Ft. Sumter was the scene of the opening engagement of the Civil War. (Photos above.) After Sherman forced the evacuation of Charleston, the U.S. flag was again raised over the fort on on Apr. 14, 1865. Fort Sumter became a national monument in 1948.
Shopping in Charleston
Be sure to visit the City Market in the heart of the Historic District. Here's where you'll find the famous handmade Sweetgrass Baskets (sewn with long leaf pine needles and strips of palmetto leaf) as well as a multitude of crafts, souvenirs, jewelry, art, etc. on display inside the covered Market area. You'll also find many small specialty shops and restaurants. Charleston Place is located on the first floor of the Charleston Hotel in the Historic District. If you like shopping in style, then the Shops at Charleston Place are for you! Even if you buy nothing in the many boutique shops, you'll love the polished marble floors, columns, grand staircases and mammoth chandelier. There's something here for everyone including your most discriminating Aunt Tillie!
You may wish to visit the Islands of Charleston. Kiawah, Isle of Palms, Seabrook, James Island and Johns Island are all an easy drive from Charleston.
The art of basket weaving was introduced to the Lowcountry in the 17th Century. Today, Sweet Grass basket making is centered in the Mt. Pleasant community. Basket stands along Hwy 17 North allow basket makers to compete with retail markets, establish a direct contact between themselves and their patrons and develop new shapes from traditional baskets forms and ordinary objects. Basket makers living east of the Cooper River can also be found downtown Charleston, along Market, Broad, and Meeting Streets. Charleston also has a lot of beautiful fountains to see while you're visiting Charleston!
Charleston in 2013 has so many things to do! Stop by the Visitors' Bureau first (linked under Historic Charleston Local Information) to learn what yours of Charleston are available to you, or just start walking. We've discovered that one one of the best ways to get acquainted with Charleston is on foot. It's not only good for your mind, it's good for your body. You can plot your own course with a map and a guide book. This is the best way to learn about the Confederate Homes and how the Civil War affected Charleston.
You could also join a guide and enjoy the Charleston Walks. Plan on about 3.5 miles to cover the Historic District. It's not strenuous, and you will be stopping often to view the many Charleston monuments, homes, historical markers, etc.
Another option for walking is Free Tours by Foot. They provide a platform for licensed, professional, freelance tour guides to lead tours at no upfront cost, so that you may enjoy a quality sightseeing experience no matter what your budget. Everyone should be permitted to take a guided tour for a price they feel it was worth - even free!
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Charleston's Museum Mile is located along Meeting Street and runs from the Charleston Visitor Center to the Nathaniel Russell House. The Mile is easy to navigate on foot and with public transportation. You can use the DASH trolleys and CARTA buses to traverse the downtown area, travel to various sites and link with tourist buses at the Visitor Center. .
Take a Carriage Tour through Historic Charleston and the Battery, or hop on the Gray Line!
Palmetto Carriage Tour - Charleston discount coupons on the web site
Old South Carriage Company - Charleston discount coupons on the web site
The Gray Line of Charleston offers a choice of guided mini-bus tours of the historic, charming city of Charleston, designed to give you a fun and informative look into the city and it's well-preserved past.
Click here to Take a short trip to Folly Beach!
Tour some of Historic Charleston's best things to do:
|South Carolina Aquarium at Charleston
||Historic Charleston Foundation
|Visit Fort Sumter and take a Harbor Tour
|HL Hunley (limited dates/times)
||Spoleto Festival (dates on website)|
|Middleton Place||Magnolia Plantation|
Charleston's Best Restaurants:
You will not run out of good restaurants, no matter how many times you visit Charleston.
Here are some of our favorite restaurants, the ones we njoy the most, in no particular order.
(Be sure to check the link above for Charleston discount coupons)
|Charleston Crab House - Wonderful Southern Seafood
||Tommy Condon's Restaurant and Pub - Historic Downtown
|Peninsula Grill - Historic Downtown Area
||Bubba Gump - Historic Charleston Downtown Area
|East Bay Crab Shack - Historic Downtown Area
||Wild Olive - John's Island|
|Pavilion Bar & Grill - Rooftop dining in Charleston!
||Circa 1886 - 149 Wentworth St. Charleston
|FIG - 232 Meeting Street, Downtown Charleston Area
||Slightly North of Broad - Voted Best of the Year!
|Hank's Seafood Restaurant - corner Hayne and Church
||Cypress Lowcountry Grille - 185 E, Bay Street
|Hominy Grill - 207 Rutledge Ave. Charleston||Caviar & Bananas - 51 George St. Charleston, SC|
|Cru Cafe - 18 Pinkney St. Charleston||Poogan's Porch - 72 Queen St. Charleston, SC|
|Hyman's Seafood - 215 Meeting St. Charleston||Coast - 39-D John St. Charleston, SC|
|Boathouse at Beach Inlet - 101 Palm Blvd. Isle of Palms||Fish - 422 King St. Charleston, SC|
St. Philip's Episcopal Church is an Historic Charleston Episcopal church. It is a National Historic Landmark, built in 1836. Between 1860 and 1865, St. Philip's steeple was targeted for shelling by the invading Union Army. One shell exploded in the churchyard during a Sunday service.
St. Michael's Church was built in 1751, and is the oldest church in Charleston today. It towers above other historic buildings along Broad Street in Charleston. George Washington once worshipped in this church and General Robert E. Lee worshipped in the same pew. .
The two black bolts that you pictured on the house to the left are earthquake bolts. Charleston suffered two major hurricanes in 1885 and an earthquake in 1886. During repairs, workmen inserted long iron rods through the houses and tightened them with bolts against the outside surfaces to bring the buildings back into alignment. The houses above are part of Charleston's famous Rainbow Row. Rainbow Row is the name for a series of colorful historic houses in Charleston, South Carolina. The houses are located north of Tradd St. and south of Elliot St. on East Bay Street. It is referred to as Rainbow Row for the pastel colors used to paint all of the houses. It is a common tourist attraction and is one of the most photographed parts of Charleston.
Below, left to right row 1: Marble staircase in Charleston. Daughters of the Confederacy, St. Philip's Episcopal Church, Bubba Gumps in Charleston for lunch with my sister-in-law, Granddaughter.
Below, left to right row 2: Charleston's Public fountains are free and open all summer long, Cobblestone Street, Historic Charleston harbor, Paula and Wally looking at bark on a Crepe Myrtle
Below, left to right row 3: Be sure to visit some of Charleston's historic cemeteries! Wally at the Charleston Aquarium of South Carolina, Ancient moss-covered oaks near the Battery.
Islands surrounding Charleston
New 2013 Photo Gallery!
We often stop at Seewee before returning home to Myrtle Beach. Great prices and good seafood! Click the link above to learn more.