The Tradd Street series is a now five book series written about a woman name Melanie and her hometown of Charleston, SC.
I am rereading the Series for two reasons. The Guests of South Battery (purchase here: Shop Indie Bookstores) was released on January 10, 2017 and I always have to go back and reread a favorite series when the new one comes out. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to pick up The Guests on South Battery, so that you can get the background you will need on the characters and the story line.
Also, my sister and I got the opportunity to take our mom (a huge Karen White and Charleston fan!) to Charleston for the Tradd Street Weekend. What a wonderful concept for an event!
Presented by Buxton Books and Tour Charleston, the event was somewhat unorganized as far as getting all the information up front that I needed to plan the trip for the three of us. But I like to be super prepared for every trip, so it may not have seemed that way to everyone. However, it was worth it to sort through the weeds to get there.
They had some great options for group hotel rates when you registered for the event. We stayed at the Harbourview Inn, which is right in the heart of the tourist district in Charleston. It was a convenient walk everywhere, just a block from Buxton Books where the tours started. It also had a great breakfast you could have brought to your room or enjoy in a hotel public area.
The weekend included a cocktail party with author Karen White at the Old Exchange Building, a trolley tour which included many of the places we read about in the books and a ghost tour that ended in the spookiest graveyard I have ever seen. It ended with a mimosa party with one final chance to get your books signed or just chat with Karen.
While the cocktail parties and the mimosa party were kind of just stand around affairs, the signature drinks and themed foods were fun for an evening out. Plus it left plenty of time to sample the yummiest of Charleston’s restaurants. Here are some of my favorites.
1. Jestine’s Kitchen – perfect for a basket of fried just about anything for lunch!
2. The Bar at Husk– a great place to just pick up a burger or just for a drink before heading next door to Husk for dinner.
3. Fleet Landing– the best place in town for fried flounder, and yes, I have tried them all. Not to mention, this is one of the few restaurants on the peninsula that is on the water. If it’s warm enough you can sit outside and watch the container ships cruise past Fort Sumter.
The two tours were fantastic. It was fun to get a visual of the houses that really take center stage in the books. I learned all sorts of things about the city and the book series. I lived in Charleston for four years, but there are still so many things to learn about the history of the city. The most interesting tidbit was that the book was originally set in New Orleans, but after Katrina was moved to Charleston. Now, I can’t imagine the book being set anywhere else.
I really enjoyed the ghost tour. Our guide was Mr. Neil and he is a professional actor and you could tell it in his zest for storytelling. It was really cold, especially for the Lowcountry but once you bundled up it wasn’t too bad. The Tour was fascinating, with stories about Charleston history included to explain who the ghosts might be and why they are still hanging around. The Tour ends in a graveyard, which is so spooky. I saw what I thought was a cat run behind our tour guide, but no one else saw the little animal, so who knows…. (one you read The Guests on South Battery, you will know why this is significant!)
Karen was a fantastic hostess. She took the time to speak to every one of the guests and make them feel special. She attended many of the events of the weekend and signed advance copies of the books. She also surprised the tour trolley with candy and an appearance by a creepy doll featured in her new novel.
See! I told you it was creepy, just wait until you read the book, which I know you will want to do now!
Overall, the Tradd Street Weekend was a huge success!!