When we were still in the US after Australia we took an overnight trip to Charleston, and I’ve only just now realized I never wrote a post about this awesome city. I’d never been to Charleston before so I was really excited to experience this historic, fun city.
Staying in the Historic District is a must, because while there might be some cool stuff outside of it this is where the charm is. Our first stop was City Market, since it was right by our hotel. The market dates back to 1840 and you can buy everything from clothes, to food to Christmas tree ornaments and jewelry. I easily could have spent hours there, but since we were only there for a short period of time that didn’t seem very wise.
From there we walked along streets lined with small, quaint boutiques and small family-owned restaurants. I think the coolest part of the city are the plaques placed on very old buildings by the historic society that give a brief history of the building, and some of these date back to the 1700s. Since the US isn’t a very old country, being able to actually see stuff from that time period is really exciting, and I loved reading about the people who used to live or work there.
If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat, be sure to read up on what you can get nearby.
St. Michael’s Church is an impressive white church in the center of the historic district and since the city is quite low-rise church spires are the main thing you can see of the skyline.
Charleston has a lot of cobblestone streets, and some of them even are the original cobblestone from when the street was first put in. These are all throughout the city and you can easily come across many just by walking around the historic district– which can easily be covered in two days.
From the center we made out way to the waterfront, which has a lovely park with the iconic pineapple fountain, and beautiful views of the water. It’s very marshy and that to me felt extremely southern, since we don’t have marshes like that up in the north.
My absolute favorite part of the city is the French Quarter and, of course, it reminded me a lot of New Orleans. The architecture and the narrow streets are very similar, but the difference is that Charleston to me has a lot more charm to it, whereas New Orleans I find is a bit grittier. That’s not to say New Orleans doesn’t have charm as well, it’s just that Charleston to me feels clean and safe and New Orleans on the other hand has an element of ghetto to it at times.
We made our way through the French Quarter to Battery and Whitepoint Garden. This is on the southern tip of the historic district and faces Fort Sumpter. The gardens are extremely pleasant and the area is very quiet and suburban. The houses are all absolutely gorgeous and I would totally move there tomorrow if I actually had the money to buy them.
From Battery and Whitepoint Garden we wandered through the suburban streets of the historic district and saw huge, gorgeous houses. The streets were very quiet and these houses also have the plaques from the historic society so throughout our walk I was able to read the history of the area. Since we didn’t have the time to do Fort Sumter (since we didn’t plan ahead) we walked up towards Liberty Square, where there’s a free museum about the fort.
To be perfectly honest, my knowledge of South Carolina and Charleston is a bit lacking, so this small museum was actually incredibly informative and fascinating. It takes you through its history, the battle at Fort Sumter, and of course talks about the confederacy and South Carolina’s secession from the union. They have confederate money on display as well as the flag that was flown at Fort Sumpter in the 1800s. Since it’s incredibly old and fragile, it’s on display in a case, with only one panel open a day to prevent it from being destroyed by light and you’re also not allowed to take any photos of it.
Charleston is a fascinating, beautiful and rare city in the US because so much of our history isn’t from that long ago or they’ve been destroyed to be replaced by newer, more modern buildings. It has so much to offer and every street is just as picturesque as the last. Every street and every park is worth seeing and I can’t wait to go back one day.