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Exploring Historic Charleston

Charleston was established in 1670 by eight private investors, known as the Lords Proprietors, who were loyal to King Charles II. It was the crown jewel of the Carolina Colonies, which extended from Florida to Virginia, and was the wealthiest British city in North America. The city was set up into burroughs with the street names conveying their earliest meanings. For example, King Street was the Old Kings Highway; Meeting Street was where the old meeting houses were located; and Water Street was part of the harbor until government projects filled in the land. The lists go on.

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at a glance

  • Distinct architecture
  • Charming gardens & squares
  • Excellent shopping
  • World-renowned restaurants
  • White sand beaches
  • Centuries-old streets & homes

Our Favorite Nearby Attractions

Fort Sumter from the water

Fort Sumter

Charleston Harbor

Dubbed the “birthplace of the Civil War,” Fort Sumter is located in Charleston Harbor and is accessible by concession-operated ferry or personal boat.
Open daily, hours vary by season

Magnolia Plantations Gardens white bridge

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

3550 Ashley River Road

Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, the 390-acre Magnolia Plantation on Charleston’s Ashley River features the oldest public gardens in America.
Open daily, hours vary

City Market

Charleston City Market

188 Meeting Street

The cultural heart of Charleston, the Historic City Market spans four city blocks and features hundreds of artisans, galleries and shops. Don’t miss the city’s quintessential sweetgrass baskets.
Open daily, 9:30 am - 6:00 pm (Night Market Fri & Sat, 6:30 - 10:30 pm)

Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park

Cooper Riverfront, Charleston

Spanning 12 acres along a half-mile of the Cooper River, this popular Charleston park is dotted with picturesque walkways and foundations.

Drayton hall

Drayton Hall

3380 Ashley River Rd.

Step back in time at the beautifully preserved Drayton Hall, an 18th century antebellum plantation on the Ashley River just 15 miles north of Charleston.
Open daily, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (11:00 am on Sundays)

walkway with canopy trees

Boone Hall

1235 Long Point Rd., Mt. Pleasant

Beloved for its moss-draped Avenue of the Oaks, this scenic 1681 working plantation features historic structures including original slave cabins.
Open daily, hours vary

Large aquarium tank

South Carolina Aquarium

100 Aquarium Wharf

Come face-to-fin with more than 5,000 animals, including stingrays, sharks and alligators. The Sea Turtle Hospital is a must-see.
Open daily, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Patriots Martime Museum ship

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum

40 Patriots Point Rd.

Follow in the steps of naval heroes at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, home of the USS Yorktown.
Open daily, 9:00 am - 6:30 pm (earlier on holidays)

Sullivans Island beach

Sullivan's Island

Located just a few minutes from downtown Charleston, Sullivan's Island draws locals and visitors to its wide beaches and array of dining, shopping and on-the-water-recreation.

Schooner boat on the water at sunset

Schooner Pride

360 Concord St.

Replicating an 18th century coastal trading schooner, Charleston's only 3-mast tall ship offers daily dolphin sail and sunset sail excursions.
Open daily

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