Things to Do in Charleston, SC: Charles Towne Landing
I went on a weekend trip to Charleston, SC, and it's 107 miles from Savannah, GA. Both cities have two things in common: they’re charming and enriched with history. The first English settlers established Charleston in 1670 and sprouted into a wealthy city by the mid-eighteenth century. Rice, indigo and cotton were the main cultivation of Charleston through the mid-nineteenth century.
Deciding What to Do During My Trip
I arrived in Charleston Friday evening and, tired and hungry from the drive, I grabbed dinner at Cracker Barrel. Yes, I cheated on my diet and ate a bunch of carbs! As I sat in my hotel room, I was still researching things to do in Charleston, SC. My first choice was to visit Boone Hall Plantation. I considered the South Carolina Aquarium and the Old Slave Mart but saved those trips for another time. I learned of Charles Towne Landing in a Google search and read the description. What peaked my interest in Charles Towne Landing is it’s the first English settlement in Carolina and it has an animal forest.
Charles Towne Landing
Saturday morning, I had a late breakfast, changed clothes and headed out to Charles Towne Landing. As I was driving, I noticed the stunning coastal scenery, and it made me feel excited to discover the hidden gems of this enchanting city. After a while, I arrived at Charles Towne Landing and had to drive down a long winding road to get to the main entrance. The drooping moss on the trees, the array of flowers and plants lining the road was awe-inspiring. I reached the main entrance, purchased admission and began my journey back in time. Charles Towne Landing is 184 acres, and you can opt to walk or rent a golf cart to ride around the site.
African American Cemetery
The cemetery looks like an open space with vegetation that leads to the marsh. But African descendents buried both enslaved and free Africans there from the nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. The number of people buried at the cemetery is unknown. When a slave died, friends and family honored the dead by placing symbolic artifacts and everyday objects on the burial plot. By the 1970s, the city of Charleston cleared the land, and (at first) they did not recognize it as a cemetery because of cultural misunderstandings. Since then, archaeologists and Charleston residents have a deeper understanding of the culture that made up this cemetery.
The Animal Forest is a 22 acre habitat zoo that comprises native animals the early settlers encountered during their time. Each enclosure includes informational signs discussing their diet, predators, and challenges experienced by the first colonists. Native animals found in the animal forest include the black bear, puma, marine birds, and red wolves.
As I walked the History Trail, I felt I was back in 1670. My mind visualized how the earlier colonists, Native Americans and African Americans lived their lives, and wondered in curiosity what life was like back then and the challenges the early settlers faced. I enjoyed looking at the monuments and replica buildings. I'm glad I found Charles Towne Landing as things to do in Charleston, SC because I learned a bunch about this historic site.
Next time you're looking for things to do in Charleston, SC I recommend visiting Charles Towne Landing. Historical accounts, monuments, artifacts, reenactments, and replica buildings embellishes this historic site. Not only can you walk or ride a golf cart around the site, you can ride your bike. Charles Towne Landing includes a museum and gift shop if you want to buy souvenirs.
Charles Towne Landing Park Map
- Charles Towne Landing Park Map
If you want to get a head start on mapping out the park, download the Charles Towne Park Map. It illustrates the location of historic monuments and landmarks.