Traveler of Charleston Mag | 2023 Jan-June

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First-Time Visitors Guide Must See Museums Beach Guide ATTRACTIONS | TOURS | DINING | COUPONS | EVENTS | MAPS TRAVELER of Charleston ® The Source For All Things Charleston AmazingToThings Doin Charleston INSIDE! JANUARY-JUNE 2023
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1920 Preservation Society Founded to protect historic resources 1989 Hurricane Hugo hits the city and surrounding areas with 135 mph winds

2023 International

African American Museum scheduled to open

1861 Confederate troops fire the first shots of the Civil War upon Fort Sumter

1864 H.L. Hunley sinks U.S.S. Housatonic in Charleston harbor 1977

1886 Major earthquake hits Charleston, damaging 2,000 buildings, killing 100 people

Festival USA begins

2006 Charleston Wine+Food Festival founded

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge over the Cooper River opens

2016 Joseph P. Riley Jr. retires after 40 years as Charleston mayor JANUARY - JUNE 2023 TRAVELER 9

Young Army recruit named Edgar Allan Poe is stationed at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island
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Soak up Charleston history at these key attractions

Learn the history of Charleston and see some of the city’s most beautiful public spaces by visiting these area landmarks. These attractions are free or low cost.

Angel Oak

Estimated to be 300-400 years old, the majestic Angel Oak is worth a visit. The oak tree towers 65 feet high and has a circumference of 25.5 feet. Its area of shade is 17,000 square feet and its largest limb has a circumference of 11.5 feet, and a length of 89 feet. No admission to visit the park and take photos, plus there’s a gift shop and picnic area. 3688 Angel Oak Road, Johns Island

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge

Opened in July 2005, this cable-stayed bridge spanning the Cooper River has become an iconic symbol of Charleston. This architectural marvel has a 2-mile bike/pedestrian lane called Wonders’ Way. Free parking is available on East Bay Street in downtown Charleston and also on the Mount Pleasant side at Memorial Waterfront Park so you can walk the bridge for a bird’s eye view of the Charleston harbor.


we Love

Fort Sumter

Fort Moultrie

Visit Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island for a greater understanding of history from the American Revolution through World War II. Insider tip: Walk the beach there for stunning views of Fort Sumter and the Charleston skyline from a distance.

1214 Middle St., Sullivan’s Island

Calling all history buffs! Visit the spot where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Located in the Charleston harbor, Fort Sumter also played key roles in the Revolutionary War against the British and was Charleston’s main defense from seaside attacks. In 1966, the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You can visit the fort via ferry operated by Fort Sumter Tours. Tours depart from the Aquarium Wharf downtown or at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant.


Charles Pinckney National Historic Site Visitor Center

Charles Pinckney was a principal author and a signer of the U.S. Constitution. This historic site is a 28-acre remnant of Pinckney’s Snee Farm, a rice and indigo plantation. Located on site is an 1828 coastal cottage that serves as a museum and visitor center. Exhibits tell the story of Pinckney and his contributions to the United States as a young and emerging nation as well as detailing 18th-century plantation life for free and enslaved people at Snee Farm. 1254 Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant

St. Michaels Church & Graveyard

St. Michael’s Church is the oldest church edifice in the City of Charleston, standing on the site of the first Anglican Church built south of Virginia. In the 1680s, a small wooden church – the first in the new town of Charles Town – was built on this spot for the families of the Church of England and named St. Philip’s. John Rutledge, the first governor of South Carolina and signer of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution is buried in the graveyard here. 80 Meeting St., Charleston

The Battery

The Battery is a landmark defensive seawall and promenade in Charleston, famous for its stately antebellum homes. Named for a Civil War coastal defense artillery battery at the site, it stretches along the lower shores of the Charleston peninsula, bordered by the Ashley and Cooper rivers.

2 Murray Blvd., Charleston

Riley Waterfront Park

Riley Waterfront Park is a 12-acre park along a one-half mile stretch of the Cooper River in Charleston. The public park has a pier with swings and it’s a great place to see some dolphins and snap some photos of the harbor. Be sure to dip your toes in the Pineapple Fountain – another iconic Charleston symbol.

