Final Charleston Chews :)

Our visit to Charleston definitely did not disappoint, definitely had mixed feelings as we wrapped up our last week there!
Below please find a list of our observations of our time here – enjoy!

  • It may be the best city for food – even beating New Orleans! Even the bread everywhere was freshly baked (not the standard after-thought it usually is) and served with special homemade butters (honey, chives, etc.) – delish!
  • Porches are called piazzas, like in Italy – funny because not too many Italians settled in Charleston 🙂
  • Charleston single house is the most iconic of the historic home designs – one-room-wide with the narrow end facing the street, front door opens to the “piazza” on the long side which offered cooling cross-ventilation in the days before AC
  • Double house – most of the mansions we visited had this design – 4 rooms on each floor separated by a hallway down the center of the house; therefore two rooms are on each side of the front entrance (double house)
  • The people trying to sell you tours were extremely pushy – almost rude, interrupting your conversation as you walk down the street
  • Taxis all seem to charge different fares based on the day or how much of a sucker they thing you are!
  • Lots of clueless pedestrians abound, crossing against lights, etc.
  • Cool to hear and see the C-17s multiple times during the day as we were on the flight path
  • Most tourists visit Charleston only for a few days – people were amazed when we told them how long we were in town
  • Charleston was not as much of a ‘decked out for Christmas’ city as you may expect – we learned that Halloween appears to be their time to get decked out
  • I kind of liked being called ‘miss’ occasionally instead of ‘ma’am’
  • Charleston has a history of being rebellious – one example that’s pretty cool is the color Charleston Green (a green so deep it looks black.)  According to our favorite tour guide, this color came about after the Civil War when Union troops sent buckets of black paint to help rebuild the decimated town. Colorful Charleston residents couldn’t bear the thought of their Holy City being painted government-issued black, so they tinted the paint with yellow and green, creating their signature Charleston Green

The yellow lab dog up the street who we called Duke is actually a female dog named Annie (and she was very sweet) – she would come to the gate and we’d stick our hand through to pet her.  Unfortunately we never did see her ‘on the outside’.


Our final Charleston food pics: – we will definitely miss the cuisine!

Farewell to Charleston!  VRBO Adventure #1 Complete!
St Helena and Napa here we come (after visits to Long Island and St Louis for the holidays!)

Happy New Year!


HL Hunley & USS Yorktown

Sat – 12/13

HL Hunley

Paul, Dave, and I visited the HL Hunley restoration site and it was one of the most memorable experiences in Charleston!  Seeing the submarine was OK (water was cloudy due to chemical treatments), but the stories of the guide made it very interesting.  Some highlights:

  • Hunley was a 40ft confederate sub built to try to break the Union blockade of food and supplies, engineer Horace Lawson Hunley began privately building it in Mobile AL in 1863.
  • Crewmen would have been pretty uncomfortable inside – just over 4′ high, only 8 mean could fit into the vessel – 7 propeller operators and an 8th to steer the sub.
  • The Hunley was dependent on the crew hand-turning a crank to power the single propeller. Batteries and a steam-powered engine proved impractical for the submersible.
  • Hunley was the first combat sub to sink a warship, but sunk immediately following its attack on the Housatonic in 1864 (only 5 died on the Housatonic and 150 were injured.)
  • The exact reason for why it sunk is not really known – theories include:  its own torpedo’s detonation and massive explosion (supposedly the sub was only about 20ft away at the time), an unsecured hatch, a lucky enemy shot that blasted a hole in the viewing port, they ran out of oxygen.
  • She then surfaced long enough for her crew to signal their comrades on the shore of Sullivan’s Island with a blue magnesium light,(or lantern) indicating a successful mission (but this really was not confirmed. )
  • Sub was finally located in 1995 and recovered in 2000 by the author, Clive Cussler’s research team from the National Underwater Marine Agency (which had been searching for the vessel for 15 years.)
  • Sunk 3 times and lost 21 crewmen – first sinking was due to an unsecured hatch (5 died) in Aug 1863, 8 died later that year in Oct
  • Remains of the crew were very well-preserved, didn’t have signs of trauma, and they were all found at their stations (not near an escape hatch.)
  • Rumors abounded that this could have been a suicide mission for the crew, but unlikely as there are a variety of reasons why the sub may have sank, also due in part to valuable items recovered from the Hunley skipper Dixon….

