A few summers ago, we road tripped to the Southeast, and after a day in Charlotte, we headed to beautiful Charleston. I was one wide-eyed, swooning flâneur* as we strolled Meeting, Church, and Battery Streets to soak up inspiration from the historical homes near White Point Gardens (aka “The Battery”). They are so much more than simply old houses, friends. Indeed, they are masterful works of art which somehow still stand after natural disasters and war. Join me as revisit Historic Charleston Mansion Exteriors and Gardens: Walking & Carriage Tour of the Battery.
* flâ·neur/fläˈnər/. From the French noun flâneur, it means “stroller,” “lounger,” “saunterer,” or “loafer.” Flânerie is the act of strolling, with all of its accompanying associations…a near-synonym is ‘boulevardier’.
Photos: Hello Lovely Studio (unless otherwise noted)
Historic Charleston Mansion Exteriors and Gardens: Walking & Carriage Tour of the Battery
What is the Charleston Battery? An area of the city which was at one time home to a battery of canons along the seawall. The battery protected Charleston as well as the mansions near the wall. It’s home to White Point Garden, Charleston’s first public park where you can enjoy: live oaks, palmetto trees, views of Charleston harbor, historical monuments, peaceful benches to relax, and…
…lovely night herons. Oh, they were my favorite feature of the park along with the oaks!
Charleston Mansion Exteriors and Gardens
What style of homes can you expect to see in the area? The historic homes I strolled by hail from the pre-Revolutionary, Antebellum, and Victorian periods.
How big are these Charleston mansions? These are not tiny summer homes! Even though many were built as summer homes for wealthy plantation owners, I was surprised by their square footage.
The largest home is 20,000 square feet.
Real Estate Costs for an Historic Charleston Home
How much do homes here cost? Sometimes more than $1,000 per square foot. Get a feel for the style from one of my favorite homes:
Check Out a 1762 Charleston Home for Sale: Dewar Lee Pringle House
The Dewar Lee Pringle House, circa 1762, is an exquisite four-story Charleston Single house located on one of the most iconic streets in downtown Charleston. Just shy of technically being a “mansion,” it is 4,949 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 6 baths.
The price was just recently slashed by a half million dollars! This stately home uniquely blends Greek and Egyptian Revival styles with large, elegant rooms, seven fireplaces, fine moldings, and original heart pine flooring.
A three-tiered piazza and a rooftop deck overlook a luxurious garden with a private drive and parking for four cars.
Extensively renovated over the past few years, this incredible masterpiece provides owners with modern luxuries while honoring its storied history.
This home is located on a picturesque street in the prime location of South of Broad known for its tree-lined sidewalks, lovingly maintained gardens, and stunning architecture of preserved homes dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries.
Many homes boast intricate architectural details, including ironwork, multiple piazzas, and grand columns. Meticulous private wall gardens, brick courtyards, and bubbling fountains complement the magnificent residences.
I could move right into this beautiful home with its traditional, tasteful, timeless designs. While the home is magnificent, it also feels very livable. (The tile in the shower below is the same tile we put in our kitchen, pantry, and laundry room!)
Named after the many prominent Charleston families who owned it before, the Dewar-Lee-Pringle House, at 92 Tradd Street, is a relic of Charleston history. Charles Dewar built this house shortly after purchasing the lot in 1762.
And don’t get me started on that rooftop deck! The views must be stunning.
Historic Charleston Homes You’ll Love Here
What notable antebellum mansions will woo you? The Louis DeSaussure House, George Chisholm House, William Washington House, Edmonston-Alston House, Colonel John A.S. Ashe House, Charles Drayton House, Roper House, James Spear House, Colonel John Ashe House, William Ravenel House, and Villa Margherita.
Quotes from Charlestonians
You know I love collecting inspirational, humorous, and whimsical quotes, so those in this post have a common thread running through them: they are by Charleston hometowners.
Crazy Beautiful Lush Charleston Window Boxes
Even when the color story is retrained, it’s breathtaking!
Don’t you love those lush leaves the size of your head?
Lovely Charleston Secret Gardens
Carriage Ride in Charleston
Since this visit to Charleston entailed only a single day downtown, we didn’t have time for an architectural tour beyond the wonderful historical carriage ride tour we took with Palmetto Carriage Works.
From a 4th generation Charlestonian former trial attorney, we learned so much about the history of Charleston, churches, earthquakes, alcohol consumption, architecture, gullah culture, and hauntings. Yes, hauntings.
Fortunately, there was plenty of laughter on the tour too. When discussing a particular religious denomination and the love for drink in Charleston, he remarked “when two are more gathered, there’s always a fifth.”
Pretty Pops of Blooms on Stucco Homes
What We Devoured at Lunch
We enjoyed a delicious casual lunch at Charleston Crab House.
We Stayed Off the Beaten Path: Double Tree Hilton in North Charleston
Our vacation was spur of the moment when my husband’s schedule unexpectedly opened up so we winged it. No fancy hotels or quaint downtown airbnb for us, and we held all of our plans loosely.
We stayed at the Double Tree Hilton in North Charleston, and it turned out to be a great pick!
Hotel details: 5264 International Blvd, North Charleston, SC 843.576.0300.
I much prefer staying at a quieter property with trees outside my windows, not rowdy tourists.
Trees and immaculate grout? Check, check.
102 Degrees So You’re Stuck With One Hot Mess Selfie
I will probably delete this tomorrow…it was hot, and I was okay with that, but forget about capturing a good selfie!
Eclectic and Unexpected Lovely in a Renovated Charleston Home!
Even if the totally unique interiors are not your style, I guarantee you will find inspiration from savvy creative dynamo, Jill Sharp Weeks.
I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.
Peace to you right where you are.
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Thanks for the little video of the cute comfy cozy cottage . I’m telling myself you did that just for me! That’s the beauty of your blog though I think most of your readers feel a personal connection to you posts.
Thanks for sharing it.
Oh, Marilyn – thank you for the feedback! I have so much more to share with you from that cottage! We vacationed there last month in Franklin, TN, so if you love it, you too can make it your home away from home. It is absolutely adorable!
We so fell in love with Charleston!! Reading your post brought it all back!! We splurged on a hotel in the historic district which is very rare for us. I liked it because we walked to everything. The homes around the battery were so awesome. I have never seen such lush window boxes in my life!! Can’t wait to go back ….
I’m so bummed we just missed you – this trip was last minute and whirlwind for us so next time let’s meet there! 🙂
Pinch me! I simply cannot believe the incredible talent of Jill Sharp Weeks! What an amazing home and woman. Call me ill-informed but I had never heard of her, even though I follow Quintessence. Thank you ever-so-much for sharing this amazing video. And as always, enjoyed your post immensely.
Isn’t she amazing!?! So happy you enjoyed the video as I did. Quintessence needs to show up at your door next! (Can I come too?) 🙂
HA HA. You are welcome anytime!!!