June 17, 2016

The Destination: Charleston, SC

This charming, historic southern city makes for the perfect weekend escape

Charleston, South Carolina is a charming, vibrant Southern city. Founded in 1670, it’s teeming with history, and that’s partially why we chose it as a destination for our ongoing series about Memorial Day Weekend road trips—the Civil War began in Charleston at Fort Sumter. But historical attractions aside, Charleston boasts delicious low-country cuisine, luxury accommodations, well-preserved architecture, and perhaps best of all, true Southern hospitality. It is frequently ranked among America’s friendliest cities, and it’s best enjoyed at a leisurely, slow-as-molasses pace.

Charleston is easily accessible from a number of nearby Southern cities: it’s 5.5 hours from Atlanta, 4.5 hours from Jacksonville, and 2.5 hours from Savannah. (The city also has its own airport.)

Once you get there, you’ll find that Charleston is a thoroughly walkable and easily navigable city. You can get around easily without a car, but if you do need a lift, Pedicabs (bicycle taxis) are plentiful throughout the city. Bike rentals are also readily available through services like Afford-a-Bike, where you can rent a cruiser for $25 per day. However, if you plan to visit the beach or nearby plantations, you’ll need a car available.

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Ft. Sumter National Monument

The first shots of the American Civil War rang out at Ft. Sumter on April 12th, 1861. The sea fort sits on an island just off the Charleston harbor, and it’s easily accessible from the downtown area via regularly scheduled, 30-minute ferry rides. It’s a great day trip destination: the ferry trip is scenic, and the public tours of the fort by the National Park Service provide fascinating historical background on the disagreements between the North and South that preceded the first conflict at Ft. Sumter.  

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Downtown

Charleston’s downtown is a great place to take in the city’s living history. Important architecture from the 18th and 19th century—including homes, government buildings, churches, and the city market—are perfectly preserved in the downtown historic district. Take a stroll along the Battery, the waterfront peninsula lined with historic and iconic homes. If you’re a history buff or a romantic, try a historic tour by horse-drawn carriage. Charleston is also famous for its downtown ghost tours.

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Plantations

If you’re willing to step outside the city for a bit, you should absolutely visit the area’s lavish, historic plantations. Middleton Place is a rice plantation on the Ashley River that dates back to the 1730s; it’s home to America’s oldest landscaped gardens. Founded in 1676, Magnolia Plantation is another worthy stop on the Ashley River, with incredible gardens.

Many individuals and local authorities have already jumped on the opportunity to remind users to drive safely. There are even signs popping up on highways to encourage safer driving.

Luckily, there are tools out there to help the tech-obsessed (or the poke-obsessed) improve their driving. One of our favorites is an app called TrueMotion Family! The app analyzes your driving in order to provide you with a score - and insights as to how you drive. It's perfect for parents who want to monitor their teen drivers. The app gives parents the power to see where their kids drive, and produces a 'report card' on their driving in addition to an assessment of whether they were driving distracted (using their cell phone). Plus, families have access to roadside assistance on-demand from right within the TrueMotion app.

I don’t remember Ash, Misty, or Brock driving cars in their quest to be the very best, like no one ever was. And there aren’t vehicles any in PokemonGO. At Urgent.ly, we love the game and just like you, we’re prepared to travel across the land searching far and wide to catch 'em all, but we encourage you to put safety first in your travels! Remember that the power of Pokemon is awesome in augmented reality but automobiles are a powerful tool meant for use in the real world and require optimum focus to operate safely. In a world we must defend, you can start by driving safely, and catch and train ‘em all when you’re not operating a vehicle.

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