It’s really hard to believe we are done (for now) with our time in Charleston and are getting ready to head to Savannah in the morning. Charleston is truly an incredible city that had us falling in love with everything we saw, ate and experienced from the moment we stepped out into the warm southern air. With that being said, we couldn’t waste a moment of our last day.
The morning, like all other days, started off bright and early with the Sip & See Tour kicking off at 9:30am. The tour took us by trolley over to Wadmalaw Island to our first stop of the day, the Charleston Tea Plantation.
This place is kind of incredible, especially if you’re a tea drinker. Did you know there is just one tea plantation in North America? Charleston Tea Plantation is the one and only place where you can get American made tea. Therefore, we pretty much bought all the tea we could possibly ever need from the gift shop. The tea plantation started us off with a factory tour where we got to see how the tea leaves are harvested and turned into what we find in stores. Who knew that green, oolong, and black tea are all made from the same plant, just processed differently! After learning about the tea making process, we hopped on another trolley to take a tour of the plantation itself.
While on board, our guide said my favorite quote of the day “Just relax, we are on island time. Here, we start the morning slow and wind down from there.”
After we tasted our way through all of the free tea samples, we got back on our trolley and made our way to Irvin House Vineyards for lunch and wine tastings. When we arrived, we found out the Firefly distillery tasting taking place after the wine tasting was not only located on the same plantation but the buildings were within 10 feet of each other.
We enjoyed the beautiful weather while eating our delicious chicken salad sandwiches, potato salad, and chocolate chip cookie, and hydrating with ice cold water in our complementary cups. One thing to be careful of is, if you are taking this tour and have a dietary restiction, be sure to call to confirm they will be able to accommodate you. One woman in our group was gluten free and unfortunately her reservation must not have been booked early enough to ensure that she received a gluten free meal.
Once everyone finished lunch, our guides took us back into the tasting room where we tasted the vineyard’s five varieties of wine using our complimentary wine glasses. They also showed a short film which told us about the history of both the vineyard and distillery. We were surprised to learn that the vineyard started out as a retirment venture of the Irvin’s and they planted all of the grapes vines less than 15 year ago. After our group finished purchasing wine, we headed over to the Firefly Distillery building where Wanda was awaiting us. Wanda is definitely the most energetic and outgoing bartender/tasting guide we have ever come across. We were each given a Firefly shot glass and a piece of paper with all of the distillery’s liquors listed and were asked to decide which six we’d like to try. Wanda quickly convinced everyone to make the Lemonade Vodka their first choice. We were lucky enough to not only try it plain, but also Wanda’s way, which turned into a delicious iced peach lemonade that was dangerously easy to sip on. Throughout the tasting, Wanda kept us all entertained and even convinced a few women to try the White Lightning and was kind enough to use their camera to take a video of their reaction to trying the 100 proof spirit. Other than the Lemonade Vodka Wanda’s way which was hands down our favorite drink of the afternoon, the Apple Pie Moonshine was also very delicious and would definitely make great cocktails in the fall.
As 2:15pm approached, we all headed back to the trolley thinking that we would be heading back to downtown Charleston, but fortunately for us there was still one more stop on the itinerary, the Angel Oak Tree. The Angel Oak Tree is believed to be somewhere between 400 and 1400 years old and to say it is massive would be an understatement.
We finally made it back to Charleston around 3:45pm and figured we would finish up our souvenir shopping. With Tori still searching for a piece of jewelry, we chose to walk through the Historic Charleston City Market one last time. We stopped in Gold Creations and Tori finally found the perfect necklace, a Palmetto Gate from the Charleston Gates collection, to remember our time in Charleston,
After much debate and reading of yelp reviews, we decided our last meal in Charleston should be at Slightly North of Broad or S.N.O.B. for short. From the moment we walked into the restaurant, we knew we made the right decision. Everything from the ambiance to the food was absolutely perfect. Completely stuffed from our delicious meal, we went on one last walk through Waterfront Park to see the Pineapple Fountain lit up at night before it was time to return to the hotel.
Be sure to check back tomorrow to hear about our visit to Boone Hall Plantation & first day in Savannah. If you want to keep up with us throughout the day, we’ll be live posting on instagram! Follow us @TheDailySoiree or search #SoireeGoesSouth.