Are you a sit back and relax or let’s sightsee kind of person when you go on vacation? I generally like to relax but I must tell you that we have some beautiful places to visit in the Charleston area. The flowers, trees, wildlife, and waterways are breathtaking! If you like to take photos, then you are going to love these places.
The beach is my favorite place to go for peace of mind. It is so relaxing to either take a walk along the water or just sit under an umbrella and listen to the sound of the waves. I do have a few favorite beaches in the Charleston, SC area but today I am going to share 3 must-sees & do places in the area that do not include the beach.
Did you know that Charleston is a popular place to film a lot of TV shows and movies? It is so neat to be watching a show and see your local area up on the big screen, “Hey, I know that place!”.
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Cypress Gardens is about a 45-minute drive from downtown Charleston. It is well worth the drive and time to visit! There have been several films and shows filmed there but two of the most famous ones are The Notebook and The Patriot.
There are walking trails but my favorite thing to do is to take a boat ride through the cypress. You can either do a guided or self-guided. I really recommend a guided tour; we had an amazing guide that was full of so much information and knew exactly where to go. I cannot even tell you how beautiful it is, you will see tall bald cypress and tupelo trees along with alligators, birds, turtles, and lily pads.
You are probably wondering why I would suggest visiting a bridge! Well, let me tell you this bridge is beautiful not only to drive over but it has a walking/biking path on it that is 2.5 miles long. I recommend that you either go to see a sunset or sunrise because it has amazing views!
The Ravenel Bridge was built to withstand just about anything that is thrown at it! It is a cable-stayed bridge over the Cooper River that connects downtown Charleston to Mt. Pleasant. I find the facts below fascinating!
- It was built to withstand a shipping accident, its towers are flanked with one-acre rock islands, so a cargo ships with run aground before it ever hits the bridge!
- The bridge can endure wind gusts of more than 300 mph, you know we do occasionally get hurricanes!
- It was designed to withstand an earthquake with an aptitude of 7.4 on the Richter Magnitude Scale. In the year 1886 the area of Charleston had an earthquake that nearly leveled the entire city. Interesting enough, we have been having frequent earthquakes over the past several months!
If you would like to access the walkway on the bridge there is a park called, Mt. Pleasant Pier at the foot of the bridge where you can park your car and start your journey either by foot or bike! Don’t forget your camera!!
Click here to check out Mt. Pleasant Pier!
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
My husband and I recently attended an event there; Wine & Chocolate Stroll which was a lot of fun! Magnolia Plantation & Gardens is one the oldest Plantations in the South and is found on the Ashley River and is about 30 minutes from downtown.
Originally it was a rice plantation, and they have boat tours that will take you through the rice fields. Magnolia Plantation & Gardens has miles of walking paths that are filled with blooming gardens, it depends on what month you visit what you will end up seeing bloom. They have a page on their website that gives you an overview of what you can expect when. Click here to check that page out!
They are the last largescale “Romantic Gardens” left in the US! I highly recommend you take time to walk these grounds if you have time. There are a lot of photo opportunities along the way!
Some fun things they have that you can take advantage of while you are there:
- The Plantation House Tour
- The Gardens Tour
- The Nature Tram Tour – Wetlands, Lakes, Forests, and Marshes
- Children’s Garden
- Nature Boat Tour – Tour rice fields along Ashley River
- The Zoo & Nature Center – interact with various animals
- Swamp Garden – Cypress & Tupelo Gum Trees, explore boardwalks, bridges, and dikes.