On Sunday morning we headed for the one thing we were sure wasn’t closed: the beach!
Not only was the beach on Kiawah Island not closed, but at points it verged on congested. People strolled, rode bikes, played with their dogs (who are allowed off leash at this time of year), and even waded. The sky looked dark when we arrived, but the sun came out soon and heated things up to about 65 degrees.
Deciding we hadn’t walked enough, we decided to check out Magnolia Gardens in the afternoon. How can you resist a place that has been a tourist destination since the days of steam engines? Magnolia Gardens are described as “Romantic”, with little human influence, the kind of place Wordsworth would wander lonely as a cloud.
So, naturally, our first stop was in the Biblical Garden. The Biblical Garden attempts, “climate and availability permitting”, to showcase the plants that horticulturists have determined to be the plants referred to in the Bible, a task made difficult because “neither those who originally recorded the Bible nor those who subsequently translated it . . . were necessarily interested in horticulture”.
The rest of the gardens were less formal . . .
. . . but the entertaining and oddly informative signs from the 1970s continued throughout. (If you want to read them, you can click on any of the images and you’ll see a slideshow with the images full size.)
After viewing the “natural” Romantic gardens, we took a stroll through Magnolia Plantation’s (more recently added) swamp gardens.
The highlight of the swamp gardens was the rookery:
After another long day of touristing (my iPhone claims we walked 8.5 miles each day), we headed to The Grocery for another delicious, delicious dinner. The Grocery is part of the farm-to-table movement and we couldn’t have enjoyed it more.
We had a great trip to Charleston! It really is a cool town, stunningly beautiful and full of excellent food and culture. Can’t complain about the weather either (though I’m not sure I’d choose to go in August).
We did miss our Sasso, who we left in boarding in Chapel Hill. At the end of the trip, we reassessed, and realized that, other than eating in restaurants, the only activity we did that we couldn’t have taken Sasso along for was the tour of Drayton Hall–and then only the inside of Drayton Hall. So expect to see more of her on future trips!