There’s a never-ending list of fun things to see and do in Myrtle Beach, but sometimes even the best vacation needs a little change of pace. For Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort guests looking to experience a different side of the South Carolina coast, we recommend our sister city to the south – Charleston.
Located 90 miles from Myrtle Beach, Charleston seems like a world away. Established in 1670, the Holy City is packed with pre-colonial era history and Civil War sites. Southern charm permeates from the antebellum homes, cobblestone streets, public marketplace, churches, graveyards and historic markers.
Take a tour of former rice plantations, or a carriage ride through the city, or a boat charter through the historic harbor. Charleston is also known for its restaurants, shopping and nightlife, particularly in the downtown district. Here’s a list of hot spot to hit during your day trip to Charleston:
The Battery: This downtown park at the point of the peninsula served as the front line for defense of the city from invading forces and pirates (Blackbeard once successfully blockaded the port). Cannons and gun turrets are situated among majestic live oak trees draped in Spanish moss and statues of famous figures along the waterfront.
Boone Hall Plantation: Located in neighboring Mount Pleasant, which is on the way from Myrtle Beach, Boone Hall serves as a snapshot of the Carolina rice culture frozen in time. Preserved to include the mansion, slave cabins and a functioning farm, Boone Hall allows visitors to go back in time and experience pre-colonial life first hand.
Charleston Harbor: Catch a charter on a tour boat and explore the history-filled harbor on the water. The most popular destination is Fort Sumter, where the first shot of the Civil War was fired in 1861. Other highlights of the harbor include Fort Moultrie and Fort Johnson and the USS Yorktown. Passengers will also encounter lighthouses, dolphins and spectacular views of the city.
City Market: Located in the heart of the downtown district, this open-air market opened in 1841 to sell fresh seafood, meats and produce. Today the bays are filled with small shops and booths selling antiques, arts and crafts and just about anything you can imagine. Hand-crafted sweetgrass baskets and hand-painted scenes of the city are among the many souvenirs.
Drayton Hall: America’s oldest preserved plantation house sits on a spacious estate surrounded by scenic Lowcountry beauty. The gardens and grounds look like something out of “Gone With The Wind” and the mansion is preserved in the state of the peak of the plantation era. Tours of the home, slave graveyard, gardens and grounds are available.
Homes: The list of historic buildings is too long to include them all, but here are a few highlights that offer tours – the Avery Center for African-American History and Culture, the Charleston Pinckney National Historic Site, the Joseph Manigault House, the Heyward-Washington House, and the South Carolina Historical Society Museum.
Restaurants: Too bad it’s just a day trip because it’s really hard to choose. But there are a few Charleston institutions that you should put in your hat for consideration – 82 Queen, Stella’s, Hall’s Chophouse, Revival, Poogan’s Porch and … see, told you there were too many. Free Tip: Shrimp and Grits is Charleston’s signature dish.
Nightlife: Live music and entertainment dominate the Charleston social scene. Catch sunset at the Rooftop Bar for beautiful vistas of the city and harbor and catch a show at the Dock Street Theater, the Music Farm, The Royal American, or The Alley.
After a long day of touring the Holy City, head back to your home away from home at Compass Cove Oceanfront Resort for a good night’s sleep and a recovery day at the beach.