If you have ever wondered about things to do in Charleston, a good place to start would be the history of the city. In fact, the history of Charleston is so rich, that America’s first museum was founded here in 1773. So buckle up and get ready to find out about all the things to do in Charleston. If you have a trip planned here, be sure to get the horse carriage tours in order to see and experience the most of this incredible history that you can.
Charleston, South Carolina is one of the most diverse and long lasting communities in the United States. Starting in the 1670s, Charleston was a leading city in the South from the colonial era to the Civil War. Originally, the city became wealthy through its exports of rice and sea island cotton, and attracted many wealthy individuals. After the Civil War, Charleston’s hinterland lost its regional dominance, however, it remained a hub of commerce for South Carolina. More recently, Charleston has become one of the most popular tourist destinations as it has such an incredibly rich history.
Founding and Early Growth
In 1670, Charleston, South Carolina, was gifted to the loyal followers of King Charles II. These devout men had a dream to turn the area into a royal port town, initially named “Charles Town,” after King Charles II. Within just 10 years, colonists from all over Europe and other areas were flocking to Charles Town. Not everything was rosy, however. Because France and Spain still contested the territory, Charles Town was frequently attacked by land and by sea. Even pirates laid siege to the city, with the infamous Edward Teach (known as Blackbeard) attacked in 1718 and plundered the merchant ships in the area.
Eventually the attacks subsided and by 1750 Charleston became a bustling trade center. As the hub of Atlantic trade for the southern colonies, Charleston was the largest and wealthiest city south of Philly, and soon became the fourth largest colony.
Because of it’s growing importance, Charleston became a focal point during the American Revolution. In 1776, General Henry Clinton attempted to seize Charleston with a large navy and 2,000 men. The 2nd South Carolina Regiment defeated Clinton soundly. Several more important battles were waged in the area, all of which resulted in the British being beaten back again and again. Charleston gave rise to famous men such as Francis Marion, aka the “Swampfox,” who used hit and run tactics to decimate British forces. If you are looking for things to do in Charleston, some reenactments of Revolutionary War battles might be afoot. Keep your eye open!
As the United States was formed, South Carolina (and by extension Charleston) had roots tied to the deep south. Of course, as the Antebellum and Civil War periods arose, this placed Charleston in a position of picking sides. South Carolina was the first state to cede from the Union, and in fact, some say that the first battle of the Civil War (or at least the first shots) was in Charleston as Citadel Cadets opened fire on Union ships.
All of this rich history (and more that we cannot fit in such a short article) make Charleston one of the most popular destinations in the United States. Taking a private horse tour around the city can be a great way to entrench yourself in the deep history of the area from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War and beyond.
Because of this rich history, there is never a lack of things to do in Charleston. Go to a museum. Check out historical sites. Visit our famous eateries. Get a ride around town with a local expert who can help you experience the rich history of Charleston in a way you will always remember.