If you’re looking for an affordable getaway consider a weekend in Charleston, SC. Charleston will allow you to get a dose of southern charm and experience American history perhaps like no other city in the country. Charleston is a little over 7 hours from our home on the west coast of Florida so my wife Shirley and I decided to head up there for a few days.
The History of Charleston
Today the entire city of Charleston is like a museum as the homes and public buildings are well preserved and look much like they did 200 years ago. With the exception of the parked cars lining the streets, you will be transported back to the 1800s. Not to be missed are Waterfront Park, Charleston City Market, and the Cathedral of John the Baptist.
The recorded history of Charleston dates back to 1669 when the first settlers arrived from Europe. But today most of the history you will experience on a visit to Charleston has its roots in the Civil War. South Carolina succeeded from the Union in late 1860. Fort Sumter was captured by the Confederates in April 1861. You can visit Fort Sumter by tour boat. Check this schedule for departure times to Fort Sumter.
A Valuable Tip for Your Weekend in Charleston
A tip for visiting Charleston is to stay across the Charleston Harbor and the Cooper River at Patriots Point. Bring your bikes or rent them and bring them with you on the short ferry ride across the harbor to Charleston. Then enjoy riding bikes, NOT driving around the city. Because Charleston hasn’t changed much in 150 years from an infrastructure standpoint, parking is at a premium. By riding bikes, you will avoid that problem and be able to experience Charleston at your leisure.
One option to check out for renting bikes in Charleston is Holy Spokes, the Charleston Bike Share
Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
We stayed at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina just steps from the Harbor itself. During the day and at night we enjoyed looking out and seeing huge cargo ships pass by Fort Sumter and Shutes Folly Island, and then sail right in front of us. The moving lights at night slowly passing in front of us was a unique sight. When we wanted to head over to Charleston, we just hopped the ferry with our bikes for the pleasant short ride.
We took a bike ride east from the resort across the Ben Sawyer Bridge to Sullivan’s Island, a quaint beach town where we had lunch and rode the side streets before heading back. As you cross the Ben Sawyer bridge, you’ll see the water inlets that run for miles to the northeast. Then look the other way to the west to see The Cove waterway as it stretches out into Charleston Harbor.
Eating and Enjoying an Afternoon or Evening Cocktail
There are too many places to enjoy some southern fare and an afternoon or evening cocktail, to list here. We made a memorable stop on our bikes at Stars Rooftop and Grill Room. The food and service were great, but the best part was the view from atop the roof while we enjoyed an afternoon cocktail.
Do a little homework before you go. But even if you decide to just wander around and see where the city will lead you, you’ll have a memorable weekend in Charleston, SC.