If you ever wondered where the first American museum was built, one of the places where the U.S. Constitution was ratified or even where The Notebook was filmed, Charleston, South Carolina has got you covered! This is also the place if you're looking for a quick trip out of New York and for some southern hospitality and fun for both you and your pooch! With plenty of pet-friendly hotels, beaches and restaurants, Charleston is a furtastic place for all dogs - and their humans too!
First off, you and your canine companion will need a place to stay. No one wants to be stuck in the dog house! The Best Western Downtown allows up to two dogs to stay with you for a fee of 25 dollars a night. But what dog would want to stay inside, when the hotel is located just minutes from Charleston's famous Historic District, which is a great place to walk your dog and learn something new? If you want to relax in the lap of luxury, sniff around the four-star Charleston Place Hotel, which allows pet guests for a 75 dollar fee. If this still doesn't get your tail racing, head over to the La Quinta Inn & Suites, which allows dogs to stay - for free! No bones about it!
As Lucky and I began our trip, our tummies were growling, so we decided to visit Poogan's Porch in downtown Charleston! This famous restaurant, which has been visited by Jim Carrey and Paul Newman, is named after its founder - a dog named Poogan! Poogan used to wander around Charleston from porch to porch looking for food. Eventually, this restaurant was opened and good ol' Poogan stood by and supervised. When the popular pooch passed away of old age, the restaurant was named after him. After finishing Poogan's Award-Winning Bread Pudding, Lucky took some time to stand proudly on the porch in honor of the legendary Poogan!
We loved the Charleston Stroll, thanks to our pawsome guide, Mary! Lucky made a new friend - a Tabby cat named Milo, who leads the tour and showed us all of the historic landmarks that Charleston has to offer, like Fort Sumter and Rainbow Row. Mary and Milo showed us the house in which the opera Porgy and Bess was born. South Carolina's official opera was originally a novel written by DuBose Heyward called Porgy. George Gershwin eventually read it and the two collaborated to bring the story to the stage. We also learned about South Carolina legend Pat Conroy, the author of such novels as The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides.
Lucky and I then ventured to the Angel Oak tree, one of the nation's largest and oldest trees! At an estimated 1500 years old (10,500 in dog years!), Lucky couldn't bear the thought of missing out on seeing a historic landmark. After a lot of pictures, oohs and aahs, Lucky decided to "leave her mark," her way of saying "Lucky was here"! We then headed over to Bubba Gump Shrimp, made famous by the classic film Forrest Gump! Even though Lucky couldn't go in, she did get to sit outside. All of this great food and fun made us realize that Charleston is just like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get!
Lucky and I then decided to take a carriage tour, courtesy of Palmetto Carriage Tours, where we were led by two friendly mules named Hit and Run, which seemed to fit their big personalities! Personally, we wanted Laverne and Shirley, but they were on a break - hopefully not drinking beer like their TV counterparts! While they work like dogs, these mules have the life. They are well fed, rested and get one week off a month and one day off a week. Some say the mules get a spa treatment and a relaxing game of golf, but most likely, they get to rest and have a check up by the vet. If only Lucky and I were that fortunate! They are also monitored by veterinarians and are not allowed to work if the temperature is too high. During the tour, visitors will get to see 25 to 30 blocks of historic downtown Charleston, including historic churches, mansions and gardens.
After taking in two exciting tours, I stopped by the Charleston Grill, one of the top rated restaurants in all of Charleston. Unfortunately, Lucky wasn't allowed in, but she would have felt like a "cool cat" with the great jazz band that played! The Charleston Grill may be one of the top restaurants in the city, but it should also be called "Best Doggie Bag in America," with the prime rib leftovers and carrots I brought back for Lucky, who probably cared more about the food than being in the actual restaurant!
Ever since we returned home, Lucky could not stop barking about how much fun she had in Charleston! If you - and your pooch - want to chow down on some great southern food, learn about the rich history of our country and hear some howling good music, bring those tails down south to Charleston, South Carolina! You won't be growling in disappointment! Animal Fair magazine has voted and chose Charleston, South Carolina as the most historical city for a dog walk! For more information, visit animalfair.com.