My family and I spent a week in Charleston and it is a wonderful city full of beautiful architecture and history, great food, lovely places to walk and shop and so many family-friendly things to do. I really can’t say enough about this city!
Downtown Charleston is full of wonderfully restored architecture and these homes have an amazing view of the harbor! Strolling along the boardwalk, enjoying the fountains, and catching a view of dolphins swimming is a great way to spend some time. Walk all the way down from Waterfront Park to White Point Gardens and you’ll see views of Fort Sumpter and the lovely row of preserved historic homes. We also walked through the neighborhoods and enjoyed discovering gated courtyards and Rainbow Row, pastel-painted Georgian-style row houses. You can also take a ferry to Fort Sumpter (where the Civil War began) and within walking distance is the very well done South Carolina Aquarium with numerous interactive exhibits that my kids loved.
We also enjoyed shopping King and Market Streets and followed it down to the historic City Market, another example of Greek Revival-style architecture that is throughout the city.
We stayed out on the Isle of Palms and it was only 20 minutes into the city, but felt like a world away. The beaches were so quiet and beautiful and we loved relaxing on the sandy beach and walking and seeing wildlife when the tide went out.
To add to the world away feeling - we loved eating at Coconut Joe’s or Banana Cabana. A little further away was Red’s Ice House on Shem Creek. All three places had great seafood, but we loved hanging out on Red’s patio so much that we went there twice!
Just before crossing the beautifully designed Cooper River bridge you can visit Patriot’s Point and tour the USS Yorktown. It really is a great museum and quite a feeling to walk the deck of the famous aircraft carrier and see a destroyer and submarine all in one day.
A little further afield, but so worth the drive, was the Magnolia Plantation which had spectacular grounds to tour and plenty of wildlife to see, including an alligator tour that was so fun with our kids. Since we were already outside of the city, we drove south from there to John’s Island to see the Angel Oak. This spectacular live oak is 28 feet in circumference and some believe it is over 1500 years old. We were in awe and felt very small.
This trip was such a great mix of relaxing beach time, plenty of wildlife and natural attractions, wonderful historic architecture, great tours and museums and plenty of shopping and excellent food. This really is one destination that has something for everyone!