Charleston, South Carolina
Going to visit Charleston, SC is an adventure. The city was founded in 1670 and is the oldest city in South Carolina. The city is home to many historical buildings and sites. Pirates lived in and around Battery Park, which is a water front park today. It is home to cannons that were used in the War of 1812. All around the park you can see the architecture of homes which were constructed in the 1800’s. Every senior will enjoy a walk around the park and will admire the flowers, trees, homes, and of course, the cannons.
It is rumored that Blackbeard the Pirate blockaded the Charleston Harbor. Many sightseers claim that they have encountered his spirit wandering around Battery Park on stormy nights. You may confront him and other ghosts during Ghost Tours in old Charleston. The old slave market at 6 Chalmers Street certainly has more than a few.
The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, erected in 1771, is on East Bay Street. Because it was the center of economic, social and cultural activities in Charleston, politics played a large role in its history. In 1774 delegates to the First Continental Congress were elected there. The constitution was presented to the citizens of the area in that building. On its steps, slaves were bought and sold and the dungeon of the building was used as a prison. Today the Daughters of the American Revolution own the historic site and it is open daily for tours.
There are many other types of tours available in Charleston. Fishing Charters are available as well as walking tours, history tours, plantation tours, private tours and brewery tours. Not to be forgotten are the food tours and the ghost tours. You can walk in one of the oldest graveyards in Charleston or go into the Old City Jail or perhaps join the Ghost and Dungeon Walking Tour.
Sites to See
The city is steeped in history and should not be missed. There are an abundance of historical places to see as well as just general sightseeing. Walk along the water or take a ferry to tour Fort Sumter. The fort is considered to be where the Civil War began and it was the bloodiest war in the United States. The fort was almost destroyed in 1861. The Battery and the Waterfront Park are always open. Pineapple Fountain is a focal point of the Waterfront Park.
Ft. Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island is part of the National Park Service and is accessible by car. Angel Oak is located on John’s Island and is a must see. Conservatively, it is thought to be at least 500 years old but it may be up to 1500 years old. The French Quarter contains various Art Galleries as well as the Doc Street Theater which opened in 1736. It was the first building constructed as an actual theater in the United States.
Most citizens of the United States believe that the Civil War was fought over slavery. This is not the entire truth. “The war was fought over state’s rights and the limits of federal power in a union of states.” The truth is not always what you think it is. The South had more slaves than the North yet they were possessed by a relatively few number of individuals. Most Southerns did not have slaves and the war was not fought for the few who did. South Carolina was suited for rice plantations and as a result many landowners did have a large population of slaves. Since rice was a very profitable crop, the owners became very wealthy and thus could afford many slaves. However, slavery is a blight on the history of the United States.
Senior travel to Charleston is easy, especially if you live within driving distance. For a short visit, that is the easiest way to get there.
On the way to visit Charleston, stop at St. John’s Island and visit the Angle Oak Tree.
Eat on the Island at one of its excellent restaurants:
- Angel Oak Restaurant
- Fat Hen
- Gilligan’s Steamer and Raw Bar
- JB’s Smokeshack
- Maria’s Mexican Grill
- Stono Market and the Tomato Shed Cafe
- Sunrise Bistro
- Sweeney’s Restaurant
- The Southern General
- Wild Olive
Drive into Charleston and stay on the waterfront. A few choices are:
- The Battery Carriage House
- Two Meeting Street Inn
- Zero Water Street Bed and Breakfast
- B & B East Battery
- Thomas Lamboll House B&B
Walk over to the ferry that will take you to visit Fort Sumter. The park is free but the Ferry ride will cost. Tour Fort Sumter and then return for lunch along the battery.
Hop on one of the tours of Charleston to see the town. Horse drawn carriage tours are available. Admire the old homes that boast secret gated gardens. Visit historical Charleston and by dinner time you will be ready for a delicious meal in town. Make time to to walk in the park. Sundown over the Battery is perfect.
Your get-a-way will be over before you know it. Say goodbye to Charleston, knowing that you have not even scratched the surface of this historical town. You can come back.
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