First Timers to Town
Three of Charleston’s can’t-miss attractions for those who haven’t been here yet.
Constructed in 1829, Fort Sumter was fired upon with the first official shots of the Civil War. The well-preserved island fort ruins are accessible only by boat, with departures from the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center. The two-hour tours include a ferry ride: Keep an eye out for dolphins while crossing the harbor. $19. 340 Concord St., 843.883.3123
Rainbow Row, Charleston’s most iconic stretch of real estate, dates back to the 1700s. But it didn’t gain its name until 1931, when Judge Lionel Legge and his wife purchased a stretch of homes on then-depressed East Bay Street and painted them pastel pink. As others purchased the surrounding homes, they painted them in equally vibrant Colonial Caribbean colors. The 13 houses run from 83 to 107 East Bay Street between Tradd and Elliot streets.
AIKENRHETT HOUSE MUSEUM
Occupied by the same family for 142 years, this house was built in 1820. Owned by the Historic Charleston Foundation, this museum is considered the best-preserved complex of antebellum structures in the city. $12. 48 Elizabeth St., 843.723.1623