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This 663-acre park on the Ashley River, 3 miles northwest of Downtown, is located on the site where English settlers first landed in 1670, thereby establishing the birthplace of the Carolina colony and the plantation system that eventually spread throughout the American South. Little remains from that period, but the visitor center and museum contains lots of interactive exhibits describing the history of the settlement, while a trail, with the option of listening to a prerecorded audio tour ($5), runs through the site. In the summer interpretive park rangers in 17th-century dress tend heirloom crops such as rice, indigo, and cotton; fire cannons and muskets; and deliver information about the daily life of the era’s indentured servants. You can explore The Adventure II, a life-size reproduction of a trading ship or ketch of the 17th century, reconstructed earthwork fortifications, and the Animal Forest, a 22-acre zoo of species that were native to the area at the time of the original settlement (pumas, bison, alligators, black bears, otters, bobcats, and wolves).