South Carolina Part II: Charleston

We stayed at James Island County Park near Charleston for about 10 days during the end of February and beginning of March. This campground was the nicest county park we have stayed in since our trip began. The camping section was only a small part of the massive green space. There were miles of walking trails, a small lake for kayaking and paddle boating, an enormous dog park, a water park that was still closed for winter, a fishing pier, disc golf, a climbing wall, picnic areas, playgrounds and much more. Another great thing about camping here was that we were only about 15 minutes from downtown Charleston and about 20 minutes from Folly Beach.

Since I’m so far behind on our blog, this post is going to be picture-book style. The short report is that we had a great time here and I would come back in a heart beat for another visit to Charleston. The combination of vast history, wonderful architecture, beautiful streets and public spaces, excellent shopping, and world class restaurants – all set to the beautiful backdrop of a bustling harbor – means there was not enough time to see and do everything there was to offer. The photos below represent some of the highlights, but are not in chronological order.

The carriage rides in downtown Charleston are pulled by horses and mules. Our excursion was pulled by two mules. This magnificent beast was on break near the stable area where we started our tour.

The carriage rides in downtown Charleston are pulled by horses and mules. Our excursion was pulled by two mules. This magnificent beast was on break near the stable area where we started our tour.

The mascot of the James Island County Park Campground is the owl. During Christmas, a world- class tour of lights is apparently showcased throughout the park. They said the owl stays illuminated all year round at the campground entrance.

The mascot of the James Island County Park Campground is the owl. During Christmas, a world- class tour of lights is apparently showcased throughout the park. They said the owl stays illuminated all year round at the campground entrance.

Historic homes on this waterfront edge of downtown Charleston are the reason rambling around town on foot is so much fun. The scenery is amazing.

Historic homes on this waterfront edge of downtown Charleston are the reason rambling around town on foot is so much fun. The scenery is amazing.

We joined the other tourists and took a carriage ride through the oldest parts of town.

We joined the other tourists and took a carriage ride through the oldest parts of town.

One of the many quaint bridges among the ponds at Magnolia Gardens Plantation.

One of the many quaint bridges among the ponds at Magnolia Gardens Plantation.

Drayton Hall Plantation on the Ashley River enjoyed seven generations of the Drayton family before it was sold to The National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Drayton Hall Plantation on the Ashley River enjoyed seven generations of the Drayton family before it was sold to The National Trust for Historic Preservation.

We were the last tour to Fort Sumter that afternoon. The tides were starting to change around the island as we boarded the ferry for the return trip across Charleston Harbor.

We were the last tour to Fort Sumter that afternoon. The tides were starting to change around the island as we boarded the ferry for the return trip across Charleston Harbor.

A section of the many miles of walking/biking paths at James Island County Park.

A section of the many miles of walking/biking paths at James Island County Park.

We slept comfortably in the Walmart parking lot before our drive to Charleston. I was glad it was a super center because I got to stock us up on groceries and supplies in between dinner and bedtime.

We slept comfortably in the Walmart parking lot before our drive to Charleston. I was glad it was a super center because I got to stock us up on groceries and supplies in between dinner and bedtime.

In Charleston Harbor on the way to Fort Sumter.

In Charleston Harbor on the way to Fort Sumter.

It was a beautiful day to take a 30-minute ferry ride across Charleston Harbor to Fort Sumter.

It was a beautiful day to take a 30-minute ferry ride across Charleston Harbor to Fort Sumter.

There was a yard animal section at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. This male peacock was putting on a serious show for a particular female. He didn't care at all that three humans were standing this close to him. A teenage deer was eating a camera case hanging from the shoulder of the woman next me when this picture was taken.

There was a yard animal section at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. This male peacock was putting on a serious show for a particular female. He didn’t care at all that three humans were standing this close to him. A teenage deer was eating a camera case hanging from the shoulder of the woman next me when this picture was taken.

It is easy to feel like you have slipped back into another time zone when visiting Charleston.

It is easy to feel like you have slipped back into another time zone when visiting Charleston.

The pineapple fountain at the Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston seemed so welcoming!

The pineapple fountain at the Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston seemed so welcoming!

Looking back across the boardwalk over the marsh to the walking trails at James Island County park.

Looking back across the boardwalk over the marsh to the walking trails at James Island County park.

From the fishing Pier at James Island County Park.

From the fishing Pier at James Island County Park.

Spring is coming, the flip flops are out of the closet!

Spring is coming, the flip flops are out of the closet!

The churches in Charleston are each uniquely distinctive.

The churches in Charleston are each uniquely distinctive.

Fort Sumter selfie.

Fort Sumter selfie.

The surf at Folly Beach.

The surf at Folly Beach.

The County Park section of Folly Beach.

The County Park section of Folly Beach.

I got tired of worrying about keeping my hair colored during this trip. Solution: find Serendipity Salon on Broad Street, and ask the owner/stylist to cut it all off to where the grown out dye and low lights it meet the grey.

I got tired of worrying about keeping my hair colored during this trip. Solution: find Serendipity Salon on Broad Street, and ask the owner/stylist to cut it all off to where the grown out dye and low lights it meet the grey.

Not much spacing between these ancient Charleston homes.

Not much spacing between these ancient Charleston homes.

A view from Charleston's famous Broad Street.

A view from Charleston’s famous Broad Street.

 

 

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