1 Vendue Range, Charleston


A Day at the Beach

Your Guide to Charleston’s


If you came to Charleston looking to unwind, look no further than one of our local beaches. The cares of the world melt away when your feet hit the sand and you hear the melodic sounds of ocean waves.

Soak up the laid-back vibe of Folly Beach, the family friendly feel of Isle of Palms or the unspoiled ocean views at Sullivan’s Island. Each beach has its own character and appeal, so review our guide and then decide which beach you want to visit – or visit them all!


This barrier island beach has a laid-back atmosphere and is frequented by locals and surfers. With plenty of restaurants, surf shops, hotels and beach rentals, Folly Beach is a great place to spend some time. Plus, Folly is a short drive from the heart of downtown Charleston with all its attractions and activities. Note, summertime traffic can be extra heavy. If you’re not staying on the beach, plan to arrive by 10 a.m.

Where to park: Limited parking is available at Folly Beach County Park (1100 W. Ashley Ave.), so plan to arrive early to secure a spot. Parking fees vary by season. The most you’ll pay is $10 per vehicle Monday to Friday and $15 on Saturday and Sunday. You can easily access the beach via the park, where you’ll be close to restrooms, outdoor showers, a snack bar and lifeguards.

Rules to know: Alcohol is not allowed on Folly Beach. Dogs are not allowed on the beach from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 1 through Sept. 30. At other times, dogs much be leashed; pick up after

your pet. Surfing without a leash is prohibited. Between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. May 15 to Sept. 15, surfing is not allowed from 2nd Street East to 3rd Street West (known as the swimming zone). More info and complete beach rules:

Folly Beach fun fact: One of Folly’s famous visitors was composer and pianist George Gershwin. While staying at Folly, he composed the classic opera “Porgy and Bess.”


Located just a few minutes from Mount Pleasant, the Isle of Palms has plenty of amenities and is a great family-friendly beach option. This stretch of public beach has a selection of shops, restaurants and bars, plus public restrooms. The area of Ocean Boulevard from 10th Avenue to 14th Avenue is set aside for beachgoers and is known as “Front Beach.”

If you’re not staying on Isle of Palms, plan to arrive early. The Isle of Palms Connector backs up quickly with beach traffic.


Where to park: Parking is regulated along the public rights-of-way between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Visitors can park their vehicles on any road right-of-way within the Beach Parking District unless it has been marked with a “no parking” sign. Metered street parking is available along with paid parking in the Municipal Parking Lots and at Isle of Palms County Park.

For access to picnic tables, showers, restrooms, seasonal lifeguards and a playground, you might want to park at the Isle of Palms County Park.

Rules to know: Dogs are allowed off leash on the beach from 5-9 a.m. April 1 to Sept. 14 and from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. Sept. 15 to March 31. At all other times, dogs must be on a leash – even in the water. No smoking, alcoholic beverages, glass containers, fires or fireworks. Single-use plastics and Styrofoam products are also prohibited. More info and complete beach rules:

IOP fun fact: Loggerhead sea turtles often lay their eggs at the Isle of Palms from May to mid-August. From July until October, the loggerhead hatchlings emerge from their nest at night and make their way to the ocean. Do not disturb any nests or any hatchlings and be sure to fill any holes you dig on the beach. If you’re staying on the beach, be sure to turn out your lights at night.


The Town of Sullivan’s Island, a barrier island north of the Charleston harbor, has only about 2,000 residents. With its unspoiled views and terrific dining options, Sullivan’s is a favorite among Charleston area locals. The beach has few short-term rentals and no hotels, so plan a day trip to this beach, also located just a few minutes from Isle of Palms.

Where to park: Parking can be a problem if you arrive after 10 a.m. There are no public parking lots, and street parking is allowed only on one side of the street. Be sure to obey posted signs and don’t park in any private yards or driveways.

