As a native Brit, when I first told family and friends that I was moving to Charleston SC for a three-month vacation, few knew anything about the city.  The few that did, however, gushed about the wonderful time I was sure to have.  Suggestions of where and what I should be doing flooded my inbox. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, other than an exciting new adventure, in a historic and beautiful American city, with true southern hospitality.


From experiencing the lively bar and café culture of King Street, to enjoying fresh shrimp and a cold Westbrook beer on Shem Creek the pictures that my friends painted in my mind made the last few weeks working through London’s grey winter a long ordeal. I knew the weather was sure to be better than home, even in January, and I was more than ready for sunshine and palmetto trees (they’re not palm trees by the way, this I’ve now learned).


I was welcomed into Charleston by the flight attendant, “good afternoon ma’am, enjoy Charleston.” Lugging my bags through the airport to a slow country song, the city that was to be home for the next few months was already exactly what I imagined. Life a little slower, people a little more polite, and tea a little more sweet (or a lot!).


My first thought? Stereotypical southern America – blue jeans, flannel shirts and brown boots accompanied by a southern drawl and a pickup truck. And I wasn’t really wrong, but there’s SO much more to it. Southern traditions are steadfast here – men dash to open a door for you, a sentence is not complete without the use of “y’all,” butter takes precedence over oil in the kitchen, and tea is iced. From what I’ve seen so far, Charleston is synonymous with southern hospitality.


I can’t help but feel that Charleston just oozes charm. For an Englishman, America is not renowned for its deep history, however, the cobblestone streets, wrought iron gates and 18th century buildings evoke images of a by-gone era. Brightly colored Charleston singles with large piazzas epitomize downtown living, whereas characteristic beach flats are a staple of the plentiful sandy beaches. It is a town of many styles, from surf at Folly Beach to the elegance of South of Broad. Charleston SC has won my heart and it’s only been two weeks. There is so much more to explore and find in this dreamy, charming city.


Start planning your journey to explore Charleston – whether a weekend, or for a month … or three months, you’re sure to fall in love with the city as much as I have! Staying in one of the luxury properties offered by Luxury Simplified Retreats, you get to experience true Charleston charm from each and every one of their luxury vacation rentals …