As Charleston reopens our options for what to do in town have increased and city picks now reflect that. Virtual offerings are still abundant so staying home doesn’t have to be boring. Be mindful, courteous, and safe out there folks.

Preservation Month with Drayton Hall
May is preservation month — the perfect time to check in with local historic sites and organizations to see how they work hard to preserve our local history. Head online to see how Drayton Hall preserves what they say is “arguably the finest surviving piece” of Colonial American furniture in the country: John Drayton’s desk and bookcase. You’ll hear from director museum affairs, Sarah Stroud Clarke, who describes the five years and 2,000 hours of conservation that went into keeping this piece of historical furniture in tip-top shape.

Self-guided tours at Middleton Place
You can properly social distance in Middleton’s landscaped gardens and stableyards, which are now open daily for self-guided tours, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Guests must arrive and check-in at the visitor center before 3:30 p.m. You can even grab a bite to eat at Middleton Place Restaurant’s outdoor patio; the restaurant offers takeout from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (all orders must be paid for with a credit or debit card). Middleton Place says that staff is working hard to frequently disinfect frequently touched surfaces and to provide hand sanitizer for visitor and employee use.

A well-lit garden
Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet is currently open, 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. And, after its original opening date was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bruce Munro’s massive outdoor light installation, Southern Light, will open to the public on Fri. May 15. Tickets to the exhibit, which runs through Sept. 12, can be purchased online. Munro has exhibited light installations all over the world, customizing each exhibit to its particular landscape.

Mary Alice Monroe talks turtles
Famed Lowcountry author Mary Alice Monroe releases the latest in her beach house series, On Ocean Boulevard, this month. Like most of her novels, On Ocean Boulevard discusses conservation, this time the endangerment of loggerhead sea turtles during nesting season. This Wednesday at 6 p.m. Monroe joins the South Carolina Aquarium for a Facebook Live event, featuring a book reading and discussion followed by a Q&A with aquarium conservation programs manager, Kelly Thorvalson. 

Museum Week w/ the Charleston Museum
Join the Charleston Museum for Museum Week, which started on May 11 and runs through May 17. Throughout the week the museum highlights different aspects of the organization, from discussions of the historic textile collection to a look at how climate has changed the Lowcountry, through the lens of the museum’s Natural History Collection. The museum also looks at how the pandemic has changed the way they interact with visitors, highlighting how technology has helped continue the museum’s 

mission even during a time when folks have to stay at home.

Nature talks on Zoom
Hop online for another virtual edition of Creative Mornings Charleston, which you can access via Zoom this Friday at 8 a.m. As always, our city’s Creative Mornings outpost shares the same theme with Creative Mornings chapters around the world. This month the theme is nature and Charleston’s speaker is, appropriately, April Magill, principal architect and owner of Root Down Designs. Magill is a leading voice in the advancements of alternative and natural building methods.

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