Hunley skipper George Dixon kept a good-luck charm in his pocket: A gold coin that was bent (and may have saved his life) when he was wounded nearly two years before at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee.  Dixon also carried a diamond ring and brooch that was recovered along with the lucky gold coin:

Following the Hunley visit we went to Magnolia Cemetery to see the graves of the crewmen.

Next stop was Patriot’s Point to climb aboard the USS Yorktown, the 10th aircraft carrier to serve in the Army.  Built during WWII, she was commissioned in 1943 and participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning 11 battle stars and the Presidential Unit Citation.  She earned five battle stars in the Vietnam War and later served as a recovery ship for the Apollo 8 space mission.  Yorktown became a museum ship in 1975.  It was cool to check out the antique aircraft inside the carrier as well as on the deck and to explore all of its nooks and crannies, older technologies (especially in the operating room, etc.)  We found ourselves walking into rooms we weren’t allowed to be in here and there (private Army training event) and were sent on our way.  After a while the smell of the ship and the tight quarters made me feel a little light-headed!


Flight deck

Exterior views

Sat night we had an incredible dinner at Cypress, including an amazing Asian-style shrimp salad and I had the local wreckfish – one of our best dinners in Charleston!  Not surprising given that it’s part of the same restaurant family as Magnolia’s!



Charleston Footprints Walking Tour

The Rooftop, Amen Oyster, and Hanks – Thurs 12/11

Our friend Paul from Chicago came in for a weekend food and fun-filled visit.  We went to the cool rooftop bar on top of the Hotel Vendue Thurs for drinks, oysters at Amen Oyster bar, followed by dinner at Hank’s.

Charleston Footprints Walking Tour – Fri 12/12

Fri morning we went on a highly-rated walking tour of the city with Charleston Footprints (ranked #9 out of 95 attractions on Trip Advisor).  Highlights include:

Historic Charleston Foundation Building – In the 1920s, Standard Oil Company began demolishing residential buildings in downtown Charleston in order to build gas stations, repair shops, and gas pumps.  The starting point of our tour, the Historic Charleston Foundation building, used to be a gas station not that long ago.

Fire-Proof Building

South Carolina Historical Society.JPG

Palladin-style Fire-Proof Building, also known at the County Records building, was built in 1827 and believed to be the oldest fire-resistant building remaining in America.  While it has survived an earthquake, bombs, hurricanes and, fires – we understand from Michael our tour guide that some items inside did not survive these fires.  This building is on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a US National Historic Landmark.

Hibernian Hall


The building was constructed in 1840 in the Greek Revival style, more commonly referred to as the “Four Corners of Law”.  The building is home to the Hibernian Society, an Irish benevolent organization created to provide aid to Irish immigrants – note the harp above the entrance and on the gate.  Hibernian Hall is the only remaining building associated with the Democratic National Convention of  1860 (the same year SC was the first state to secede from the Union and start the Confederacy.)

Old Watch Tower

The bells rang on all fire alarms until 1927, also alerted the city to hurricanes, major temperature changes, and notable national events.  Bells silenced in 1953 due to lack of available parts.  building was constructed

Washington Square is full of greenspace and monuments including:  a memorial to the Washington Light Infantry, a miniature version of the Washington Monument in DC and inscribed with names of important military battles, a monument to Gen. Pierre Beuregard, the Confederate general in charge of defending the city, and a memorial to Elizabeth Jackson (Andrew Jackson’s mother) who not only negotiated the release of her son Andrew Jackson (7th US President) and his brother during the Revolutionary War through a prisoner swap of some redcoats, but she also continued to care for sick soldiers being held on prison ships in the harbor, and ended up dying of cholera (“ship’s fever”.)  She was buried on a hillside with no gravestone – it wasn’t until 1949 that a gravemarker was placed in the Jackson family cemetery plot.

City Hall Highlights – Next up was City Hall where we visited the chambers, which were beautiful and saw some interesting paintings with stories of their own:

Finley Morse, inventor of the Morse Code, surprising was a famous portrait painter as well and lived in Charleston for a short period of time.  Charleston’s City Hall is blessed with an original Morse portrait of President James Monroe, commissioned by city council during Monroe’s visit in the Spring of 1819, when Morse was at the height of his popularity as an artist in the city.

