When last we left you, we had just arrived at our campground in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. Our first day in Charleston didn’t involve any exploring. Our whimsical lack of reservation-making had finally backfired on us, and we had to relocate from our Wednesday night campground (James Island County Park) to the Mt. Pleasant/Charleston KOA. Thursday afternoon I grocery shopped and food prepped, and when evening rolled around we headed to the movies to see Spectre, the new James Bond movie.
So by Friday we were ready to explore Charleston! First stop: Lunch. While we were pleasantly assaulted by many delicious smells from the restaurants on King Street, we decided to keep it healthy at Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe.
We had a lovely window seat and enjoyed watching the people go by as we ate.
Our plan for the afternoon was to explore as much of the gorgeous city as we could on foot. We headed south on King Street toward the water, taking in all the charming shops and gorgeous architecture on the way.
At the end of King Street we paused to enjoy the beautiful shady trees in White Point Garden.
Next we walked along the battery, through Waterfront Park, then through City Market. After all that walking we were ready for a treat and we each enjoyed a scoop of ice cream from The Fudgery. After a little more walking back to our car, we were more than ready to spend the evening enjoying a campfire back at the campground.
The next day was Saturday, and my plans included checking South Carolina off the list towards my goal of running a race in all 50 states. I’d be running the 16th Annual Old Village Harbor 5K, conveniently located in downtown Mt. Pleasant not far from our campground.
Ryan was sweet enough to get up early and join me … and snap a few before and after pictures!
It was a beautiful morning — sunny and 50 degrees — and I couldn’t have asked for better weather to check state #11 off my list!
Saturday afternoon involved more sightseeing. This time we were off to see Fort Sumter National Monument. Fort Sumter, famous as the location of the first shots of the Civil War, is a sea fort located on a sand bar — built up with New England granite! — in Charleston Harbor.
We were a little disappointed that even though Fort Sumter is a national monument, we weren’t able to use our America the Beautiful park pass for the fees. Because it’s located on an island, trips to Fort Sumter are managed by a private “concessioner” providing ferry service to and from the island.
The round trip is about 2 hours long — a half hour ferry ride, and about an hour to explore the fort. We took the ferry that leaves twice daily from Mt. Pleasant (there’s also a ferry that leaves from Charleston 2-3 times a day). The ferry ride included helpful historical narration and some lovely views of the harbor.
When the ferry docked at Fort Sumter, we enjoyed a lively telling of the history of Fort Sumter by a park ranger, then explored the fort on our own. It’s fairly small — less than 200 feet across — and we were able to explore the entire fort and its small museum with plenty of time to spare.
After taking the ferry back to Mt. Pleasant, we headed over the bridge once more, this time to check out some of the beachy island towns surrounding Charleston. We even stopped for a quick walk on Folly Island, although the sea breeze was chilly and I didn’t last long!
That was our last night in Charleston, and we left feeling like there was much, much more we could have explored. But we were headed south: On to Savannah!