Day 1 You'll See:
- Drayton Hall Southern Plantation
- Fort Sumter Cruise and Tour
- Battery and White Point Gardens
- Ghosts and Graveyards Walking Tour
Day 2 You'll See:
Day 3 You'll See:
Get ready to do Charleston with these three fun, adventurous, and educational days!
Day 1 -
Drayton Hall Southern Plantation - What is a trip to Charleston without a stop at the exquisite and highly popular Drayton Hall Southern Plantation? This estate is an icon of American history, design, and historic preservation and is oftentimes considered to be the most significant and undisturbed historic landscape in the state, even the country. Drayton Hall Southern Plantation takes up 350 acres and is the very first executed example of Palladian architecture, an idealized English landscape mixed with some of the most incredible design in the area. The home is storied and well preserved, with tranquil grounds and a historic African American cemetery. Not only is Drayton a spectacular site architecturally, but it is a historic ground zero of sorts, seeing periods of time ranging from colonial to American revolution, from antebellum to reconstruction, the Civil War, the 20th century, and beyond. Before you go be sure to check out the Memorial Arch, marking one of the oldest documented African American cemeteries in the nation.
Fort Sumter Cruise and Tour - Tour Fort Sumter the right way, with the Fort Sumter Cruise and Tour! This touring company has been serving locals and tourists alike since 1961 and claims the motto of showing exactly "where the Civil War began." This cruise line and tour company allows guests to experience the historic beauty of Charleston from the sparkling Atlantic waterways, an education and history packed adventure along the Charleston Harbor! Your group will have the opportunity to explore the ruins of the fort, see bridges and monuments, and hear stories the men who fought here, all while taking in some of the best local scenery! Fort Sumter is known to be the site of the first Civil War shots, the well-preserved ruins ready for your group to explore and discover! Your group will view Battery Park, the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, Fort Moultrie, and all the dolphins you can spot within the harbor! There is an Education Center with interpretive and visual Civil War exhibits, as well.
Battery and White Point Gardens - Welcome to White Point Gardens, sometimes also known as the Battery! This historic waterfront park features a garden by the water with several stunning walking paths, military statues, historic cannons, and picnic areas. White Point Gardens are comprised of 5.7 acres and are located at the very top of peninsular Charleston. The southern most point is considered to be the Battery, the massive defensive seawall and promenade used as protection for the seaside city. This prominent South Carolina landmark provides spectacular views of Fort Sumter and the Charleston Harbor, highlighting the spot where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers meet and empty into the Atlantic. Your group will see historic mortars and cannons used in the past for defence here, as well as a Confederate Army Monument at the corner of Murray and East Bay, as well as the epitaph of the 1720s hanged pirate Stede Bonnet!
Ghosts and Graveyards Walking Tour - Bulldogs tours presents this next nighttime stop, the Charleston Ghost and Graveyard Walking Tour. This tour departs at 5 pm, 7:30 pm, and 9:30 pm nightly and takes your group into this city’s "beloved pockets" of history within some of the oldest graveyards, such lovely parts of this area’s culture that they are often times just referred to simply as gardens. Bulldog Tour Company has been voted Charleston’s Best Tour Company for six years in a row, laying claim to this historic cities touring rights. The Ghost and Graveyard Walking Tour is an up close and personal journey through one of the oldest cemeteries in the city. During this tour your group will get to walk inside the gates of the oldest graveyard in the city and explore each and every dark corner of history held within its boundaries. The fun and informational city-experienced tour guides will give you the history of graveyards in the area alongside stories of famous burials with this "Holy City."
Day 2 -
South Carolina Aquarium - Day two will begin with a highly anticipated trip to one of the top aquariums in the country, the South Carolina Aquarium. This celebrated marine life center opened in May of 2000 within the historic Charleston Harbor, a massive and impressive 92,990 square foot complex celebrating the native and exotic sea creatures of the world. See the different habitats covered here, from the mountain to the sea, as you choose between seeing daily dive shows, hands-on animal care demonstrations, or perhaps explore an island recreation of Madagascar. The exhibits within the South Carolina Aquarium include Secrets of the Amazon, Camp Carolina, Salt Marsh, Piedmont, Coastal Plains, and Shark Shallows, the interactive shark and ray touch tank that holds exotic sharks such as the bonnethead. Head over to the Mountain forest exhibit to glimpse waterfalls and eagles overhead, or maybe spend some time gazing at the 385,000 gallon Great Ocean Tank. There is also a 15,000 gallon Carolina Sea Tank!
