One of the great ways to see Charleston is aboard one of the harbor tour boats that sail from Wharfside piers along the Charleston Harbor near the South Carolina Aquarium and the National Park Service Fort Sumter visitors’ center and museum.
“Fort Sumter is a sea fort located in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, and notable for two historic battles of the American Civil War. It was one of a number of special forts planned after the War of 1812, combining high walls and heavy masonry… Work started in 1829, but was incomplete by 1860, when South Carolina seceded from the Union. It is open for public tours as part of the Fort Sumter National Monument operated by the National Park Servicc. “
The First Battle of Fort Sumter opened on 12 April 1861, when Confederate artillery fired on the Union garrison. These were the first shots of the [American Civil] war, and continued all day, watched by many civilians in a celebratory spirit. The fort had been cut off from its supply line, and surrendered next day. The Second Battle of Fort Sumter (8 September 1863) was a failed attempt by the Union to re-take the fort, dogged by rivalry between army and navy commanders. Although the fort was reduced to rubble, it remained in Confederate hands until it was evacuated as Sherman marched through South Carolina in February 1865″. — Wikipedia
Mount Pleasant lies to the east of downtown Charleston — the two cities are connected by the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge opened in 2005 (see photographs, below).
“The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge over the Cooper River in South Carolina, connecting downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant. The eight lane bridge satisfied the capacity of U.S. Route 17 when it opened in 2005 to replace two obsolete cantilever truss bridges. The bridge has a main span of 1,546 feet (471 m), the third longest among cable-stayed bridges in the Western Hemisphere…the bridge over the Cooper River is a cable-stayed suspension design with two diamond-shaped towers, each 575 feet (175 m) high. The total length of the structure is 13,200 feet (4.0 km), with the main span stretching 1,546 feet (471 m) between the towers. 128 individual cables anchored to the inside of the diamond towers suspend the deck 186 feet (57 m) above the river.” — Wikipedia
The Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum (in Mount Pleasant on the Charelston Harbor) includes attractions such as the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown and war planes from World War II and Korea, the Cold War Submarine Memorial, and an Apollo 8 Mission Exhibit.
“The [Ravenel] Bridge superstructure is designed to withstand shipping accidents and the natural disasters that have plagued Charleston’s history. The span is designed to endure wind gusts in excess of 300 mph (480 km/h), far stronger than those of the worst storm in Charleston’s history, Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Engineers also considered the 1886 earthquake that nearly leveled Charleston. The Ravenel Bridge is designed to withstand an earthquake of approximately 7.4 on the Richter scale without total failure. To protect the bridge from errant ships, the towers are flanked by one-acre rock islands. Ships will run aground on the islands before colliding with the towers”. — Wikipedia