Charleston is the oldest and largest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina, the county seat of Charleston County.
Visitors to Charleston are greeted with a delightful array of sights and activities all year around. The colonial port city is famous for its horse-drawn carriage tours that take visitors over cobblestone streets through quaint colonial neighborhoods. The historic district consists of more than 2,000 preserved and restored buildings, 73 of which are pre-Revolutionary, 136 date from the 1700s, and 600 from the early 1800s.
Using guide services, boat and motorized trolley tours, or walking or bicycling with directions on audio cassettes, visitors can view Charleston’s historic and stately buildings and churches.
Baseball fans can watch the Charleston RiverDogs, the San Diego Padres’ minor league team, face opponents at Joe Riley Stadium. Fans of professional ice hockey enjoy the South Carolina Stingrays, while professional soccer action is the forte of the Charleston Battery at Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island. Collegiate action is provided by teams fielded by the College of Charleston, The Citadel, and Charleston Southern University. Plantation Polo matches are held each Saturday in April, October, and November at Boone Hall Plantation in Mt. Pleasant.
Eating well has long been a Southern tradition in Charleston, however, that tradition was honoured in homes, not in restaurants. The growth of tourism in the area has spurred development of new, first-rate eating establishments, and now visitors and locals alike reap the benefits: American, Southern, Chinese, Italian, French, Indian, Japanese, German, Greek, and Mexican cuisine are available. In historic Charleston the atmosphere lends a special touch to dining. Along Shem Creek in Mt. Pleasant, several seafood restaurants afford patrons a view of the shrimp boats moving over the water, while another establishment south of the city is actually built on piers above the ocean. Almost all restaurants, regardless of ambience, feature seafood, a South Carolina staple. The nearby waters provide millions of pounds of seafood in a harvest that includes shrimp, crabs, oysters, mussels, clams, whiting, spot, mullet, red snapper, grouper, king mackerel, flounder, and catfish. Visitors to Charleston can sample the famous she-crab soup and other low country specialties such as soft shell crab, shrimp and grits, and red rice.