Rev Daniel Jenkins, director of an orphanage which had a band that gained notoriety by playing high-energy toe-tapping music on the street.  African immigrants from the Caribbean danced along with the young boys in the band and this is likely the genesis of the famous dance ‘The Charleston’.

The poinsettia plant gets its name from a Charlestonian by the name of Joel Poinsett, an attorney who had a major green thumb.  A scholar, jurist, elected congressman, fluent in multiple languages he was appointed by John Quincy Adams as ambassador to the newly-independent Mexico in 1825.  Poinsett discovered this plant, the Flor de Noche Buena, or the Christmas Eve Flower, back from Mexico to cultivate in his grove.

Confederate Home – Home of Governor of SC 1810-1825 who hosted a visiting President James Monroe. Before the Civil War it operated as the Carolina Hotel and also housed the Federal Court. In 1867, Mary Amarinthia Snowden and her sister, Isabella Yates Snowden, established a home for Confederate widows and orphans. Later they started a college on the premises. It is still known as the Confederate Home. The spirit of compassion of the Snowden sisters lives on today as the Confederate Home and College is a source of scholarships and moderately priced housing for qualified residents.

St Michael’s Episcopal Church is the oldest surviving religious structure in Charleston.  Located at Broad and Meeting streets on one of the Four Corners of Law, it represents ecclesiastical law.  Notables include: a 186 ft steeple, the oldest clock tower in North America, a long center pew where George Washington and Robert E Lee sat to worship, and beautiful Tiffany stained glass windows.

St Michael’s Churchyard is the final resting place of some famous historical figures, including two signers of our Constitution:  Charles Pinckney (Colonel in the Continental Army, member of the Constitutional Convention, US Minister to France, Presidential Candidate 1804 and 1808) and John Rutledge (Governor of SC, member of the Constitutional Convention, Supreme Court Chief Justice.)  Also interned are German-born hand forgers of wrought iron whose ‘Sword Gate’ work can be admired on the gate to the Churchyard.  The detail and amount of work required is pretty incredible.  We also noted a tombstone with ‘stranger’s fever’ noted as cause of death, now known as yellow fever.  It gained its name from its propensity to mainly afflict recent arrivals.

The word sloppy originated from ‘slop shops’, where sailors bought rough garments for work – these businesses were typically operated on the first floor of buildings with residences above.

We had a quick interesting visit with a bar owner next door to the Old Exchange building – his sign on the front door indicating that they don’t support government handouts, etc. definitely catches your eye.  He showed us a bottle of Moonshine (made by Firefly Distillery on nearby Wadmalaw Island) and told a funny story about how many years ago (especially of course during Prohibition) it was illegal for the bar to sell Moonshine, but then once it became legal, it was somehow illegal for the bar to sell anything non-alcoholic.  He gives away bottles of water to thirsty tourists.  Craziness!

Rainbow Row is a line of 13 colorful houses along E Bay St; the longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the US.  In Charleston’s colorful past these were places frequented by sailors, if you know what I mean!

Charleston’s streetscape has dramatically changed over the years. Going back to colonial times, streets were largely unpaved, and continued to be rough rides for carriages and wagons over cobblestone and Belgian block.  Cobblestones are not native to coastal South Carolina, but come from places such as New England, where sailing ships built during the colonial era needed heavy ballast in their hulls to keep them upright in strong winds.

These photos show an old street designed for wagons – the intersection of Latitude and Longitude Lanes.  Note the smoother stones on each side for the wagon wheels.  As one end of the street/alley was quite narrow, in 1853 an old cannon barrel was placed at the entrance so no cotton wagons would enter the 11ft entrance and damage property.  The city removed the cannon in 1933, claiming that it was public property, and displayed it in White Point Garden.  The residents of Longitude La were irate and threatened legal action.  The city won and the residents now have a masonry post in the old cannon’s place.

Old school food carts – Street vendors continued to push carts by hand until the 1960’s, and our guide recalls the “shrimp man” and the “sugarcane man” coming down Legare Street on early mornings with hearty voices echoing their wares.

Additional pics include some holiday spirit, squiggly earthquake bolts and an interesting workaround of a wall around a tree.

Spanish moss is what we usually call the mystical tendrils dripping from the beautiful live oaks down South.  Turns out, it ‘aint Spanish and it ‘aint moss 🙂  It’s an angiosperm.  This name was coined by the British who thought of Spanish explorers’ beards when they saw the trees.

