48 Elizabeth Street Charleston, SC 29403 +1 843 723 1159/+1 843 723 1623
This is perhaps the most remarkable home on Charleston's downtown waterfront. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Aiken-Rhett House is a revealing architectural portrait of the antebellum South. Owned at one time by wealthy planter and former South Carolina governor William Aiken, the house is decorated with fine examples of classical art and sculpture. Around the home, the original servants quarters, sheds, kitchens, and stables reveal a fuller view of Charleston city life in the 1800s. The courtyard adjoining the house is used for a variety of events and programs as well.
Middleton Place is an 18th Century rice plantation and National Historic Landmark comprising 65 acres of America's oldest landscaped Gardens, the Middleton Place House Museum and the Plantation Stableyards. The Gardens reflect the elegant symmetry of 17th Century European design. Sculpted terraces, parterres, and reflection pools inhabited by swans are highlights of their intricate design. Rare camellias bloom in the winter, while vibrant azaleas blanket the hillside above the Rice Mill Pond in the spring. Tickets for house tours are in addition to general admission rates.
In existence since 1676, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens is a journey back through time. Walking along a numbered path, you will find many beautiful cypress and live oak trees along the river. The Barbados Tropical Garden, Biblical Garden, and Horticultural Maze offer a variety of landscaping styles. Don't forget to keep an eye out for wildlife. Several slave cabins and worker homes still stand on the property, and free talks are given at various times. Tickets are also available for purchase for entry to the Plantation House, the Nature Train, the Nature Boat, and Audubon Swamp Garden; all include a guided tour. For those who ride bicycles, several trails wind through the woods. Plan to spend several hours at this fascinating plantation.
Attention tea connoisseurs! This is the only working tea plantation in the United States; you can learn about tea harvesting, processing and packaging. The plantation supplies the official tea of the White House and grows over 300 varieties on its 127 acres. If you are visiting during the summer, wear a hat or take an umbrella as the sun will be intense and there is little shade available outside. Factory tour is free. See their website for plantation trolley tour rates.
1214 Middle Street Sullivan's Island, SC 29482 +1 843 883 3123
Fort Sumter had been under construction for more than 30 years in the December of 1860 when Major Robert Anderson relocated his troops there in the middle of the night from Fort Moultrie. On April 12, 1861, the first shot of the Civil War was fired on the Fort by Confederate troops. Following 34 hours of fighting, Major Anderson surrendered but the siege continued for two more years. Fort Sumter has since stood as a symbol of Southern resistance. The fort is on 200 acres (81 hectares) of land surrounded by water at the entrance to Charleston Harbor and is only accessible by boat, with ferries departing from Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant and Liberty Square in Charleston.
Located close to both Kiawah and Seabrook Islands, this marina offers full service convenience. Its floating docks have slip sizes from 30 to 55 feet and face docks up to 112 feet. Nine docks are divided into 200 wet slips and there is an 80 boat dry stack as well. The marina features phones, showers, fuel, laundry facilities, a lounge, a store and on-call repair services. Customers can also enjoy sunset and dolphin watching cruises, nature tours, sport fishing, and kayaking. Fees vary; call for details.
Beachwalker County Park offers public access to the beautiful beach front of Kiawah Island. Lifeguards watch over the 450-foot swimming area during high season and outdoor showers and well-maintained dressing rooms are available. Stroll the boardwalk, set up a cookout at the picnic area equipped with grills, play Frisbee and enjoy a cold drink from the snack bar or rent a beach chair and umbrella and just stretch out with a good book. See their website for further information.
1214 Middle Street Sullivan's Island, SC 29482 +1 843 883 3123
Fort Moultrie National Monument is a superior example of how coastal defenses have evolved over time. It is actually the third structure built to defend the coast on Sullivan's Island; the first two versions of Fort Moultrie were destroyed in hurricanes. Edgar Allan Poe penned a poem and the story "The Gold Bug" while stationed here in the early 1800s, and Seminole Indian Chief Osceola was buried at the entrance to the fort. Artillery buffs will find the historic cannons fascinating. The historic Fort Sumter is a short distance away on its own island (though they share the same mailing address), but visitors without their own boat cannot reach Fort Sumter from Fort Moultrie; they must take a ferry via downtown Charleston or Mount Pleasant.
40 Patriots Point Road Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 +1 866 831 1720 (toll free)
Located in Charleston Harbor, this museum is home to USS Yorktown, nicknamed "The Fighting Lady." This historic battleship played an important role in the Pacific in WWII, sinking the largest battleship ever built. In 1970, Yorktown participated in the recovery of the crew of Apollo 8, shortly before being decommissioned. Moored beside her is USS Laffey, a WWII destroyer, and USS Clamagore, a diesel attack submarine. Many interesting displays and exhibits lie within these vessels. Admission: $15 Adults; $13 Seniors and Active Duty Military with ID; $8 Children ages 6-11; children under age 6 are free with adult ticket.
Just entering this museum is a delight. The structure extends out over Charleston Harbor, and as guests draw near the entrance, they enter beneath a beautiful stained glass wall. Entering the Great Hall, the centerpiece is the breathtaking Carolina Seas Exhibit. Spend the day walking through a mountain ravine, exploring the rivers of the Piedmont region, visiting with swamp dwellers, and marveling at the 300,000-gallon Great Ocean Exhibit.
Built by George Walton Williams, a native businessman and humanitarian,
who wanted to revive Charleston while Union soldiers occupied the city in 1876, is now a museum and private residence. Spread over 24,000 square feet (2,229 square meters), with ...
As seen on The Travel Channel's "America's Most Haunted Places,"
Bulldog Tours offers exclusive night time access to a Pre Revolutionary Dungeon, the Old City Jail, and one of Charleston's oldest graveyards. Tours offered are Charleston Ghost & Graveyard, ...
Charleston is steeped in history and tradition and The Preservation
Society of Charleston works at preserving the historic monuments by organizing fund raiser programs. One of the organizations major events is the Annual Fall Tours of Homes and Gardens. ...