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Charleston Offers Modern Fun, Rich History

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Charleston, South Carolina, weaves American history and modern attractions and is an exciting getaway for just about anyone.

First and foremost, Charleston is a must-see stop for Civil War buffs.  Beyond the famous Fort Sumter, there are many sites linked to the war. Charleston also hosts Magnolia Cemetery, where 2,200 Civil War vets are buried, the Confederate Museum holds scores of relics from the war and the lesser-known Fort Moultrie — which guarded the Charleston Harbor.

Charleston also has the bizarre Civil War submarine named the H.L. Hunley — which sank during battle and wasn’t seen for another 130 years.  Those looking to get an up-close look at the sub should be ready to wait in line, but any history buff will find it well worth the wait.

Also tied to the Civil War is the picturesque Morris Island Lighthouse.  The abandoned lighthouse stands alone in the middle of the Charleston Harbor after erosion cut it off from the mainland.  The first lighthouse on the site was blown to pieces as Confederate soldiers fled the area, but it was rebuilt soon after the Civil war.

For something a little more modern, the Charleston Coliseum hosts entertainment for the entire family.  From modern musicians, comedians and musicals to classic rockers and hockey games galore.

There are plenty of modern restaurants scattered throughout Charleston as well.  Basil is one of the most popular fine dining restaurants, and Magnolias is another local favorite for a deluxe meal.  For something a little easier on the pocketbook, travelers can get their grease fix at Sesame Burgers & Beer; which serves up freshly-ground meat and thick-cut, sweet onion rings, and beer — of course.

Charleston is also home to a couple spots made famous by the Food Network show Diners Drive-Ins & Dives.  The Early Bird Diner serves up all you can eat pancakes ($5) and other gastro-goodies that may require a nap soon after indulging.  The Glass Onion puts a gourmet spin on southern favorites like a fried chicken leg with mashed potatoes (as seen on Diners Drive-Ins & Dives) or local shrimp over bacon and grits.

For a good-night’s rest after packing in some history or some local flavor, there are several spots to park the RV around Charleston. One of the most highly rated is The Campground at James Island County Park. The park offers amenities like a dump station, WiFi and also features a Holiday Festival of Lights and a summer watermark.  The park is within an easy 10-minute drive of Charleston proper and 15 minutes from the ocean by car or the campsite shuttle service.

So if you’re taking an RV trip through South Carolina, don’t forget about Charleston!

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