Charleston Historic District Attracts History Buffs, Shoppers
Historic downtown Charleston is known for its unique beauty and compelling history. The site of multiple wars and natural disasters, Charleston has endured the test of time. This Southern culture capital features 18th-century homes and plantations, arts and culture, and must-see attractions. From an antique district to its own French Quarter, Charleston welcomes guests to explore cobbled streets and a friendly vibe. Here are the top things to see in the Charleston historic district:
Relax at Battery Park
The Charleston historic district is home to Battery Park, which features Southern mansions, shady trees, statues and amazing views of several sites. From Battery Park, see Fort Sumter, Castle Pinckney and the Sullivan Island Lighthouse. As you relax at the waterfront park, don’t miss the piles of bleached oyster shells that give the park a second name: White Point Gardens.
Tour The Holy City
One of the first cities in the U.S. to practice religious tolerance, Charleston houses nearly 20 historic churches. Regardless of beliefs, these churches showcase the city’s culture and acceptance through architecture and diversity. Many churches in Charleston offer tours of their grounds and open for worship. Read about Charleston’s religious sites, and learn more about touring the area.
A few include:
French Huguenot Church: The first Gothic Revival building in Charleston
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim: The second-oldest synagogue; the oldest in continuous use in the U.S.
Emanuel A.M.E. Church: The oldest AME church in the South; houses the oldest African-American
congregation south of Baltimore, MD
First Baptist Church: Known as the Mother Church of Southern Baptists; the oldest baptist church in the South
Honor Veterans in Charleston
Fort Sumter, located strategically in the middle of the Charleston Harbor, is known as where the Civil War began. In fact, the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter. Visitors can take a ferry ride to the Fort, and enjoy a day at sea in the city’s waterways while learning about war history. The Fort Sumter National Monument showcases the lives and trials of American veteran heroes, and you can also visit the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum. Fort Sumter tours run one hour, and don’t forget to browse the museum shop for gifts.
Shop the Historic Charleston City Market
Open year round, this open-air market features local artists and artisans. Spend an entire day meeting locals, shopping and getting an up-close look at Charleston’s culture. Made in Charleston products – from clothes and accessories to food – serves as great gifts and souvenirs. March through December, the market offers special weekend night hours from 6:30 to 10:30. The City Market is one of the most visited attractions in the Charleston Historic District.
Spend a Day on King Street
Another top shopping spot in Charleston is King Street. With three distinct districts, guests can pick one or several options. Grab a bite at the Upper King Street Design and Dining District, home to some of the city’s best restaurants and nightlife hot spots.
The King Street fashion district delights fashion lovers. Find the latest fashions and attend one of the many events, which feature local entrepreneurs and businesses. Browse antiques – including clothing, furniture, jewelry and more – at the district. Nearly a dozen shops welcome guests to find that unique treasure and feature 17th- to 20th-century pieces.
Step Back in Time
Cobbled streets and gas-lit alleys take you back in Charleston’s French Quarter. The area is located in the original city limits, and while roaming, you’ll see artwork from local and national artists. Art lovers should plan an art tour to see Charleston’s galleries and meet local artists.