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It’s that time of the year again! What better way to get into the Halloween spirit than getting spooked by ghost stories in the oldest, and most haunted cities in the US?  With Charleston’s rich history comes unrested spirits that haunt many of the city’s oldest and most iconic homes and buildings. When people hear the word “ghost,” they often think of evil spirits that haunt the living. Although Charleston may possess a few evil spirits, there are more often cordial and even happy ghosts that make themselves known.

The ghost of George Poirier is one in particular that tends to be an office favorite here at Luxury Simplified, where all happy spirits are welcomed.

The story of George Poirier goes like this. George came from a family of wealthy cotton planters and tradesmen back in the late 1800’s. The family thrived from the cotton business for quite some time. As smart entrepreneurs, the Poirier’s diversified their wealth into British bonds so when cotton became a saturated market, their wealth continued to grow. George Poirier happened to be the lucky recipient of the families’ well-earned profits. However, he did not inherit the entrepreneur gene and blew through the majority of funds that were left in his name.

Just when George didn’t think things could get any worse, the boll weevil (a small beetle known for ruining cotton fields) invaded and depleted the Charleston cotton fields. With most of his trust and income depleted, George made a deal with the British and sold the last bit of his cotton. As his cotton was being loaded onto a British ship in the Charleston harbor, he sat watching from the third floor of the F.W. Wagener building – where the Poirier family rented office space at the time. As he sat watching from his captain’s chair, the ship suddenly went up in flames, leaving him with nothing left to live for.

In one last act of desperation, George stacked the office furniture with his captain’s chair on top, draped a rope over the rafters, and jumped.

Since the death of George Poirier, various restaurants have occupied the F.W. Wagener building at 161 East Bay Street. Most recently, Lagunitas Taproom has moved into the High Victorian building, making it the perfect place for a beer after a hard day of work.

Customers and employees of previous restaurants in the building have reported several incidences of paranormal activity. Frigid air has rushed through the building when the A/C was turned off, shadows of a swinging corpse has appeared on the walls, and even beer taps have mysteriously started pouring.

James McCallister, the manager of Easy Bay Trading Company, a restaurant previously occupying the building, reported a bone-chilling incident. As McCallister opened up the restaurant one morning, he found tables and chairs piled on top of one another with the captain’s chair rocking back and forth. As McCallister went to take down the mound of furniture, it all came crashing down right before him.

Although George may stage some creepy stunts, overall he’s known as a pretty stand-up ghost. So the next time you are enjoying a beer at Lagunitas and feel a cool chill fall over you, or see the taps mysteriously start pouring, just know its only George trying to have a good time, too.

Looking to take a Charleston ghost tour and possibly experience some paranormal activity first-hand this Halloween? Luxury Simplified Retreats invites you to visit Charleston and stay in our luxurious beachfront retreat located on Folly Beach. The View, which sleeps 10, is the perfect place for friends and family to get into the Halloween spirit. And don’t worry, we’ve checked it for any ghosts, so you can feel at ease knowing none will be joining you during your stay.

November marks that time of the year where New Englanders flock south to escape the impending frigid northern winters. Some fly, others drive and then there are those yachtsmen who brave the high seas and intercostal waterways to obtain winter warmth.

My solo migration sailing south for the winter began aboard Riverwind on November 1st with a thin sheet of ice covering the decks. Departing from Rowayton, CT at sunrise with the hell bent goal of reaching Cape May, NJ by sunset.

Once I hit the Atlantic, it was fairly smooth sailing down the east coast. Averaging 22 knots, 3 miles off-shore for about 8 hours a day, put me into Cape May, New Jersey for the 1st night, Virginia Beach for the 2nd, Beaufort, North Carolina for the 3rd and Conway, South Carolina for the 4th and final night before I reached my destination.

 

On a journey like this, utilizing every bit of sunlight is crucial, and besides, there really is nothing like an Atlantic sunrise while underway. I found myself not alone making the expedition down to warmer waters. Along with the annual migration of birds, humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins, migrating vessels were also heading down the east coast.

