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26 Mar 2019
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It’s officially spring, which means it’s time to see “behind the iron gates” of Charleston  – aka the Festival of Houses & Gardens. The clocks have sprung forward, the equinox is in the rear view mirror, and the azaleas and wisteria are starting to pop.  Charleston is awash in hues of bright green, pink and purple.  Spring has indeed arrived.  And there’s one quintessentially Charlestonian way to experience it in all its peak loveliness. This grand and beloved Charleston tradition has been going on for over seven decades.  The Festival of Houses & Gardens has officially kicked off for the 2019 season. It’s put on by the fine and dedicated folks of the Historic Charleston Foundation. The Festival of Houses & Gardens offers the chance to go inside some of the most lush private gardens and beautiful historic homes on the peninsula.  In other words, this is your opportunity to enter some of the best in the country. Most of the tours take place downtown, South of Broad.  If you’re in one of our Isle of Palms vacation rentals, just head over the Ravenel Bridge and down the peninsula toward the Battery.  You are a short drive from the charm and history of America’s best city. The Festival runs through Thursday, April 18th.  There are all sorts of terrific options to choose from, located on different charming streets downtown.  Think Wentworth, Legare, Meeting Street, Tradd, Broad, South Battery, all the best addresses in town.  You can concentrate on the historic homes, or take one of the “Glorious Gardens” tours.

Some of what's offered during the Festival of Houses & Gardens

  The festival has grown to offer more than simple house/garden tours.  They offer concerts, luncheon lectures (cleverly entitled, “Food for Thought”), historical harbor boat tours, a gospel brunch, wine and spirit tastings, and morning history walks. Some of the Food For Thought topics include Myths, Legends and Lore: What You Thought You Knew about Charleston!, Botanical Journeys of “The Camellia Man,” The Culture That Rice Built, and Flavors of the Lowcountry: Reviving Gullah-Geechee Cuisine. This year they also have a series called “Live like a Local,” with these offerings:

  • Container Gardening: Charleston’s Over-The-Top Pots;
  • Wine by the Water;
  • Circa 1886 Wine Tasting;
  • Rosé and Roses in the Garden.

Here is a link to the Festival itself, where you can select events and purchase tickets. The Festival of Houses and Gardens really is a Charleston must-do.  Thankfully there are so many different dates and sites to choose from, thus you have a good chance at securing tickets. You won’t be disappointed if you check out this Charleston gem, the Festival of Houses & Gardens.  And when you are in the market for Isle of Palms vacation rentals, be sure to call us here at EP on the IOP. All best, Lowcountry Lisa your Isle of Palms vacation blogger