Rules to know: Sullivan’s Island has no public restrooms or showers and there are no lifeguards on duty. Alcohol is not permitted on the beach. All dogs visiting the island must have a dog permit and should wear the town-issued collar while on Sullivan’s Island. Permits and collars are available at Town Hall, 2050-B Middle St.; 843-883-3198. Dogs are not allowed on the beach from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 1 through Sept. 30. More info and complete beach rules:

Sullivan’s Island fun fact: This Island has a long military history of protecting the Charleston harbor from invaders. Visit Fort Moultrie – originally built with palmetto logs in 1776 – to learn how it has been restored to reflect the story of American seacoast defense up through World War II.


Another of Charleston’s beautiful beaches is Kiawah Island. Much of the island and its beaches are private, but you can access a portion of public beachfront via Kiawah Beachwalker Park on the west end of the island. It has restrooms, picnic areas with grills, and boardwalks. Parking fees vary by season. The most you’ll pay is $10 per vehicle Monday to Friday and $15 on Saturday and Sunday. Lifeguards are on duty seasonally, and, at the park, dogs must be leashed at all times.



Charleston’s only vineyard and winery on 50 sprawling acres in nearby Wadmalaw provides tastings and outdoor fun for the whole family. Muscadine grapes, the only truly native grapes to the U.S., are grown and harvested on the grounds and the public is invited to walk the grounds in a “choose your own adventure” tour, visiting animals and weaving through the current wine list, choosing six samples to try. Deepwater Vineyard also hold many special events throughout the year, including ‘wine down weekends ‘and a grape stomp. Open Tuesday through Saturday. 6775 Bears Bluff Rd., Wadmalaw Island.


The only tea garden in North America where you can see hundreds of thousands of tea bushes stretching out acre after acre as far as the eye can see. There is no admission charge to explore on the many acres of tea plants on foot and a trolley tour ($15 for adults and $7.50 for children) brings guests to a greenhouse, factory and gift shop, which is stocked with a host of tea-related items. Open Monday-Saturday. 6617 Maybank Hwy., Wadmalaw Island.

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Standing in the middle of the Charleston Harbor and only accessible by ferry through Fort Sumter Tours, the Fort Sumter National monument lets visitors walk the man-made island where the first shots of the Civil War took place on April 12, 1861. Today, the park and monument are run by the National Parks Service. While on the water, you will see beautiful views of the Ravenel Bridge, the Battery and the USS Yorktown. Traveler Tips: If you book the first ferry of the day, you will be able to participate in the flag raising ceremony. Those who book the last ferry of the day will be able to see the lowering of the flag above Fort Sumter. If you’re visiting with kids, be sure to ask the ranger about the Jr. Ranger program.

Old Slave Mart 6 Chalmers St., Charleston 843-958-6467 •

The Old Slave Mart survives as a remnant of pre-Civil War Charleston. The museum is the only existing building in South Carolina where slaves were once auctioned. The museum traces the history of the site, Charleston’s role in the slave trade and the lives of the people who were bought and sold there. Auctions of the enslaved ended in November 1863 and the property changed hands many times and served as a Negro tenement, an auto repair

shop, a museum featuring African and African American arts and crafts and is now historical museum. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. This historic site is located on Chalmers St., one of the city’s few remaining cobblestone streets.

Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon 122 E Bay St., Charleston (843) 727-2165 •

Walk through the same room where our George Washington was entertained by Charlestonians and walk the same dungeon where the area’s notorious pirates and British prisoners-of-war were jailed all in the same building at the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, at the intersection of Broad and East Bay Streets. Completed in 1771, this important building also served as a meeting

Must see JANUARY - JUNE 2023 TRAVELER 27

place for the ratification of the Constitution. Experienced costumed docents will lead you through the building’s eerie confines and entertain you and your family with wonderful tales of pirates and patriots.

