Charleston has been drawing people here since 1620.

You can’t talk about Charleston without mentioning the history of the area.  Charleston was made famous for being the “hotbed of The Confederacy” during the “Time of The Great Discomfort” or "The Wah of Nawthun' Aggression". (That’s the Charlestonians' way of describing The Civil War.)  But, the city also is one of the oldest in the country. You can, literally,  trace our country’s history by touring the area.

Here are a few of my favorite things to show guests to the area:

The Plantations.  You have so many choices on what to see, but each one gives you a glimpse of life from an earlier time.  My favorites are Middleton Place, Magnolia Gardens and Plantation, and Boone Hall Plantation They all have wonderful gardens, gracious plantation houses and special historical programs for visitors.

The Peninsula.  Most people call this “downtown Charleston,” but the locals use a name that describes the area geographically.  The historic area actually is a peninsula jutting into the water with The Ashley River on one side and The Cooper River on the other.  The best way to really experience the area is to get lost . . . wander around the cobblestone streets, duck into a few alleys, wander from street to street aimlessly.  As you  do, keep your eyes open and have your camera ready!  Be sure to visit The Historic Charleston Foundation for information.  I could go on for volumes about everything you’ll see on The Peninsula, but I do suggest taking a carriage ride for an overview. The carrriage houses are right off Market Street in the heart of the historic downtown area.

The Old Village of Mt. Pleasant.  Just across The Cooper River from The Peninsula you will see the oldest section of Mt. Pleasant, which has become a sprawling area.  Mt. Pleasant is hardly a mountain as the name suggests, but it has become a very popular place to live, work and play.  The Old Village is just off the majestic, new Ravenel Bridge over Charleston Harbor and offers a quaint, intimate experience.  Enjoy dining at such landmarks as The Post House Restaurant, The Wreck and at any one of the many waterside restaurants on Shem Creek with its flurry of activity from boaters and diners, alike.

Historic Summerville.  Just up The Ashley River from Charleston sits a classic Southern town that used to be the summer retreat for Charlestonians.  They  would ride up the river and spend the hot, humid days of summer in their exquisite cottages in Summerville, thus the name!  Today, the downtown area includes charming shops, a beautiful park and plenty of sites in between.  Summerville has become one of the fastest growing cities in the state, but has still maintained it’s authentic Southern Charm.  The Flowertown Festival in the spring reminds us all of the city’s heritage as a garden spot.

Sullivan’s Island.  The historical areas do not end at The Ashley and Cooper Rivers!  A stone’s throw from The Charleston Harbor on The Mt. Pleasant side of The Ravenel Bridge is Sullivan’s Island, a quaint little coastal village that may remind you of some New England towns on Cape Cod.  Fort Moultrie, where Edgar Allen Poe was once stationed and wrote The Gold Bug, sits on Sullivan's Island right on the harbor. It served as the city’s main protection from British troops during The Revolutionary War.  From there you also have a great view of Charleston’s other famous fort, Fort Sumter. It was Fort Sumter that received "the first shot", which was fired from White Point Garden on The Peninsula in Charleston, officially igniting The Civil War or The War Between The States, as Southerners also call it.  Sullivan’s Island is a great place to experience history and relax with it's old beach charm of lovely cottages, friendly pubs and no highrises...none!  Thank goodness, some things never change!