Charleston Vacation Itinerary: 5 Must-Sees For Every History Buff

horse carriage tours

During stressful times, it often helps to imagine exploring somewhere new. In fact, it’s been scientifically proven that the process of planning a vacation is just as (or sometimes more) beneficial for one’s health than taking the actual vacation itself! And if you’re looking for a way to distract yourself from what’s going on in the world today, there’s arguably no better way to do it than to immerse yourself in the past.

Whether you’re a self-proclaimed history buff or you’re eager to learn more about what our nation was like centuries ago, our country’s historical sights can provide an immense amount of context and intrigue. And if you plan on taking a trip to Charleston one of these days, you’ll find no shortage of attractions that are steeped in rich history. Let’s take a look at just five must-sees that will pique your interest in U.S. yesteryear and make your Charleston vacation truly unforgettable.

The Charleston Museum

The Charleston Museum, founded in 1773, is known as the first museum in the entire United States. Here, you can explore hands-on exhibits involving everything from historic fashion to archaeological artifacts. The museum is also home to 18th Century weaponry, Native American relics, and information about both colonists and slaves living in Charleston between the periods of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. If you’re looking to learn more about Lowcountry life, this should be your first stop.

Aiken-Rhett House

The Aiken-Rhett House is located in downtown Charleston, meaning that you might pass by it during walking or horse carriage tours. However, you’ll definitely want to make a point of going inside. It’s one of the most well-preserved homes in all of Charleston and is now owned by the Historic Charleston Foundation. Constructed in 1820, it was passed down from generation to generation and stayed in one family until 1975. Its stunning architecture and emphasis on authentic preservation make this home a necessary part of any vacation itinerary.

The H.L. Hunley Museum

This museum is devoted to the H.L Hunley, the first successful combat submarine. In 1864, the Hunley sank the USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor. While the submarine itself sank shortly after the attack, the museum offers an impressive amount of scientific information about how it was found and why those events might have occurred. The submarine was subsequently raised and is now on display in a 75,000-gallon tank containing a preservative solution. You can see artifacts found aboard and imagine yourself inside that submarine on a self-guided tour.

The Downtown Historic District

Charleston’s downtown historic district cannot be missed, as it’s a beautiful and vast area with so much to offer. Horse carriage tours can give you a taste of this district and provide an excellent overview of some of the best sights in the city. If you aren’t sure where to start exploring or you don’t have a ton of time to meander on-foot, Charleston’s horse carriage tours can serve as a great introduction. If you feel comfortable exploring the area yourself, you should make sure to go to Liberty Square, the Nathaniel Russell and Edmonston-Alston houses, or some of the breathtaking churches in the area. There’s also the Historic City Market, which can make for an exciting stop.

Magnolia Plantation

With so many things to do in Charleston SC, it’s easy to forget there’s a world beyond the hustle and bustle of downtown. The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, which is now part of the National Sentinel Plant Network, is known as the first public gardens in the entire nation. The plantation was built in 1676 and visitors can tour the main house and old slave quarters. Information sessions are provided that offer an honest look at the U.S. plantation system — an important point for any true history buff.

Whether you decide to venture into Charleston on your own or sign up for one of our horse carriage tours, we can’t wait for you to explore our beautiful and historic city. To learn more about our tours, please contact us today.