Gibbes Museum 135 Meeting St., Charleston 843-722-2706 •

The Gibbs Museum opened to the public in 1905 as one of the oldest arts organizations in the United States. Located in the center of the city’s historic art district, The Gibbes Museum is home to the foremost collection of American art that incorporates the story of Charleston—some 7,000 paintings, works on paper, photographs and sculpture—in permanent exhibits. A schedule of wonderful traveling exhibitions, including exhibits on loan from the Smithsonian and other programs and events makes the museum worth visiting again and again. This spring, the Gibbes will once again present Art Charleston, a five-day festival that celebrates the visual arts.

Charleston Museum

360 Meeting St., Charleston 843-722-2996 •

Founded in 1773, The Charleston Museum is regarded at America’s First Museum. With a varied and exiting list of permanent exhibits— from South Carolina historical artifacts during the American Revolution to fossils of the area’s prehistoric birds—guests are invited to share in discovering, preserving, interpreting and celebrating the South Carolina Lowcountry and beyond. The Charleston Museum is perfect for families with Kidstory, a hands-on

exhibit for children, which lets the fascinating history of Charleston and the Lowcountry comes alive.

North Charleston Fire Museum and Education Center 4975 Centre Pointe Dr., North Charleston 843-740-5550 •

The North Charleston Fire Museum and Educational Center houses the largest collection of professionally restored American LaFrance fire apparatus in the country. With over 20 vehicles dating as far back as 1780’s, the Fire Museum is committed to the history and preservation antique fire apparatus. Visitors will get a glimpse into the life of a firefighter along with changes and advancements. Kids of all ages will love the interactive displays, theater and hands on-equipment that showcase the importance and history of the fire service.

Patriot’s Point 40 Patriots Point Rd, Mt. Pleasant 843-884-2727 •

Situated on the Mt. Pleasant side of the Charleston Harbor, Patriot’s Point is a naval & maritime museum on Charleston Harbor with the World War II aircraft carrier U.S.S. Yorktown as its centerpiece. All attractions and exhibits are included in admission; in addition to exploring the famed aircraft carrier visitors can marvel at a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships, a Cold War Memorial and the only Vietnam Experience Exhibit in the U.S. Additionally, The Medal of Honor Museum features interactive exhibits that tell the stories of the brave Americans who have served and protected the U.S. with remarkable courage.

Historic House Museums Various locations

Nationally-significant and meticulously preserved Charleston houses from the late Colonial and early Federal period are open to the public for walkthroughs to learn about Charleston’s history through the lens of the artisans and craftspeople who built and adorned these opulent homes, and the enslaved men and women whose forced labor made possible these lavish lifestyles. The Nathaniel Russell House Museum features geometrically shaped rooms, a three-storied cantilevered flying staircase, elaborate plasterwork ornamentation and formal gardens. The Thomas Heyward house features the only 1740s kitchen building open to the public in Charleston. The AikenRhett House and its surviving furnishings offer a compelling portrait of urban life in antebellum Charleston.

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JANUARY - JUNE 2023 TRAVELER 31 Museum Galleries | Historic House | Active Archaeology See it and be moved. Use promo code Traveler2 for $2 off audio tour tickets
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1-11 Piccolo Spoleto

Starting on May 26, the smaller “sister’ festival that complements Spoleto Festival USA presents a number of free events at various locations that highlight artists both locally and regionally.


Sound of Charleston

From gospel to Gershwin, experience Charleston’s history as heard through music at the historic circular congregational church. Performances are held in March, April, May and June.

Second Sunday on King Street

On the second Sunday of every month, Stroll, shop, dine and enjoy Charleston’s “Main Street” on a vehicle-free, pedestrian-only afternoon. There will be events and activities, shopping, food and wine, and more!

Event details are subject to change. Please call ahead or check the listed website for confirmation.

