We always head for the Battery (officially, the White Point Gardens) to get into the feel of this city. It's right on the end of the peninsula, facing the Cooper River and the harbor. It has a landscaped park, shaded by palmettos and live oaks, with walkways lined with old monuments and other war relics. The view toward the harbor goes out to Fort Sumter. We like to walk along the seawall on East Battery and Murray Boulevard and slowly absorb the Charleston ambience.
Before you go, contact the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CACVB; tel. 800/774-0006 or 843/853-8000; www.charlestoncvb.com) for information on tours, attractions, and special events.
Note: You can visit six of the attractions listed in this guide by buying a Heritage Passport ticket for $40 ($23 children). The ticket provides admission to Middleton Place, Drayton Hall, the Nathaniel Russell House, the Gibbes Museum, the Aiken-Rhett House, and the Edmondston-Alston House. You can purchase a ticket at the main CACVB branch, 375 Meeting St. (Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm), or at the attractions themselves.
Especially for Kids
For more than 300 years, Charleston has been the home of pirates, patriots, and presidents. Your child can see firsthand the Great Hall at the Old Exchange, where President Washington danced; view the Provost Dungeons, where South Carolina patriots spent their last days; and touch the last remaining structural evidence of the Charleston Seawall. Children will take special delight in Charles Towne Landing and Middleton Place. At Fort Sumter, they can see where the Civil War began. Children will also enjoy Magnolia Plantation, with its Audubon Swamp Garden.
Kids and Navy vets will also love the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, at Patriots Point, 2 miles east of the Cooper River Bridge. Its World War II, Korean, and Vietnam exploits are documented in exhibits, and general naval history is illustrated through models of ships, planes, and weapons. You can wander through the bridge wheelhouse, flight and hangar decks, chapel, and sick bay, and view the film The Fighting Lady, which depicts life aboard the carrier. Also at Patriots Point are the World War II destroyer Laffey; the World War II submarine Clamagore; and the cutter Ingham. Patriots Point is open daily from 9am to 6pm April to October, until 5pm November to March. Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors over 62 and military personnel in uniform, $7 for kids 6 to 11. Adjacent is the fine 18-hole public Patriots Point Golf Course. For further information, call tel. 843/884-2727 or visit www.patriotspoint.org.
For a complete listing of what to see and do in Charleston, S.C., visit the online attractions index at Frommers.com.
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