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.
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.
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.
If you turn 180 degrees at Oyster Point you can see Fort Sumter in the distance…
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not sure how safe it is, but some people also drive golf carts in downtown Charleston. Seems sketchy to me, but there you are.
Moving closer to the water from East Battery you will find a very nice park with the Pineapple Fountain in the center.
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).
At about the midway point along the Open Market is where you hire the carriages for tours of downtown Charleston.
This driver is waiting to be hired. Emission control is required for horses as well as for cars (note the poop catcher).
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.
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…
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.
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.
Hope you enjoyed the tour.