Things to Do & See in Charleston, South Carolina

Things to Do & See in Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston, S.C., is a charming city for many reasons. It is filled with historical reminders of years past. Buildings, gardens and plantations have been preserved remarkably well. The city possesses a rich lot of artistic endeavors as well; attractions include museums, live music and the yearly Spoleto Festival. Besides history and culture, Charleston also is home to many outdoor activities. Its beaches, rivers and gardens attract the attention and enthusiasm of locals and visitors alike.

Touring Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is a site that dates back to 1676 and has been open to the public since 1870. The property was once owned and run by the Drayton family. It is the oldest tourist attraction in Charleston and the oldest public gardens in the country. When you visit this area at 3550 Ashley River Road, be prepared to spend a few hours taking in all of the interesting facets of the site. As you explore the gardens, you can view countless types of vegetation such as the popular azaleas and camelias. You also can get a glimpse of the Ashley River by walking trails, naure train or boat; you might even get to see some alligators, herons, egrets and turtles. Tour the plantation house and surrounding slave quarters to get a historical idea of how the place once functioned. There's also a Nature House and petting zoo for animal enthusiasts who want some closer exploration.

Surfing At Folly

Although the waves are far from enormous, the surf scene at Folly Beach is a vital part of the local flavor. The "Washout" section of the beach is most popular. There are several yearly competitions, including the Wahine Contest in May. When you come to check out the waves, don't forget to walk around the town, which proudly calls itself "The Edge of America." There are an abundance of shops and restaurants that are rich in local flavor. Take a walk out on the large public fishing pier to enjoy the view and maybe even catch a fish or two. The overall atmosphere is friendly and laid back, and the warm climate makes surfing enjoyable from about April to October (or longer for hard-core enthusiasts).

Exploring the Edisto

The Edisto River is the longest undammed blackwater river in the world. The surrounding vegetation releases tannic acid into the water, causing the black appearance. Not only is it is rich in flora, but it also contains an abundance of wildlife such as alligators, snakes, turtles, herons and egrets. The river flows at a slow pace, which allows for exploration of many types, including canoe, kayak and even inner tubes. You can explore on your own or travel with one of the various outdoor adventure companies that offer guided tours of varying levels of experience. The river also is rich in fish such as redbreast and bream, but be cautious about how much you consume because of the water's previous high levels of mercury.

Article Written By Charlotte Johnson

Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.

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