CHARLESTON (South Carolina)
United States of America
Savour a dose of legendarily warm and welcoming southern hospitality - while exploring a fairy-tale-pretty town of antiquated charm and deep-rooted history. The blend of antebellum architecture, cobbled streets and genuine smiles lends Charleston a disarmingly archaic, old-time allure, but there’s a darker side looming here. Intrinsic to the story of the United States, this quiet, peaceful town witnessed the first shots of war, as the nation slipped into its costliest tussle.
The cracks of gunfire and booms of cannons rang out at Fort Sumter, sparking the start of the American Civil War. Now a National Monument, sail out to visit the remains of the bombarded fortress where the Union and Confederate States first clashed. Wander between giant, squat canons - and arrive early to assist with the ceremonial hoisting of the now united stars and stripes, high into the morning sky. The McLeod Plantation Historic Site offers a fascinating insight into the foundations of the town’s wealth and beauty – having reaped prominence and prosperity on the backs of the slave labour that toiled in the plantations' lands. Hydrangeas glow in the wonderful sweeping grounds of Middleton Place, where verdant green lawns step down to glass-smooth lakes.
Cool off from summer’s humid heat with a wander in the breeze of the Joe Riley Waterfront. The wooden boardwalk lays out views of the elegant span of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, and you can even strike it lucky and spot the noses of dolphins emerging from the waters. With so much history alive here in Charleston, uncover the ghosts of the past on a ghoulish night-time tour. Your guide will relay grisly tales, and paint creepy new impressions over the town’s unblemished facade.