A few days ago I joined a friend for lunch in Georgetown - at Alfresco Georgetown Bistro. It was such a sweet place - delicious food and wonderful service. It was also popular (every table was filled!) so you might think about making a reservation (although on a warmer day, there would have been lots of extra seating outdoors).
There are many places along Front Street that I like, and my first visit to Alfresco Georgetown Bistro suggests that it is a perfect addition to charming Front Street.
Hours: Tuesday - Friday from 10 am - 3:30 pm, Saturday Noon to 3:30 pm
*Reservations are recommended, because occasionally the room is reserved for a small group.
This week I finally made it to the Tea Room at Hopsewee Plantation for lunch - and what a treat! The Tea Room is in the River Oak Cottage, which is on the grounds of Hopsewee along the North Santee River in Georgetown County, SC.
I'd wandered the grounds of Hopsewee before, but it was late afternoon and the Tea Room wasn't serving. I was determined to make it back - and I still need to make it back to take a tour of the house (next trip, I promise).
I shared with a friend the shrimp and grits (a recommendation from a friend who comes to the Tea Room often) and the blue cheese spinach quiche - they were both delicious (check out their lunch menu here). As for the tea... I had iced Hopsewee Blend House Tea with my lunch, but switched to the Buckingham Palace Garden tea with dessert (there were many tea choices).
For the dessert my table tasted a sampling of the 'Tea Sweets' - and I must confess we ordered a second plate, the treats were so delicious.
What a wonderful place to stop for lunch and a bit of tea while traveling Highway 17!
~Inside the Tea Room~
~The path towards the Tea Room at River Oaks Cottage~
~View up the Sampit River during the 24th Annual Georgetown Wooden Boat Show~
I haven't been to the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show in over ten years - but this year I was determined to go after a fire destroyed historic buildings along Front Street in Georgetown's historic district. I arrived mid-morning - and was thrilled to see that the place was packed! I also felt quite a bit of guilt, since I have a neglected wooden boat (21' sailboat) on a trailer in my backyard desperately in need of sanding, varnishing - and as we all know, sailing. Boats like to be out on the water. Boy, there were some beautiful (and much loved) boats there.
On the 25th of September, 2013 - in the early morning - a fire broke out along a historic stretch of buildings on Front Street (image to the left was taken in November 2012) in Georgetown, South Carolina. Seven buildings were destroyed, another was damaged - and ten businesses were displaced along the 700 block of Front Street (via the Georgetown Times).
"Georgetown is South Carolina’s third oldest city, behind Charleston and
Beaufort. It was founded 248 years ago at the confluence of the Great
Pee Dee, Waccamaw and Sampit Rivers. Georgetown produced a signer of the
Declaration of Independence, Thomas Lynch Jr., whose Hopsewee
Plantation still stands along the North Santee River. According to Mayor
Jack Scoville, the residential district, shaded by Spanish moss-laden
live oaks, holds 28 pre-Revolutionary War buildings and homes, a number
comparable to those of Charleston or Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia."
You can see more images and video coverage at The State.
I've been to Georgetown many times, but I finally made it again to Georgetown and Front Street on the 10th of October - just over two weeks after the fire. I was thrilled to see every parking spot filled, restaurants and cafes busy - and quite a bit of demolition progress. Last week they still held the Georgetown Bridge 2 Bridge Run which had start and finish lines at the Rice Museum on Front Street. This weekend is the 24th Annual Georgetown Wooden Boat Show - and I definitely plan on attending. I've always had a soft spot for this small and charming town, and have encouraged Highway 17 travelers to turn onto Front Street and check the place out for themselves - and I will continue to do so. Here at US 17 we wish the best for the people and businesses of Georgetown - and have no doubt that the community will turn this tragic event into something positive and exciting.
The Rice Museum is a landmark building on Front Street in historic Georgetown - a sweet stretch of buildings right off Highway 17 (South Fraser Street) in South Carolina's third oldest city The museum traces the history of rice cultivation in South Carolina (it arrived in the late 1600s), how the crop was grown and how it transformed the
South. West African-born
slaves brought with them the knowledge of how to grow rice, and along with their
labor - American plantation owners were able to make rice a
huge cash crop in the south.
"The Rice Museum, known locally as The Town Clock, is located in the Old
Market Building and is a prominent symbol of Georgetown County. Through
dioramas, maps, artifacts and other exhibits, visitors to the Museum are
enlightened to the history of a society dependent on the rice crop. In
1750, George Town became the center of rice production in the colony. By
1840, the Georgetown District (later County) produced nearly one-half
of the total rice crop of the United States. The 1850s proved to be the
most profitable decade for the rice planters. The Rice Museum chronicles
this most important American timeline and its impact on not only South
Carolina, but internationally as well."
Next door to the Rice Museum is the Kaminski Hardware Building (below) - which houses the Maritime Museum Gallery, the Prevost Gallery, and the Rice Museum Gift Shop (the museum also has an online store).
~The Kaminski Hardware Building, next to the Rice Museum on Front Street, Georgetown, SC~
Georgetown Airport is a general aviation airport that first opened in
1943 as a marine air station. Many new and exciting projects have been
completed recently to help bring the ultimate in convenience and service
to our airport. Along with a brand new terminal, you will find a full
service Fixed Base Operator, Shell jet fuel, full time mechanics, and
numerous aircraft storage options, which includes a new corporate hangar
and two new 10-bay nested t-hangars. Visit our airport and see why we
are proud to call Georgetown Airport the "Gateway to Georgetown County".
The Georgetown Airport is just off South Fraser Street (Highway 17) south of Georgetown, SC - find directions here.
Hopsewee Plantation - aso known as Hopsewee-on-the-Santee - was the birthplace and childhood home of Thomas
Lynch, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence for the state of South
Carolina. Built by Thomas Lynch, Sr. in the 1740s, Hopsewee is a
two-and-one-half story frame structure on a brick foundation with a two-story porch. Much of the inside of the main house (e.g., the mantels, wainscoting, and heart
pine floors etc) are original materials. Thomas
Lynch, Jr. was a member of the first and
second provincial congress from 1774-1776, the constitutional committee
for South Carolina in 1776, and of the first state General Assembly in 1776. Hopsewee Plantation was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971. You can read about the modern history of Hopsewee here.