In December of 2017, we relocated from Savannah, GA, where we had lived for almost two and a half years, to Columbia, SC. We moved into our new home at the beginning of December, which meant we had just enough time to maneuver a resemblance of Christmas amidst a never-ending barrage of moving boxes and packing paper. Once the holidays passed we settled into the idea of actually settling in and began to acclimate ourselves to our lives in a new area. Seven months in, we had pretty much gotten into a familiar routine when my husband and I realized that we had not yet come up for air.
My husband had hit the ground running in his new building with his longtime employer in October of 2017, two months prior to the actual family move, and I had been busy setting our children up with their online school program, unpacking, joining my sorority’s local chapter and becoming active so that I could make acquaintances quickly, and tending to all of the things that can and do go wrong when you move into a new home. By the time June of 2018 had rolled around, we realized we just needed a moment.
After some discussion, my husband found a B&B and booked our reservation. When the day came for us to leave, I had no idea where we were going but was excited as I settled into the passenger’s seat for what I thought was going to be an extended ride. You can only imagine my surprise when he started taking the familiar exits into downtown Columbia. I have to admit, for a split second, I was slightly disappointed because going downtown was already so familiar. I mean, I was going into downtown two, sometimes three times a week for one thing or another. Downtown was not my idea of a “getaway”. Yet, I decided not to be a party poop and ruin our weekend before it had even started, and remained optimistic and curious as I honestly had no idea what was in store and knew it would be unfair to judge an experience based on my very limited experience of Columbia.
As we turned down familiar streets my curiosity grew, especially when we turned off Bull Street onto Hampton Street and passed a large post office that I didn’t know existed. See what I mean about my limited experience of Columbia? Yet, to my surprise, just a short way up the street, positioned amongst other homes that also looked to be B&Bs — who knew? — was a cute Victorian style home where we pulled into the driveway and drove to the back to park as my husband had been instructed to do in his confirmation email.
Should you decide to visit Chesnut Cottage The Bed and Breakfast, know that there are no restaurants within close walking distance, but both The Vista and Five Points are within short driving distances, and both offer a wide variety of dining options and nightlife entertainment (please see small but serious caveat below). Food Lion and Walgreens are both in the Five Points vicinity if you find yourself in need of snacks, toiletries, or a pharmacy. For nighttime strolling, especially during the warm summer months, you’ll find more foot traffic up and down Gervais Street in The Vista area, and from what I understand, is a safer option than Five Points after dark. And here’s the little caveat I mentioned earlier: I do not have firsthand experience with that last statement but have been told by numerous longtime residents that Five Points is best enjoyed during daylight.
Whether you live locally or are willing to make the drive, I highly recommend Chesnut Cottage The Bed and Breakfast in downtown Columbia, SC. The charm, the hospitality, and the attention to detail to keep the home as close to its original splendor all make for an enjoyable retreat. Even if it is 20 minutes away.