What to give the person who has everything this holiday season? Why not give the gift of Charleston? And we’re not talking about a bag of benne wafers. Tickets to attractions and memberships to local museums make great gifts and stocking stuffers. Plus, it gives friends and family members a chance to make their own memories and enjoy the beauty of the Holy City (much better than another tie or a sweater!).
Here are a few of our suggestions:
South Carolina Aquarium: Especially for families with younger children, this a great gift that gives all year long. The aquarium showcases the natural habitats and creatures of South Carolina wildlife – from the mountains of the Upstate to the Charleston coast. The aquarium has 60 unique habitats, including the 385,000-gallon Great Ocean Tank filled with sea creatures of all kinds. Coming in spring 2015, is a new exhibit, Shark Shallows, giving visitors an opportunity to experience sharks and rays at their fingertips. A variety of annual membership options are available; family memberships are $150.
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens: When the gardens are in full bloom this spring, your friends will be loving their gift passes to Magnolia. This is a great way for adults and children to experience Lowcountry history, incredible gardens and tour a plantation home. Call 800-367-3517 about purchasing a gift all-inclusive pass, which includes basic admission, house tour, nature tram, nature boat, “Slavery to Freedom” tours and the Audubon Swamp Garden ($47/adults; $42/children 6-12).
Boat Tours: Gift certificates for Charleston Harbor Tours are also available. The 2015 tour schedule resumes in February and guests can board the Carolina Belle to enjoy the beauty of the Charleston Harbor and learn the rich history of the Holy City. During the 90-minute tour, visitors will see more than 75 landmarks and points of interest. Combo tours that include a boat tour and a choice of a Boone Hall Plantation tour, ghost tour or carriage ride are also available. Purchase gift certificates online.
Charleston Museum: The collections here represent the most comprehensive gathering of South Carolina materials in the nation. Focusing on the South Carolina Lowcountry, collections natural history, historical material culture and both documentary and photographic resources. Special events and children’s programs are available. Annual memberships include admission to the Charleston Museum and its other historic properties, Joseph Manigault House and the Heyward-Washington House, plus discounts on special programs and at The Museum Shop. A variety of membership options are available; family memberships are $60.