As a Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees, the Charleston RiverDogs aim to enchant fans with shapely curveballs and winning line drives. The club takes the field at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, where fans can take in views of the Ashley River as they watch the next crop of MLB stars sprout from the nutrient-rich soil stored within their cleats. Between innings, fans can snack on the Riley Park's concession stands' pickle dogs, brat cheesesteaks, and old-fashioned boiled peanuts—just some of the delicacies that have lured ballpark-cuisine fans from the Travel Channel to The Joe.
Captain John Ward Jr. presides over Affinity Charters’ trio of seaworthy vessels, which slice through Charleston Harbor’s surging whitecaps during boat tours, charters, and fishing trips. Ward Jr. holds a 100-ton Masters License from the U.S. Coast Guard, and his overarching goal is to provide guests with experiences that are safe, exciting, and productive.
During fishing trips, Captain Ward Jr. taps his more than 25 years of experience navigating Charleston's aquatic arteries to usher fisherpeople through the nutrient-rich ecosystem. Attendees cast their lines for numerous seasonal species, including sea bass, Spanish mackerel, and the increasingly rare leather boot.
Dolphin-encounters tours put seafarers face-to-bottlenose with an undulating army of slick-skinned mammals splashing through their natural habitat. Alternatively, information-hungry patrons can climb on board for an eco tour, where Captain Ward Jr. imparts facts about the harbor’s ecological ebb and flow, as well as its vibrant panoply of blacktip sharks, barracudas, and mer-senators. The harbor and sunset cruise allows drifting duos to observe the sun’s incandescent descent into a kaleidoscopic loch of rippling reds, oranges, and yellows, which glint off of downtown Charleston.
Ocean Sailing Academy, an international sailing and charter company and US Sailing-accredited school, specializes in instruction for novices to highly experienced sailors, with opportunities to participate in lessons, regattas, and other sailing events. The Academy boasts a fleet of 10 vessels—including a 26-foot Colgate keelboat, a 38-foot motored yacht, and a 62-foot schooner—which they make available for charters ranging from sunset cruises to Caribbean vacations.
2011 marks Family Circle Cup's 11th year at the award-winning Family Circle Tennis Center on Daniel Island, and its 39th consecutive year on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tour. Family Circle's "Game, Set, Rock! Tennis. Amplified." event treats ears to a buffet of pulse-pumping music as eyes feast upon an evening's worth of singles and mixed-doubles matches by four tennis titans. Watch eight-time Family Circle Cup singles champion Chris Evert pair up with Todd Martin to take on four-time singles champion Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe. All the athletes will be wearing microphones so that attendees can hear every grunt, gasp, and witty one liner that emanates from players' vocal chords. Groupon buyers may also choose to attend the Family Circle Cup finale, the final round of play during the tournament wherein the 2011 Family Circle Cup winner will be crowned.
Captain Howard, the man at the helm of Adventure Harbor Tours, has an inherent attraction to the water. The second he steps out onto his boat he finds less dread, more excitement, and a desire to share this joy with others. As the voices of Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley sing from his boat's onboard stereo, Captain Howard ferries groups of up to 12 out into Charleston Harbor, where Atlantic bottlenose dolphins swim beneath the surface and one lonely scuba diver guards the harbor's flush valve. The captain's expeditions can take the form of private charters, fishing charters, or his most popular trip: a tour of Morris Island.
Untouched by cars or roads, Morris Island welcomes visitors onto secluded beaches filled with shells, sand dollars, and conchs. The 4-mile barrier island allows ample room for visitors to pick these shells, play in the sand, or run alongside their dogs—which Captain Howard welcomes onto his tours.
When John Drayton broke ground on Drayton Hall in 1738, he had no idea that his estate would survive the American Revolution, the Civil War, an earthquake, and numerous hurricanes. The stories contained in the building’s walls span seven generations of history tied to the Draytons and the Bowens family, an African American family that lived and worked at Drayton Hall before and after emancipation. Since 1974, when Charles and Frank Drayton sold their ancestral home to the National Trust, visitors have been able to transport themselves into the past with more ease than rubbing the beard at the Lincoln Memorial.
The main house, a sweeping example of Georgian Palladian architecture, is the oldest near-original, unrestored colonial home in the United States. Like a helpful ghost, the grand rooms and original fireplaces whisper history into the ears of all visitors, telling tales of British and colonial soldiers who occupied the house during the American Revolution. Views from the portico are filled with drooping trees, spanish moss, and a grand driveway. Surrounding the estate, an undisturbed historic landscape backs up to the Ashley River, and also encompasses A Sacred Place, the oldest African American cemetery in the country still in use.
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