Fort Moultrie - Welcome to Fort Moultrie, the series of fortifications on Sullivan’s Island built to protect the city in 1776. This fort is located specifically on Middle Street of Sullivan’s Island, on the same embankment as Fort Sumter. The National Park Service took over this fort in 1947, making this the only place in the area that can present 171 years of history of the American Seacoast defense. Fort Moultrie has seen two centuries of seacoast defense and tells the story nicely through a unique plan of restoration, the five different sections and two outlying areas commemorating typical weapons and heroic stories throughout. Learn about the Revolutionary War attack in which the British defeated the fort after a long and tough nine hour long battle, and of the many years of successfully defending the city against union forces during the Civil War. Be sure to head to the top of the adjacent Fort Sumter to visit the site’s museum, gift store, and bookstore!
Barrier Island Eco Tour - Barrier Island Eco Tours provide your group with your next Charleston adventure, the company providing the very best naturalist guided excursions exploring the various marshes and islands of South Carolina. Located on the Isle of Palms, near Charleston, Barrier Island strives to "promote the awareness, conservation, and enjoyment of the South Carolina Coast" and does so well through various different ecology adventures. This is a great opportunity for your group to relax and collect some shells, facts, and unbelievable South Carolina Coastal vistas. Your group will get to explore tidal creeks of the salt marsh and explore such interesting topics as Spartina grass, species identification, adaptations, oyster bed communities, species diversity, and salt marsh hammock ecology. Head to the beach at Capers Island State Heritage Preserve to see over 2,000 acres of pristine barrier island or hike the mile long trail to Bone-yard Beach, but whatever you decide to do be sure to bring your bathing suit and camera, you aren’t going to want to miss one exciting moment of this!
Day 3 -
College of Charleston Visit - Start your morning off at the College of Charleston, the nationally recognized public liberal arts and sciences university that sits among the nation’s top universities for quality education, student life, and overall affordability. This beautiful and historic campus is offset only by its contemporary facilities and cutting edge educational programs. Campus will most likely be a swirling mess of maroon and white, the school's colors doned by students and beloved mascot Clyde the Cougar. A campus tour will begin with a 30 minute information session followed promptly by a 75 minute student-led walking tour in which your group will catch a glimpse of the residence halls, library, and various classrooms. These tours and other informational resources can be found at Admissions in Craig Hall. Around 500 teacher scholars make this school so special, as does the city itself, Charleston a grand backdrop as a living and learning laboratory for "experience in business, science, technology, teaching, humanities, language, and arts."
City Market - The Charleston City Market, or Centre Market more officially, is the widely popular four-block city market sitting in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. This historic market complex makes up the cultural heart of the city and is actually one of the nation’s oldest public markets, opened in 1804. The entire complex is over 13,000 square feet and contains over 300 vendors weekly selling wares of food, arts and crafts, and other local treasures. This building was designed originally by architect Edward Brickell White and is so popular today that it is considered Charleston's number one most visited location. While here you wll be able to meet locals, shop for souvenirs, take a tour of the neighborhood, or sample local cuisine, none of which you will walk away dissatisfied with. The various objects being sold have a wide range of subject, including bath and body, crafts, books, fine art, garden, food, pet, stoneware, woodwork, leather, and jewelry. The greatest thing about all this is that it is all made locally!
Charleston Museum - This next stop is quite a spectacular one, a visit to America’s very first museum, the highly popular Charleston Museum. Founded first in 1773 and then opened to the public in 1824, this museum on Meeting Street of Charleston has been named by the American Alliance of Museum’s as the first and most comprehensive historic museum in the country, making it quite a popular tourist attraction within this seaside city. Here you will see various impressive exhibits showcasing relics from South Carolina and Confederate history, as well as have access to many different surrounding historic homes. This museum strives to study, document, preserve, interpret, and share important local history and does so through stories of South Carolina scholars, scientists, scribes, and socialites. Take a one hour curator tour and explore the various exhibits such as Lowcountry History Hall, the Armory, Becoming America's, Civil War, and many more.Head up to the Museum store before you go to pick up your very own books, toys, games, souvenirs, or lowcountry local treasures!
Heyward-Washington House - End your fun Charleston adventure on 87 Church Street, at the Heyward-Washington House. This historic house museum was first opened in 1772, a 43,560 square foot double-house establishment. This building is an 18th century Georgian-style home that used to house Thomas Heyward, Jr., one of four Declaration of Independence signers from the state of South Carolina. The Heyward-Washington house features the only publicly open 1740s kitchen in the city, as well as highly popular formal gardens featuring many South Carolina lowcountry 18th century native plants. This home is known for its superb collection of Charleston made historic furniture, including the priceless Holmes bookcase, considered to be one of the absolute finest examples of american made colonial furniture. Take tour of all the exhibits throughout the complex, including such subjects as Historic Textiles, City Under Siege, The Early Days, and Kidstory, a fun yet educational hangout spot for younger children who visit the museum!