Ah, Charleston! Home to some of the most “Southern” cities and quaint houses, people who move to Charleston know what it means to have a blessed day. Being that Charleston is the oldest city in the state of South Carolina, those who love history as well as a modern mash up of fun will find themselves thoroughly entertained here!
Served by the impressive Charleston International Airport (CHS), a super busy passenger hub, makes Charleston directly accessible from several regions around the USA. This means international flyers including those who move to Charleston will most likely have a layover elsewhere in America.
Major car rental services are available directly at the airport, but depending on what you are doing and where you will be staying or you will be moving to in Charleston, you might not need a car at all!
Other public transportation options include the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) bus, downtown shuttles that leave frequently from the Charleston Visitor Center, tour buses operated by Gray Line, taxis on the cheap, and even horse-drawn carriages. For the best horse-drawn carriage tours and excursions, try Old South Carriage Company or Classic Carriage Works.
Things to See in Charleston
While there is so much to view in this beautiful historic city, some attractions are better than others. Here are top-rated attractions that delight people of all ages and from all around the world. Those who move to the city from Japan or the rest of the world should visit these places during their stay.
1. Sullivan’s Island
A place of underestimated beauty, Sullivan’s Island has beachfront views, a lighthouse, unique boutiques, and a couple of historical locations to see. Fort Moultrie, for instance, is not only the first fort constructed on Sullivan’s Island, it was where Edgar Allan Poe was stationed from November 1827 to December 1828. For that reason, check out Poe’s Tavern, a wonderful ode to Edgar Allan Poe and home of the peanut butter burger.
2. The Historic District & Charleston City Market
Known as the cultural heart of Charleston, these old streets tell tales of the past. The Market is one of the oldest in America. Nowadays, the market is home to over 300 sellers with unique merchandise. There is a great hall section, an open-air market, restaurants, cafes, and other interesting notes to find. You also will not want to miss the Old Exchange Building, King Street, and the Old Slave Mart Museum. Be sure to watch the weaving of sweet grass baskets too.
3. The Battery and White Point Garden
A very popular location in Charleston for tourists and locals alike. There are preserved mortars, a Confederate monument from the Civil War, and a broad line of state houses and mansions. Get close enough to the water and you will also see Fort Sumter and the Harbor. A pleasant place to spend the afternoon.
4. Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
Having first opened in 1870, this garden is one of the oldest public green spaces in America. There is a lot to see here--and not just flowers. On site is an Antebellum cabin that has a guided tour, waterway boat tours, exhibits, and a nature center complete with a petting zoo for the little ones.
5. Waterfront Park
Fountains, double swings, palm trees, and seasonal flower gardens line the Charleston Harbor. This place makes for a pleasant walk in the cool evening air.
6. The Nathaniel Russell House
You might know this house by its stunning spiral staircase, even though you may not have known the name. This small museum has undergone some reconstruction, and the effort made is noticeable. Tours are about 30 minutes in length and dive into the history of the Russell family. If you also plan on going to another house museum, the Aiken-Rhett House, you can get a discounted ticket.
7. The Charleston Museum
America’s first museum that opened in 1773. On display are rare slave badges, rice growing tools, early weaponry, and pictures documenting life during the Revolution and Civil War. There is even a gallery of curiosities gathered during the 19th century, including a real Egyptian mummy.
8. Drayton Hall
A surviving plantation in the Deep South, these Southern Belle has aged well. Drayton Hall was built in a time with no electricity, heating or air conditioning--and it still does not have these modern comforts. There are walking trails around the grounds and an on-site cemetery for African Americans. A wonderful look into the past that has not been modified.
Charleston, SC is the ideal location for solo travelers and families seeking a peek into the past as well as people moving in from other parts of America and also people immigrating from outside the USA. The Spanish moss trees compliment the antiquated facades of the downtown buildings. When you have seen enough history, spend the rest of the day on one of the many beaches, enjoying the perfect temperatures and white sands.