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Top Things To Do in Charleston, South Carolina

historical buildings in Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is a city of endless shopping, an eclectic restaurant scene, miles of unspoiled beaches, luxury 55+ communities, championship golf, and an ambiance infused with old world elegance. If you’re looking for retirement travel ideas, look no further than this gem at the intersection of hip and historic

Those who visit the former colonial seaport quickly learn what residents already know: There is no shortage of things to do in Charleston. Check out a few fan favorites.

Walking Tours                                                                            

Experience Charleston’s vivid past by taking to its historic cobblestone streets and exploring its significant landmarks. Organized tours generally last about 2 hours and some require reservations. Pack sturdy shoes and plenty of water and sunscreen. For details and tour options, check out the Charleston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website.

The Battery

A waterfront park extraordinaire, Battery Park offers scenic relaxation and an intriguing history of its own, complete with war stories and pirate lore. You’ll enjoy the graceful southern mansions lining the harbor as well as the exceptional views of Fort Sumter, Castle Pinckney and the Sullivan Island Lighthouse.

Middleton Place

Once the home of Arthur Middleton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Middleton Place is preserved as a microcosm of United States history. Its story focuses on the Middleton family as well as the enslaved Africans and African Americans who worked there. Visitors can view the impressive collection of historic furnishings and portraits and experience reenactments of 18th-century plantation life.  The piece de resistance: The French-inspired gardens brimming with camellias, azaleas, magnolias, and myrtle year-round.

Charleston City Market

Located in the heart of downtown Charleston, the Charleston City Market buzzes with residents and tourists. It’s fun to shop or just get a taste of the Old South. The basket ladies (and men) who have been weaving baskets in the south African tradition for centuries are a market highlight.

Fort Sumter

No visit to Charleston is complete without a tour of Fort Sumter, the infamous location of the first shot of the Civil War. War-era cannons are still in place to provide a backdrop of authenticity. The small but enlightening museum provides a closer look at the fort’s role in the war.

Boat Tours

After exploring the city on foot, consider a boat tour to enjoy some time on the water and get a close-up view of the Charleston Harbor as you learn more about this city’s colorful maritime history.

Nathaniel Russell House

A National Historic Landmark that has been restored to its former glory, the Nathaniel Russell House was built by Nathaniel Russell, a wealthy southern merchant, over a five- year period and completed in 1808. Construction cost $80.000 at a time when the average home cost $272.00. The home is known for its exceptional 3 story staircase, geometrically shaped rooms, formal gardens and extensive collection of 18th-century fine art.

Overflowing with southern charm and hospitality, Charleston has been dubbed by ABC news the “most polite” city in the nation. Just one more reason so many retirees are flocking to its active adult communities and calling it home.