Patriots Point – Located just across the Cooper River from downtown Charleston, a visit to Patriots Point includes tours of the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, along with other decommissioned vessels and the Hall of Fame Museum, hands-on thrills in the state-of-the-art flight simulator, and other educational programs, plus events to honor active and retired service members.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens – One of three historic plantations located on Ashley River Road, this 400-acre site features the restored Drayton family home, spectacular gardens in seasonal bloom, a rice field boat tour, a zoo, and a nature center among its attractions.
West Ashley Greenway – This 8.25-mile trail is a former railroad right-of-way that runs through some of the oldest neighborhoods in the West Ashley area all the way to the tidal marshes of Johns Island. Most of the trail is now paved, so it’s perfect for biking and all-weather jogs or hikes.
The South Carolina Aquarium – One of downtown Charleston’s newest attractions, the Aquarium is not only home to animal exhibits and fish tanks with more than 5,000 living creatures, it’s also an educational center with a 4-D movie theater and interactive programs that teach kids and adults alike about the importance of conservation.
Eat Like a Local
In addition to dinner and Sunday brunch at their Seabrook Island Club, David and Mary Allen recommend the fine dining at Hege’s in nearby Freshfields Village, Pearlz in West Ashley for oysters, Johns Island’s Wild Olive for Italian, and Fat Hen for Lowcountry cuisine, Basil’s downtown for Thai food, and Hall Steakhouse “for the most amazing steaks around.” They also like casual evenings with friends at Bohicket Marina’s Fisher’s Sports Pub & Grill, “a true ‘fisherman’s bar.'”
The Bush family has found their favorite places to dine right on Daniel Island: Blondie’s Bagels and the Honeycomb Cafe for breakfast and Laura Albert’s for lunch, plus LIDI and Sermet’s Courtyard for dinner. When they venture downtown, they enjoy the fare at Cypress and Coast.
One venue that the Allens and Bushes agree on: the Rooftop Pavilion Bar at the Market Pavilion Hotel in downtown Charleston is the best place for after-dinner drinks and beautiful views.
Charleston…A Living History
Charleston is often called South Carolina’s “Holy City” by those who admire its many historic churches and, according to proud locals, is located “where the Ashley and Cooper rivers come together to form the Atlantic Ocean.” All joking aside, Charleston is a truly wonderful place to visit, with a huge residential district south of Broad Street that’s filled with impressive antebellum homes, must-see historic sites like the Fort Sumter National Monument, and a walkable downtown area with shops, restaurants, art galleries, and museums by the score.
But the Charleston area is also the hometown for a growing number of new residents who appreciate amenities like the city’s world-class medical facilities and cutting-edge businesses, which have found that its Lowcountry ambiance and entrepreneurial spirit make for a perfect blend of old and new.
David and Mary Allen live on Seabrook Island, an oceanfront community just south of Charleston. “We are fortunate to live on the Kiawah River,” David said, “so kayaking and boating are a big part of our lives.” He added that “living on Seabrook Island makes Charleston very accessible to us for a wide range of cultural activities.” The Allens have season tickets for both the Charleston Jazz Orchestra and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Pop Series, and never miss the city’s signature Spoleto Festival every spring.
“We feel so very blessed to have landed here,” said Beth Bush (Daniel Island residents). “It is by far the best place we have ever called home!” The Bush’s active schedule includes Daniel Island community events like the Holiday Festival in December and the Volvo Cars Tennis Open in April, summertime day trips to the nearby beaches on Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms, and weekend shopping forays to the Tanger Outlets in North Charleston and the Mount Pleasant Towne Centre.
“We love living in the Charleston area. We found it extremely easy to assimilate when we moved here and with the wide range of recreational and cultural options readily available in the area, there is something for everyone to enjoy, from kids to seniors.”