The day was getting warmer and now after visiting the Charleston Museum and 2 of the homes on our 2 day pass, having had our lunch and gelato we needed to head South of Broad near the Battery to try to get in one more home before they closed for the day. Question - how to get several miles further south without taking our car from the parking garage. A pedicab ride of course.
Sue and I had obviously seen pedicabs in any number of cities, but we never had tried one out for ourselves. But the time was ripe and and the distance was long so I hailed down the first pedicab driver I saw and we hoped on board.
I told him we needed to head to the other side of town and off we went. Now Charleston is a great city for pedicabs, horses, mules and all other types of non normal type of vehicles to get through the city. The streets are narrow and for the most part relatively car free in the downtown historical section. In fact I can only recall seeing one environmentally friendly regular cab during the day.
Our driver for that trip was a young man from Milwaukee who said he played a lot of rugby. I felt a little sorry for him taking us all the way across town especially when we would have to stop at a stop light and he would have to really but a lot of effort into getting the momentum going again. He said it was the farthest anyone had ever asked him to go. I didn't get any still pictures but here is the link to a short video clip of Our Ride on King Street.
We paid for our fare in cash. They charge by the time with a 10 minute minimum. Our ride was about 15 minutes. You can call for an appointment and have them pick you up at a designated place and time.
On our first full day in Charleston we got up, got ready, had the breakfast buffet at the hotel and then crossed the bridge into the city for our first full day's activities in Charleston.
A lot of the guide books we had seen mentioned to make a stop at the Charleston Visitor Center to get an orientation of the city, pick up any necessary brochures and for a few dollars see a 20 minute film on Charleston.
Purpose of this Tip: If you are planning on spending the day in Charleston and have a rental car like us plan to drop off your car in the parking lot at the front of the Visitors Center or do like we did and park just north of the Visitor Center in the covered garage parking deck. Although he didn't get back to our car until almost 10:00 p.m. that night, parking out of the sunlight on a hot day would come in handy if you came back to your car when it was still light out.
I don't remember what the 1/2 hour fee was in the parking deck, but the daily maximum fee here was $8 per 24 hour period versus other parking decks around town which were $1 per 1/2 hour and a maximum of $20 per 24 hour period. So if you plan, like we did to spend most of the day in town the $8 vs. $20 fee will save you a few coins.
And then if you have a car like the one featured in a magazine I saw lying on a Charleston door step, you'll probably like the added safety of the parking deck.
The city of Charleston lies alongside the Cooper River, which was named after Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury and chief Lord Proprietor of the Carolina Colony. The river has long served as a main transportation route for people and goods as the city developed and expanded. It has also played a vital role in the region's rice industry.
At least five different companies offer carriage rides throughout the historic downtown area. Typical tours last 30 minutes to an hour and cost around $20 per person. Some tours are group tours, private tours often cost a bit more (starting around $100). Several companies also offer night tours and other options.
Companies include Old South Carriage Company, Old Towne Carriage Company, Classic Carriage Tours, and Palmetto Carriage Company.
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, which opened in 2005, is a cable-stayed bridge over the Cooper River. The eight-lane bridge has a main span of 1,546 feet, which was the longest cantilever bridge in the Western Hemisphere when it opened. The total length of the bridge is 13,200 feet and is supported by twin 575-foot towers. The bridge deck is suspended 186 feet above the surface of the Cooper River. The bridge cost dome $700 million to construct.
It’s one of Charleston’s typical tourist traditions: to ride in a rickshaw. So we did, twice. Our first ride was to the Dock Street Theatre for a performance of Mozart’s opera “Cosi Fan Tutti.”
Soon after we made the reservation for our rickshaw, our College-of-Charleston graduate driver Tory was waiting for us outside the Inn’s gate. In no time at all he had peddled us uptown. We were astonished at the speed and ease with which he got us to our destination.
