuses to change. Time stands still….in the best way…………

    1. What a great description Louise … “Time stands still … in the best way!” And although Charleston is steadfast in so many ways, it has some of the most progressive restaurants in the South – I love that too! ~Terri

    1. Oh Andrew, how could I forget about the dance! Is that the scene where they end up falling in the swimming pool? Definitely a very cool Charleston favorite. ~Terri

    1. Truly an oversight, Anne! We learned that we could happily eat our way from one end of Charleston to the other, then turn around and start all over again! ~Terri

  2. I love this post – I recently read about Charleston and this is the 2nd time this week that i come across this town mentioned again. Will be sure to one day visit it!

    Thank you for the lovely pictures too.

    1. Thank you Michelle, so glad you stopped by! Charleston is definitely a treat for all the senses. It’s a great place to put on your wishlist. All the best, Terri

  3. How beautiful every picture is. I truly enjoy your blog and awesome pictures and have nominated you for the Liebster blog award. Thank you for sharing a little bit of the world with us. Read more about it in today’s post

    1. Congratulations on your award Maria! What a fascinating gathering of people you’ve assembled. We are touched and honored to be included in such eminent company. Many thanks. Can’t wait to check out all these enticing blogs.

      Please follow this link to our Awards Page to see our personal response and Thank You.
      Wishing you all the best, Terri & James

    1. Thanks so much for linking to our post “7 Things We Love About Charleston.” Much appreciated. Now I’m going to check out all these other great links! All the best, Terri

    1. Thanks so much! I too am a garden lover and have tended them just about everywhere we’ve lived – from the dessert of Khartoum to the terraces of London. Are you a gardener? So glad you stopped by. All the best, Terri

    1. Tricia, I can’t begin to tell you how much we enjoyed our year living in Charleston. We’ve always had a love affair with the American Southeast, and had visited Charleston many times as tourists over the years, Because real estate is so expensive we knew we didn’t want to buy there (we renovate houses to build up our travel “war chest”), so we decided to rent for a year and found a great funky old apartment on Queen Street. It was a hoot and provided exactly the experience we’d hoped for. ~Terri

      1. Love your way of travel, and lock & leave mentality. That’s what we’re going for someday too. 🙂 We’re now staying in a cool old place with charm in seaside Split, Croatia that we’d love to be a lock & leave. The next time we hop to the other side of the Atlantic, I hope to get to Charleston.

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