My husband and I love traveling to interesting historical destinations. If there’s a plaque on the side of the road, my husband will ALWAYS pull over to read it. Once the kiddos came along, we found that they don’t necessarily share our fascination with days gone by. They want to “do stuff”, not just read lame markers (hmmph!). That’s why we love Charleston- it checks all our boxes! Rich in history and packed with things to do, student groups will love it as well! If you haven’t been there recently, it’s time to plan a student trip to Charleston.
Charleston looks much as it did 150 years ago. It’s charming cobblestone streets, sweeping magnolias and colonial architecture take you back in time. Southern hospitality abounds as you’re swept into the city’s warm embrace. However, there’s more to do here than just a carriage ride. There are also some fantastic options for student groups…
McLeod Plantation Historic Site
McLeod Plantation is a 37-acre, heritage site that has been carefully preserved of its cultural and historical significance. Students can explore the home and living quarters for the enslaved workers, study the cultivation of sea island cotton, and learn about the role the plantation played during the Civil War. It’s a great study of the past and its impact on the present.
Patriot’s Point on Charleston Harbor offers some fantastic group experiences! It’s home to the Patriot’s Point Museum and a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships (including the USS Yorktown), the Cold War Memorial and the only Vietnam Experience Exhibit in the U.S. Student groups can participate in one of the largest education programs in the country, as well as overnight programs on the Yorktown. Bands and choirs can join the fun with a performance right in the hangar of this famous battleship!
Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
Throw around the word “dungeon” and the kids are all in! The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon was built in 1771 and is a staple of the Charleston community. It has been a commercial exchange, custom house, post office, city hall, military headquarters and museum. It offers a reasonably priced tour that takes only about an hour. You can also choose to participate in one of the many education programs offered if you have ten or more in your group.
Historic Charleston City Market
If you’re going to Charleston, you can’t miss the historic market. It’s been a staple of the city landscape for more than 200 years. It stretches four city blocks and is filled with souvenirs, jewelry, baskets, art and other items of cultural significance. It’s a great place for the students to pick up those all important trip momentos.
Charleston is a city steeped in tradition and tragedy. A ghost tour like the Charleston Macabre Ghost Tour will underscore the stories of pirates, legends and other doomed figures. Walking the gaslit streets while listening to tales of intrigue and untimely death will top your students’ list of awesome things they’ve seen and done!
Dock Street Theatre
The Dock Street Theatre has the distinct honor of being America’s First Theatre, opening February 12, 1736 with a performance of The Recruiting Officer. Today, this magnificent building (which has been through several rebuilds) is a busy theatre with more than 100 performances each season. It also hosts touring Broadway productions – student and performance groups will appreciate the marvelous shows and elegant venue.
Charleston Music Festival
Take part in the Annual Charleston Music Festival for bands and orchestras. This marvelous event happens each spring in the spectacular Performing Arts Center at the Charleston County School of the Arts. Your group will receive a wall plaque and rating trophy, recorded comments and a 30-minute playing clinic with top adjudicators and clinicians.
South Carolina Aquarium
The South Carolina Aquarium boast “thousands of reasons to visit” not the least of which is the Sea Turtle Care Center™. Groups visiting the aquarium can get a first-hand look at the inspiring process of the rescue, rehabilitation and release of endangered sea turtles. Truly amazing!
Experience history beyond the pages of a textbook when you visit Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were exchanged. The fort played a pivotal role in American history largely due to its location on an island in Charleston Harbor. It’s definitely worth the short boat ride!
Sand and Sun
When planning a trip to Charleston, you can’t forget the spectacular stretches of sun and sand. Always a popular choice for students and only a 20-minute ride from downtown, there are beautiful public beaches on the Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. Groups will appreciate the clean public restrooms and changing facilities as well as great lunch and snack choices.
Charleston is a city of great beauty, rich history (lots of markers to read) and exceptional attractions. It’s ideal for students looking for something fresh and fun! As you plan a student trip to Charleston, Kaleidoscope Adventures is ready to help. Trust the KA team of experts at 407-345-4899 for travel beyond expectations!