Travel Guide: Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Founded in 1670, this southern city has tons of history, local points of interest to visit and delicious food. Along with our friends, we decided to make this a weekend trip which was totally worth the drive. We stayed just outside the city (as we had our own rental car) and drove into the city to park and walked everywhere. I highly recommend visiting and it was very kid friendly. Below are some areas and tours you should check out.
Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens
Boone Hall Plantation is one of America's oldest working plantations (the antebellum era plantation) that continues to grow crops for over 320 years. The plantation includes a large Colonial Revival plantation house and a number of slave cabins, several flower gardens, and the 'Avenue of Oaks', which are southern live oaks that line the road on either side leading up to the house. These were originally planted in 1743. The tour is very informative and takes about half the day.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is one of the oldest plantations in the South. Thomas and Ann Drayton built a house and small garden back in 1676 - the plantation remains in control by the Drayton family after 15 generations. Magnolia was originally a rice plantation but is now better known for its lush gardens. It's now a tourist attraction - the main house is a museum, there's a nature trail, a marsh boat tour, and a wildlife area.
Historic Charleston City Market
Established in the 1790s, the City Market (initially known as the Center Market) stretches for four city blocks from Market Hall. It's one of the nation's oldest public markets and is home to more than 300 entrepreneurs - definitely worth a visit.
The French Quarter is home to the 19th century Charleston City Market which sells clothing, crafts, and artwork. Onsite you'll find the Confederate Museum in the old Market Hall and the Old Slave Mart Museum. From here you can head to the Waterfront Park on the Cooper River.
Fort Sumter National Monument
On this easy going, informative tour you'll learn that Fort Sumter National Monument is a sea fort notable for two battles of the American Civil War. This is a great educational tour and a must see site for those history buffs.
Rainbow Row is a series of thirteen colorful historic houses, which is the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States. The houses got their name after the pastel colors they painted when restored in the 1930s and 40s. It is one of the most photographed parts of Charleston.
Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
Built-in 1767-1771 and also known as the Custome House and the Exchange, is a historic building served a variety of civic institutional functions, which includes a prisoner of war facility operated by British forces during the American Revolutionary War. It was also a custom house, a public market, and a public meeting place. This is another great historical site to check off your list.
Other great points of interest include The Charleston Museum, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, and the South Carolina Aquarium.