Favorite thing: I was a little surprised to see one of the gigantor cruise ships docked in Charleston but amazingly it didn't seem to affect Charleston with the exception of the City Market which is within walking distance of the docks. When we asked our walking tour guide, he said the cruises that dock just for the day don't really have much of an effect on the local economy, they all go back to the ship for lunch, they take the organized bus tours and do a little shopping at the City Market. That's a real shame as there are gems to eat at like Jestine's and sights that you wouldn't see on a canned bus tour.
The IMAX closed Sept of 2007, but is scheduled to reopen in the fall of 2009
We have not been to this IMAX although we did visit the one next to the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. IMAX theatres seem to be associated with large aquaria. I find them to be a trifle overwhelming, and possibly a bit over-priced. I'm not a big fan of bigger is better.
According to the website, the Charleston IMAX Theatre is the only 3D theatre in South Carolina and has 422 seats with a screen 5 stories tall and 12,000 watts of digital surround sound.
Located at Fountain Walk adjacent to the South Carolina Aquarium.
360 Concord Street
Charleston, SC 29401 USA
(843) 725-IMAX (4629)
IMAX THEATRE TICKET RATES
Adult (12-61) $8.50
Youth (3-11) $7.50
Senior (62+) $7.50
Under 3 FREE IF ON LAP
Double Feature (same day only) $2 off 2nd show
Fondest memory: You can get combination tickets for this, the Aquarium and Fort Sumter.
AQUARIUM WHARF COMBINATION TICKET RATES
COMBINATION..... CHILD 3-5.. YOUTH 6-11.. ADULT 12-61.. SENIOR 62+
IMAX + FT. SUMTER..... $6.50..... $13.00..... $19.50 .....$17.50
IMAX + AQUARIUM ....$14.00 .....$14.00..... $22.00..... $19.00
All Three........................... $13.50..... $19.50..... $32.50..... $30.50
Children age 0-2 are FREE to all destinations. Rates subject to change.
Rates updated 3/1/05
You can also get a Big Ticket Annual Pass
Adult 18-61 $50
Student 3-17 $40
Senior 62+ $45
Having never been to Charleston before my wife and i weren't sure on what do do and how to get around the city. I stumbled upon a helpful Website that also is a visitor publication. It highlighted different things to do, had maps and a calendar of events that we found helpful. I believe that it can be downloaded for free from their Website - Traveler of Charleston Visitor Guide I also saw it displayed in the lobby of our hotel at Charleston Place and throughout the city therefore finding a hard copy shouldn't be hard to accomplish.
If you enjoy taking pictures walk the streets south of the Market and on to the Battery which is beautiful. We also walked across the Ravenel Bridge that spans the Cooper River and links Downtown with Mount Pleasant which was really nice and peaceful.
Fondest memory: The history and as they say "living museum" aspect of the city and that it is a walking city.
The restaurants are as great as everyone says. We fancied up one night and ate at Cypress on East Bay Street which was nice and not too overpriced...about $100 for two with cocktails.
The USS Yorktown was fun and informative.
We took a carriage ride which we recommend. We went with Palmetto Carriage which can be found on the Market.
Although the weather in Charleston is generally favorable, you may want to check on the current conditions. The website below gives you access to a live web camera that shows what it is like in the Charleston area.
the camera is located on the WCSC TV tower
Charleston has some of the best antique stores anywhere and we enjoy antiquing with friends
Fondest memory: We spent half a day in Hungryneck Antique Mall - They have some of the most interesting antiques - stuff you can't find anywhere else!
The White Point Gardens (better known as Battery) is the root of the City. Located at the end of the peninsula and facing the Cooper River, it is a nice place to stroll.
The historic houses are gorgeous. Some are built before the Civil War.
Fortunately, the city has not been arsoned by General Sherman as Atlanta.
Best time to visit is definitely mid April through early/ mid June. Varies from warm to hot, but not too hot, and it's the time before the humidity gets bad. Mornings always have a nice breeze and then the afternoon sun warms up to 75 to 85 degrees..then it cools down again in the evening.
Fondest memory: Sunset downtown from over the churches or from waterfront park or the battery. Beautiful.
Check out the vistors center for some great tips on tours, restaurants, shopping, coupons and much more. This is always a good place to start after you get into any town and settled in, go find a visitors center, this can help you map out your stay and the things you are going to be able to get done and see.
375 Meeting St PH (843) 723-0478
Favorite thing: The Charleston's Candy Kitchen is a fun place to duck into for a few reasons, 1 the candy, you can sit and watch them make taffy or fudge. The ice cream is really good and popular. The staff is very friendly and helpful, and the place is very clean. Just a side note that they have public restrooms that are also clean.
Favorite thing: It's always a good idea to get up early but make sure you do it here because there is so much to do, see and eat! Have breakfast if your hotel offers a continental breakfast, why not you paid for it and you might be supprised. Our hotel had fresh baked danishes which were delish and coffee to go! Grab your camera, wallet and batteries and get on your way early because you will wish you had more time. This is a very fun place to explore, the shops are all really fun to go through, the restaurants are every where with good food and friendly staff and plenty of tours from walking to carriage guided tours.
A visitor's center is almost always a good bet to go to first thing when you come to a new place. The Charleston Visitor's Center is no exception. And you may not even need to visit in person. Their website is chock full of deals and packages plus all the upcoming events. Right now, for instance, they have a Home and Museum Package which include two tickets per night stayed to your choice of five museums or museum homes. $169 to $299 Mar 13, 2005 to Jun 11, 2005
There is also parking (sometimes difficult in Charleston) and many tours leave from here, such as Gray Line of Charleston Daily 9:30-4pm every 1/2 hour. "America's premier sightseeing company, offers you quality and dependability with experienced guides relating the complete history of the area and its attractions. Tours depart daily, year-round from the Charleston Visitor Center "
Fondest memory: Having said that, I have not actually been into the Visitor's Center myself although we parked here to go to the Charleston Museum. That's because we do our Charleston Things-to-Do visits in between visits to our grandchildren. So it's kind of one or two attractions per visit instead of a couple of days of intensive sightseeing.
If you want to save money on many of the top Charleston area attractions. Look for the Tourist Pack Coupon envelope.
Fondest memory: These free coupons are widely distributed at many lodgings, the area Visitors Centers and SC Welcome Centers. Visit www.touristpack.com for Free Charleston Vacation Coupons. They also added discount tickets sales that are lower than any other place I've found. Their website is www.touristpack.com
Favorite thing: It's easy to find parking downtown if you know where to look. The Battery always has a few parking spaces, and it's always free, so if you don't mind walking, it's a good place. Also, there are two parking garages near East Bay Street on your left near the market if you're heading downtown (you will see the signs), and one on King Street, which is also near the market area. Other than these, you'll have to find a meter to use.
The Historic District with its numerous Antebellum houses. This photo shows part of the area and was taken from the river. It shows just some of the 19th century Antebellum within the Historic District.
Fondest memory: Taking a river excursion down river and seeing all the great estates from the water.
Outside Greater Charleston, one can visit one of many beautiful plantation houses built from the 18th-19th Centuries. Most owned by men and women who made their fortunes first in Sugarcane and eventually Cotton. One of these was Boone Hall Plantation.
(See tip) Here is a picture of the primary Plantation House. Certainly one of the most beautiful in the area.
Fondest memory: Beautiful 18th and 19th Century architecture.