#1 -Charleston South Carolina is the most welcoming and open city in South Carolina.
This myth is the one of the hardest to disprove for a visitor. It is hard for people to understand that a large portion of Charleston’s culture is reserved for a rich and elite group. Statistically Charleston has both the richest citizens in South Carolina and the poorest people in the state. It is also the most heavily populated city in the state with roughly 30% of the state’s population. Charleston contains millionaire’s row and an area where generations of people have been oppressed into the hotel trade. The tourist trade started from the oppressive Southern sharecropping movement. To visitors coming into the city, the Southern charm appears to create an ideal environment. Some of the tourist workers live in an area called “the bottoms” locally. This area is below the waterline in Charleston and floods regularly. An open and welcoming culture does not oppress the people who service it. Some hotels and bars go as far as keeping a percentage of all tips for the house. This is a common and despicable practice in the tourist trade in Charleston.
#2-Charleston has the best seafood in South Carolina.
Growing up in South Carolina, I learned that the best seafood in South Carolina is actually served at Myrtle Beach. Visitors tend to think that Charleston has the best seafood because of the naval base and many local fisheries, but the very best food is served at Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach features a wider selection and greater number of cooking styles than Charleston. Charleston typically serves traditional Southern fare and neglects other cooking styles of seafood like New England style and Mid-Atlantic cooking styles. Myrtle Beach features all of these cooking styles because visitors regularly come from all over the country to Myrtle Beach. You can get everything from sweet hushpuppies to classic clam chowder at restaurants in Myrtle Beach.
#3 – Charleston is a laid back and slow town.
Charleston had an incredibly vibrant nightlife. In fact, Charleston South Carolina has the most active nightlife in the whole state. People come from all over the state to go out in Charleston. They do this for the dancing, dating and entertainment. Charleston has more comedy clubs, discos and bars than any other part of the state. The key is that many of these venues are hard to spot and frequented only by South Carolinians. A great example is the Treehouse.
The Treehouse is a dance club with 3 themed individual floors. Each floor features a different type of music and has different clientele. It is not uncommon for the first floor to feature country and western music, the second floor to feature contemporary dance music and the top floor to feature rave or swinger parties. These types of clubs are fairly plentiful in Charleston but on the outer edges of the urban center. They are not clustered together in one area like the Five Points party district in Columbia, SC. A visitor to Charleston could be deceived into thinking that there are no nightlife venues in the city. The decentralized night culture makes the city appear quiet, tranquil and demure. Clearly the city was planned this way.
Charleston is also a highly industrialized town with paper mills, chemical manufacturing plants and many more industrial complexes. It is the manufacturing and shipping hub of the state. This apparently sleepy town is in the industrial and shipping hub in the region.
#4 -Charleston has a culturally open scene for everyone.
Charleston is clearly not a culturally open city. Its history includes domination by the richest Southern families in the country. This comes from a history when Charleston was the richest city in the New World. Outsiders think that everyone is welcome and invited to every facet of the city when just the opposite is true. Charleston includes some of the most exclusive and highly esteemed private clubs in the country. The Daniel Island Club is a good example of these clubs. It is considered one of the premiere golf clubs in the entire state. Typically these clubs are only available to the richest and most successful South Carolinians. The elite in South Carolina also have exclusive members-only restaurants throughout the city. These private restaurants can be seen everywhere in the city. This is a closed culture in the same space as the tourist friendly place most people know. Most tourists have no idea that Charleston is a place that is a closed playground for the rich elite.
#5 – The city of Charleston is the best part of the metropolitan area to visit.
The very best part of the city is the surrounding islands. The islands provide a level of beauty that you can’t see any place else in South Carolina. You should visit all the islands around Charleston but James Island especially. This particular island at sunset is particularly captivating. The way the sunlight cascades on the water is one of the most lovely ocean sunsets on Earth.
These are 5 myths about Charleston, South Carolina you should understand before visiting the city. I suggest you plan accordingly and make a plan to extract the very best from your visit to Charleston, South Carolina. It is a city rich in history and tradition. You should definitely make the most of your visit by keeping these tips and hints in mind during your visit.