Veteran Charleston visitors know there’s more to the Lowcountry than the usual tourist destinations, fabulous though those are. Here are five things to put on your to-do list for 2016.
Sunset on the Beach
Whether you choose Folly Beach, at the edge of America (pictured right); or Sullivan’s Island or Isle of Palms; grab a blanket and a bottle of wine and watch one of the Lowcountry’s spectacular sunsets in all its glorious reds, oranges, purples and golds. If that doesn’t fire up the romance, head to one of our many fine hospitals for a checkup.
A Harbor Cruise Combo
There’s only one Charleston, one gleaming city where American history is preserved and on display. Experience the Southern charm on a relaxing cruise and then take a narrated carriage ride and see the city at ground level.
Or combine your harbor cruise with a visit to antebellum Boone Hall Plantation, or with one of the walking tours, or with a visit to the South Carolina Aquarium.
If you have the time, your best value is a tri-combo, marrying a harbor tour with a carriage ride and a visit to the plantation. Save money and hit three of Charleston’s biggest attractions.
A Kayak or Canoe Adventure
Charleston is surrounded by streams, creeks, rivers and of course, the Atlantic Ocean. Whether you prefer kayaking or canoeing, gliding along a tidal river or mashing against the ocean current, the choices are nearly endless. No matter what you choose, you’ll marvel at the sea life and the unspoiled beauty.
Want to commune with dolphins? Get out into the big water. Prefer watching egrets and herons, and passing by alligators? Paddle through a marsh. Whatever you like, there’s a tour for you.
Dinner at Shem Creek
There is no better way to cap a long day of sightseeing than with a delicious meal on the water. Enjoy your fresh seafood or other fare at Water’s Edge (fine dining), Red’s Icehouse, Shem Creek Bar & Grill, RB’s Sea Food, The Wreck or Vickery’s while watching the sun descend and the sea gulls, terns and dolphins frolic nearby. If you’re on a boat, just dock beside the restaurant of your choice and climb onto the deck.
A Visit to McLeod Plantation
Now owned by Charleston County Parks, this 164-year-old plantation on James Island’s Wappoo Creek (pictured at top) is the newest and least expensive plantation to visit, but its beauty and educational value are second to none.
The 37-acre Gullah/Geechee heritage site has been carefully preserved around its featured resident, a 600-year-old live oak tree.