Charleston is a historic port city in South Carolina—founded in 1670— and is known for its storied including the Civil War and slavery. Today, travelers have abundant reasons to visit as the city has a lot to offer, including waterfront views and beautiful beaches, art and culture, a noteworthy food scene, and a look back in time at the Deep South of yesteryear. The history is evident in the cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and the colorful antebellum houses that can be found in the French Quarter and Battery districts.
⦿ To watch our tour of Charleston, visit our YouTube video HERE and be sure to use the highest quality playback settings. Or, keep reading for valuable information and links.
Start with a walk across Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, which connects Mount Pleasant to Charleston’s downtown core, and breathe that invigorating salt air. You’ll need that energy because there’s a lot of sightseeing to do. Take a walking tour of downtown while admiring the tangle of Spanish moss cascading from the trees. Consider visiting the historic Charleston City Market, Drayton Hall, and Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. Or browse the antique and vintage shops that can be found along King Street—Charleston’s main drag.
For lovers of water views, Charleston has plenty including ocean, river, harbor, and creek. Check out Joe Riley Waterfront Park, known for its unique Pineapple Fountain, or visit Folly Beach or Isle of Palms. Opt for a daytime boat tour, or perhaps a beautiful sunset cruise—Charleston Harbor Tours has several options. They offer everything from sightseeing cruises to harbor tours, sailboat rides, and dining cruises. They also provide historical tours, plantation tours, and sightseeing in a horse-drawn carriage.
For visitors that enjoy photography, several beautiful shots await your arrival on Rainbow Row, named for the pastel-colored Georgian-style houses that line the street. Altogether, they look like they belong in an Easter basket. A continuation of historic homes can be found along East Battery. Plus, there are several historic buildings that are worth a visit. Simply make your way to Charleston’s Museum Mile, home to 6 museums, 5 nationally renowned historic houses, 4 scenic parks, a Revolutionary War powder magazine, and an array of historic houses of worship and public buildings. If you’re a history buff, this area of Charleston should keep you busy for a few days.
For visitors that like their history with a haunt, embark on a ghost tour that includes the old jail and the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, which was sunk during the battle of Midway and is now the main feature of the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Charleston.
Of course, you can’t visit the Deep South without indulging in the cuisine and there are several local dishes to try, most of which are featured on restaurant menus. These include she-crab soup, okra soup, shrimp & grits, Frogmore stew, fried green tomatoes, peach cobbler, and hush puppies —essentially deep-fried cornbread presented in small round balls and often served with seafood. Despite how they sound they are utterly delicious. And don’t forget to order a tall glass of sweet tea as your beverage, or a mint julep as a pre-dinner cocktail.
For travelers seeking restaurants with a view, visit Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant for seafood restaurants along the waterfront and a boardwalk with marsh views, where you can walk off the calories after you dine.
So scenic, historic, and educational, Charleston has much to offer visitors! As a day trip, a weekend getaway, or a week’s vacation, it’s a destination with plenty to see and do.