The Historic Downtown District has stood throughout Charleston’s history as the cultural capital of the South and is considered by many to be a living museum, with a wonderful variety of things to do and see. In this beautifully preserved city you can experience tours through historic landmarks, including 18th century homes and plantations, the Battery, museums, churches and the city market. The number of historic sites in Charleston South Carolina is astonishing. Charleston also boasts numerous art galleries that display the city’s impressive appreciation for the visual arts. In addition, there are many historic Charleston South Carolina accommodations to choose from when planning your visit. Charleston maintains all the ingredients necessary for a great vacation!
The Holy City
Known as the Holy City, Charleston houses a variety of churches scattered throughout the historic city, and the multitude of churches gives way to a sense of religious diversity. Numerous steeples poke out among the buildings in Charleston's cityscape, and the history encompassed in these numerous churches dates back to the birth of America. Tours are offered to view these historical and architectural masterpieces, and a blend of history and beauty combine to make this an exciting way to take a trip into Charleston's eclectic past.
Make Your Trip Worthwhile
Whether your experience is by foot or by carriage, by land or by sea, all that Charleston has to offer will provide endless entertainment for the whole family. The streets of Downtown Charleston are paved with cobblestone and are used by horse-drawn carriages and people alike. A tour of Charleston in one of these carriages will take you back to the days of old, and it's the perfect way to experience the vibrant history of the city from the comfort of your carriage seat. Boat tours and dinner cruises are also offered so that visitors can enjoy the liveliness that is Charleston from a different perspective.
Recreational activities are also available to cater to the needs of even the most enthusiastic outdoorsy type. Visitors can indulge in everything from kayaking and canoeing to fishing and golfing, and beach bums can bask in the sun's rays at local beaches where shell collecting, swimming, snorkeling and wind surfing are among the favorite activities.
Must See Attractions
The South Carolina Aquarium on Charleston Harbor
The aquarium boasts about being the most visited attraction in Charleston, and with good cause. From stingrays, sharks and otters to turtles and snakes, the aquarium offers exhibits of all kinds that allow for visitors to get a sneak peak into the habitats that make up South Carolina's wildlife population.
This iconic location was where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, and it is an absolute must see! On April 12, 1861, Confederate soldiers opened fire on the fort for 34 hours straight, and the shots ultimately ended with the Union surrender and evacuation. The fort is located on Sullivan's Island in Charleston Harbor, and it attests to the historic significance of the city itself.
Historic Charleston City Market
The market is a favorite for locals as well as visitors of Charleston. Individual vendors sell their products in open-aired buildings, and the whole aura of the market is centered around a very historic feel. It is open 365 days a year, allowing for a wonderful shopping experience no matter what the season.
The French Quarter
This distinct part of Downtown Charleston is characterized by cobbled streets and gas lit alleys. The French Quarter is actually located within the original city walls which date back to the colonial era, and it emanates the true historic feel of Charleston. It is also home to hundreds of works of art by various local and national artists. Art tours are given sporadically throughout the duration of the year.
This authentic location is divided into three areas that include the Design District, the Fashion District and the Antique District. Everything you need for a day out in Charleston can be found in this popular area, and various bars and restaurants are sprinkled throughout King Street to provide refreshment for the avid shopper.