History buffs will revel in the long, fascinating history of Charleston and its place in the evolution of America. Charleston was an important port community before the birth of our nation, and the settlers there played a key role in the American Revolution. Later, the Civil War ignited at Fort Sumter, right at Charleston’s doorstep. Major events such as these, along with a robust slave market, contributed to the storied past of this great southern city. Perhaps the most impressive thing about downtown Charleston is that most of the architecture, buildings, roads, alleyways, and the famous battery have remained largely unchanged. Hundreds of houses still stand that were built well over 300 years ago. Strolling through the streets, you can sense the age of the cobblestone under your feet, old churches with amazing marble and ironwork, and majestic houses with ivy covered courtyard walls and old carriage steps outside the front doors. It’s easy to imagine how Charleston was 200 years ago because it has been left preserved as a testament to colonial and 19th century American life.
Where the old slave market was held, there is now a museum in its place. The Charleston Museum is nearby, offering a glimpse into the region’s past. Shoppers delight in a big open-air market with vendors selling authentic local goods like sweetgrass baskets and unique jewelry. After browsing the market, take an informative ride with one of the many carriage tours. A qualified tour guide explains the origins and history of some prime downtown sights such as Rainbow Row and Battery Park. You can also take a boat tour in Charleston’s harbor, getting front row seats to Fort Sumter and other interesting sites. The USS Yorktown is also open for tours. This full size American aircraft carrier is so big, you could spend all day in it and still not see it all! For lunch, stop by any of the one-of-a-kind pubs and restaurants in the area; they each offer a taste of South Carolina’s delicious fare with southern charm.
Finding Charleston is easy. Just take Highway 17 south from North Myrtle Beach and you’ll be there in about 2 hours. Remember to leave yourself plenty of time, and enjoy the southern landscape along the way. If you need any help planning your trip to this beloved city, just ask an Ocean Drive Beach Rentals staff member. We’re here to help you get the most out of your South Carolina vacation!
By Brandon Moss of Ocean Drive Beach Rentals