After more than 2 hours of walking and learning more about Charleston, we worked up an appetite and had an incredible lunch at Magnolia’s – tried sheepshead for the first time and it was fabulous.  It is fish.  Oddly named, but tasty!

Oak St Steakhouse dinner – had a 1/2 fried lobster with my filet – tasty!  Walked back home and thought St Phillips church tower glowed in the moonlight.






Historic Homes, Charleston Christmas Special, & More Dining

Calhoun Mansion – aka, the OMG house (Fri 12/5)

Visiting this mansion, Charleston’s largest private residence and considered to be one of the most important pieces of Victorian architecture on the east coast, was definitely worth it!

A bit about the history/background of the house and its owners:

The land originally belonged to Charles Pinckney, governor of the state and was purchased by George Walton Williams, who made a fortune in the shipping industry and built this house to have a grand display of his wealth and because he believed in the re-emergence of Charleston following the Civil War.  While George was not really well-liked or embraced by his fellow Charlestonians, he employed a great number of them (hundreds in fact during the 5 years it took to build the house which was completed in 1876 at a cost of $250,000), and for that he was respected (and his property protected by the locals.)  Another reason why George wasn’t very popular may have been due to his wife who didn’t permit drinking or dancing at the mansion (even though there was a huge ballroom on the second floor.)

Williams died in 1903 and his son-in-law Patrick Calhoun acquired the property.  The house fell into disrepair through the years and was condemned in 1972.  Then it was purchased by a Charleston native who spent 25 years and $5 million restoring it to its former glory!

The entryway domed ceiling was handpainted by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the mahogany wood panels here and in other rooms in the house had carved shamrocks (or clovers.)  We learned that the house was originally purchased for $250,000 and after the Civil War it sold for $25,000.  Charleston was one of the richest, if not the richest city in the south before the Civil War.  After it was the poorest.  After a brief introduction to the house, its original owners and history, we were escorted inside and nothing can really prepare you for the sensory overload.  We quickly understand why this mansion is called the OMG mansion!  I kept thinking about how much time must be spent each day dusting the thousands of artifacts (10-12 tractor trailer loads according to the guide) that are jammed into this place – mind blowing!

Notables include:

  • 24,000 square feet, 35 rooms, 23 fireplaces, 14 ft ceilings
  • Biggest pocket doors ever to one of the living rooms on the first floor
  • Beautiful stairwell that reaches to a 75 ft domed ceiling
  • Music room with a 45 ft covered glass skylight
  • Tiffany original chandelier made with sake cups and a rice bowl
  • Footstools made with real elephant feet (not kidding)
  • Priceless Asian textiles (could be the most valuable item in the house)
  • Many religious artifacts acquired abroad, huge and gorgeous Asian vases, valuable clocks
  • Numerous real stuffed animal heads, including a baboon
  • The house was one of the first to have gas – the lines were inside the banister
  • In Charleston’s less lucrative days the mansion was a boarding house for sailors – ‘public’ latrines lined the 2nd floor hallway

Following the tour, we popped into Two Meeting Street Inn  where a very nice manager showed us around the beautiful lobby and we got to see another Tiffany stained glass window – the window is insured for more than the entire house.

Heyward Washington House – Sat 12/6

The least impressive of the historic homes we toured – perhaps because the house and furnishing themselves were not very grand (though the furniture was Charleston-made), the tour guide was decent, but not as stellar as the Edmonston-Alston or Calhoun Mansion guides.  We also were jammed into the tour with about 15 or 20 gray hairs which made it quite cramped, one of the guys told Dave that theirs was a ‘private tour’ (apparently not!)

  • Built in 1772, a Georgian-style double house (this refers to homes that have 4 rooms on each floor with a hallway in the center (the main entrance is flanked by 2 rooms, thus ‘double’ house) as opposed to single houses which Charleston is famous for
  • Town home of Thomas Heyward, Jr., one of four South Carolina signers of the Declaration of Independence and a patriot leader.
  • Heyward sold the house in 1794 to John F. Grimke, a Revolutionary War officer and father of Sarah & Angeline Grimke, abolitionists and suffragettes.

