I visited Charleston on a family holiday that started in New York and ended on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. We hired a car are drove down the East Coast stopping at a couple of points along the way – one of which being Charleston. We were only here for one night, so we tried to fit as much in to our day as possible!
Charleston is the oldest and second-largest city in South Carolina (SC) with current trends noting it as the fastest-growing city in SC. It’s known for its rich history, well-preserved architecture, distinguished restaurants, and friendly people. Charleston has even been awarded the title of “America’s Most Friendly City” and ‘the most polite and hospitable city in America‘. It’s a quaint place, with amazing houses and was where a lot of The Notebook was filmed! You can even visit the same movie theatre that the characters visit. On the way to Charleston (about 40 mins away) we also stopped at Cypress Gardens, which is where the scene on the lake (with all the ducks) is filmed. You can even hire a canoe and paddle the same journey yourself- just watch out for the resident crocs! Cypress Gardens is definitely worth a visit – 4 miles of beautiful garden trails and swamps, butterfly greenhouse, tropical flowers and a freshwater aquarium.
Boone Hall Plantation, one of America’s oldest working plantations, is also worth a visit if you are in the area. The picturesque grounds include an oak-lined driveway to the Boone Family home. You can tour the house and grounds or see a Gullah Theater performance outlining the trials and tribulations of life on the plantation as a slave. They also have a butterfly garden alongside numerous pretty gardens – it’s renowned for being America’s most photographed plantation and many weddings take place here each year. We took a few pictures here ourselves….
We also took a horse and carriage ride with Palmetto Carriage Barn, the oldest carriage tour company in Charleston, which took us around the local area to see all the different amazing houses and explained lots more about Charleston’s history. Along East Bay Street, you will find the world-renowned ‘Rainbow Row’, which includes row after row of 18th-century Georgian townhouses, featuring a variety of exteriors painted in a spectrum of pastel colours. Facing the harbor along East Battery Street you will find ‘Battery Row’, a line of magnificent waterfront mansions with homes built from 1809 to 1920, and a mix of styles from Italian Renaissance Revival to Art Deco. I’d highly recommend doing some kind of walking/ horse led tour as it was all very interesting! You can read more about Charleston’s architecture here.