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“Another awesome free way to explore Charleston”
Review of Gateway Walk

Gateway Walk
Reviewed May 29, 2013

Thanks to the previous reviewers for all the info and for the walking tour map. We printed out the map and did the Gateway Walk. As mentioned previously, some of the gates were locked or no longer accessible, so keep that in mind. You will just have to walk around the sides of the buildings on the street instead. While there were some barriers to us doing the walk as it was intended, I would definitely recommend it to others. It's a nice way to explore the historic churches and grave markers.

1  Thank southerngirl745
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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31 - 35 of 40 reviews

Reviewed April 23, 2013

This was our first visit to Charleston and we found this walk completely by accident as we were walking down King Street late one afternoon. Can I just say, I loved it so much we came back again the next morning. The lovely shaded walk from King Street just drew us in. As one reviewer said, the Utilitarian graveyard is overgrown with flowers, ferns and moss and it is one of the MOST beautiful places I have ever seen. I walked around the other areas of the walk but quickly came back to this side. If you need a perfectly manicured graveyard, which I don't, then it's not for you. I found the old stones among all the wildness touching and completely charming. Even my husband, who really doesn't get into this kind of thing, thought it was pretty amazing. I hope they never change it, it was a lovely surprise. I will come back again if we ever get back to Charleston.

6  Thank misslizzie78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2013

I have to agree with the other reviewer of the Gateway Walk (Falling into Neglect), and I was very disappointed to find this wonderful walk no longer easy to navigate. We too found gates locked at the beginning of the walk and had to find our way between churches. The Unitarian cemetery has always looked overgrown, so please don't be disappointed to find it so. In fact I find a kind of sad romance in its neglect. Once we crossed back over to St. John's I was on familiar territory, but then I could not find any of the Gateway Marker plaques that were supposed to lead the way through the churchyard. Then suddenly we found ourselves up against brick walls with no access on to King Street directly across from the Charleston Library Society. What happened to the access I have no idea. You have to leave the churchyard by a side gate and walk around the block to get back to the Gateway Walk. One other sad piece for me was that the Persephone Fountain in back of the Gibbes Museum of Art was dry. This is a lovely little piece of sculpture and water and should have been turned on by this time in the spring. Almost all of the rest of the walk was as beautiful as I remember, until we came to the joining of the Circular Congregational Church cemetery and St. Philip's Graveyard, where the gate was locked. This should not be so. The Gateway Walk should be open during all daylight hours, and I will be writing to the Charleston Garden Club to ask why this situation can't be remedied. Please don't give up on this walk! You can still find your way around and these churches and tombstones are worth your while. There is so much quiet beauty and history here.

2  Thank Gryfudd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

After reading positive and intriguing articles about the Gateway Walk, we made this walk "a must" on our recent trip to Charleston. I printed the brochure from the St. John's Lutheran Church website and, on a bright, sunny Friday morning in early December, we headed to Archdale Street. We easily located the two churches, but then our challenges began. We were surprised that all the large iron gates around the Lutheran church were locked. The only entrance to the walk was a small path beside the Unitarian church. Entering this path, we were struck by the total lack of care given to the grave sites. It looked as though it has been years since any of them received attention. Weeds were abundant. This area just looked sad. We crossed King Street. The stroll through the next section was quite pleasant and we were beginning to feel better about the Gateway Walk. Next we crossed Meeting Street. The Circular Congregational Church was under some exterior renovation, but we found our way toward St. Phillip's graveyard and church. Then we came to an abrupt and final stop. The iron gate between these two churches was padlocked on St. Phillip's side. There was no other access. We retraced our steps to a side gate used for construction access, walked around the block and back to Church Street where we could enter the St. Phillip's graveyard. What a disappointment. This Gateway Walk should be another amazing stroll through Charleston history but with its locked iron gates and unkept cemetery, we were left with much different impression.

2  Thank JKPhilli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2012

If you want a respite from the tourist crowds and busy streets and shops of Charleston, the Gateway Walk will let you discover the quiet side of the city and its flowering trees, history and architecture. Dedicated by the Garden Club of Charleston in 1930, this walk through cemeteries and museum gardens is one of the hidden delights of the city. Named after the 10 beautiful wrought iron gates that are found along its meandering path, the Gateway Walk begins on Archdale Street between St. John's Lutheran and the Unitarian Church. By heading towards the river, you cross both King and Meeting streets, wandering through the historic cemeteries and through gardens and fountains of the Library Society, the Gibbes Museum of Art, and the Circular Congregational Church, and end with the inspiring view of St. Philip's Episcopal Church's 200-foot white spire. Stop often to explore graveyard art or sit on quiet benches to rest and contemplate the history that can be read on the tombstones, which tell of whole families of children lost during the yellow fever epidemics. Buried in some of these cemeteries are signers of both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, along with the writer of Porgy and Bess and South Carolina statesmen. During the hot summers you will find rosy brick paths and long grass trails that lead you in and out of the dappled shade of crepe myrtle trees, heavy with their pink and white blossoms. If you want more history and a definitive map of the walk, download the Gateway Walk's brochure at http://www.stjohnscharleston.org/attachments/052_Gateway%20Walk.pdf and print out a copy to take with you.

10  Thank Gryfudd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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