The house’s main claim to fame is that George Washington stayed there for 1 week during his visit to Charleston in 1791 (remember he was quite the charmer with the ladies – dancing with more than 200 of them over at the Old Exchange building!)  However, you are allowed to take pictures and it was cool to see how a separate kitchen and laundry building may have looked back in the day 🙂  Furniture highlights include the priceless Holmes Bookcase, considered one of the finest examples of American-made colonial furniture.  The chests of drawers grouped together into a dresser was gorgeous too.  It was also interesting to see the bells used to call slaves to each of the rooms, each bell had a unique identifying tone.

Nathaniel Russell Mansion

We got a brief introduction to the Nathaniel Russell Mansion during our walking tour and I decided to go back for a tour while Dave and Paul went to Fort Moultrie.  Highlights include:

  • Belonged to Nathaniel Russell, a Rhode Island merchant (interesting that we are renting a place from a Russell who is also now living and working in RI 🙂
  • The house is widely recognized as one of America’s most important neoclassical houses and features three important geometric designs: a front rectangular room, a center oval room, and a square room in the rear.
  • We started the tour outside and discussed how the building design draws your eyes to the second floor, the unique entryway with the fruit designs, the wrought iron balconies including the initial of the owner, and how the pineapple is the symbol of hospitality – no wonder I like pineapple designs!The house has undergone extensive renovations including removal of more than 22 layers of paint to expose the original color (often the colors came not from a paint but a type of wallpaper) – including a light orange entryway and a turquoise dining room on the first floor
  • The self-supporting elliptical stairwell is a work of art – the plaster planes and floors appear to ‘float’ off the stairwell, the rails are a beautiful mahogany, and a window is provided so you can see the underlying construction.  At the top of the stairwell on the ceiling appears to be a plaster medallion – however it is actually painted on the ceiling in the trompe-l’oeil (French for “”deceive the eye”) technique that uses realistic imagery to create a 3D optical illusion.  The molding in the foyer on the first floor had this as well.
  • The 2nd floor drawing room, where the women of the house retired to after dinner, was also used for weddings and other formal gatherings.  This room had incredibly intricate and detailed molding that really stood out – this had previously been painted just one color and after an intensive paint removal and restoration, a variety of colors were revealed including gold guilding.  The more casual withdrawing room at the front of the house was full of light and also had beautifully restored multi-level molding.

In summary, my favorite historic house tour was the Edmonston Alston House – the tour guide Arlene was amazing, bringing the history of the house to life through her stories!

Loved the polished hardwood on this porch along with a traditional Charleston joggling board!


Our favorite house on the College of Charleston campus with lit-up stain glass windows – beautiful!


Charleston Christmas Special – Sun 12/7 – Dave and I went to Charleston’s version of the Radio City Christmas Special, and despite our trepidation that the average age of the patrons looked to be about 90 (I thought, aha, that’s why the show was typically a matinee! 🙂 and the show itself was reminiscent of what you’d see on a cruise ship, it turned out to be pretty entertaining.  The show had a mix of traditional carols with some modern performances.  Standouts included the violin solo, pianist’s rendition of Hallelujah chorus, a daughter of a Temptation’s amazing voice, and the acapella version of O Holy Night) and some silly skits sprinkled in for holiday fluff.  We sat next to the parents of one of the headliners and had a nice chat with them.

Star’s Restaurant Wine Blind Taste Testing – We needed drinks after so much wholesome family fun and headed over to Star’s Restaurant to check out their rooftop and have a drink before dinner.  We ended up having some fun with the bartender who treated us to multiple ‘blind’ taste tests of a variety of their ‘tap wine’.   Surprisingly I was better at identifying the reds than the whites.  A little prep for Napa 🙂


Dinner at Indaco – fantastic service, delicious food, competition for any modern Italian in any major city 🙂

Dinner at Husk – Tues 12/9 – great suggestion from a vendor I work with.  Probably my second favorite restaurant experience in Charleston following Magnolia’s.  Fried Chicken Skins were added for crunch to my steamed clams appetizer – enough said.



Magnolia Plantation & City Carriage Tour

Definitely have some catching up to do on the blog!  This is the final blog for my Mom’s visit.  More updates to come as we wrap up our final Charleston days!  We leave tomorrow for family fun, holidays, and work for Dave!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sat 11/29

Magnolia Plantation

We spent the day touring Magnolia Plantation, founded in 1676 by the Drayton family.  It is the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry and the oldest public gardens in America.  The plantation was opened to visitors in 1870 as the focus of the plantation shifted from agriculture to tourism after the Civil War.  While we enjoyed our time there, the flora and fauna were not really flourishing.  I’d recommend a visit in the spring when things are in full bloom 🙂  The plantation offers a variety of things to see and do including:  a house tour, nature train, boat tour (closed for the winter), petting zoo, large gardens and grounds, restaurant, some cool roaming peacocks, etc.

