South Carolina was one of the 13 original colonies that created a new nation. Charleston’s rich history continues to spark the interest of educators and students among its cobblestone streets, pastel antebellum homes, plantations and forts. Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau provided the following itinerary suggestions to help student groups start exploring.
The two-hour Walk With History tour offers a great overview of Charleston’s history, antebellum homes, architecture, people, gardens and culture. The tour departs from the Mills House Hotel at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily, rain or shine.
The Schooner Pride
See the Holy City skyline from the water with a harbor cruise aboard this 84-foot, three-mast wooden schooner. Sail past Civil War landmarks, barrier islands and the longest cable-stay bridge in North America.
South Carolina Aquarium
Conservation is the lynchpin of the ocean’s health, and the South Carolina Aquarium is a hands-on resource for learning environmental stewardship. Take the behind-the-scenes tour of the Sea Turtle Rescue Program, a pivotal education lesson for students of all ages.
This National Historic Landmark is home to America’s oldest landscaped gardens and a lively stableyard. It’s home to free-grazing sheep, cashmere goats, Belgian draft horses, guinea hogs, peacocks and majestic water buffalo. Students can envision the self-sustaining lifestyle of a bustling plantation with pottery, weaving, blacksmithing, candle-dipping and open-fire cooking demonstrations.
Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens
For more than three centuries, crops have been grown on the grounds of this picturesque plantation, which has appeared in several movies and television mini-series. Where cotton plants once flourished, tomatoes and strawberries now thrive; the U-pick fields are quite popular among groups. Learn about Gullah culture with the interactive “Black History in America” exhibit.
Head to Sullivan’s Island, where Fort Moultrie traces a 171-year history (1776–1947) of America’s coastal defense. Check out the site of the original 1776 Palmetto-log fort that came under fire before it was even completed. The fort received its name from this Battle of Sullivan’s Island after Col. William Moultrie defeated the British.
Take the ferry that departs from the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center or sail across the harbor to Fort Sumter. It was here that the first battle of the Civil War was fought when Confederate troops opened fire. Today, students can see the maze of brick and mortar walls and plenty of cannons.
Climb aboard the USS Yorktown, the decommissioned aircraft carrier that stands solemn watch over the harbor. Vintage aircraft line the flight deck, while the Medal of Honor Museum is located inside the cargo bay.
Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau