Charleston, South Carolina

As one of the best-preserved cities in America, Charleston is a top tourist destination in the US. It boasts more than 70 pre-Revolutionary War buildings, 136 from the late 1700s and more than 600 built in the first half of the 19th century. Along with these historical attractions, the town today abounds with southern cooking and hospitality. There are also fine surrounds by rental car near Charleston and regular national travel deals.

Getting there

Charleston International Airport is located 12 miles from downtown Charleston. Five major airlines provide daily service to major hubs all over the eastern US. There are also a few regional, transcontinental, and international flights. Amtrak's Silver Service provides rail service along the eastern seaboard between New York's Penn Station and Miami, FL, with stops in South Carolina. Greyhound services link Charleston to other major cities in the state and the rest of the US.

With car rental from Charleston, the I-26 provides access to intersect I-95 before meeting Columbia. The north south running Interstate I-95 is located inland about halfway between Charleston and Columbia, making roadway travel easy to and from the bordering states.

Key attractions

You'll be fascinated by the city's many classic buildings in the historic Downtown area. Popular examples located in the historic area include the Neoclassical 1808 Nathaniel Russell House and the Heyward-Washington House, where George Washington stayed in 1791. Additionally, some of the best-preserved nineteenth century interiors are at the Aiken-Rhet House while the well-known Edmondston-Alston House is located on the elegant High Battery neighborhood of Charleston.

The other popular tourist spot is across the Cooper River in Mt. Pleasant. Here Charleston Harbor offers at least a day's exploration of its many attractions. Patriot's Point boasts the world's largest naval and maritime museum. Housed in the harbor are an aircraft carrier, WWII submarine, a destroyer, a nuclear merchant ship, and a Coast Guard cutter. Also worth a visit are Charles Towne, where in 1670 the original settlement was founded, and the nationеs first museum, the Charleston Museum.

Out and about

One of the most popular activities outside Charleston city limits by rental car is visiting antebellum plantations and mansions. One of the most famous is the 1743 Boone Hall Plantation and Grounds, nine miles north of town on Hwy 17. The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens features Americaеs oldest garden (1680) and even includes a 45-minute Nature Trainе ride it is located 10 miles northwest of town on Hwy 61. Nearby on the same highway is Drayton Hall which is nationally known as the oldest plantation house open to the public.

Several very popular vacation islands lie just miles from Charleston. Situated at the mouth of Charlestonеs harbor, Sullivan's Island is famous for being the home of Fort Moultrie, where on June 28, 1776 the American Revolutionaries won their first Patriot victory over the British. Today the casual atmosphere of the island makes it a popular family destination.

Leisure options

The city is large enough to boast international cuisine ranging from French to Mediterranean to Vietnamese, to mention just a few. Options include some of the finest nationally reviewed establishments in the country as well as down-home southern diners. Located 22 miles south of Charleston by car rental, Seabrook Island is more pristine, but exclusive, offering entrance only to landowners and guests at its resorts. Similarly, the wonderful golfing and other pastimes of Kiawah Island are available to the guests of its resorts. National deals on travel to Charleston online are common.


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