A destination unlike any other--Historic Charleston is located on the southern coast of South Carolina. Its rich history began in the 1600's as an early English settlement. Over the next few centuries, Charleston became one of the most important cities on the east coast, playing a major role in the Civil War as one of the South's main ports. Luckily, Charleston was the first city in the U.S. to pass a historical preservation ordinance, so all of the beautiful colonial architecture remains. Charleston is full of American history and has a reputation for outstanding accommodations, entertainment, and cuisine. It is also a great city to walk, and many find this to be a great way to see everything the city has to offer. Beautiful homes, churches and public buildings line the city's tree-lined streets. So after you dock your boat, walk into town to explore everything this city has to offer.
Things to See and Do
Shopping in Charleston is also diverse and exciting. Do not miss the quaint antique shops along King Street, and browse for hand-made sweetgrass baskets and other crafts in Charleston's Historic District and famous Old City Market. Charleston also offers name-brand stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Gucci as well as specialty stores like Ben Silver and Croghanís Jewel Box. The entire city is full of interesting and unusual specialty shops.
The Citadel Archives and Museum- Located on The Citadel campus, home to the historic Lords of Discipline, this museum covers the history of The Military College of South Carolina and Corps of Cadets from its founding in 1842 to present day. Presented in chronological order, the exhibits include photographs, documents, cadet uniforms and arms. Citadel rings from 1895 to the present make an impressive display in the foyer, accompanied by photographs of Citadel men who lost their lives in war. Archive documents include letters, diaries, reports, photographs, films and videotapes. Admission is free. (171 Moultrie Street; tel: 843 953 6846)
The Historic Homes Tour- Charleston is known for its amazing architecture that blends an early American influence with more than a little English style. Many of these well-preserved homes date back to the mid-eighteenth century. As you walk 1.5 miles down Charleston's avenues, your guide will regale you with stories of the people and events that helped give these historic structures their unique character. Adult tickets are $25; tickets for children ages 7-14 are $20. Save $1.50 if you order online.( 58 1/2 Broad Street, tel: 1 800 729 3420 www.charlestonwalks.com)
South Carolina Aquarium- Just entering this museum is a delight; the structure itself extends out over Charleston Harbor and as guests draw near the entrance, they enter beneath a beautiful stained glass wall. Entering the Great Hall, the centerpiece is the breathtaking Carolina Seas Exhibit. Spend the day walking through a mountain ravine, exploring the rivers of the Piedmont region, visiting with swamp dwellers and marveling at the 300,000-gallon Great Ocean Exhibit. (100 Aquarium Wharf; tel: 843 720 1990 /800 722 6455 www.scaquarium.org)
For really great golf visit the golf courses of Kiawah Island. At Kiawah Island Golf Resort, golfers can sample the works of five masters of modern golf course architecture without leaving the island. In fact, Kiawah Island Golf Resort is the only resort in the country that has three courses ranked on Golf Digest's list of "America's Top 75 Resort Courses," and Conde Nast Traveler recently listed the Resort among the top "50 Golf Resorts Worldwide." (12 Kiawah Beach, Kiawah Island, tel: 843-768-2121,800-576-1570; www.kiawahgolf.com)
For more information visit www.charlestonCVB.com
Restaurants and Provisions
Charleston offers an amazing variety of restaurants ranging from southern-style low country cooking to five-star French and everything in between!
Dine amidst historic charm and traditional Charleston decor at Anson. Located at Old City Market, this southern eatery is graced with understated elegance: lovely floral wallpaper, topiaries, lots of windows and a full, wood-paneled bar. The decor is complemented by the hospitality, as Anson prides itself with offering attentive professional service with a friendly Southern flair. Try the Charleston Bouillabaisse, fragrant and fairly teeming with local seafood. For $3.95, you can take home a sack of Anson's signature grits. But, like a really good hairdo, they're hard to duplicate at home. (12 Anson Street, tel: 843 577 0551; www.ansonrestaurant.com)
This very modern and elegant restaurant has been a favorite of both locals and visitors for years. The friendly staff serves up sophisticated and sumptuous Southern dishes and desserts that are far too good to pass up. There's a vibrant bar scene here, so plan on coming early and, perhaps, staying late. (185 E Bay Street, tel: 843-577-7771; www.magnolias-blossom-cypress.com)
Slightly North of Broad
In a 19th century brick warehouse located just north of historic Broad Street, you'll taste what the Maverick brand of southern cooking is all about. Award-winning executive chef Frank Lee starts with the Carolina Lowcountry's rich resources, then adds his own blend of flavors from Charleston's multicultural heritage. Our open kitchen brings this whole process within view, making the sights, sounds and scents a tantalizing part of your dining experience. We specialize in seafood, game, vegetarian dishes and other regional favorites - plus wines from acclaimed domestic and international producers. (192 East Bay Street; tel: 843-723-3424 www.mavericksouthernkitchens.com)