Charleston is rich with history. The second largest city in the state of South Carolina, Charleston was founded in 1670 as Charles Towne in its original location on the west bank of the Ashley River. After 10 years, the city was moved to Oyster Point, its current location. In 1690, Charleston was the 5th largest city in North America and remained in the top ten most populated cities in the US through 1840. Much of Charleston’s history stems from the prominence of churches, temples, and religious monuments and structures. Charleston is also one of the very few cities within the original 13 colonies to provide religious tolerance. Because of this history, there are many churches in Charleston and Charleston is known as “The Holy City.” You can tour these historical sites and structures in Charleston’s downtown historic district, and you can also take a variety of guided tours and pub crawls to learn more about the fascinating history behind the beautiful city of Charleston.
Here are some of the most popular historical sites in Charleston, SC:
- The Charleston Museum, America’s first museum that was founded in 1773 with the mission of preserving and displaying the cultural and natural history of Charleston and surrounding low-country areas.
- The Gibbes Museum of Art, first opened in 1905 and houses a premier collection of mostly American artwork with a “southern” or Charleston connection.
- The Nathaniel Russell House, an important “Federal” style house owned by the Historic Charleston Foundation and open to the public as a house museum.
- Aiken-Rhett House, located in the heart of Charleston’s Upper King Design District, this historical property was built in 1820 and is now one of the most sought after venues for Charleston weddings and events.
- The Market Hall and Sheds, also referred to as The Market, stretches several blocks behind Meeting Street through Charleston’s historic district. Market Hall was built in the 1830s and now houses the Museum of the Confederacy. The Sheds house some permanent stores but are mostly comprised of open-air vendors.
- Fort Sumter, famous site of the first shots fired in the American Civil War.
- Heyward-Washington House, owned by the Charleston Museum, is furnished for the late 18th century and includes a collection of Charleston-made furniture.
- The Battery and Rainbow Row which is a strip of homes along the harbor that date back to the early 1600′s.
- The Exchange and Provost, built in 1767 and features a dungeon which held various signers of the Declaration of Independence and hosted events for George Washington in 1791 and the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788. It is now operated as a museum by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Known as on the most popular boutique downtown Charleston hotels, Andrew Pinckney is located within walking distance to many of these historical Charleston sites or just a short ride away. Experience all of Charleston’s history on your own or take guided tours.