Charleston, South Carolina

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Main port photo for Charleston, South Carolina

Superb colonial and antebellum architecture, ornate old gardens, narrow cobbled streets, a rich turbulent history, and Southern charm define Charleston, one of America's premier destinations.

Located on a peninsula between the confluence of the Cooper and Ashley Rivers, the city was the first English settlement in South Carolina. The surrounding Low Country has proved a rich and fertile land, producing rice, cotton, indigo and lumber. The great planter and merchant families that rose from this bounty made Charleston a glittering center of wealth, power and culture. The city has long prized and preserved its heritage. As you stroll the city's cobbled streets, history is on display. The College of Charleston was founded in 1770. The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, built 1771, was the sight of a Southern "Boston Tea Party" in 1773. St. Michael's Episcopal Church, built 1752, is the oldest church building in the city-both George Washington and Robert E. Lee attended services there, sitting in Pew 41. And it was in Charleston Harbor, of course, that the first rounds were fired in America's tragic Civil War.

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  • Battery Park Battery Park

    During the American Civil War, this public park was used for artillery. Today it is a landmark known for its stately antebellum homes and the White Point Gardens.

  • U.S. Naval & Maritime History U.S. Naval & Maritime History

    In the early 1700s, pirates frequently plundered what was then known as "Charles Towne." One such infamous pirate was Blackbeard who was later killed in a battle with the Royal Navy. Charleston is home to Patriot's Point and the USS Yorktown and submarine Clamagore.

  • Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon

    The Old Exchange is one of the most significant colonial buildings in the U.S. Beneath it lies the Provost Dungeon that was used by the British to detain their prisoners.

  • Fort Sumter Fort Sumter

    This coastal fortification in the Charleston harbor is best known as the site of the start of the American Civil War when the first shots were fired at the Battle of Fort Sumter.

  • Nathaniel Russell House Nathaniel Russell House

    This Neoclassical house was built by a wealthy merchant in 1808. It was sold to the state in 1955. Today it is a National Historic Landmark that serves as a museum.

  • Magnolia Plantation & Garden Magnolia Plantation & Garden

    This beautiful southern plantation features an ornate estate and 18th-century garden, complete with manicured beds, rice fields, swampland and bird-watching opportunities.

  • Boone Hall Boone Hall

    On one of America's oldest working plantations, watch live presentations on the history of the plantation, see exhibits about slavery or visit the Butterfly Pavilion.

  • Joseph Manigault House Joseph Manigault House

    This historic house was designed in the Adam style and completed in 1803. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973. Today, it is part of the Charleston Museum.

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