Text Box: About Charleston

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One of the East Coast's most picturesque cities, Charleston is known for its antebellum row homes, its Civil War history, beautiful waterfront, nearby beaches and scrumptious Low Country cooking.  Founded by colonists in 1687, Charleston is the oldest city in South Carolina and features over 40 churches, public buildings and meeting spaces listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of them date back to the early 19th century but underwent repairs after the Civil War. Antebellum row houses, known for their narrow facades and balconies, adorn the city's oldest neighborhoods, most notably Rainbow Row. 
 
Site of the first shots of the Civil War, Fort Sumter remains a top destination for history buffs and is a must for first-timers. Within the city, several prominent historic homes are open to the public, allowing a glimpse into the lifestyles of prominent early citizens. Horse-drawn carriage tours frequent the streets of the Historic District and have become emblematic of the city for many visitors. Cannons situated near the waterfront and the City Market, itself an important site of commerce since the early 19th century, hearken back to the city's past. Local artisans occupy the historic market today, many of them selling hand-woven sweetgrass baskets and other Gullah crafts. 
 
Nearby, several of the country's oldest plantations allow you to see what life was like during the South's agricultural heyday. Boone Hall is a sprawling estate with a working plantation, and Middleton Place features elaborate gardens, working stables and a sugarcane mill. These attractions also shed light on slave life and the emergence of Gullah culture as Africans in the Low Country strove to keep their heritage intact. 
 
Low Country cuisine remains popular on the dining scene, where seafood boils, shrimp and grits, and chicken and biscuits are common indulgences. Far from static, however, the restaurant industry has expanded to include more contemporary cookery to satisfy an increasingly cosmopolitan demographic.

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Abundant shopping, nightlife and dining opportunities fill the downtown district. 
An old city that pulses with new energy, Charleston is a rare find. Natives take pride in her historic character and Southern refinement, imparting to visitors a contagious love for the "Holy City" that permeates travel, work and play.

Text Box: Rainbow Row

Text Box: Battery Park