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.