By land, by sea, by foot or horse you'll never be at a loss for something to see, do or learn about in Charleston. With her lengthy and diverse history, dating back to the birth of America, Charleston claims a spicy past and is not afraid to share her secrets. Tour the sites where some of our forefathers planned to declare independence from England and view other sites where South Carolina participated in the war that followed that declaration and fought to win that independence. Antebellum plantation tours at Drayton Hall and Magnolia Plantation, Middleton Place, Hampton Plantation, The Charleston Tea Plantation or Boone Hall, (a plantation still in operation today) give a glimpse into the lives of the captains of rice, cotton and tobacco industries and the privileged lives of their families as well as the country's contrasting inglorious period of slavery.
Travel through wartime and history to scrutinize the actual historical forts and war-sites as the time of slavery came to its end with the Civil War. Visit Fort Sumter and come forward all the way to WWII when you step on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Yorktown at Patriots Point Road where the Naval & Maritime Museum is located. Inspect objects, machinery and planes from all the modern military engagements.
Ride the horse-drawn carriage and view the homes that still stand after enduring over two centuries and several natural disasters. Grab a map and walk the streets to count the steeples on a church tour in the Holy City. Grasp the handle of your ghost tour lantern as the sun sets, and you embark on a nighttime tour of places purported to spark some ghostly entities. Walk the French Quarter and get your fill of art galleries with a Charleston Art Tour, or see plein air artists create art right in front of your eyes. Be sure to check out the latest exhibit at the Gibbes Museum. If you have an interest in something, art, architecture, history, or practically anything that Charleston has to offer, you'll likely be able to take a tour and learn more.
Shop the renowned King Street design district, and antique district. Or suit your taste for adventure and shop the Charleston City Market to gain a bit of history, local culture and a souvenir. Imagine the same market in operation some 200 years ago and come to learn why it is one of Charleston's must see attraction.
Tour the waters and meet some smiling dolphins on your way to the Gullah Islands. There are plenty of ocean faring tours to see Charleston from the perspective of the sea captains of old. Not only are there sites to be seen from the boat's eye view, such as certain forts and island retreats, but also there are beaches galore as well, for those who prefer to be outdoors and in the salt air. Shell collecting, swimming, snorkeling and wind surfing are all favorite pastimes for both resident and visiting beach bums. View exotic fish up close at the Charleston Aquarium. Or combine a boat tour with romance, dolphin seeking, wine and dinner on a Charleston dinner cruise offered by Spiritline Cruise.
Though there are tours aplenty, there is much else to do while in Charleston. Wine and food paring is quite a popular experience. You can reserve an opportunity to have a professional walk you through how to taste and what to look for in a good wine and sample wines from all over the world. Visit Charleston's own vineyard offering a wine produced with the locally grown muscadine grape for a bit of local taste. Or perhaps visit one of our local microbreweries if beer is your preferred vacation beverage.
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