By Brandi M. Seals
Charleston is a remarkable city for visitors. It ranked as the number 4 Best City in America by Travel and Leisure Magazine’s 2006 World’s Best Awards. The awards are based on readers’ survey. This year, Charleston moved up the list from its number 6 slot earned last year when it was on the list of Best Cities in the U.S. and Canada.
Charleston is such a great city because it offers plenty of accommodations and is home to several great attractions that will have visitors fascinated during their entire trip. If you or someone you know will be heading to Charleston this year, be sure to check out one of these spectacular attractions.
The Aiken-Rhett House stands as an intact urban villa that showcases life in antebellum Charleston. It was built in 1818 and expanded by Gov. and Mrs. William Aiken, Jr. in the 1830s and 1850s. The house has survived virtually unaltered since 1858. Many objects can still be found in the rooms for which they were purchased. Cost of admittance is $10.
The Aiken-Rhett House is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 2pm to 5 pm.
48 Elizabeth Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Boone Hall Plantation
Boone Hall Plantation is a working plantation that reflects more than 300 years of Southern heritage. The home has been open to the public since 1959 and features gardens, slave cabins, and an oak-lined avenue.
Admission runs $14.50 for adults, $7 for children and $13 for seniors. Boone Hall Plantation is open Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday 1 pm to 4 pm.
1235 Long Point Road
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29465
Slave Mart Museum
This museum is one of several locations where slaves were sold in Charleston. It held its last auctions in 1863. Today presentations tell of the African- American experience in Charleston from their arrival in 1670 to the Civil Rights movement. Exhibits explore African-American culture, the middle passage, Caribbean influences on America, slavery, emancipation, reconstruction, arts, food, and civil rights.
The Slave Mart Museum is open daily from 8:30 am to 5 pm.
6 Chalmers St.
Charleston, SC 29401
South Carolina Aquarium
Explore what lurks in the depths of oceans, rivers and lakes at the South Carolina Aquarium. See moray eels, loggerhead turtles, river otters and much more.
Cost of attendance is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $8 for children, and free for those 2 and under. The aquarium is open Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday from noon to 5 pm.
100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, SC 29401
Historic Charleston Battery
White Point Gardens, which is popularly known as Battery Park offers spectacular views of Fort Sumter, southern mansions and the Charleston Harbor. Giant oak trees are intermingled with displays of Civil War weapons, such as cannons. Visitors will have the opportunity to check out a Columbiad that was used to shell Fort Sumter in 1861 and seacoast mortars among other things.
During the early 1700s, the park was home to the gallows. Stede Bonnet, the “gentleman pirate” and several others were hanged here. By 1837, the land had a very different use. It was a public garden.
Murray Blvd and East Battery
Fort Sumter Tours
No trip to Charleston is complete without a stop at Fort Sumter National Monument. Here is where the Civil War began. Cruise on over to the island fort while you taking in the breathtakingly amazing views of Charleston and the Harbor.
Visitors can depart for Fort Sumter from Liberty Square in downtown Charleston, or in Mt. Pleasant at the Patriots Point Maritime Museum, the world’s largest naval and maritime museum.
At Fort Sumter National Park, visitors will receive detailed information about Fort Sumter and its role in the Civil War. There is a museum and small gift shop for your convenience.
There is no fee for visitors arriving on the island by private boat. For the concession-operated ferry service, fees are currently $14 for adults, $12.50 for seniors and $8.00 for children 6 to 11. All those under 5 are free.