Taking advantage of what is at our doorstep here in the Lowcountry
South Carolina is greatly known for its beautiful landscapes, the food and beverage industry and the southern charm the state holds. But one of the biggest attractions for South Carolina is its historical contributions. South Carolina is filled with landmarks, museums, forts, plantations, buildings, and machinery that are open to the public that all hold historical value.
We as residents and/or visitors have the ability to go and explore almost all of them. Keep in mind, some do need reservations, and some are seasonal. So lace up your shoes and let’s go experience what this state has to offer!
All of the following sites are located in and around Charleston. They offer walking tours which are perfect for getting your blood flowing. Please feel free to expand your knowledge of each historical site further! These are just a few of the historical sites you often hear about, but there are hundreds more in South Carolina.
Boone Hall Plantation: Boone Hall Plantation is located at 1235 Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant South Carolina. In 1681 when John Boone moved to Charleston he started a lucrative plantation which is now called Boone Hall. This plantation is preserved and functioning today. It is open to the public, so people can see how and what it looked like to run a plantation back in the 1600s. Boone Hall is one of the oldest working farms in the United States to date, still producing crops that are being sold at their local farm stands. Originally this plantation was known for cotton and pecans, they now grow all local fruits and vegetables.
Boone Hall stretches for miles in Mount Pleasant, with two farm stands open to the public on the roadsides. The plantation holds many events and concerts on the yards of Boone Hall as well. They do offer tours, and there is a price for admission.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens: Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is one of the oldest growing gardens open to the public in America! This plantation is the home to many animals, swamp land, amazing trees, gardens, a nature center, zoo, and a historical house. Here, they also offer boat and grounds tours, as well as a place for events and weddings. There are many different ticket options for entrance fees which give you different options of what you’re interested in exploring.
Patriots Point/USS Yorktown: Patriots Point is located on the coast line of Mount Pleasant right across the Cooper River from Charleston. Patriots Point is the home many sports fields, a golf course, hotels, a restaurant, but most well-known for being the home of the USS Yorktown. The USS Yorktown is an aircraft carrier from World War II. The Yorktown is an amazing site to see not only on the outside but the inside as well. It is an educational and amazing site for all ages. There are other war vessels on site as well that your tour guide will inform you all about! Patriots Point is also where you can go to gain access to Fort Sumter.
Fort Sumter: Fort Sumter is a landmark for an event that happened in 1861 between the North and the South. It's the location where the Confederates opened fire into, on the Charleston Harbor. The fort is now used as a National Park Service site. Fort Sumter is only accessible by boat, but they do supply a ferry and have fees for transportation and tours.
Fort Moultrie: Fort Moultrie is located on Middle Street on Sullivan’s Island, being a fort that defended the seacoasts. Fort Moultrie sits directly on the beach, and is an open and free museum to all. Fort Moultrie was used to defend in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II. This fort was originally built for the defense of Charleston against the British. Fort Moultrie now is known as a national monument and entertains thousands of tourists yearly.
H.L. Hunley: The H. L. Hunley was the first successful combat submarine. After completing her mission in the Civil War sinking the USS Housatonic, she disappeared mysteriously and was found in 1995. She has been preserved and is used as a time capsule to better understand what happened during the mid-eighteen hundreds. The Hunley is now open for tours and is located on the old Navy base in North Charleston.
Middleton Place: Middleton Place was constructed in 1705 by the Middleton family and still to this day is owned by this family. Middleton Place was the home to Henry Middleton who was the first president to the continental congress, and his son Arthur being one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. The house and gardens now are a National Historic Landmark for thousands of people yearly to come and tour. The house has a lot of its original belongings, and the gardens are more elaborate than ever. Middleton Place is located off of Ashley River Road in Charleston, South Carolina.
Charles Towne Landing: Charles Towne Landing is the first permanent settlement of the English in the Carolinas. This land is the home to multiple trails, a natural habitat zoo, an exhibit hall, a replica ship, replica cannons, event and wedding areas, and much more. If you want to see where a lot of the history started in South Carolina this is where you would go. They have self-guided tours, trails to walk and bike, spend as much time here as you’d like. Charleston Towne Landing is located on the Ashley River just outside of Charleston.
Marion Square: Marion Square once known as the Citadel Green was the home of multiple tobacco inspection buildings. It's name was changed to Marion Square in honor of war hero Frances Marion. Much of the square was being sectioned off by roads and housing, a law was put in place that the open space still available would have to stay open for historical events of the Sumter Guards and the Washington Light Infantry. Marion Square now is the home to the statue of John C. Calhoun who was a native to South Carolina, a Secretary of War, U.S. senator, and the Vice President. On one of the cornerstones lay one of the cannons from Fort Moultrie, a banner from Calhoun’s death, and a lock of his hair. The latest addition to Marion Square was a holocaust memorial. Marion Square is located in the heart of downtown Charleston. It's now home to hundreds of passersby daily, farmers markets, special events, and much more.
Angel Oak Tree: The Angel Oak Tree is guessed to be between 400-500 years old, but some saying over 1,000 years old – this being an ongoing conversation. The lesser of the years seems to be a more probable answer, most people are saying. The tree can be found in Angel Oak Park, which is on John Island, South Carolina. The Angel Oak is sought to be famous because it is found to be one of the longest living “things” in America. The tree is used for photographs, wedding events, picnics, a nature walking area and much more.
These ten historical sites in South Carolina are only a small jab into what is offered here to go see and explore! This state gives us so many opportunities to put on our shoes. None of these do you just sit and watch, they are all active adventures!
I challenge you this week to educate yourself more on a historical location that you can go explore! No they do not all have a charge so don’t feel obligated to pay anything, find one that is free! Sometimes we do not take advantage of the amazing sites around us, so while doing so we might as well get our fitness on! Please e-mail me with any questions, concerns, or if you need ideas!
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