 

“We are seeing about 50-60 boats coming into and staying in Charleston for the winter. There are still quite a few transient customers that continue on to Florida or the Bahamas, but as the city’s popularity has grown, we are starting to see more and more people winterizing their boats here instead of heading further south” says Stephanie Collins, the Dock Office Manager at The Charleston City Marina.

 

The stretch from Virginia Beach to Beaufort included some Atlantic Ocean, but mostly an intracoastal duck-in at Pamlico Sound which was about 60 miles with an average of 9 to 12 feet of depth.  I attempted the open ocean from Beaufort to Conway, however, 9 foot swells and 30 knot winds, as well as the treacherous seas around Cape Fear, put me back through the intracoastal for the remainder of the excursion.

 

Four stops, 760 miles of open ocean and intracoastal waterways, and a six pack of Coronas later, I finally reached the Charleston SC port. Some treacherous moments, some passive, all awe inspiring.

 

In years to come, my wife and I plan to stay in Charleston for the winters at Luxury Simplified Retreats properties, such as Ivy Terrace. We  are also searching for an investment home for those long cold New England months that we can rent out for the times we are not in Charleston. For the time being, we will pop in and out to enjoy the boat with friends and family, even in the “dead of winter.”

 

Are you looking to sail south for the winter? Take a look at our portfolio of long- term luxurious homes that will serve as a perfect escape for the frigid months.

There is something about history that truly enhances a wedding experience, adding a sense of character, tradition, and charm. Marriage is a vow that lasts throughout your lifetime; it is part of the memories that create your own history. When visiting a historic site, you are transported back to the time of its roots. Your journey across the landscape reflects those of who have come before you. You can picture in your mind the past lifestyle and passion for life emanating from the landscapes and structures. Feel the lives of families who once inhabited these historic properties or the people who spent their days building and providing for others on these sites.

In Charleston, South Carolina, history is what we are all about … Besides Lowcountry food of course! Featuring significant Revolutionary War sites, lush, grandiose Historic Plantations, and beautifully renovated homes of historic significance, Charleston is the place for your wedding if you’ve dreamed of a wedding steeped in history. Weddings are about more than “I do’s,” food, drinks and dancing. It is also a time to congregate and create memories with those who you love and cherish as many have in the past. With its southern hospitality and charm and the Lowcountry as its backdrop, there’s no place like Charleston.

Take a look at just a few of Charleston’s greatest historic Lowcountry wedding venues and see just where your own history could begin.

The Gadsden House – Circa 1798, Revolutionary war hero and statesmen, Christopher Gadsden built this magnificent federal style mansion for his son Philip Gadsden as none other than, a wedding present. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the “top 10 properties to save”, The Gadsden House recently underwent a complete restoration by Luxury Simplified Construction in partnership with the Historic Charleston Foundation. Meticulously restored to its former glory, boasting lavish and rich interiors, stunning architectural elements, 5000 sq. ft. of reception space, beautifully landscaped grounds and gardens, full service bridal suite and piazzas for days, you’ll experience this magnificent wonder on your big day perhaps in the same way as the Gadsden family had.

Middleton Place/Inn – this carefully preserved 18th century plantation is home to the oldest landscape designed garden, ca. 1755 house, private gardens, live oaks draped in Spanish moss, animal life and more, that creates the perfect setting of Lowcountry charm. Middleton Place is a unique and versatile venue with numerous on-site amenities making planning your dream wedding a reality. Enjoy family walks through the gardens, have a bridal luncheon in the Cyprus Room, Cocktail hour on the lawn, and the reception in the Pavilion. Explore all aspects of this 250-year-old plantation and feel the history and significance of this breathtaking Charleston gem.

