Charleston, South Carolina boasts a lively and extensive history. Founded in the late 1600s, Charleston is one of the oldest cities in America. Situated on a peninsula between the Ashley and Cooper rivers, Charleston's port has played a significant role in the city's development. Charleston's importance during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars can't be unstated.
Although the number of historic structures found here is massive and its history is undeniable- there's more to Charleston than it's past. In fact, Charleston may be best described as preservation meets cosmopolitan. The city has successfully positioned itself as a classy, progressive, and somewhat hip place to visit, or even settle down. Visitors will be pleased to discover that downtown Charleston offers a healthy mix of history, romance, and some seriously exceptional shopping. Narrow streets are lined with old brick row buildings that house high-end specialty shops, thousands of antiques, upscale dining, and historic B&Bs.
For those who enjoy walking- this is the city for you. Park your car at your B&B when you arrive, and you won't need it again until you leave. Your first stop may be at the tip of the peninsula- a location named the Battery. Situated along the water you'll discover a lovely park, as well as stately southern mansions. Nearby is "Rainbow Row"- named for the colorful exteriors of the homes found here. This is an area best enjoyed early in the morning, when traffic is minimal.
Another joy is Charleston's Waterfront Park. This eight acre park offers spacious lawns, well maintained jogging paths, picnic tables, and even an opportunity to get wet and cool off under the grand fountain (kids love this place.)
An absolute must-do is Charleston's famous City Market. Four buildings house a variety of merchandise. Sweetgrass baskets are a highly sought after local specialty. This is a wonderful stop for picking up a small remembrance (or two) of Charleston.
If you want to learn more about Charleston's past, consider a horse and buggy tour, or a visit to The Charleston Museum. Should you visit Charleston during spring, you may catch the celebrated Spoletto Festival USA. This is a comprehensive arts festival that offers music, dancing, and an unbelievable display of all types of artwork.
Charleston is located in the southeastern part of the state, off US Highway 17, or Interstate 26.