We left Georgetown and headed south to anchor just for an overnight in Graham creek just 15 miles away. Again, we didn’t go all the way to Charleston because we had a hard time getting a marina reservation and the soonest we could get into Charleston was the next day. The only thing of not on our way to Graham creek was a unique bridge that we had to go by. It is a pontoon bridge. It quite literally is a pontoon that is floated over the water between the 2 points on land to allow traffic to cross driving on the pontoon. This bridge is not used very frequently and is usually in the open position unless there is a vehicle that needs to cross. Of course when we came upon the bridge it was closed for a dump truck to head across, so we had to wait a few minutes for the truck to cross and for them to float the pontoon out of the way. Here is a photo of the pontoon in the open position.
The next day we were up early and departed for Charleston at about 7:30 am. As we came into the harbor area in Charleston, there were some notable sites. First is the Cooper River Bridge. It’s the 3rd longest cable suspension bridge in the western hemisphere.
Then we sailed right by Fort Sumter. The first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter in 1861.
And finally the historic homes and buildings that line the shore coming into the marina in Charleston.
We plan to stay in Charleston for about a week to explore the city and see all the historic sites while we are here. We pulled into Safe Harbor Charleston Mega Dock and let me tell you, there are some mega boats on the mega dock. I guess I didn’t get many photos of the mega boats because I couldn’t stand back far enough to get it in the photo. The biggest one on the dock is Gallant Lady which is 168 feet long, has a crew of 12 and can accommodate 10 guests. It was listed for sale in 2012 for $49.5 million. Here’s a pic from the interweb.
Clearly they had us park our little boat at the other end of the marina….hahahaha. Once we got settled we decided to walk around downtown from the marina. The marina has a complimentary shuttle van that will take you downtown but we wanted to get a lay of the land and explore the first day on foot.
There were so many amazing and historic homes as we wound our way through the neighborhoods.
We found a great little neighborhood cafe called 60 Bull Street and stopped in to have a bite to eat. Best Shrimp Po’boy sandwich I have ever had. Mark ordered a simple grilled ham and cheese sandwich and he also said it was the best he ever had. Charleston is most definitely a foodie town. The caliber of restaurants and the level of competition here is great, so if you don’t have outstanding food, you will not make it here in Charleston. We walked all the way down to King Street which is a huge shopping district with all the big box stores you would find in any mall. Then we headed over to East Bay Street and Broad Street area to see the famous Rainbow Row. Rainbow Row is a collection of 13 colorful buildings along East Bay Street and the most photographed area in all of Charleston. At the top of the post is Mark and I in front of Rainbow Row.
After we headed back to the boat, as we were walking through the marina we met some other looper boats and stopped to chat. Of course, the chat turned into a looper happy hour on the mega dock with about 6 other boat couples.
The next day we decided to take a Lyft to Mount Pleasant and tour the Boone Hall Plantation. Boone Hall Plantation is America’s oldest working plantation. Today it is still privately owned by a family that lives on the property and works it as a plantation. The plantation dates back to 1681 and was gifted to John Boone and his new wife Elizabeth by Elizabeth’s father. The property is 738 acres. The most prominent feature on the property is the avenue of live oak trees that are planted on either side of the drive as you come up to the plantation house. The oak trees were planted in 1743 by John Boone’s son. These massive live oak trees were featured in movies such as Gone with the Wind, The Notebook, and North and South. They are absolutely amazing!
We toured the plantation house, which is the 3rd house to be built in this location over the years and is not the original house. The current plantation house was built in 1936.
There are large walk through gardens on either side of the house that are very beautiful.
This is the oldest live oak tree on the property and is estimated to be over 650 years old.
We headed back after our tour and ate at the restaurant close to the marina and put our tired feet up for the night.
The next day we took the marina shuttle van into downtown to explore the Charleston City market area. This is a really cool area that has touristy booths for shopping and lots of restaurants and such. We don’t typically buy much in the way of shopping items since we are living on a boat, there is literally no where to put anything that we would buy.
Even though we took the marina shuttle down here and back we still put on 3 miles walking around today. Once we got back to the boat, we had a beer with our boat neighbors on the dock who also own an Island Packet 380, same boat as ours.
The next day was kind of a down day for us and we mostly hung out around the boat. I took a walk to a nail salon and got a pedicure since we were in a city where it was convenient to get one. The wind has been crazy for the last couple of days we have been in Charleston and we have been looking at the forecast. The next day is looking like a good weather window for us to move back north. We had planned to spend a week here but tomorrow looks to be the only good weather day so we are taking the opportunity and we feel like we got to see all the things we wanted to see in Charleston.
As we were settled in to drift off to sleep tonight, we heard some loud booms and bangs. Got up and looked out of the boat and see fireworks off the bow of our boat. How awesome! Fireworks for our last night in Charleston. I guess the fireworks were in celebration of Good Friday!