Photo courtesy of Aaron and Jillian Photography 

Magnolia Plantation – Founded in 1676 by the Drayton Family, Magnolia Plantation, with its vast historical significance is the oldest tourist site in the Lowcountry ca. 1870. Featuring sweeping picturesque gardens full of vibrant flowers, lush vegetation and expansive willow trees, spectacular views of the Ashley River, and 4 different event locations on site, Magnolia creates a backdrop that will leave you and your guests completely enamored. Magnolia Plantation checks all of the boxes for southern elegance and charm and more.

Historic Rice Mill – Built in 1861, this historic Downtown Charleston rice mill is the only of 3 original mills left standing and is now among the most spectacular waterfront venues in the Lowcountry. With both indoor and outdoor space, a thoughtfully appointed plan and classical design features including stunning exposed brick, wide plank wood floors, large double windows, and pressed tin ceilings, you can start the rest of your lives spending a magical night on the water in this magnificent historic Charleston venue.

Legare Waring House at Charles Towne Landing – Built in the 1840’s, the modest two-story cottage was a part of Olde Town Plantation. After a fire of the great house by 1865, and expansion of the house and property in the 1950s, this venue is an entertainer’s dream. Featuring recently redecorated interiors with elegant design, classic Charleston colors and antebellum furnishings, the grandeur of this plantation not only reflects its southern charm, but takes you back in time. 4 bridal suites, 2 grooms quarter’s and lounge, expansive gardens, timeless design, picturesque lagoons, fountain patio and a magnificent avenue of moss draped oaks make the Legare Waring House an exceptional option for your historic Charleston wedding.

NOTE: Whether you’re planning your big day in your hometown of Charleston, or a dream destination wedding here, you will need a place to stay on the big day.  You’re sure to have family and friends traveling from near and far as well, and they will want to experience all that Charleston has to offer for themselves!  Check out our portfolio of luxury vacation rentals from beachfront beauties that sleep 10 to a romantic pied-à-terre in the French Quarter or a modern loft uptown, we’ve got something for everyone.  Start planning NOW … 

Sitting at a restaurant and eating a 3-course meal is outdated. In this day and age, it’s not only about the food, but about the experience as well. Those who master this can master the future of the culinary world. Hewitt Emerson, founder of Sushikon, did just that. In March, the on-board mobile sushi bar hit the road in Charleston, SC – and they haven’t looked back.

“Taking someone out of their typical dining element and putting them into a unique and simulating environment” was the inspiration behind this all, says Hewitt.

So what is Sushikon you may ask?

In short, a custom made bus takes you to three local breweries all while nomming on a plethora sushi. It’s a virtual rolling sushi party!  You are indeed eating sushi on a bus one minute – and then at a brewery drinking beer in the next minute.

There is an element of surprise, as the nightly agenda is not revealed until you get on the bus. Over the course of 4 hours, you hit off-the-beaten path breweries located throughout the greater Charleston area, like James Island, North Charleston, Downtown and Mount Pleasant. At each brewery, you get 2, 12oz beers. A ride over the Ravenel Bridge may be on the agenda to give you time to enjoy your first course and allow time for you to enjoy and soak up the scenic Charleston views.

A WOW factor is also encompassed, as the three course Asian cuisine is out of this world. After every brewery, expect a table full of a fresh array of sushi. You WILL leave Sushikon happy.

Best said by Hewett, “Come with great expectations and I have a feeling that you will leave happy, surprised and elated.”

Here’s a tip for meeting the bus. Don’t chase after the bus if you see it in the street. They will pick you up in bus shed at the Charleston Convention Center at pickup time. Just want to spare you the embarrassment.

So hop on the Sushikon bus because it’s rolling deep …

NOTE:  If you’re a local or a visitor looking for a fresh idea for a night out, Sushikon offers an out of the box and unquiet culinary experience, one that you cant find anywhere else in the WORLD. If you’re heading to Charleston on vacation and plan to stay downtown in one of our luxury accommodations, let the Retreats Concierge team book a Sushikon bus tour for you and your friends!

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP TODAY!