SECOND STOP: Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
After you visit Fort Sumter, the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site (NHS) is an excellent second stop. Located in Mount Pleasant off Long Point Road, it offers a change of pace because it is not a military fort, but a historic plantation that dates back to the 17th century and was once owned by South Carolina governor Charles Pinckney (who also co-authored and signed the U.S. Constitution). Much of the 28-acre site has been left natural, and one of the outdoor features is a half-mile boardwalk that includes historic information about the plantation. There is even a mysterious marble headstone on the property. Visitors can also view the archaeological foundations of three slave quarters and the original Pinckney house. The newer, c. 1828 farmhouse has been transformed into a visitors’ center and museum. Also on site is a nice picnic area with water fountain and a small bookstore. A map of the park can be found by visiting this link. The park is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. everyday of the year except on Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years Day, and there is no cost for admission, although large groups should RSVP with the park.
Other nearby attractions include Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens and Palmetto Islands County Park. Boone Hall is one of the oldest working plantations in the country, growing numerous crops and delighting visitors of all ages. Tours include a ride around the entire plantation, a garden tour that features 100-year-old roses, a tour of the c. 1936 plantation home, the butterfly pavilion and numerous other history exhibits and presentations. Admission ranges from $9.50 to $19.50 per person, and children under five may visit for free. Boone Hall is also located off Long Point Road almost directly across from the Charles Pinckney NHS and can be accessed via Oak Avenue.
Palmetto Islands County Park is another great destination located off Long Point Road, accessible via Needlerush Parkway. This 943-acre park is really impressive, and you could probably spend all week here without getting bored. There are paved walking and bike paths, playgrounds, a kayak launch, picnic areas, an off-leash dog area, nature trails, a fishing area and crabbing dock, a 50-feet observation tower and even a water park with waterslides, swimming and other cool features. Admission prices vary depending on when you visit and if you are a resident or not.
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