2014 Toyota Highlander Invades Charleston, SC

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The 2014 Toyota Highlander is pretty. And so is the city of Charleston.

Maybe that’s why Toyota decided to combine the two on a recent test drive opportunity.

We certainly enjoyed using our Highlander to explore some of the hidden gems of Charleston. Here are some of our favorite spots:

  • Sneaker, a high-end sneaker and skate shop located literally at the end of a long alley
  • Starbucks/King St., used to be a jewelry store and the manager’s office is inside an actual vault
  • Isle of Palms, a quaint barrier island community which takes fishing and it’s 25 mph speed limit very seriously
  • Folly Beach, 18 mile tourist trap of an island– great place to sight-see, eat crab and pick up a souvenir t-shirt
  • Curiosity, another business located in an alley, this antique shop offers everything from vintage typewriters to affection from its resident cat
  • Mac & Murphy, a husband-and-wife-owned paper products and gift store located inside what used to be a residential home
  • Indigo & Cotton, a menswear shop that carries everything a dapper man needs to make his mark on the world
  • Dueler’s Alley, technically called Philadelphia Alley, this is where many local duels took place bcause the high brick walls made it both difficult to escape and hard to hurt innocent bystanders

Overall, what we loved the most were the alleys of the city. It was unusual and fun to see a sign for a store like Sneaker or a restaurant like McCrady’s and then be prompted to walk down a long alley in order to find the front door. In this way the city is full of hidden gems. When you find an alley feel free to explore, just make sure you stay aware of your surroundings– the alleys are long and not always well lit.

What we didn’t like were the many reminders of slavery all over town. From an open market where slaves (rather than kitschy arts and crafts) were once sold, to an area of town called the Plantation District, remembrances of a time when Black people were treated as property abound in Charleston. There is even an old plantation (Magnolia Plantations and Gardens) that has been turned into a tourist attraction with tropical flower gardens on display yards away from the still-standing meager shanties where slaves were once housed. Not exactly the type of sight-seeing we would opt for.

That said, the point of the journey was the transportation, not the stops along the way, and the 2014 Toyota Highlander was nimble, quick, safe and, most important, fun to drive.

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One Response to 2014 Toyota Highlander Invades Charleston, SC

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