34 TRAVELER JANUARY - JUNE 2023 P All Day Ride Pass $14 Not Your Typical Water Taxi Best Value in Charleston! Includes Dolphin Sightings | Most Affordable Harbor Cruise + Transportation to 4 points around the Harbor! Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina (BEACH CLUB, FISH HOUSE RESTAURANT) Departs on the hour (:00) starting at 9 am Waterfront Park/Historic Market St. (DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON) Departs 15 minutes (:15) past the hour starting at 9:15 am Aquarium Wharf/ Maritime Center Patriots Point (USS Yorktown) 1 2 3 4 HARBOR CRUISE Included! Hop On/Hop Off All Day Kids 3 and Under are FREE DEPARTS HOURLY FROM 4 LOCATIONS DOLPHIN SIGHTINGS Frequent! | 843.330.2989 4 1 2 3 (AQUARIUM, LIBERTY SQ, AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM) Departs 30 minutes (:30) past the hour starting at 9:30 am Departs45minutes(:45)pastthehourstartingat9:45am
JANUARY - JUNE 2023 TRAVELER 35 From Gosp el to Gersh w i n The Sound of Charleston Charleston’s history as heard through her music. | (843) 270-4903 Tickets available at the Charleston Visitor Center. “The best night out in the city... a must see performance.” ~ Frommers Travel Guide Presented at Historic Circular Congregational Church PERFORMANCES (7pm): March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 April. 5, 12, 19, 26 May. 3, 10, 17 Piccolo Spoleto Festival (2pm): May 27, June 3, 4, 10

Party on the Water Capitan

Cocktail Cruises offer

One of the best ways to enjoy Charleston is from the water and Captain Cocktail Cruises has you covered with a list of cruises for any occasion. The “CFO” Chief Fun Officer, Captain Cocktail, guarantees to make the party as historic as Charleston itself.

A host of options for daytime or evening boat rides includes private charters for bachelor and bachelorette parties and a public sunset cruise that departs in the evenings. Boats leave from either Shem Creek or downtown Charleston.

With capacity for 28 people and a bathroom on board, Captain Cocktail Cruises is a com-

fortable way to enjoy Charleston by cruising through the area’s picture-perfect waterways. Coolers full of ice are always on board to keep beverages cold.

Each private charter — such as a bachelor or bachelorette party boat cruise — is completely customizable. Bring a playlist on your phone and become the DJ on the boat’s custom sound system. There are plenty of games to keep the party going.

The public charters and sunset cruises depart in the evening and dolphin sightings are all but guaranteed. Cruise options include a relaxing spin around the harbor or upping the energy with date night cruises complete with karaoke and a DJ.

No matter what cruise you pick, when you come aboard Captain Cocktail’s Cruises, you’ll have the time of your life. Visit www. for more info or call (843) 886-8456.

something for everyone



Famous Landmarks

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, J:1

Battery, G:10

Charleston Museum, G:4

· Charleston Place, G:7

Children’s Museum, G:4

Citadel Military College, B:1

College of Charleston, F:6

Dock Street Theatre, G:8

Four Corners of Law, G:8

Charleston Gaillard Center, H:6

Gibbes Museum, G:H



King Street Shopping District, G-6:7

Marion Square, G:5

Market Hall & City Market, H:7

Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon, H:9

Old Slave Mart Museum, H:8

Rainbow Row, H:9

South Carolina Aquarium, J:5



St. Philip’s Church, H:8

St. Michael’s Church, G:9

The Powder Magazine, G:8

Visitor Center, G:4

Waterfront Park/Pineapple Fountain, I:8

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 F G H I J K MAPS JANUARY - JUNE 2023 TRAVELER 39
Around Some transportation options for getting around downtown Charleston and the surrounding areas.
WATER TAXI: Transports visitors from downtown Charleston (Aquarium Wharf or Waterfront Park) to Mount Pleasant (Patriots Point or Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina). Taxi runs each hour; $14 for allday passes, 3 and under are free. No reservations needed. Call 843-330-2989 for pickup.
BUS: The CARTA bus system has regular routes that travel to major destinations. The DASH trolley service is available free of charge if you’re traveling around downtown Charleston. | 843-724-7420 n RICKSHAWS AND PEDICABS: Available in downtown Charleston as are taxi cabs for transportation around the Lowcountry.
UBER AND LYFT Ride services are available in the area. JANUARY - JUNE 2023 TRAVELER 41
Charleston Area Map
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