This was a cool site upon driving into the grounds:  Duckweed – looks like pond scum but it’s the world’s smallest flowering plant…

In defiance of state law at the time, Magnolia Plantation’s owner the Reverend John Drayton build this antebellum schoolhouse to educate the children of plantation slaves (under the guise of religious instruction.)


The Gardens:

The Peacocks!  Glad we brought the zoom lens 🙂

The House and nearby Grounds – the house tour was interesting, but way too crowded.

Nature Train

City Carriage Tour – Old South Carriage Company

Our tour guide really looked like a young Jerry Seinfeld, perfect for us New Yorkers 🙂  He was very informative and told us that he had to study a 500-page book and pass a test to become a guide.  Kind of like a cabbie in London!

More Dining!

We really enjoyed the gospel brunch at Hall’s – catch a clip below!

Charleston Medley – Holiday Train Display, Harbor Cruise, King Street, College of Charleston

This entry covers a variety of days before and after Thanksgiving in Charleston!

Holiday Train – all aboard!
We checked out the holiday train display at the fancy Charleston Place hotel – it was pretty cool.  What I want to know is:  where is the Charleston’s Christkindlmarket??!!!

Charleston Harbor Tour
My Mom and I went out the Sun after Thanksgiving for a harbor cruise with Spirit Line Cruises – the narration was decent, the weather was sunny and warm, and it was a great way to spend part of the day.  The headliner view was coming back into the harbor and getting a view of the aircraft carrier against the Ravenel bridge.  After the cruise we met Dave at the Pavilion rooftop bar.

King St
Shopped around King St the day before Thanksgiving, had one of the best lobster bisques ever at the Mezz jazz bar/restaurant.  We also overheard a couple arguing next to us – it was pretty awkward – we even talked about it with the bartender!!  The husband ended up coming back a bit later, struck up a conversation with Dave and us, and ended up having lived in an area in Tennessee where Dave almost accepted a full time job a few years ago – he told Dave how the town is depressed, there’s a lot of drug usage (which Dave would have been dealing with in the hospital there.)  Looks like a disappointment a few years ago turned out to be a blessing!

College of Charleston
A public college just a few blocks away from our place.  Dave and I love to walk through it regularly.  The yellow building is gorgeous!  Puts SUNY Albany to shame (then again any college campus puts Albany’s uptown ‘concrete jungle’ campus to shame – ha ha!!  Michelle and Trish and other college friends can attest that we were not there for the architecture 🙂








Kiawah Island (gators!), Angel Oak Tree, and Charles Towne Landing

Fri 11/28

Kiawah Island – up close and personal with gators!

Mom, Dave, and I drove out to Kiawah Island to check out the beaches and have lunch.  Kiawah is a barrier island about 15 mi south of Charleston and is a private gated beach and golf resort.  I called the main resort and got advance scoop on the best place to go to see the gators (as we didn’t want to go on their 2-hour island tour.)  They gave us a great recommendation to go to Osprey Point and have lunch at the Cherrywood Grill.  We had a fabulous lunch and incredible luck to get up close and personal (about 30′!) with 4 gators lounging on the edge of a pond!

Beachwalker Park
Pretty beach, very wide, fine white packed sand perfect for long walks!

Angel Oak Tree
On the way to Kiawah we detoured to see the Angel Oak Tree and it was pretty impressive!  Here are some stats:

  • Dated at being ~1500 years old – wow!
  • Massive:  Over 65′ high, diameter of 160′, and covers more than 17,000 square feet of ground

Charles Towne Landing
Historic site where the English settlers first landed in 1670 to establish the Carolina colony.  Introduces visitors to the earliest colonial history of Charleston.  It includes an exhibit hall, small zoo, archeological excavations, miles of trails & picnic areas, a replica tall ship, and cannon replicas.  The tour guide at the Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon highly recommended this visit – not sure why, perhaps they get kick-backs for referrals as we really didn’t think it was worth the visit, and glad it was just a quick stop on the way back from Kiawah!