Hi, stayed a couple of days recently in Charleston in a Hotel outside metropolitan area in Ripley Point Drive, we needed a cab and Hotel Receptionists said she would get one for us, turned out to be a not that great limo who charged us $25 !!!!! we decided to hire a yellow cab for return this cost us $6.50, a big difference. We used the same cab the following evening both from and to hotel, the driver (Kip) was great, he gave us good history of Charleston, places to go, things to see. We can thoroughly recommend him. Just call (843)-577-6565 and ask for Kip. Have a nice trip
Parking is often difficult in Charleston, especially downtown. We once ate dinner on the basis of whether we could get a parking place near the restaurant. Parking place first. Second decide where to eat.
This is the long term parking garage which is also in the area of the visitor's center on the north end of downtown and right across the street from the Children's Museum. There's also a garage near the Aquarium (also north of the main tourist part of the city).
As you have now just landed at the Charleston International Airport, in the City of North Charleston you have three real choices of transportation. First and the old standard - a friend or family member picks you up. Second - we have a large selection of national car rental agencies conveniently located near the baggage collection turnstiles. Shop around since their prices do vary a lot. Third - located just outside our terminal building, near baggage pickup, you will find taxi, hotel guest pickup and mini bus service. As you are leaving the airport proper, be sure to notice, just to your left, the newest of North Charlestons major industries. Vought Aircraft and Alenia North America Aircraft manufacturing and assembling major fuselage components for the Boeing 787 aircraft. If you are an aircraft buff you may also catch a glimpse of Boeing's new Dreamlifter cargo planes as they deliver and pickup from the North Charleston factories. If you want lodging, not in the tourist center of Charleston, you will find a good selection of modern, National and International hotels conveniently located near the airport in North Charleston. You may appreciate the savings. You will find the downtown, old City of Charleston just 10-15 minutes away via I-26
Save yourself some money and fly to either Charlotte or Savannah, rent-a-car and give yourself a couple of hours to get to Charleston. I did this during my last trip and found the drive relaxing as I sped through some beautiful Southern countryside...the couple of hundred bucks I saved wasn't bad either...
If you are staying and are here to see downtown Charleston then it's very easy to just walk to get around, but if you need to go a bit farther than you'd like to walk the buses are a good way to go. they look like trolley cars...very cute. Just look for a bus stop and pay when you get on. You can ask the driver how to get where you need to go.
Charleston International Airport is only a 20 minute ride up Route 26, 5500 International Blvd # 101, Charleston, SC. The airport is very easy to find and easy to get to, except during peak traffic times which moves at a snails pace! They have 164 flights daily according to their site.
This is a big town so while walking take take you around the corner or a few good blocks, Terry and I love to take a bikes with us. We find we get a lot more area covered and if we just walked around which tends to wear us out. There is an awful lot to cover here so you may want to think about bring you own bike or rent some for the day, I did see a few bike rental companies in Sullivan's Island, Folly Beach and Charleston.
This is the sign for the short term parking lot right next to the visitor's center (No RVs) The first half hour is free, so you could nip into the visitor's center and use the bathrooms or pick up brochures or maps and not have to pay anything. The second half hour is 75 cents, and each hour after that is $1 with a maximum of $12.
We are often in Charleston Harbor by boat. It is very interesting and a different perspective to see the city from the water. This boat is one that tours the harbor. However, IMHO, the boat to Fort Sumter would be a better one to take. In addition to seeing the city from the water, you also get to visit an important National Monument.
This is what they say on their website:
" Charleston Harbor Tours is the longest running harbor tour company in Charleston, serving her guests since 1908. The Harbor of History Tour lasts 90 minutes and is non-stop, fascinating, live-narrated, featuring 75 points of interest spanning almost 20 miles, Considered by many to be the most popular attraction in Charleston. Once aboard, you will experience Charleston from a different view point. Every fort in Charleston's harbor is included on this trip; Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie, and Fort Johnson, See the Battery and the architectural make-up of the Holy City. Boat tour leaves conveniently from the Charleston Maritime Center (1/2 block south of the Aquarium) daily at 11:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 3:30 PM. Snack Shop features sandwiches,beverages and other snack bar items available for purchase"
Children under 4 free with purchase of an adult ticket.