Saturday, June 2, 2012

Historic Charleston Harbor Is Picturesque From All Points Of View And Parks

Walkway along E. Battery
The scenic view of Charleston Harbor is alluring to amateur photographers and armchair historians alike because it is beautifully picturesque and enchantingly historical. As you survey the coastal layout of Charleston Bay, you will find there are many idyllic vantage points from which to soak in the ambiance of Charleston's long lived harbor. Each point of reference offering a different line of sight both visually and factually. Anywhere along the promenade walkway on E. Battery ending at White Point Gardens would be one such location, Waterfront Park another, and the South Carolina Aquarium yet another.

White Point Gardens was once occupied at different times by two forts, first Fort Broughton in 1735 and then Fort Wilkins in 1812. At that time this area at the point of the peninsula was called White or Oyster Point because of the piles of bleached oyster shells, which Charleston waters have an abundance of, oysters that is. In time it became a park and a placement for artillery during the Civil War. Today, the park is occupied by a gazebo, some memorials, cannons and mortars used in the Civil War, and all under a canopy of large southern live oaks. Across the street are some of Charleston's most beautiful mansions, including the Battery Carriage House Inn and Two Meeting Street Inn. But now, we come to the reason for its mention in this article. It boasts unprecedented views of Charleston Harbor. In the distance you can see Fort Sumter, Castle Pinckney, the World War II aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, Fort Moultrie, and Sullivan's Island. Bet you can't resist having your picture taken standing by one of the cannons.
Southern live oaks at White Point Gardens
Mortar and shells
View of Charleston Harbor from White Point Gardens

Charleston mansion across from White Point Gardens

Waterfront Park was deemed “this generation’s gift to the future” by Mayor Riley. The park is an eight-acre linear park. It masterfully combines spectacular fountains, spacious lawns for kids to play on, walking and jogging paths. You can sit on one of several family-sized swings on the pavilion and watch ships come and go. You will enjoy the swings. The two artfully designed enormous fountains are a tempting invitation to children to splash and play, including adventurous adults who are so inclined to indulge. The famous Charleston Pineapple Fountain is a focal point of the park. More specifically, it highlights a pier spanning over 1,000 feet along Charleston Harbor. Relax, take pictures, imagine the history. You can see the Arthur Ravenel Bridge to the left, panning right Patriot's Point comes into view with the U.S.S. Yorktown, and beyond, Fort Sumter. It is Located in the Vendue Range on Concord Street.
Waterfront Park pier
Arthur Ravenel Bridge viewed from Waterfront Park pier
The South Carolina Aquarium needs no introductions. It is the number one attraction in Charleston. The mission of the South Carolina Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the natural world by exhibiting and caring for animals, by excelling in education and research, and by providing an exceptional visitor experience. You can view shoreline favorites such as herons, diamondback terrapins, and puffer fish as well as the all-new stingray exhibit with more than 25 stingrays in the Saltmarsh Aviary. Catch a glimpse of a rare albino American alligator in the Albino Alligator Experience. It is home to four ring-tailed lemurs in the new Madagascar Journey exhibit. The aquarium has a massive, two-story Great Ocean Tank which holds 385,000 gallons of salt water and contains hundreds of fish, invertebrates, sea turtles and marine mammals. The 4-D Theater combines 3-D imagery, interactive seating and waves of special effects such as gusts of wind, splashes of water and movement under your feet. This is only a sampling. Noteworthy is the Great Hall, which features two-story windows offering one of the best views in town of Charleston Harbor.

These are all great places to visit for exceptional views of the harbor, but none is better than the pier at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina located right on the banks of the harbor on Patriot's Point. The Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina offers a full service marina, complete with fishing charters, sailing excursions and lessons. For the golpher, there is a challenging 18-hole championship golf course located adjacent to the hotel called Patriot Point's Links. As a complimentary service, the resort Trolley or the Charleston Water Taxi (seasonal) will give you a quick ride to historic Charleston for a day of shopping, dining and sight seeing, eliminating the frustration of finding a parking spot for your car. As to the view of the harbor, the resort has a walking pier that extends far out into the bay. From the end of the pier you can see everything in the harbor, including Charleston. The huge container-carrying ships coming and going throughout the day cruise so close you feel as though you could reach out and touch them.
Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina pier
The U.S.S. Yorktown viewed from the pier
Charleston Harbor Resort viewed from the pier
The Charleston Harbor Resort is also the host of the Party at the Point scheduled every Friday from April to the end of June. It starts at 5:30pm and ends at 9:30pm. Live music performed by some of the areas best local and regional bands usually begins around 6:30pm. The event is billed as Charleston's premiere happy hour concert with drink specials and $2 draft beer. It is right on the beach where you can relax with friends or dance to the music in your bare feet. I always have a great time, you will too. Ticket prices range from $5-$7. Parking is free except valet parking is $5. So, do you get the point, get to the point.

Party at the Point schedule:
June 8: Simplified  w/Of Good Nature
June 15: Beatles Night w/Sgt. Submarine
June 22: Sol Driven Train w/Fowler’s Mustache
June 29: Drivin N Cryin w/ Luke Cunningham

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