The Historic District -- In 1860, according to one Charlestonian, “South Carolina seceded from the Union, Charleston seceded from South Carolina, and south of Broad Street seceded from Charleston.” The city preserves its early years at its southernmost point: the conjunction of the Cooper and Ashley rivers. White Point Gardens, right in the elbow of the two rivers, provides a sort of gateway into this area, where virtually every home is of historic or architectural interest. Between Broad Street and Murray Boulevard (which runs along the south waterfront), you’ll find such sightseeing highlights as St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, the Edmondston-Alston House, the Heyward-Washington House, Catfish Row, and the Nathaniel Russell House.

Downtown -- Extending north from Broad Street to Marion Square at the intersection of Calhoun and Meeting streets, this area encloses noteworthy points of interest, good shopping, and a gaggle of historic churches. Just a few of its highlights are the Old City Market, the Dock Street Theatre, the Old Powder Magazine, Congregation Beth Elohim, the French Huguenot Church, and St. John’s Church. In the guide we’ve considered Downtown an extension of the Historic District.

North Charleston -- Charleston International Airport is at the point at which I-26 and I-526 intersect. This makes North Charleston a Lowcountry transportation hub. Primarily a residential and industrial community, it lacks the charm of the Historic District. It’s the home of the North Charleston Coliseum, the largest indoor entertainment venue in the state, and the Hunley Confederate Submarine.

West Ashley -- One of Charleston’s six main districts, West Ashley was where colonists first came ashore in the 1670s. Head west across the Ashley River Bridge to pay tribute to Charleston’s birth at Charles Towne Landing and visit such highlights as Drayton Hall, Magnolia Gardens, and Middleton Place, all conveniently located along Ashley River Road (SC Hwy. 61). West Ashley is also home to the region’s largest indoor shopping mall, Citadel Mall.

Mount Pleasant -- East of the Cooper River, just minutes from the Historic District, this community is worth a detour. Filled with lodgings, restaurants, and some attractions, it encloses a historic district along the riverfront known as the Old Village, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its major attractions are Patriots Point, the world’s largest naval and maritime museum (also the home of the aircraft carrier Yorktown), and Boone Hall Plantation.

Outlying Areas -- Within easy reach of the city are the public beaches at Sullivan’s Island, historic Fort Moultrie, and ill-fated Fort Sumter, out in Charleston Harbor, where the Civil War began in 1861.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.