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Seeking recommendations for Charleston weekend

My husband, son and I will be travelling to SC in May. My husband will be working in Columbia for several weeks and we are tagging along. Our plan is to spend one or two weekends in Charleston while we are there. We'll drive down on a Friday after my husband is done working and will have all day Sat. and Sun. each weekend. We absolutely love Charleston, We were there once before when visiting family, but only had a day and a half. We spent one day exploring the historic district and toured the USS Yorktown. We also toured the Ft. Sumter museum. We ate at Magnolias (delicious) and Poogan's Porch (also delicious). But, I know we still have so much to see. That being said...I've got a few questions:

1. We'd like to tour a plantation while we are are there this time. From what I've read on this forum, it seems Drayton Hall and Middleton are most recommended. If we only have time for one, which would you suggest? Or, should we make time for both? Our son is four, if this helps, but like his momma and daddy, he loves anything that has to do with history - and of course, a gator or two would make it all the better.

2. We'd like to spend some time at a beach. We'll be staying at the Renaissance in the historic district (my husband's firm uses Marriotts for travel), so someplace within a 30 mintue drive would be great. I was thinking of maybe going to the beach in the afternoon and staying for dinner. It seems Folly's beach, Sullivan's Island and Kiawah are mentioned most often on this forum (I'm not familiar with any of these beaches). We usually travel to North Myrtle once a year for a big family get-together because it's kind of central to where we all live. On this trip, we'd like to experience a different kind of SC beach, if possible. We love North Myrtle, but would like to experience something less commercialized. I know it will be too cold to swim, so a place where we could walk on the beach, do some shelling, see some wildlife etc. A dinner recommendation would also be most welcome.

3. What is the best way to tour the historic district? We spent an entire day walking around the last time we were there - we basically just let ourselves get lost. We still can't get over the gorgeous homes and all that history. We still feel as if there is so much to see. Are there any "not to be missed" sites you could recommend? Our son is very good about hopping in the stroller if he gets tired, so walking is not a problem. We actually like it because that means we get to eat more!

If you have any recommendations outside of my questions, please, have at it. All suggestions are welcome. Thanks much for your help!

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