I have a new friend who’s in Charleston for a month for work, and she asked me today what she should see and do while she’s here. So I tried to remember back to when I lived down here before, and where I would take visitors who had never been to this wonderful place. In doing so I remembered the magic of discovering some of these things myself, and it made me want to share them.
1) The Battery. One of my favorite places in the world. The Battery is located at the southernmost tip of the Charleston Peninsula. If you’ve ever seen a picture of Charleston, it was probably of the Battery. Incredible architecture, beautiful old oak trees, and an amazing view of historic Fort Sumter.
2) Speaking of Fort Sumter, one of my favorite touristy things to do is to take the harbor tour out to Fort Sumter. A great boat ride, and then you can wander around the fort where the Civil War began in earnest.
3) Horse and carriage ride. The tour guides are terrific, and it’s really the only way to see some of the old parts of the city other than walking.
4) Food. Lord, does Charleston have some great restaurants. Magnolias, Husk, etc etc.
5) St Michael’s Episcopal Church. Charleston’s oldest church was built in 1764. It’s beautiful, and the cemetery has graves dating from the Revolutionary War. I’m a sucker for cemeteries.
6) Old City Market. Lots of history, great shops, and restaurants. What’s not to love?
7) Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge. This is a new one for me – the bridge wasn’t built when I lived here before. Park and walk across for some incredible views, or just drive over it into Mt. Pleasant, my stomping grounds.
8) While you’re on that side of the bridge, go on through Mt P to the Isle of Palms. Great beach, and some adorable shops. I’m lucky enough to live 5 minutes from there.
9) Or stay in Mt P and go to Shem Creek to eat on the water or go kayaking.
10) If you still have time and energy, take in one of the many historic houses open to the public or tour a plantation just a short drive away. Just a few: Middleton Place, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Boone Hall Plantation, Drayton Hall, Edmondston-Alston House, Heyward-Washington House, Joseph Manigault House, Aiken-Rhett House, Nathaniel Russell House.
www.charlestoncvb.com has lots more information on things to do in Charleston, but these are my faves. See y’all down here.