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Charleston Travel Guide

Charleston Overview

Charleston is one of the loveliest cities in the country, despite having weathered great fires, earthquakes, epidemics, civil war and a devastating hurricane. It is consistently classed among the most elegant and dignified cities nationwide. Situated on the peninsula at the confluence of the Cooper and Ashley Rivers on South Carolina's Atlantic coast, the colonial port of Charleston is the oldest city in the state, filled with brick and cobblestone streets, and a large downtown district boasting thousands of carefully preserved and restored buildings that house old-fashioned inns, antique shops and pubs. The streets are lined with tall, narrow houses festooned with wrought iron balconies and wooden shutters, ornate iron gates enclosing pretty gardens and shaded porches - the timeless features of southern architecture. Many of its double-storey houses are authentically furnished museums that once belonged to wealthy colonial merchants, while many are still the beautiful private homes of wealthy residents.

The city started as an important seaport serving the rice and cotton plantations throughout the region, and it was a major slave-trading centre with a third of America's slaves being bought and sold at the riverfront market. The Gullah culture of the islands (people of West African ancestry speaking a language based on English with elements from several African dialects) have a tangible presence here, especially at the Old City Market that vibrates with the humming of traditional spirituals, as basket ladies sell their hand-woven grass wares among the local vendors and iron makers, and the distinctive sound of the Gullah dialect fills the air.

Travel guide by (c) Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information in this travel guide is subject to change at short notice and travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevant authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to any person as a result of information contained above.
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