It was named after King Charles II of England back in the 1660’s. Charles Town is now called Charleston. It is uniquely time warped and very authentic, making its historic perseveration standout. The city is steeped in American History- home of Fort Sumpter, where the Civil War started in 1861. The city is not exempt of its contribution to the Civil War nor its involvement in the enslavement of blacks, but the one of a kind homes, antiquated churches, and cobblestone roads will amaze you. It will take you aback and at the same time charm the hell out of you.
Walking through the streets of the historic and tourist section of Charleston, South Carolina is nostalgic. The French Quarter section is flanked with homes from its early settlement centuries ago. Not far, Waterfront Park is the harbor entry way into Charleston. It was there that colonist settlers brought in slaves and held auctions. Today, it is complete with fountains and a garden in its eight-acre land.
If you walk south along the water, you’ll hit White Point Gardens where the mansions are disproportioned to the land they sit on. They are packed side by side and resemble the main house on any plantation. The homes are grandeur; some equip with separate quarters for the help. Most of the homes face the Battery Harbor, as a result, the area is dubbed Battery Park. The houses in historic Charleston are extremely unique. Not too far from Battery Park, there are a plethora of single homes. These classic homes are called “Single Houses”, an original style started back in the 1730’s. These homes are one-room wide on the street and have two rooms per floor, similar to a townhouse. However, the door from the street doesn’t open to the home it opens to the porch area. They call it a piazza, and it typically overlooks a small garden. Some say the architecture made taxes less because of land space, others say it created privacy and comfort for locals to enjoy the offshore breezes. Either way, it is quite the sight to see and rather smart.
The Gullah people have prominent influence in the culture in historic Charleston. There are tours specific to African-American history in the city. In certain sections, you can see them weave sweetgrass baskets for purchase. One of those places is Charleston City Market. It once sold fresh meats, produce, and goods. Now vendors offer a variety of arts and crafts from the “Low Country”. If you can’t find what you want at the City Market head to King Street for shopping of all kinds. Antiques, fashion, and design districts all on one street. Mix in restaurants and bars and vintage buildings- it’s so Charleston. Speaking of food, do check out Hyman’s Seafood Company, the famous seafood spot is both large and fantastic. With two floors of seating and a two-room gift shop, it is truly a tourist stop. Oh boy, it’s worth it.
Home of five beaches, to include Folly Beach. And dozens of churches. There is a place to worship on every other corner and that’s just in historic Charleston. Most of which have small burial grounds on the land. It’s rather creepy; so much that there are said to be ghosts roaming about. And you know what that means, Ghost Tours. There are a variety to choose from if you’re up for it.
I highly recommend a visit to Charleston. There are so many other things to do like going to museums, art galleries, watch live entertainment, or take one of many tours. The historic district is an absolute must see. It’s beautiful and truly one of a kind. The uniqueness does not compare to any other city I’ve visited. The best thing to do is park and walk; make sure you wear comfortable shoes. It’s undeniably charming and definitely worth a visit.