Scenic Charleston Harbor
~Saturday, March 13, 2021~
Really getting the itch for mountains again. Missing the crisp cold air and the elevation gain. We’ve definitely thought about the flooding and the rise in sea levels as a consideration of moving to the south or on the coast. It’s hard to imagine when these horrible events aren’t happening, and the surroundings so beautiful that there could be utter devastation here. Don’t know if putting down a chunk of change for a new home HERE is the best idea, only to have it demolished only to have it washed away in 5, 10, or even 15 years. But then again, where can you live that isn’t prone to natural disasters?
But it definitely is a great place to visit. So tour Charleston we did today, by boat and foot. To get to the harbor is no small feat when driving a huge beast like Hank. The streets in downtown Charleston are super narrow, where they’ve basically taken 1 lane roads dating back to the 1600’s and divided them in 2. Rather than take too much time to find street parking we headed for a parking garage only minutes from the harbor with a 7’-6” clearance if that. A little nerve racking as your antenna hits nearly every beam 😳. Per another suggestion by our Instagrams friends, we decided to go with the Charleston Harbor Tours. The tour…...the Historical Charleston Harbor Tour on the Carolina Belle.
This stunning 90 minute tour around Charleston Harbor is a must-do while visiting this charming city. Our captain/tour guide (yes it is a live audio tour folks-a rare thing these days) was super knowledgeable and witty with a sense of humor. We managed to get a seat on the top deck, in the front, right in front of the captain’s station. This was the perfect seat until the captain blew his famous horn under the Arthur Ravenel Junior Bridge (his favorite part of the trip). It does sound pretty cool under this amazing structure and we were warned. But you can never be warned enough as even with your ears plugged and sitting only feet from the horn, you’re inclined to drop your camera, beverage, what have you! It’s that loud. This bridge, built in 2005 spans 1500 feet over the Cooper River
and is quite the structure at a cost of $6 million. We also saw stunning up close views of Fort Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, as well as forts Moultrie and Johnson on Sullivan’s Island. The USS Yorktown, also known as the “fighting lady” sits as a museum at Patriot’s Point and was named after the Battle of Yorktown of the American Revolutionary War. This ship was the 10th aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy. We could also see the many steeples of churches in Charleston, one in particular, St. Michael’s Church that survived the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, with it’s steeple painted black so as not to be an easy target. It looks like it worked. On the Battery, you can see the many stately homes owned by ship captains. Near the end of the tour, we finally saw a few dolphins showing off their jumping skills.
After our lovely boat tour, we headed inland a bit onto King Street where there are crowds of tourists and locals purusing shops, eating delicious southern cuisine
or simply just taking in the sites like us. Finally to get to a less crowded section of town we detoured over to East Bay Street on what was left of the walled fortresses built during the Revolutionary War (Charleston was a walled city). This also gave us a closer look at some of those mega mansions that were built for ship captains and plantation owners. Today, these lovely mansions are owned by private individuals. Around the corner from these homes is a park called White Point Gardens which also contains The Battery, displaying canons and mortars from previous battles. Then we walked through the quaint, quiet neighborhood called South of Broad filled with the most charming, well manicured homes. We even stumbled onto some of the streets we saw yesterday, by carriage. After all that walking, we’ve decided there is just too much to see in downtown Charleston, so we’ll be bringing the bikes next time as we have 2 more days of sightseeing in this lovely town.
One more stop at a local market called Harris Teeter before heading home to make some amazing fish tacos! Recipe anyone?