Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina is a city considered by many to be the best preserved example of the Old South in the state and even throughout the entire southern region. The buildings alone make a statement; more than 70 buildings are in place from before the Revolutionary War, more than 130 are in place from the late 18th century, and over 600 buildings are still in place from before the 1840"s. The feel of these charming and mostly well-maintained structures adds an air of historical importance to any Charleston vacation and contribute to making Charleston tours through the city delightful as well as educational.

The history of Charleston South Carolina begins in 1670, when the town was first settled by colonialists from Great Britain. Currently, Charleston is the second largest city in South Carolina (after Columbia, the state capitol) and has attracted the nickname, "The Holy City" due to the high number of churches found in the city and the line of steeple outlines visible in the city"s skyline. Charleston South Carolina today is also one of the major tourist attractions in South Carolina, with travelers coming from around United States to view the historical Charleston attractions and enjoy some of the authentic southern cooking found in many of the city"s restaurants.

Planning a Charleston vacation often includes a stay in one of the many Charleston hotels. Travelers will find for the most part that the city tends to shy away from the larger chains and focus more on older, smaller and privately owned hotels. Most of the downtown hotels are close to many of the most popular Charleston attractions. One of the most popular downtown Charleston attractions is a joint tour of Patriots Point and the Fort Sumter Monument. Patriots Point is a naval and maritime museum located on the shores of Charleston Bay near downtown, and features hundreds of war time ships and fighter planes. Interested travelers can also purchase a ticket to take a boat ride (less than an hour) to the Fort Sumter Monument and Museum, where they can tour the fort that was the site of the first fired shot and battle of the American Civil War.

Downtown Charleston tours of the many historical buildings are also popular for travelers. For tourists who plan to visit multiple buildings, it may be worth investing in the Heritage Passport Ticket. The ticket costs around $40 and grants the holder access to the Gibbes Museum, the Edmonston-Alston House, the Nathaniel Russell House, Drayton Hall and Middleton Place. These homes are the most popular stops on historical Charleston tours and each has an entrance fee of around $15, so if you plan to visit a few, the Heritage Passport Ticket is a good idea. Tickets can be purchased at any of these homes in person during daytime business hours.

A favorite feature of Charleston vacations for families with children is the South Carolina Aquarium. This is one of the largest aquariums in South Carolina and has some great exotic aquatics from around the world. For Charleston vacations during the early summer, be sure to stop by the Spoleto Festival, the largest arts and cultural festival in the south. Spoleto Festival takes place between mid May and mid June each year and features hundreds of dramatic presentations, operas, musical shows and more. Tickets can be purchased in person at any of the event locations.

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