Touring Charleston


Since this isn’t a South Carolina photoblog–and since I can’t possibly even do Charleston, South Carolina justice anyway–I’ll smash this all into one post. Here’s a sampling of our “tourist” time this past week, in addition to the beach and Patriots Point/Fort Sumter. My goal was to give the kids a well-rounded taste of the depth and breadth of history here. It would be impossible to see everything there is to see in a place like this in the space of less than a week, but we tried a little of everything. There are several old plantations open for touring homes and grounds. We toured Magnolia Plantation on the Ashley River, and one morning after I’d worn them out and all they wanted to do was sleep, I popped out and toured Drayton Hall by myself. Downtown in the historic district, there are any number of tours available. We took a couple of walking tours (a “Pirate & Dungeon” tour and a “Ghost Walk” tour) and also a carriage-drawn tour. We took one of the smaller carriages, so it was just the five of us, the driver, and a 1900-pound Percheron named Kevin.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens (and swamp).

Drayton Hall. (A much more subdued experience than Magnolia Plantation–there’s less going on at Drayton Hall, but the house is Colonial period and, to me, more interesting–though unfurnished. No marsh boat, no horticultural maze, and so on, like Magnolia, so P.S. I think the teenagers wouldn’t have liked Drayton Hall as much. Drayton Hall is a more “adult” experience while Magnolia is more appealing to kids, in my opinion. Drayton Hall is managed by the National Trust.)

Downtown historic district tours:

We also toured the Nathaniel Russell House. This house is so gorgeous inside, even has one of those “flying” staircases. As with most of these historic homes, you can’t take photos inside. (Drayton Hall is an exception.)

The Powder Magazine (colonial) museum (a lot of fun for a quick stop between tour times).

Ross can’t stand Morgan’s one-eye hair issue, so he took advantage of her being locked up.

Then he told her there were ants on the pillory. Teenagers are so much fun!

If you’re planning a trip to Charleston and want to check out some of these same tours and places of interest, you can find the info at these links:

Magnolia Plantation
Drayton Hall
Nathaniel Russell House
Old Charleston Tours
Classic Carriage
The Powder Magazine
Patriots Point
Fort Sumter


  1. Nic, SD says:

    Wow wow wow…… Wow.
    Really enjoyed this. It’s been cool reading something different (which is not at all a complaint about the usual fare around here, for the record). And the pictures are great. Especially loved the one with the trees coming up out of the swamp… Makes me realize how little exploring I’ve done of the south 🙂
    Thanks for this!

  2. Lindsay says:

    Charleston is such a beautiful place! I had no idea. And Drayton Hall looks like a place I would love to visit. Maybe we’ll have to take a trip up there soon. I’m glad you all got to have such a great time together!

  3. Marjorie Wolson says:

    Take the kids over to Folly Beach!

    My sister lives in Charleston, about 15 minutes and across the river from the Battery. I was amazed at the number of beaches within a 30 minute drive. The city is gorgeous but I couldn’t stand living there where it is hot and muggy even more often than here outside of Washington DC.

  4. Ann says:

    Check out The Citadel!

  5. granma2girls says:

    Several years ago we vacationed in Myrtle Beach and went to Charleston for the day. It was beautiful as we toured in the older,cobblestoned residential area. Beautiful red and pink flowers spilling over white, gated fences and white wicker,or stone, urns on two storied porches.It had just lightly rained so the air was scented with the perfume of blossoms. Just lovely.
    Being Canadian and having vacationed up and down the Canadian and American eastern seaboard, you do a much better job of preserving your heritage. It keeps us coming back!

  6. Carmen C. says:

    What a gorgeous place! Love the old cobblestone street:)

  7. gfoulds says:

    Oh how beautiful !! Now I must visit .. Thank you for sharing ..

  8. tinamanley says:

    This is the best time of year to visit Charleston. The flowers are gorgeous! Did you meet my son Tim at Classic Carriage?


  9. Kris Sherrill says:

    I did all the same things you did about 20 years ago! It still looks the same. And I love that 1st picture of Morgan in the yellow room. She looks so cute there. Not that she’s not cute everywhere, but I almost didn’t think it was her. I am so glad to see you are having such a great time. I love Charleston. We only had 2 1/2 days there. Not nearly enough tome to see all of it. We did go to the market. Did you? It’s so neat. Have a safe trip home.

  10. tinamanley says:

    Tim does work with Kevin but all of the drivers do. Tim is 6 feet 8 inches tall with a full beard. He’s really hard to miss! Tim loves Civil War history and does a special tour for the 150th anniversary. Have a great time and enjoy your vacation!

  11. Joy (from Illinois) says:

    Charleston and surrounding area is beautiful and seems to be a well-kept tourist secret. So much history, natural beauty and fantastic architecture. Love those moldings and the carved fireplace at Drayton Hall. They don’t do things like that anymore. The “bones” of that house are so lovely that you don’t need to see it furnished to enjoy its beauty.

    Glad you guys had a chance to take a vacation together before the kids all start scattering to the four winds. Bitter sweet. You can hardly wait for them to grow up and start their lives but then they do and you don’t see nearly enough of them. The lot of a Mom is a hard one.Come Sept. you’ll just have one chick left in the nest. Sigh.

  12. Ramona says:

    Looks like a great place.

    Glad you got to have so much fun with the kids.

  13. Melissa Marsh says:

    Since it is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I’m so glad you toured Fort Sumter and Charleston which was pretty much the birthplace of that terrible conflict. And I’m so glad you introduced your kids to it all! I still would love to visit Charleston some time…it looks gorgeous!

  14. Nancy Stickler says:

    Makes me want to go back so badly!!!

  15. DarleneS says:

    Love the photos and especially the blue tongue. I am happy you are all having a great time.

  16. MousE says:

    Ants on the pillory = great moment. What is it with girls and the one-eye hair thing? Same over here. Great photoblog, thanks!

  17. Jill From Spencer, WV says:

    I saw Weston in yesterday’s paper… Congrats again! Have fun and come home soon so we can see more pics of babies!

  18. Gen-IL Homesteader says:

    Thanks for posting pics and bring back so many good memories to me! Did your tour driver show you the place where a woman had to stand over a fire hydrant in a hoop skirt when they filmed The Patriot? (Such a silly thing, but it tickled us!!) Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  19. Nancy in Iowa says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful photos! I’ve always loved Charleston, but you showed me some things I haven’t seen. It is such a beautiful city. Looks like all 4 of the kids enjoyed it.

  20. Melissa Riley says:

    My sister-in-law (even though her bro and I have been divorced since 1990) moved to Mount Pleasant 6 years ago from MA and has been begging me to come visit. My daughter and I went down in March for her birthday, for a long weekend (which was nowhere NEAR enough time) and I fell in love with the area. I’ll be going back in the fall because time and the weather did not allow for a Plantation visit. I would love to visit Drayton Hall – oh if those walls could only talk and tell their stories!!

  21. debbie says:

    We were in Charleston two years ago and did a lot of the same “sight-seeing” things you did. I loved the herb garden at Magnolia Plantation! We also did the Market Street walk, and while it was nothing to write home about, we did find a quaint little wine shop that had free wine-tasting. Of course, we had to bring home a few 🙂

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