Charleston Historic District Attracts History Buffs, Shoppers

Historic downtown Charleston is known for its beauty and compelling history. The site of multiple wars and natural disasters, Charleston has endured the test of time. Additionally, 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. For a closer look, here are the attractions in the Charleston historic district.

Charleston Historic District: Where to Go, Things to Do

Charleston Historic District

Relax at Battery Park

The Charleston historic district is home to Battery Park, which features Southern mansions, shade trees, statues and amazing views of several sites. From Battery Park, see Fort Sumter, Castle Pinckney and Sullivan Island Lighthouse. While relaxing 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, Maryland.
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 in the middle of 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 ride a ferry to the Fort, and enjoy a day at sea in the city’s waterways while learning about war history. In addition, Fort Sumter National Monument showcases the lives and trials of American veteran heroes. Guests 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.

Charleston Historic District Shopping

Photo: daveynin

Shop 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 – serve as great gifts and souvenirs. March through December, the market offers weekend night hours from 6:30 to 10:30. The City Market is one of the most visited attractions in 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. While browsing, grab a bite at Upper King Street Design and Dining District, home to some of the city’s best restaurants and nightlife.

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 and jewelry – at the district. Nearly a dozen shops welcome guests to find treasures, including 17th- to 20th-century pieces.

Charleston Historic District tours

Photo: TimothyJ

Step Back in Time

Cobbled streets and gas-lit alleys take visitors back in Charleston’s French Quarter. The area is located in the original city limits. While roaming, see artwork from local and national artists, architecture, and a theater. Art lovers should plan to see Charleston’s galleries and meet local artists.

Love history? Check out the top 10 Charleston historic sites. Then find a vacation rental in Charleston, and plan a trip.