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Charleston itinerary check please (4 days with a 10-yr-old)

Charleston itinerary check please (4 days with a 10-yr-old)

Old Jan 6th, 2023, 12:04 PM
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yk
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Charleston itinerary check please (4 days with a 10-yr-old)

Hello! My son (age 10) and I are taking a 4-day trip to Charleston SC in mid-Feb, during our school vacation week. I have read threads as well as trip reports, checked websites, as well as my Fodor's guidebook. Neither of us have been there before. My son is an excellent travel companion and is interested in history (esp Revolutionary War; last year we took trips to Philadelphia and the historic triangle in VA), transportation. Less so on art or paintings or botanical gardens.

Here is a rough itinerary but I can use a bit of help, esp when it comes to the plantations outside of the city — I can't decide which ones to go to (please bear in mind the time of year of our visit). We are staying at an Inn in the historic core near Market Street

Sunday
Arrive at airport at noon; pick up rental car and drive directly to Middleton Place for touring in the afternoon
Drive to hotel; stop by Charleston Visitor Center if we get there before 5pm

Monday
Charleston Visitor Center (if we didn't go the day before)
Charleston Museum
Aiken-Rhett House (if there's time)
2:30pm boat tour to Fort Sumter

Tuesday
Old Exchange
Powder Magazine
Carriage Ride

Wednesday
Drive to Mt Pleasant to visit:
Charles Pinckney Historic Site
Boone Hall OR Patriot Point Naval Museum (or both?)
Is it worth driving to Fort Moultrie???

Thursday
We need to return to the airport by 11:30am
Do we have time to visit Charlestowne Landing Site (opens at 9am). The website isn't very clear as to what's there to see and do. Or should we go to Magnolia Plantation (also opens at 9am)

Main Questions:
1. I have a hard time deciding which plantations to visit: Middleton Place, Boone Hall, or Magnolia? Are they all vastly different or similar? I don't think we need to visit all 3. I know Middleton Place boasts carmelia blooms in Feb.
2. Is the Naval Museum worth a visit?
3. What about Fort Moultrie?
4. Regarding Carriage Ride, the most well-known one is the Palmetto Carriage, but for a 1-hr daytime group tour, it is $90 for the 2 of us ?! ($50 adult, $40 child) I haven't checked other companies and their rates... just wondering your opinion on Palmetto and/or carriage ride in general.

Since we don't have time to see everything, I'm trying to narrow down the list to see the ones that will be the most interesting to us. We may have some extra time on Tuesday so we can always drive to one of the places outside of town. Also, open to other suggestions. I thought about the slave market but not sure if my son is still a bit too young for it. Thank you so much in advance!

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Old Jan 7th, 2023, 01:02 AM
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You certainly have the old houses covered. With a 10 year old in tow I would think you would want to see the Aquarium and the submarine Hunley exhibit.
https://www.visit-historic-charlesto...submarine.html

I like Middleton plantation best but Boone Hall is directly in Mt. Pleasant so would also be easy to visit. In February you will miss the azaleas and other flowers of the plantations but.....
I think Patriot Point includes the battleship and that is always good for a child--and actually an adult to see how really "small" these ships are for what they did.
You don't mention food but that is certainly a highlight of a Charleston visit. i'd stick my head in some of the churches.
If you wanted to take a llittle road trip up Route 17 to Georgetown that is a wonderful Revolutionary War era town. South of Charleston is Beaufort
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Old Jan 7th, 2023, 07:10 AM
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Gretchen mentions Beaufort which has lovely antebelleum homes and trees dripping with Spanish moss and a fairly lively downtown. There is the Spanish Moss Trail, a rail-trail for bicyclists and walkers, which goes to Yemasee. Eat fresh seafood.Twenty minutes away is 5,000-acre semi-tropical Hunting Island State Park which features he miles of white sand beach remain pristine and uncrowded, miles of hiking trails through maritime forest, fishing and a nature center.
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Old Jan 8th, 2023, 04:15 PM
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Hello, thank you so far. Hunley is only open on Sat/Sun so unfortunately I don't think we can fit it in. I did not include the Aquarium because where we live (Boston area) has a decent aquarium. I hope to use our time in Charleston to see things that are unique, esp given our limited time.

I know Charleston is well=known for foods, esp seafoods. I will research restaurants later. My son is not a fan of seafood so I'l have to find places that have things he like as well.

Hope others can chime in in regards to my other questions.
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Old Jan 9th, 2023, 02:24 AM
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Oh, he'll have plenty to choose from. One of our family's favorites isn't seafood-nor even low country. Xiao Bao Biscuit. I'm sure you have have great Asian food in Boston but the Japanese cabbage pancake there is SO good.
Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant has good restaurants and a good water setting.
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Old Jan 9th, 2023, 10:23 AM
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Are you planning to go to Fort Sumter NP? The park service runs boat tours out to the fort. I would think a 10 yo history buff would find it very interesting.
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Old Jan 10th, 2023, 02:00 AM
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I think she has that for the first day.
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Old Jan 10th, 2023, 08:05 AM
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Gretchen, thanks for the restaurant suggestions.

oldemalloy, yes we are going to Fort Sumter. Wondering if we should also visit Fort Moultrie?
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Old Jan 10th, 2023, 10:05 AM
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Fort Moultrie was involved in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Since your son is most interested in the revolution, it might be interesting to read up on it and the man for whom it was named. The boat ride to Ft. Sumter is good for a look back toward the city. Thereis a nice walkable area of the city with lovely homes with porches where the locals reportedly watched the shelling of the fort for a look from the other side.
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Old Jan 10th, 2023, 11:17 AM
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Hi yk

I saw your question about whether you *should* visit and wasn’t sure myself how to answer; I remember finding Fort Moultrie interesting, with nice water views and gave perspective on how Charleston was protected, so I think whether one should visit might depend on one’s level of interest in fortifications? In the southeast US, I remember my visits to the Castillo San Marcos (St. Augustine), Fort Pulaski (Savannah area) and indeed Fort Sumter more, the latter due to the experience of getting there and the views of the downtown peninsula from the park services boat. When I visited, going to Moultrie made sense as we were going to one of my uncle from Beaufort’s favourite restaurants on the Isle of Palms and the fort was in between there and my hotel in the city core. I don’t think you would regret if you go but if it doesn’t seem logical with your schedule, my opinion is seeing only Sumter is ok too.

Best wishes

Daniel
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Old Jan 11th, 2023, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by yk
Middleton Place
Aiken-Rhett House (if there's time)
Old Exchange
Powder Magazine
Charles Pinckney Historic Site
Boone Hall
Magnolia Plantation
Since we don't have time to see everything, I'm trying to narrow down the list to see the ones that will be the most interesting to us.
I think your itinerary is too heavy on "old houses", as another poster put it.
I also think you're cramming too may stops, and lots of driving back/forth, into such a short trip.
Also, where are you staying? In downtown Charleston?

I'd put Patriot's Point at the top of the list and consider it a must-see. I would also definitely visit Fort Moultrie and do the Hunley if you can.
These seem like more age-appropriate activities vs. multiple plantation/old house tours.
This is what I would do. You can fill in with some of your other stops if you are so inclined...

Sun -
Leave airport and head to Hunley.
Charleston Visitor Center
Check into hotel (if staying downtown)
Carriage ride

Mon -
Patriots Point
Fort Moultrie
Eat at restaurant on Shem Creek, walk the boardwalk & look for aquatic life

Tues -
Charleston Museum
Fort Sumter


Wed -
Boone Hall
Charles Pinckney Historic Site


Thur -
Explore downtown area by foot
Head to airport
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