Charleston was just a quick weekend trip for us,so we were only in the city for about two and a half days. We stayed downtown, close to waterfront park (where this fountain is), and in easy walking distance of everything else on this page.
During Charleston's formative period houses were taxed based on their frontage rather than their total size. This encouraged the building of so-called 'single houses' which are only one room wide but extend back from the street a remarkable distance. Porches were added to the side of these houses and in many cases act as a hallway connecting the rooms. This is one such example.
Most of Charleston has burned down between two and four times. It was shelled during two different wars, it was ransacked by pirates a couple of times and then there were the assorted outbreaks of malaria and other tropical diseases. Oh yes, and one earthquake as well. Despite all that it's manages to have one of the best preserved historical centers in the US. This is largely due to the Preservation Society in Charleston who enforce a strict (possibly Draconian) building code in the city.
Fort Sumter is the best known fort in Charleston Harbor but we didn't manage to make it out there, so we offer this picture instead of Castle Pinckney. This was one of the backup fortifications to Fort Sumter, used briefly as a storehouse and a prison before being abandoned into its current state.
Charleston is also known for it's cuisine which is dominated by seafood as well as French, Cajun and African (by way of Gullah culture) influences. This is just good old-fashioned bouillabaisse from Hank's. Downtown Charleston is packed with restaurants, most of them specializing in inventive forms of low-country cooking.
Most of our time in Charleston was spent either wandering around the historic district (which is most of it), 'resting' in assorted bars, or shopping in the French Market. The most notable crafts of Charleston are the sweetgrass baskets made by the Gullah. They are strongly related to (and almost certainly descended from) coil baskets made in west Africa by the Wolof. That really has nothing whatsoever to do with this picture but we have an awful lot of pictures of little churchyards in Charleston and no pictures of sweetgrass baskets.
This picture is ostensibly supposed to be about the South Carolina Aquarium which is where we are taking it from. It might also be about the enormous Ravenel bridge over the Cooper River out there in the distance. Really though it's just about the frog bench. We didn't put the cigarette there, honest.
Ok, here is an aquarium-related picture that actually involves fish. Also, Melanie and a giant life size wall shadow of a great white shark. The South Carolina Aquarium is small but has a number of worthwhile exhibits. We're particular to the moon jellies but we've decided not to include any pictures of them here because the last time we included moon jellies on a web page so many people linked to it that it crashed our site. So go get your own moon jellies. We should also note that the only reason there is not an otter picture here is that the otters happen to have been sleeping during our visit.