Traveling, not just overseas but in general, can sometimes be life-changing. Charleston South Carolina was that for me. This beautiful city has something for everyone and totally stole my heart the first time we visited. So much so that it will be the place we will finally call home after my husband leaves the military.
The Pineapple Fountain at Charleston's Waterfront Park
Founded in 1670, Charleston is known for its stunning pastel antebellum homes, historic downtown with cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, architecture, amazing restaurants, a beautiful waterfront, and friendly people.
Walk Down Rainbow Row
Have your camera ready to snap photos of these 13 pastel-colored Georgian homes. Rainbow Row is located on East Bay Street (running from 83 to 107 East Bay Street). It’s one of my favorite places in Charleston. These homes are absolutely beautiful!
Charleston City Market
Visit one of the nation’s oldest public markets in downtown Charleston. It’s open every day of the year except Christmas Day. Local vendors line the market with handmade items – with everything from Charleston’s famous sweetgrass baskets, paintings, sculptures, soaps, jewelry, souvenirs, and more. It’s definitely worth a visit.
Experience all the beauty of antebellum mansions and the history of downtown, and learn about “The Holy City” on one of Charleston’s famous horse-drawn carriage rides. Please keep in mind that there is no way to choose a preferred route in advance! Charleston only allows a certain number of carriages on the streets at one time and has divided the city into three zones to help reduce traffic problems. The tour guides are given a route through a random lottery system. Picture by Ellis Creek Photography
Just outside of downtown Charleston there are numerous plantations including Boone Hall (featured in the movies The Notebook and Forrest Gump), Magnolia Plantations & Gardens, Middleton Place, and Drayton Hall. Each of Charleston’s plantations offers different experiences. Most offer tours of the historic home, the grounds, a garden tour, and a tour of the former slave quarters.
Visit Fort Sumter
Take a self-guided tour of Fort Sumter National Historic Park in Charleston Harbor, and learn about the history of where the Civil War began. Your ticket includes a short ferry ride out to the Fort and around Charleston harbor with amazing views of the city.
A Day at the Beach
Spend a beach day at Folly Island (approx. 13 miles from downtown) or Sullivan’s Island (approx. 10 miles from downtown). Take a drive out to Folly Beach or Sullivan’s Island Beach and spend the day enjoying the beautiful pristine beaches, award-winning restaurants, and enjoying the local seafood! If you go to Sullivan’s Island be sure to make a visit to Fort Moultrie, for not only its history but also for the beautiful views of Charleston Harbor.
When to Visit
Summer in Charleston is very hot, and humid which can make it unpleasant to be outside for too long. The most popular times to visit are the spring and fall.