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Charles Towne Landing an educational, relaxing and fulfilling family getaway (Charleston historic things to do)

Posted By shoutabout,Date: 04.22.2008

This is as good as it gets for a weekend family getaway! Step back in time at the Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, the birth place of South Carolina. The park is just minutes driving from downtown Charleston and welcomes visitors to 80 acres of gardens, a self-guided historic walking trail through serene oak trees and Spanish moss avenues, beautiful marshes, ponds and creeks and a natural-habitat zoo featuring native wildlife at the time of settlement.

Beautiful pond near the entrance

You can bike, walk your dog, jog, and use the stroller; there are plenty of benches along the trail for you to rest and enjoy the view.

Biker boy watchin turtles

By the way you will get great vistas photos of the marshes and Charleston’s Ravenel Bridge and Marina. You can get an audio recordings for the walking trail for $5 at the Visitors Center. The trail is about 1.5 miles long at takes about 2 hours to complete. If you’re too tired to walk the park has a shuttle service for the Historic Trail. The park offers two restrooms, one at the Visitors Center and one on the trail; both have water fountains and vending machines.

Interesting things to do and see on the Historic Trail

1. The visitor center features twelve rooms of interactive exhibits telling the story of settlement and survival in the 17th century. In 1670 three boats with English settlers and indentured servants set sail from Barbados yet only one, The Carolina made it safe;

2. Before the African slave trade took off, the native Indian tribes fought each-other to capture prisoners and procure slaves for the settlers.

The Adventure ship replica

3. Working replica canons on earthen fortifications (settlers’ main concern was to defend against possible Spanish invasion) and The Adventure, a full size replica of a 17th century trading kelch

Woman settler in servant quarter

4. Ongoing archaeological exhibits; servants quarters replicas, garden and outdoor disciplinary area;

5. The Legare House and Garden; We owe this beautiful park to Ferdinanda Legare Waring, the pioneering horticulturist who planted all the oak trees, lived and worked on the plantation and then sold it to the state for permanent preservation.
The Horry ruins, a living testament to early Southern plantation homes; the house burned near the end of the Civil War.

Alligator and turtles sunbathing

6. Alligators and turtles sun bathe along the park’s ponds, creeks and marsh beaches. A baby alligator welcomes visitors as you drive towards the visitor center. Although it doesn’t compare to Alligator Adventure the thrill of coming face to face with a gator in the wild is priceless.

Starring bison

The Animal Forest zoo features bison, puma, bobcats, black bears, elk, otters and birds native to the time first settlers arrived more than 350 years ago. Unfortunately some species went extinct like the Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet and even the Puma (in the wild).

Take a virtual photo tour with this slideshow.

Charles Towne Landing Historic Site
1500 Old Towne Rd, Charleston SC
(843) 852-4200
Directions: From I-26, take exit 216A onto Hwy 7 South. Bear left on Hwy 171 and follow signs. The park is open daily 9 AM to 5 PM except on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Admission Tickets: Adult $7.50, SC seniors $3.75, children ages 6 to 15 $3 and free for those 5 and younger.

Happy family vacation in the Lowcountry a wonderful place filled with history, traditions and old-time stories!

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    3 Responses to “Charles Towne Landing an educational, relaxing and fulfilling family getaway (Charleston historic things to do)”

    1. Mysterious Charleston in Photos: Ghost Sightings, Dark Stories, Famous Houses and Just for Fun « Shout About South Carolina Travel, Family Attractions and Free Things to Do Says:

      [...] that you’re ready to get a thrill in the Olde Towne make sure to also visit Charles Towne Landing historic state park, the birthplace of the city, South Carolina and America (that’s quite impressive!). Believe [...]

    2. I had a fantastic visit to CTL Says:

      Charlestown Landing was a fasinating place that isn’t that well known. I loved taking a bike all over the park.

    3. shoutabout Says:


      I know exactly what you mean. Lived in the area for almost a year and went to see it only after I moved! What shame…such a great place.

      Is not very well advertised officially. I guess is up to word-of-mouth from people like us :-)

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