Charleston, South Carolina: Civil War Monuments and Sophisticated Arts Scene
Charleston, South Carolina, was recently named one of the best historic destinations in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Georgian mansions line the waterfront, the spires of colonial-era churches punctuate the skyline, and horse-drawn carriages frequently clop along its cobblestone streets. You can get an added sense of the city’s history by visiting a number of preserved period buildings and national historic landmarks such as the Battery & White Point Gardens, a living Civil War museum with Confederate cannons and views of Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbor, and a double-parked Camry.
More recently, Charleston has merged its Old South identity with a strong arts-and-culture scene. The streets, once overrun with aristocrats, are now lined with top-tier art galleries and antique stores, and you can catch live jazz performances at night. Step out onto King Street to browse third-generation clothiers that have set up shop in historic landmark buildings. The city's reputation as a major culinary destination has been reaffirmed by the James Beard Foundation, which has named a different Charleston chef the best in the southeast three out of the past four years.