Interview: Susie Kortz Salisbury

How long have you been living in Charleston, and why did you decide
to settle in this city?

I have lived in Charleston my entire life (nearly 50 years!). While I love to travel, I never had a desire to live anywhere other than Charleston. In fact, I reside in the neighborhood where I was raised and am now fortunate enough to represent that same community on Charleston’s City Council.

How do you find the general vibe of Charleston?

Charleston is upbeat, caring, warm and friendly. There is a much stronger focus now on growing our cultural assets into more of an arts related community and we have taken great strides in fostering greenways and trails connecting our many neighborhoods together.

Which season is Charleston at its best?

The beauty of the Charleston area is that we get to enjoy four delightful seasons each year. We have just enough time in each to really appreciate it once the next season rolls around.

What do you think is Charleston’s biggest attraction?

The location and the people are the biggest attraction for me. We also have several large venues such as the Civic Center, Town Center Mall, State Capitol Complex, Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences that provide a wide variety of entertainment for many different markets. Charleston is a short drive away from other attractions such as New River Gorge, snow skiing, and many quality State Parks.

How would you describe Charleston to someone who hasn’t been here before?

I use this description pretty frequently – a beautiful small, big city and an extremely friendly place. It is one of the best places I know to raise children. There aren’t enough hours in the day to take advantage of all of the family related activities offered throughout the region.

What are your top 5 dining places in Charleston?

Laury’s, The Barge (upstairs), Fazio’s, The Blossom Dairy and for a quick lunch, The Purple Onion at Capitol Market.

What are Charleston’s attractions that every tourist must visit?

A walk through downtown Charleston is a must. The community has taken great strides to preserve the traditional business district and a stop in some of the galleries, coffee shops or unique retailers will top off a lovely afternoon. Other attractions should include the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, Capitol Market, State Capitol Complex, and Kanawha State Forest. Don’t forget to check the events calendar to see what festivals or other community celebrations might be happening during your visit.

What are the absolute must-try’s for every visitor in Charleston?

Must try’s should include: A good old fashioned baseball game at Appalachian Power Park, a stroll through downtown, some Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream, a West Virginia Symphony Orchestra Performance, shopping at Capitol Market, a visit to the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences and any meal at Laury’s Restaurant.

What are the cheap thrills that you can enjoy in Charleston?

A visit to one of our many outstanding community celebrations such as FestivALL, Live on the Levee and Vandalia Festival are some of the best deals around. An afternoon at Capitol Market, a couple of twirls at the Ice Skating Rink, a stroll through downtown on an ArtWalk night, a simple walk along the riverfront, an evening show by one of our many fantastic cultural groups such as the Charleston Ballet, Appalachian Children’s Chorus, Charleston Light Opera Guild or Children’s Theater all top the list of inexpensive or free thrills.

Susie Kortz Salisbury is a very active member of the Charleston community, working for the Charleston Area Alliance, serving as a Charleston City Council member and as a volunteer board member for organizations such as the Capitol Market, Wayfinding Commission, Daymark, Preservation Alliance of WV, FestivALL and the WV Community Development Hub. In between all of these, she also have a very active participation in her gardern club, as well as the local schools. Despite all that, she still finds time to tend to her husband and two daughters.