|To avoid traveling on the Memorial Day weekend we stayed at the Charleston KOA in Ladson, SC for 10 days instead of our usual week. The KOA was an older campground but we had a nice quiet site and friendly neighbors. Ladson is about 15 miles outside of downtown Charleston but still close enough so that we made a few trips into town. Charleston reminds me a lot of Savannah, so much history in both cities. Like Savannah many of the historic homes have been purchased and restored for the use of the colleges located there; they are being used either as classrooms or residential halls. Many others have been converted to hotels and Bed & Breakfasts. Charleston doesn’t have the hundreds of trolleys like we saw in Savannah, most of the city tours are by horse and carriage, there are a few tours that use buses and because it was pretty warm while we were there we decided to take our tour in a small air conditioned Grey Line tour bus. The streets are narrow and some are still cobblestone. Charleston is called the Holy City, the tour guide explained that is because there are so many different churches located there, unlike the New England colonies South Carolina settlers were drawn there because of all different faiths were welcome. We had a knowledgeable tour guide who had an unfortunate nervous speech habit that caused him to have a rather strange giggle after each humorous comment that he made causing more giggles among the passengers; still he was very informative and the tour was definitely worth taking.
One afternoon we went to the South Carolina Aquarium, located on the Charleston Harbor in downtown Charleston. It is located right next to the Fort Sumter National Park where you can take a ferry to Fort Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. The Aquarium was very nice and it was a cool place to spend a very warm afternoon. We saw an amazing 4 D movie there, that’s a 3 D movie with lots of special effects like rumbling seats, water splashing and even bubbles flying in the air; it was about the life of prehistoric sea monsters, it was really neat but I kept thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be the best movie for small children, lots of small sea animals being eaten by bigger ones and the effects made it seem so realistic.
Another afternoon we drove to Mt. Pleasant, SC just across the river from Charleston to see the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum where the Aircraft Carrier USS Yorktown, the Destroyer USS Laffey, the Submarine USS Clamagore and 28 historic aircraft are on display for touring. While in Mt. Pleasant we stopped at a large antique mall.
On Memorial Day we went to The Market, a large open are market much like the French Market in New Orleans, in downtown Charleston. While we were there a rather unique band, I think they were the Charleston and Columbia Community Band, played patriotic favorites in front of United States Customs building.
There was so much more to see and do in the Charleston area, many plantations and museums to tour but we just couldn’t fit it all in this visit, just another reason to return another time.