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In this post I'll go through some things to do and what you should see and experience when you visit Charleston. There are so many great businesses, sites, restaurants and attractions that it'll be a challenge to incorporate everything. Feel free to pick and choose what peaks your interest:
- Visit a Plantation - there are 4 plantations which are: Magnolia, Middleton Place, Drayton Hall and Boone Hall. If you are into gardens then choose Magnolia or Middleton. Architecture and preservations visit Drayton Hall. Boone Hall is famous for its "Avenue of Oaks", being the setting of some major movies and original slave cabins.
- Take a Carriage Tour - There are 5 carriage companies that all depart from the City Market. Palmetto Carriage is the company that is recommended.
- Get on the Water - Charleston thrives because of its access to the harbor and the sea. Be sure to partake in a water-based excursion.
- Visit Fort Sumter - This is where the first shot of the civil war was fired!
- Walk - The Historic District and the Battery. The historic district is known as "South of Broad" - translated into south of Broad Street. This is where all the mansions, rainbow row, house museums and beautiful flora are located. There are guided tours that you can take, many people opt for the self-guided version. A great site with walking tours is -www.walkingtourbooks.com"> http://www.walkingtourbooks.com
- Aquairum - The SC Aquarium is always changing its great exhibits and is a great place to visit.
- Dining & Restaurants - There are so many great places to eat that it's hard to begin with a list. Feel free to add your 2 cents on this matter if you have recomendations or have visited!
- Shopping - King Street is the hub of shopping in Charleston. Many visitor also enjoy "The Market" area which has many vendors selling all things Charleston.
- Go to the Beach - There are 3 public beaches in Charleston and you really can't go wrong with any of them. My recomendation is to visit either the Isle of Palms or Folly Beach. Sullivans Island is more remote and the parking and facilities are lacking....but it's beautiful and natural if that's what you're looking for.
This list should get your wheels turning. For more information on Charleston it's recommended to visit Traveler of Charleston Visitor Magazine -www.travelerofcharleston.com"> http://www.travelerofcharleston.com - which is a local magazine with things to do, coupons and maps of the area.
Feel free to aks questions, add comments and have a great time in Charleston!
Here is another site that gives great information about things to do in Charleston and has details for the things you listed above:
They even list a Top 10 Best of Charleston that locals and tourists vote on, it's pretty cool.