What’s Doing in Charleston, South Carolina

By Jeremy Del Nero on 28 January 2020
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Perched on an inlet off South Carolina’s coastline is Charleston, a colorful and quaint city full of southern charm and culture.  Founded in 1670 as Charles Town, the city was named after England’s King Charles II, although it wouldn’t adopt its current name until after the Revolutionary War, in 1783.  Charleston lays claim to be the oldest and third largest metropolitan area in the Palmetto State. 

It is easy to see why Charleston is nicknamed the Holy City.  Due to its involvement in many battles on both land and sea, and its role as a port city handling immigrants from many European countries, followers of many religions passed through Charleston and the settlement became known as a place tolerant of diverse religions.  Today, the numerous steeples that poke above the tops of buildings serve not only as landmarks for pedestrians in the city and ships at sea, but also as a reminder of the city’s history. 

The importance of Charleston as a major player in the slave trade cannot be understated.  It is estimated that nearly half of the slaves brought to America entered through Charleston and as such the city had the highest proportion of slaves to owners.  In essence, the enslaved population built the city that attracts so many visitors today.

WHAT TO DO

Charleston is a superb city to explore on foot.  Every building in the downtown can tell a story of its own, but visitors will need a tour guide to get the full story.  Bulldog Tours offers over a dozen walking tours to introduce you to the city and its historic and cultural heritage.  Choose a history tour for a no-details-spared account of Charleston’s rise to power through war and slavery; a food tour in the downtown area to get a sampling of the best southern food; or a nighttime ghost tour to send shivers down your spine, even on the warmest summer night.

A more relaxing way to learn about Charleton’s history –  with an emphasis on maritime war –  is by taking the Charleston Harbor Tour.  Grab a seat at the front of the boat for some spectacular views of the harbor, city, ocean, and forts centuries old. The narrated tour, while informative, is presented in a light-hearted fashion and is an all-around enjoyable 90-minute experience, especially on a day with nice weather. 

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