During our Myrtle Beach vacation, we took one day and drove to Charleston, SC. W- told me that it’s a trek they take every year, and I was happy to go along with the ride, having never been there before. After arriving around 11am, we walked to the Waterfront Park, where W- pointed out Fort Sumter in the distance.
Next we walked over to the Old Exchange, which is a National Historic Landmark and a museum currently run by the Daughters of the American Revolution (“DAR”). The Old Exchange was built in the 1760s and was the place where the South Carolina delegates ratified the United States Constitution in 1788. George Washington, on his tour of the new nation, spent a week there hosting various functions and meetings. Prior to becoming a museum, the Exchange had been used as a meeting-house, post office, storage space, and even as a USO facility during WWII. The basement, known as the Provost Dungeon, was used as a prison by the British during the Revolutionary War for both colonists fighting for independence, as well as pirates. We took the guided tour of the Dungeon, which was smaller than I had originally predicted. The tour guide was very knowledgeable, but not great at dealing with questions from small children. After the tour, we were permitted to explore the upper two floors and their exhibits as well.
After the Old Exchange/Provost Dungeon tour, we walked around the Historic District some before ending up at the Charleston City Market. The market was quite large with an air-conditioned section, which was highly appreciated by yours truly considering what a hot July afternoon the day was turning into. Some of us bought a few souvenirs and then we all grabbed a seafood late lunch feast at one of the restaurants nearby.
One of the other stops we made while meandering through the Historic District was Rainbow Row – 13 homes adjacent to each other, all built in the late 1700s and all painted in pastel colors. Due to cars driving by and tree cover, it was practically impossible to get a clear view of the full row for pictures, but it was very cool to see.
Our last stop in Charleston was a walking ghost tour of the Historic District. Now when I say ghost tour, I want to emphasize that this wasn’t the scary kind. Not in the least. The tour was more historic and story-telling in nature. Although a security guard in one of the locations we visited stated that our guide wasn’t the most accurate of the bunch, he was very entertaining and kept everyone fully engaged. The highlights for me included: visiting the Provost Dungeon again, but this time at night; a trip down an alley where we had to walk past men shooting dice, where one of the men became so interested in the story that he temporarily walked away from his game to listen with us for a bit; a ghost story where the protagonist’s long-lost love had the same name as me, which caused the guide to point at me every time he mentioned her; and also this sign:
Other pictures from the tour: