Hidden Gems on a Road Trip to Charleston, SC

South Carolina’s Lowcountry Jewel Has Never Looked Better

A visit to Charleston, South Carolina should be at the top of every traveler’s list. Beauty, charm, and hidden secrets abound in this beautiful Southern city.

Be careful when planning a trip to Charleston, SC! This bejeweled Queen of the Lowcountry has a bewitching charm that can’t be found elsewhere. Steeped in natural and manmade beauty, Charleston has it all – beguiling people, places, things, and activities to charm sojourners of every age – and many would-be tourists wind up turning into residents.

Secrets Hidden in Charleston’s Streets

Downtown Charleston is a feast of tiny hidden secrets and is best enjoyed by foot, bicycle or carriage. Bed & Breakfast’s house surprise gardens off their verandas. Paths leading to ancient graveyards appear suddenly along winding cobblestone streets. What appears to be a private residence unveils itself as a cozy café. A walk along the Battery, where stately houses built in the 18th and 19th centuries overlook the Charleston Harbor, is wildly impressive. Enormous live oak trees dripping with moss shade benches and expanses of lawn that invite picnicking. Shrimp trawlers dot the horizon as they crawl across the harbor towards the open ocean.

Charleston’s Recent Addition: A World-Class Aquarium

One of Charleston’s major thoroughfares in the open market place – a former slave-trading venue that now houses vendors of every stripe. Most of what can be purchased here is locally produced and much of it is steeped in history. At the edges of the large shaded stalls, Gullah and women weave sweetgrass baskets, a trade passed down through their culture for centuries.

Shoppers looking for more upscale offerings can head over to the Shops at Charleston Place, a collection of exclusive stores and restaurants.

A few blocks away, also on the Harbor, the South Carolina Aquarium sparkles like a gem. Opened in 2000, the stunning building houses more than 60 exhibits focusing on the five major regions of the Appalachian Watershed. The newest exhibit of live penguins is sure to delight animal lovers of every age.

Charleston’s Cuisine and Beaches are Always a Treat

Charleston is known for its fresh seafood and first-rate Southern cuisine, and guests to the city rarely leave hungry. There are so many delicious restaurants south of Broad Street it is often hard to decide where to dine. No trip to this city would be complete without spending some time at one of the many beautiful public beaches that are a short trip from the city center.

Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and the Isle of Palms are a few of the local beaches that offer plenty to do in the surf and the sand. Adventurous types can rent jet skis or wind sails and get a workout on the water. Guided canoe tours are available for travelers wishing to explore the abundant beauty and wildlife in the marsh tributaries.

Preserving its rich, fascinating history is a legendary Charleston point of pride, and it shows. Impeccably bound to its ancestral roots, but also a bustling modern urban hub, Charleston, S.C. is a place like no other. That’s why one trip to this Southern belle is never enough.

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