Sunday, September 21, 2014

Charleston Family Vacation - The Review - Part 2 of 2

6.  Battery Park

The famous battery park with the "rainbow row" houses seen in the first picture is an icon for Charleston.  There is so much history here, but the kids - well they enjoyed climbing it....the trees...and dads....and canons!

7.  The Charleston Acquarium

This is the entrance to the acquarium where you get a few of the famous S.R. Ravenel bridge (another Charleston icon).  The acquarium was expensive even with coupons, but our kids LOVE to do this in every city. It was neat to see it from Tristan's eyes.

Lots of interactive stuff.

I made a friend.

8.  Waterfront Park

It was about 90 degrees that day so the fountain was a welcome respite.  Ninja Tristan and his brothers couldn't get enough.  There's also the pineapple fountain (another major icon).  

9.  Southern Food and Waterfront Dining and Sunset on the Marsh

There's something very intoxicating about Charleston's palm trees and marshes.  But the food is really different too.  Fried shrimp on grits, fried okra, and chicken and waffles together?  Yum!

Shem Creek has some really nice waterfront restaurants.

10.  Carriage Rides & Charleston Market

I included this as #10 because well....Charleston is known for the carriage rides through town, but we opted to NOT do it.  It was so hot that morning and we know OUR kids, but your kids might really enjoy the tour.  We saw the city market and walked around town.  

There's a sarcasm about Charleston that was funny.

Since #10 was so uneventful, I need to include that the best part of this day was visiting with my dear friend Jennifer and seeing her new family! 

Overall, I would highly recommend staying at the Isle of Palms because the beach was the highlight, but we thought Charleston something for everyone: kid fun, history and food for mom, and destroyers for dad.   Most of our days looked like this!

Charleston Family Vacation - The Review - Part 1 of 2

A couple of friends asked for a review of Charleston because they wanted to take their kids.  When you think of romantic Charleston, you think it's such a grown up city and not very kid-friendly.  What was my recommendation?  A resounding yes.  Here's my top 10 list for kids!

1.  Patriots Point 

Where else can kids go to see the USS Yorktown, USS Laffey, and the Clamagore all in one place?  The submarine was really very cool.  Patrick had dreams about it later!  Even though I had boys, for any little person - it was interesting because they had enough things you could actually step in, or watch a documentary on, or read about and touch.The Laffey was in WWII with the Japanese kamakazes and that was totally fascinating.  There are $3 off coupons, you can pack a lunch to save $$ and you can eat in front of the gift shop cafeteria. 

2.  Boone Hall Plantation

It's just what you'd imagine.  Three hundred year old oak trees and a walkway back in time.  After doing the tour by coach, you can see the mansion and grounds.  There is a slave quarters section that's really amazing.  You go from one cabin to another and it's like a mini museum with TV, historical documents, artifacts (and there are interactive buttons that kids like to push!) They also have a butterfly garden.  We packed a lunch and sat under a large oak tree near the marshes.   Spanish moss anyone?

3.  Charleston Beaches

Hands down, best part!  So, there are five beaches in the Charleston area.  We chose one 20 minutes away.  Beachfront.  On the 3rd week in August, school starts in South Carolina so guess what?  Our rates were drastically reduced.  We paid $800 for the entire week for a 2 bedroom beachfront condo.  It was really quaint and cute.

We would start our day in Charleston by 9 or 10 a.m. and spend the rest of the day until dinnertime at the beach. Honestly, that would be the way to go - kids can't spend more than 2-3 hours on the beach anyways so it was nice to see the city, hang at the beach and pool, and then spend several hours of play in our cute little condo.

4.  Water Taxi


All kids like to ride a boat.  This one will take you for a 90 minute tour if you'd like (or you can just do part of the leg) but you can ride it one way for $6pp or $10 all day long.  Great deal and a neat way to see Charleston.  We even saw a few dolphins!

One exciting part of this trip was when Caelan dropped his flipflop overboard.  Oh my gosh, they stopped the whole boat and it was such an adventure to rescue our brown little flip flop.  Too fun!

5.  Children's Art Museum

For $8 all day, you can take your kids to this really interactive place.  It's not large, but there's a lot to do.  We spent several hours together in their art station creating together.  There were pirate ships, rock climbing walls, castles with dungeons and stables and a large kid grocery store with carts and scanners and mini-food.  So fun!

Can you believer there's more?  I hope this is inspiring you to take your kids. :)