We live in the Charleston, SC area. A once quiet, little Southern Coastal City which has been discovered. Not only discovered but actually rated Number One on many travel lists. We not only live here but we like nothing more than to play tourist in our own backyard. Given that, I thought I’d write an overview of what I love about where I call home. Unfortunately, I realized that it’s too much for one article!
Home is where the heart is and when we moved back east and were looking for a place to call home in 1991 we considered everywhere along the southeast coast. Mike’s son was in Maryland, my father was in North Carolina and my mother-in-law was in Hilton Head, so we wanted to be within driving distance of any and all ofthem. We looked from Annapolis to West Palm Beach, and then we decided to go to Charleston for a weekend. We stayed downtown on Meeting Street near Market. We walked around and within hours decided this is exactly where we needed be.
A lot has changed since the fall of 1991 but many of the same favorite things to see and do remain. I love the long wide beaches that in off-season and low tides you can walk or ride your bike for miles. The tidal pools that now bring such delight to our granddaughter, are fun to wade in year-round. And the pet friendly restaurants on Sullivan’s Island - though there are many more now - are equally inviting.
History is everywhere, and though most famous for the cannon shot that started the Civil War, Charleston's importance to our nation's original fight for freedom is more than evident. Old Charles Towne dates back to 1670. There is now a lovely park with walking and biking trails, which include a replica of the original settlement, beautiful walking paths and a small animal park.
Sullivan’s Island is home to Fort Moultrie, which was built in 1776 to protect Charleston from the British. Constructed of Palmetto logs, that the British were horrified to discover their cannon balls could not penetrate, Fort Moultrie was the scene of the Americans' first victory in the Revolutionary War. With it's location at the entrance to Charleston Harbor, the fort remained active through World War II. Today it offers one of the best views in all of Charleston, as well as beach access.
One of the great things about Historic Charleston that we never tire of is walking down the small streets and stopping to read the signs on the homes. One of our favorite small streets to walk is Church Street. We start at the White Point Gardens on the Battery and walk up Church Street to the Market, past great old homes, the oldest theater (Dock Street Theater) and several historic churches. You can do a self-guided tour or sign up for a number of guided tours – walking tours, carriage rides, bus or evening ghost tours.
There are a number of beautiful old plantations. We have been to them all but need to go back to some as it has just been too long. Boone Hall is the closest to us, just across the street from our sub-division, it is still a working farm and a favorite spot for events and weddings. The Avenue of Oaks transports you to a scene out of Forrest Gump or Gone with the Wind. The house is not the original but some of the slave quarters are, and if you go, you need to be sure you don’t miss the Gullah presentation by Jacki Michaels, it is worth the price of admission.