Travel + Leisure names Charleston one of the 10 Great Places to Spend ChristmasFor Immediate Release, December 2008
10 Great Places to Spend Christmas
The best places to stay, enjoy a holiday dinner, and pick up stocking stuffers
’Tis the season to start planning your holiday vacation. While this year’s shaky economy will force some to roast their chestnuts and stuff their stockings at home, others are already building their far-flung itineraries and checking them twice. For many intrepid holiday travelers, Christmas is just not complete with a passport, a suitcase of good cheer, and a warm bed as far from home as the North Pole.
But deciding where to celebrate is not as simple as it is during other times of the year. Not surprisingly, fares and rates tend be higher around the holidays, which can dictate which destination you choose. But local customs (13 Santa Clauses of Iceland or roving masked musicians in the Caribbean?), unexpected seasonal closings, even flight availability-especially in the US, when you’re competing for seat space with whole families flying grandma’s house-all factor into the equation.
- Pecans roasting on the fire instead of chestnuts.
- Eggnog laced with bourbon.
- Choirs singing spirituals at Drayton Hall plantation.
Where to Stay: The 21-room Wentworth Mansion (doubles from $385) dresses in subdued Victorian finery for the holidays with magnolia wreaths, old-world Santas, and two grand Christmas trees in the foyer. Every room has its own fireplace. On your pillow at turndown: chocolate truffles.
Holiday Dinner: At Peninsula Grill (dinner for two $110), chef Robert Carter puts a radical spin on such low-country favorites as black-eyed pea, smoky tomato and okra soup with crawfish and sweet onion hash, and rack of New Zealand lamb with coconut-mint pesto.
Stocking Stuffer: Sweet grass is gathered from low-country marshes and then woven into baskets, bracelets, pins, barrettes, and earrings by traditional weavers at Vera Manigault’s Family stand on Highway 17 North in Mount Pleasant.