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Charleston Itineraries

Soul of The City

Discover the significant imprint of Black history on Charleston, from the soulful flavors of Lowcountry cuisine to the coils of artistry woven into each handcrafted sweetgrass basket.

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Soul of The City

Day One

Listen to the Gullah language, discover untold stories of the African American journey and get your fill of food that's good for the soul.

Go on a Gullah Tour

Let Alphonso Brown introduce you to the customs and heirloom traditions of the Gullah people, descendants of African immigrants who settled on the local barrier islands. Their language and culture is an intrinsic part of Charleston’s heritage, and the Gullah influence is reflected in local cuisine, crafts and lore.

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Get a Taste of Gullah Cuisine

Make the short drive from downtown Charleston to Nigel’s Good Food and your taste buds will thank you! From bus boy to kitchen manager to executive chef and restauranteur, Nigel Drayton has blessed the culinary industry with his talents since the age of 15. Ranked as the #1 restaurant by the Geechie One Awards, Nigel’s Good Food serves up mouth-watering dishes including Shrimp and Grits, Gumbo and Nigel’s Award-Winning Oyster Stew!

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Discover Untold Stories of the African American Journey

Spend the afternoon at the International African American Museum. Explore exhibits featuring historic figures and events from slavery to the civil rights movement to the present before visiting The Center for Family History, a groundbreaking resource that will help individuals advance their understanding of their family history and the role their ancestors played in shaping American history.

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Head to Hannibal's

Head to the three generation family owned and operated Hannibal’s Kitchen for a no frills, authentic Lowcountry cuisine experience. Owner L.J. Huger says the restaurant has been “feeding the soul of the city” for more than 40 years. Start with their signature dish, crab and shrimp rice, and don’t miss out on the lima beans, collard greens, hoppin' john and local favorite okra soup.

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Soul of The City

Day Two

Support talented local artisans and pick up a beautifully crafted work of art to take home before winding down with a glass of wine.

Admire Works of Art

Visit the Gibbes Museum of Art to admire the Mary Jackson Modern and Contemporary Gallery, featuring masterful sweetgrass baskets by renowned basketmaker and McArthur “Genius” award-winner Mary Jackson, and paintings by the first classically trained Gullah-Geechee artist Jonathan Green. The Gibbes is home to artworks by many locally and nationally recognized artists of African descent including David Driskell, Kara Walker, Lonnie Holley, Edwin Harleston, Merton Simpson and Leo Twiggs.

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Continue Your Art Exploration

Continue to explore Charleston through the arts at the Steve Hazard Studio & Art Gallery in North Charleston, where you'll find beautifully unique works of art including kiln-fired fused glass and sand carved crystal. Be sure to make an appointment before you visit!

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Enjoy Food Thats Good For The Soul

Along with her son, Antwan, and longtime friend and mentor Alice Warren, Lorraine Smalls opened soul food favorite My Three Sons in North Charleston. Here you’ll enjoy a number of perfectly seasoned Lowcountry dishes such as crab cakes, okra soup and Gullah rice (including tilapia, sausage and shrimp).

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Make it to the Market

Constructed in 1804, the Charleston City Market exists as one of the oldest public markets in the United States. Comprised of four historic buildings that span more than 30,000 square feet, the Charleston City Market is home to more than 50 resident Gullah artisans who weave sweetgrass baskets, one of the region’s prized indigenous crafts. Here you'll also find Gallery Chuma, which features exquisite art of the Gullah people, including award winning artist Jonathan Green.

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"Wine" Down

After a day admiring the arts, unwind with a glass (or two) of wine at Graft, a wine shop and bar created by two life-long friends and acclaimed Sommeliers Femi Oyediran and Miles White, who were named among the “2019 Sommeliers of the Year” by Food & Wine magazine. Their King Street staple is a celebration of community, good wine, great times and the best music.

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Soul of The City

Day Three

See the sights, soak up the history and sip craft cocktails on your final day in the Lowcountry.

Trace the Emergence of the Gullah Culture in the Lowcountry

McLeod Plantation pays tribute to the enslaved Africans who lived on the plantation grounds from the 1800’s. This Gullah-Geechee heritage site has been carefully preserved in recognition of its historical and cultural significance and offers many opportunities to learn about the relationships between those who lived and worked on the plantation.

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Savor Award-Winning BBQ

Rodney Scott is an acclaimed pitmaster and 2018 James Beard Foundation award winner for Best Chef Southeast. His signature Hemingway-based whole hog barbecue is loved by locals and visitors alike. Rodney Scott’s BBQ runs an all-wood operation that cooks between eight and 10 whole hogs per night to create pit-roasted pork, chicken and turkey.

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Visit the Nation’s Premier Example of an Urban Plantation

Pre-Civil War, the circa 1818 Aiken-Rhett House was maintained by highly skilled enslaved African Americans who worked hard to sustain the Aikens’ standards for living. Occupations included carriage drivers, cooks, gardeners and seamstresses to name a few. The back lot of the Aiken-Rhett House is where the enslaved lived, worked and ate their meals.

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Cheers Over Craft Cocktails

Sip craft cocktails while enjoying beats by a live DJ at King Street’s sophisticated Republic Garden & Lounge. Book a VIP table, settle in at the bar or enjoy the fresh air in the outdoor garden lounge. Enjoy shared apps, including charcuterie & cheese plates, while making plans to return for the Chicken & Waffles during Sunday Brunch.

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