We had a couple of recommend “must dos” for our trip based on my research and inquiries. The one common denominator was to do a carriage ride through the historic city of Charleston. They offer group or private ones, we went with the private one. What a nice treat!!
The carriage picked us up at our hotel and our guide was a knowledgeable, sweet young college student. Our horse, Gibbs, was a big, brown and white beauty who looked healthy and well cared for.
We pulled over a couple times into the shade of the big magnolia trees to let cars pass by. These trees provide great shade on hot southern days like this one!! And the magnolia flowers are just so big and lovely!! True sign of the south.
The ride was so peaceful and relaxing, plus the cushion in the carriage was ridiculously comfortable!! We listened as our guide explained the natural and manmade history of the town. Charleston’s peninsula allows a constant sea breeze to pass through year round, providing relief from blazing hot summers. The houses are actually built to accommodate the breeze so it blows across the porch fronts (which is why the expansive end-to-end porches don’t face the streets, instead they are perpendicular).
We went back a bit in American history and took the ferry ride over to Fort Sumter. My husband is a huge American history buff and I’m pretty sure he knows as much (if not more) than any of the tour guides in town! This here Yankee does not. But Fort Sumter was an interesting National site to visit, as it was where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.
Approaching by sea, it doesn’t look very big. But on arrival, the remains of the Fort still bear the original cannons and a good bit of the structure showing how it was fortified to withstand attack and launch its own.
The first tour to Fort Sumter for the day gets to assist in raising the flag for a ceremonial moment. It was really cool to watch it carefully unfold (with assistance from a dozen tourists in our group), ascend the pole, reach its perch, and fly in the breeze.