Discover the rich history of Charleston through these 10 experiences

Charleston is a delightful destination for travellers who love history, but it offers so much more. (Image by Mark Hemmings from Pixabay)

Charleston is a charming city with a rich history and a vibrant culture, but if you want to explore beyond the usual attractions and discover some hidden gems, here are 10 offbeat experiences you can have in Charleston.

Visit the Old Slave Mart

The Old Slave Mart is a museum that tells the story of the slave trade in Charleston, which was one of the largest markets for enslaved people in North America. The museum is housed in a building that was once used as an auction site for human beings. You can learn about the history, the people and the impact of slavery through exhibits, artifacts and audio recordings.

Pair raw oysters with a pineapple hot dog

If you’re looking for a quirky culinary experience, head to Bar George, a restaurant that serves up hot dogs with exotic toppings, such as cilantro aioli, jalapenos and pineapple. You can also enjoy raw oysters, Peruvian rotisserie chicken and donuts. Wash it all down with a salted watermelon sangria or a local craft beer.

Boogie in the forest

Awendaw Green is a music venue that hosts weekly Barn Jams, featuring local and national bands playing original music. The venue is located in a forest setting, with a rustic stage, a fire pit and a disc golf course. You can enjoy live music, food trucks and a friendly atmosphere every Wednesday night.

Take a ghost tour

Charleston is known for its haunted history, and there are many ghost tours to choose from. You can walk through the dark alleys and cemeteries of the historic district, hear spooky stories and legends, and maybe even encounter some paranormal activity. Some of the most popular tours are Bulldog Tours, Ghost City Tours and Charleston Ghosts.

See the Angel Oak Tree

The Angel Oak Tree is a majestic live oak that is estimated to be over 400 years old. It stands 65 feet tall, has a 28-foot circumference and spreads its branches over 17,000 square feet. It is one of the oldest and largest trees in the country, and a sight to behold. You can visit the tree for free at the Angel Oak Park.

Explore the H.L. Hunley Submarine

The H.L. Hunley Submarine is a Civil War-era vessel that was the first submarine to sink an enemy ship. It was also sunk itself, and remained underwater for over a century until it was recovered in 2000. You can see the submarine and learn about its history and crew at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center.

Kayak with dolphins

One of the best ways to enjoy Charleston’s natural beauty is to kayak on its waterways. You can paddle through marshes, creeks and rivers, and spot wildlife such as birds, turtles and dolphins. You might even get to see dolphins strand feeding, which is a unique behavior where they push fish onto shore and then jump out of the water to catch them. You can book a kayak tour with companies like Coastal Expeditions or Nature Adventures.

Touch the Citadel Ring Statue

The Citadel Ring Statue is a bronze sculpture of a giant class ring that stands outside the military college of The Citadel. It is a tradition for cadets and alumni to touch the ring for luck and pride. You can also touch the ring and admire the intricate details and symbols that represent the history and values of The Citadel.

Spot the hain blue houses

Haint blue is a light blue color that is often painted on the porch ceilings of Charleston houses. It is believed to ward off evil spirits, or haints, by tricking them into thinking that the ceiling is the sky and they cannot enter. It is also said to keep away insects, birds and heat. You can see many examples of haint blue houses in the historic district, especially on Rainbow Row.

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