Coastal South Carolina USA

Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site

Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site Photos


1500 Old Towne Rd.
Charleston, SC 29407
Phone: +1 843 852-4200

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Cannons boom. Muskets bark. Interpretive rangers in 17th century dress tend heirloom crops. They’re all part of the “new” Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site. Here a group of English settlers landed in 1670 and established what would become the birthplace of the Carolinas colony, the plantation system of the American South, and one of the continent’s first major port cities. And here the story is still told. Opened in 1970 as Charles Towne Landing State Park, the peaceful park on a marshy point off the Ashley River was rebuilt in 2006 with a sharpened focus on the site’s remarkable past. Begin with the 12-room, interactive museum in the Visitors Center that includes a “digital dig”. Then walk the self-guided history trail, using the MP3 players that add an audio tour to the experience. Admire the Adventure, a full-size replica sailing ship built onsite, and the authentic experimental crop garden. Talk to archaeologists at work. And leave time for the Animal Forest natural habitat zoo and 80 acres of gardens that includes an elegant live oak alle’ and the Legare-Waring House, one of Charleston’s favorite sites for weddings and other special gatherings.

Frommer's Review

This 663-acre park is located on the site of the first 1670 settlement. Underground exhibits show the colony's history, and the park features a re-creation of a small village. A brand new visitors center/museum has been added with lots of interactive exhibits. You can rent a bike for $3 an hour. Because trade was such an important part of colonial life, a full-scale reproduction of the 17th-century trading vessel Adventure is an excellent addition to the site. After touring the ship, you can step into the Settler's Life Area and view a 17th-century crop garden where rice, indigo, and cotton were grown. There's no flashy theme-park atmosphere here: What you see as you walk under huge old oaks, past freshwater lagoons, and through the Animal Forest (with the same species that lived here in 1670) is what those early settlers saw.