When one first thinks of Charleston, the images that come to mind are graceful live oaks with delicate Spanish moss hanging from the branches, the clip-clop of horse hooves as they pull carriages full of tourists, antebellum homes with wide side porches and to top it all off, the welcoming spirit of southern hospitality. But what exactly does this southern hospitality mean? What can the newcomer or traveler expect when in Charleston?
Charleston was voted the #1 city by Condé Nast Traveler readers the second year in a row – and for good reason: In addition to amazing restaurants (chefs are stars here), gorgeous scenery, and an abundance of history, it’s the people who really make Charleston what it is. A welcoming smile. A gentleman who holds the door for a lady. Children who say “Yes, Sir” and Yes’ Ma’am.” Shopkeepers who go out of their way to help someone. Strangers who gladly give directions or advice on the hottest new restaurant. This is what a traveler can expect in Charleston. It’s why readers of Travel + Leisure magazine voted Charleston “Friendliest City” in 2009.
Charleston’s rich history may have something to do with this great Southern belle’s reputation. It’s a history full of pain and struggle, winning and losing and coming out of it all as a better place. Perhaps it’s the realization that life really IS good here in Charleston, and we should be thankful and joyful and friendly! Hard work brought prosperity to Charleston early on, with good soil for growing cotton and rice. A protected natural harbor brought shipping and prominence as a great city of America, eclipsing even Boston in her day. But the other side of this history is a dark period we Americans don’t like to dwell upon: slavery helped build the city. It fueled the plantation systems. Charleston fell a bit from grace. The Civil War left Charleston nearly destroyed and this great southern city lost its sheen, lost its prominence. But Charlestonians are resilient. They rebuilt. They persevered. They realized that people matter. All people. That’s the feeling you get when visiting here: that you matter. You are being helped because Charlestonians are glad you’re here; glad to share their beautiful city with you.
Experience the best in Charleston hospitality at:
- Hotels & B&B’s – service is a priority. The guest is the priority.
- Tour Guides – delighted to tell you all about their city and its colorful history.
- Restaurants – the best in fresh, inventive, local fare served with care and a smile.
- Shops – helpful service for the customer, a chat about this and that, a question or two about you, and always a smile.
- On the street – where can you find that museum or shop? Ask a local, they’ll be more than glad to help!
What is it that makes Charlestonians so warm and welcoming? Is it the delightful weather (well, mostly delightful, except for some days in July and August) with nary a day below freezing? Is it the surrounding beauty, the marshes, the ocean vistas, the dolphins “guiding” your boat as you glide through the harbor? Is it the history and gratefulness that we’ve succeeded when just the opposite could have happened? Or is it a combination of all of the above?
Definition (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
hos·pi·tal·i·ty – noun
1 : generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests : hospitable treatment
▪ It was refreshing to be met with such hospitality after our long journey.
This definition helps to define Charleston’s friendly people: the key to southern hospitality in Charleston, SC is its people and their generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests. The staff at The Governor’s House Inn is dedicated to showing that Charleston charm at every opportunity. Book your stay today and come experience the southern hospitality you deserve!