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Charleston SC

It has been said that a picture is worth a 1000 words. That being the case, this post is composed of many 1000’s of words.

Friday was a free day so I retraced steps I’ve taken many time while living here… through White Point Garden, up East Battery and along North and South Market streets. This part of Charleston is historic. Let us begin…

Parking along Murray Blvd is free for 2 hours, which is about how long it takes me to wander through White Point Garden (WPG) and then towards the open market between South and North Market streets.

WPG from Oyster Point
WPG from King Street
WPG Gazebo

Oyster Point is the junction of Murray Blvd and East Battery St and is the tip of the peninsula that is downtown Charleston. The most prominent monument there is the Confederate Soldier Memorial statue.

Closer view of the Confederate Soldier Memorial statue

Another prominent monument is the Moultrie statue. Col. Moultrie was active during the Revolutionary War. Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island is named after him.

Moultrie statue

If you turn 180 degrees at Oyster Point you can see Fort Sumter in the distance…

Fort Sumter, where first shots in the Civil War were fired

As you walk towards downtown Charleston, you will see some of the homes along East Battery St. During major storms, much of this area is often under water.

East Battery heading toward downtown

You may notice black circles on many of the homes and other structures in downtown Charleston. These are anchors for metal rods going through the buildings. These rods were used to strengthen and realign the structures after they shifted from earthquakes.

Homes along East Battery

In addition to walking, you can get around downtown Charleston a number of ways. One is to hire a pedicab. Given the cramped nature of the streets traffic moves pretty slow so human powered conveyances work well. I’m sure the driver will chat about interesting things along the route. NOTE: Charleston, and the surrounding area are called the Low Country. There are almost no hills so peddling a bicycle is pretty effortless. It is also barely above sea level. All it takes is a high tide and a super-moon to flood some streets.

Pedicabs on East Battery

Another way to get around is to hire a carriage to tour selected routes. Interested individuals must demonstrate a thorough knowledge of Charleston history to qualify as a carriage driver. During a 1 hour tour you will get a history lesson of the significant structures along the route. I recommend hiring a carriage when you visit.

Carriage Tour group
Mirror Image along East Battery

Not sure how safe it is, but some people also drive golf carts in downtown Charleston. Seems sketchy to me, but there you are.

Golf cart on East Battery

Moving closer to the water from East Battery you will find a very nice park with the Pineapple Fountain in the center.

Pineapple Fountain looking the direction of downtown Charleston

Continuing along East Battery you will get to one of the major tourist attractions in downtown Charleston, the Open Market. The market extends from East Battery to Meeting Street (it’s a couple blocks long).

The open Market from the south. South Market St is on the left and North Market St. is on the right

At about the midway point along the Open Market is where you hire the carriages for tours of downtown Charleston.

Hire carriages here.

This driver is waiting to be hired. Emission control is required for horses as well as for cars (note the poop catcher).

Carriage and driver waiting to be hired

Occasionally, emission control measures fail. When that occurs in Charleston, the carriage driver tosses out a marker to tell the cleanup crew where to clean up. Stepping in a horse turd would ruin the tourist experience, and present a pungent reminder of the pollution issues of days gone by.

Poop marker for stuff not caught by the poop catcher

There are plenty of eateries in downtown Charleston. This one is just called SNOB. The food is pretty good too.


Some random sights along East Battery…

US Custom House
Southern Magnolias on East Battery

Carriage tours are one way to learn some of Charleston’s history. Another is to join a walking tour. The guide (tall guy with hat) will lead the group and provide historical details along the route. It’s a good way to pick up a mental souvenir of your Charleston visit. Tour guides can usually be identified by their shoulder bags, hats, and the fact that they are usually the ones doing all the talking.

Smaller walking tour group.
Big walking tour group

Some homes in downtown Charleston have distinctive colors. In fact, there is even a Wikipedia page about Rainbow Row, with more information about the colors of some of the homes in this blog post. The one below is a block away from White Point Garden on East Battery Street. It stands out among the many other stand-out homes along that street.

One pink house in Charleston

Hope you enjoyed the tour.

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