1. The Pineapple Fountain
The first thing we did when we got to Charleston was to visit the famous Pineapple Fountain! Since the fountain opened in 1990 after Hurricane Hugo violently swept through the city, the fountain has come to be an iconic landmark. It is located in the beautiful waterfront park. My boyfriend and I went for a stroll at sunset along the water before getting dinner. It was very romantic. As we walked through the city on our way to dinner, he turned to me and asked “why are there so many pineapples everywhere?” Well, Pineapples are a sign of Southern Hospitality and are popular motifs in the southeast….my boyfriend is a Yankee…
2. Fort Sumter
In case you couldn’t tell by all the content on this blog, I love history. Fort Sumter is such an important place for American History because after decades of growing strife between the North and the South the civil war erupted at this spot-on April 12, 1861. Confederate artillery opened fire on this Federal fort in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later. Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back.
There is a lovely boat ride out to the island where they let you off and explore the fort for about an hour, which is not long enough in my opinion. I like to stop and read EVERYTHING. I could have spent a whole day there. But I really enjoyed the time I had there, exploring this incredibly significant place in American History….My boyfriend and I were the last ones in the fort. A very nice park ranger walked us out to make sure we didn’t miss our boat.
3. Boone Hall Plantation
I don’t think I can say enough about Boone Hall Plantation. It was absolutely amazing and covered every area of history over several hundred years. My favorite part of the tour was the live presentation called “Exploring The Gullah Culture”, where this amazing women talked about her unique culture that came from African slaves who were brought to that area of coastal South Carolina. There is also a Black History in America Exhibit that is on display in eight original slave cabins year-round. It’s a time line from Slavery to Obamas inauguration. It is also very well done.
Of course, there is a house tour. They only let you see the downstairs of the house what was built in 1936, but furnished with antiques from the 1800’s. They don’t allow photos inside but the library is to die for!
The gardens and grounds are so beautiful. The 200 year old oak trees covered in moss that line the way up to the house are absolutely amazing and awe inspiring.
4. The South Carolina Aquarium
The reason my boyfriend and I were in Charleston in the first place, was because my sorority was holding our formal at the Aquarium. We rented out the place for the night and had an amazing time! Lots of really cool fish and a good place to dance.
5. The Powder Magazine Museum
Completed in 1713, The Powder Magazine is the oldest surviving public building in the former Province of Carolina. It was used as a gunpowder store through the American Revolutionary War. It’s a little on the small side for a museum, but it has a lot of interesting exhibits, and clothes you can try on!
6. A Carriage Ride
We took a carriage ride, and it was a really good way to get an overview of the city. Our tour guide was funny, knowledgeable, and I learned a lot. Apparently, there are cannonballs EVERYWHERE! It seems like every time someone does construction they find more cannonballs, because Charleston just took that much shelling during the American Civil War. The only thing I didn’t like is that you’re not guaranteed a route, so you don’t know what you’re going to see until you’re already on the carriage, but it’s Charleston so you’re going to see something interesting regardless of where you’re assigned to go.
7. The Charleston City Market
The Charleston City Market is a place where venders have come to sell their wears for over 200 years! It’s full of amazing artists and creations that you can only find in Charleston. It’s definitely worth walking through.
8. Churches of the Holy City
Charleston is also known as the Holy City because of the vast amount of church’s that send steeples into the skyline. All of these churches are so unique and beautiful. There are also some really fascinating graveyards. My boyfriend and I just happened upon the Unitarian Church graveyard and it was a really cool experience. Some of the churches here are…
The Unitarian Church
St. John Lutheran Church
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
St. Philips Episcopal Church
9. The Food
We ate so many oysters while in Charleston. My favorite place we went was probably the Amen Oyster bar. There were so many kinds of oysters from different places. If you don’t like raw oysters they had baked ones which were amazing! All of the sea food was really fresh. The places that we ate had a lot of character. They never felt like a tourist trap. The food was always delicious and the oysters I ate while in Charleston were some of the best I’ve ever had.
10. Charleston Charm
Some of my favorite memories came from just walking around the town. We walked from the waterfront park down to the battery park and stopped at rainbow row. My boyfriend bought me this beautiful palmetto rose and heart bouquet.
I also loved just looking at all of the amazing old houses that are everywhere! Charleston really has its own architectural style where the porches are on the side of the house to catch the breeze coming off the water. There’s a lot of rod iron work and so many columns! There’s also the colonially style mixed with the antebellum style mixed with the early 1900’s…and while this city is super historic and has this very storied past, it has flowed into the modern era…
I would go back to Charleston in a heartbeat…I think it may be my natural habitat…