By Meagan Moore, Guest Contributor
While Charleston SC offers plenty of short-term parking to accommodate tourists, restaurant goers, and shop patrons, there’s a real shortage of free all day parking options for those of us that work downtown. There are privately owned parking spaces for rent, which are great, but the expense may not make it a feasible option for everyone. As our office has somewhat limited parking, I sometimes choose to leave my car in some of the limited free parking, even if it means having to walk a bit to get to work. Though it adds some time to my commute, I don’t mind because the morning walk through the South of Broad neighborhood is the best part of my day.
The nearest, unmetered, parking to our 95 Broad Street office is located along the waterfront near Battery Park. Because the parking in Charleston SC is relatively limited, and parking is in high demand, it’s the “early birds ” that get the parking spaces. That said, I’ve never had trouble finding a spot in the area (friendly warning: your car will be covered in ocean spray when you return!). Once parked, I pull out my phone and check out a route to the office on Broad Street that I haven’t yet walked, and set off.
The beautiful homes in the South of Broad neighborhood, many of which date back to the 1700’s, are full of history and charm. While walking, I love to check out the homes, taking in the varied architectural and design details, the artful landscaping, and the courtyard fountains. I always appreciate the beautifully landscaped window boxes, intricate custom ironwork, and colorful front doors, which really set the tone for the personality of the homes. Some front doors have intricate wood carvings, others have beautiful glass panes.
It’s interesting how the architectural style varies so much from house to house. Many of them are the classic Charleston Single house, recognizable by their piazza’s and street-facing facade doors, in various styles representing the changing trends in architecture. Throughout the neighborhood, I’ll see Georgian, Federal, Adamesque, Greek Revival, Italianate, and Victorian styles of homes. Walking through South of Broad really is like walking back in time to when grand styles of architecture were popular.
Note: No matter where you live, many downtown work commutes include some portion of a walk, but really nothing can compare to a stroll through Charleston’s downtown historic district. With all of the established foliage, it’s always a nice, shady walk with a bit of sea breeze drifting down the corridors making it a lovely way to start and end my work day. Discover your favorite part of Charleston in our free guide …