Charleston, SC is beautifully situated on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Charleston is a place of history and hospitality with many grand mansions, lovely gardens and cobblestone streets. Tourists are awed by the churches with detailed architecture as well as the Civil War statues and memorials. It's no wonder that around four million people tour the area every single year!
Charleston is located in Charleston County on the Cooper and Ashley Rivers and the Atlantic Ocean. As the county seat and a popular sea port, Charleston was selected as one of the "15 Best Places to Reinvent your Life" by AARP magazine in 2003. The area was named after King Charles II of England. The estimated population was 101,024 as of 2003. Nearby cities include Sullivan's Island (SC), Mount Pleasant (SC), Johns Island (SC) and Hanahan (SC).
Charleston in History - For colonial America, Charleston was the most prosperous and largest city south of Philadelphia. It was also a major port in the south. At the famous Fort Sumter in Charleston is where the Civil War began with an attack on the Union army.
In 1996, Charleston's economy started on a downward slope when the Charleston Naval Base closed, resulting in the loss of thousands of military and civilian jobs. With businesses and local government officials working together, many of the lost naval jobs were replaced. Also, new businesses have been attracted to the area because of its beautiful weather, busy tourism, and the popular port.
Interesting Facts about Charleston - Charleston was brought to the spotlight in 1995 because of a court battle over whether or not a woman should be admitted into the Citadel, an all-male state military school.
Also, the 1939 movie "Gone with the Wind" was filmed in Charleston. Also filmed there were two modern movies "The Patriot" and "The Notebook." Some well-known residents in Charleston have been Darius Rucker (lead singer of the band Hootie and the Blowfish), football player Art Shell, civil rights activist and teacher Septima Clark, and actress Lauren Hutton.
Charleston Attractions - Charleston is known for its military presence. History and military buffs alike will enjoy taking a boat ride on the Atlantic to tour Fort Sumter. The fort has been amazingly preserved and represents a key event in United States history - the Civil War. Tour guides take visitors around the fort as they relay events from the war.
Before or after visiting Fort Sumter, a tour of the USS Yorktown (http://www.ussyorktown.com/yorktown) is a must. Visitors can walk across the vast ship and see airplanes, helicopters, and even the inside of a real submarine!
Other historic sites include the Heyward Washington House, Charleston Ghost and Dungeon Tour, Magnolia Cemetery, Charles Towne Landing, Middleton Place and Drayton Hall. Each home or site brings Charleston and southern history to life.
Guided Tours in Charleston - Several historic tours are available for those who want a more detailed view of Charleston. Here are just a few: Original Charleston Walks, Historic Homes Walk, Patriots of Charleston Walk, and Civil War Walk. Those who want to ride - not walk - will be thrilled with the Classic Carriage Tours (http://www.classiccarriage.com/), a horse-drawn carriage tour of downtown Charleston and its seaport.
Charleston, South Carolina Downtown Excitement - In the Downtown area of Charleston, shoppers will enjoy walking from shop to shop at Old City Market. They can stop in for lunch or dinner at one of the many fine restaurants. Then, a relaxing walk along the Battery wall at the seaport will end the day perfectly!
Families vacationing in Charleston can spend a day at the South Carolina Aquarium (http://www.scaquarium.org/). It features more than 60 exhibits and thousands of aquatic animals. Kids love seeing the loggerhead turtles, sharks, otters and other amazing animals!
With so much to see and do, tourists flock to Charleston each year - and many return there again and again! Learn more about Charleston, SC USA at the Charleston Tourism Web site. (http://www.charleston.com/)