Also known as the Holy City and Chucktown, Charleston is about a two-hour drive from Myrtle Beach, south from Myrtle Beach on U.S. 17 through Mount Pleasant and over the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. It’s perfect for a day trip, an overnighter, or a weekend, to stock up on memories.
The many guided tour choices include horse/mule-drawn carriages, and guided walks, and boat and bus rides. For details about attractions, lodging and restaurants, contact the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, call 843-853-8000 or 800-868-8118, or visit www.charlestoncvb.com.
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Here is a sampling of ideas to experience tastes of Charleston, some worth seeing maybe on the way down or back:
— Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum — including retired vessels USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, USS Laffey destroyer and USS Clamagore submarine, and Medal of Honor Museum — 40 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant. From U.S. 17, take the Intertstate 526 spur east, then turn right (north) on S.C. 703, and left on Patriots Point Road, and find the complex on the right. 843-884-2727 or www.patriotspoint.org.
— Fort Sumter National Monument, with Fort Sumter Tours accessed from Fort Sumter Visitors Center, at Liberty Square, 340 Concord St., Charleston, next to S.C. Aquarium, and from Patriots Point. 843-722-2628, 800-789-3678, or fortsumtertours.com.
— Fort Moultrie National Monument, 1214 Middle St., Sullivan’s Island, accessed from S.C. 703 south from Mount Pleasant. 843-883-3123 or www.nps.gov/fosu/learn/historyculture/fort_moultrie.htm.
— H.L. Hunley, 1250 Supply St., Charleston. From I-26 west from U.S. 17, take Exit 216-B, for Cosgrove Avenue north. Turn left at third traffic light onto Spruill Avenue, then right at ext light, onto McMillan Avenue, then right at next light, onto Hobson Avenue for about one mile, then turn left on Supply Street, passing a public works building with a blue roof, reaching the Lasch Conservation Center on the left. Open Saturdays-Sundays. 843-743-4865, 877-448-6539 (4-HUNLEY) or hunley.org.
— North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Educational Center, 4975 Centre Pointe Drive N., North Charleston, in Tanger Outlets, across from corner with Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th store. 843-740-5550 or www.northcharlestonfiremuseum.org.
History meets scenery
— Magnolia Plantation and Gardens — including Drayton family home, Audubon Swamp Garden, and Zoo & Nature Center — 3550 Ashley River Road, Charleston. 843-571-1266 or www.magnoliaplantation.com.
— Drayton Hall, 3380 Ashley River Road, Charleston. 843-769-2600 or www.draytonhall.org.
— Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens, 1235 Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant, less than 1 mile from U.S. 17. 843-884-4371 or boonehallplantation.com.
— Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, 1254 Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant – across street from Boone Hall. 843-881 5516 or www.nps.gov/chpi/index.htm.
— The Center for Birds of Prey, 4719 U.S. 17 N., Awendaw, about 35 miles south of Georgetown, open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, and with guided tours and flight demonstrations. 843-971-7474 or www.thecenterforbirdsofprey.org.
— U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Sewee Visitor & Environmental Education Center, 5821 U.S. 17 N., Awendaw – about 40 miles south of Georgetown, open Wednesdays-Saturdays. Also, home to endangered red wolves. Free. 843-926-3368 or www.fws.gov/refuge/sewee_center/.
— S.C. Aquarium — including Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery hospital tours — 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, off Calhoun Street, about 1 mile south from Meeting Street exit off U.S. 17, on west side of Ravenel Bridge from Mount Pleasant. 843-577-3474 (FISH), 800-722-6455 or scaquarium.org.
Catch rising stars in professional sports
— Charleston RiverDogs, Lower-A, South Atlantic League affiliate of New York Yankees, playing at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park, on Lockwood Drive, north of U.S. 17, along Ashley River. 843-577-3647 or www.riverdogs.com.
–South Carolina Stingrays, Double-A, ECHL affiliate of Washington Capitals, playing at North Charleston Coliseum, 5001 Coliseum Drive, between International Boulevard and West Montague Avenue, off Exit 213 from I-26 – or take I-526 from Mount Pleasant to Exit 18, one interchange past I-26 (843-529-5000 or www.northcharlestoncoliseumpac.com). Hockey details at 843-744-2248 or www.stingrayshockey.com).