Charleston's Most Unique Landmarks

Angel Oak on Johns Island
Angel Oak on Johns Island in Charleston, SC

Angel Oak on Johns Island

There are many magical tales and southern folklore that are associated with this giant Live Oak on James Island. The Angel Oak Tree is estimated to have started growing here around the 16th century. For 500 years, it has survived wars, hurricanes, unseasonable winters and man-made development. Its enormous, draping branches stretch close to 200 feet in length and provide a massive 17,000 square foot area of shade.

USS Yorktown in Charleston Harbor

USS Yorktown in Charleston, SC

USS Yorktown in Charleston, SC

The USS Yorktown is a decommissioned United States aircraft carrier that was built during World War II. It played a major role in several Pacific campaigns during the war and again in the 1950’s during the Vietnam War. Late in its career it participated in the recovery mission of Apollo 8 and was used in the filming of Tora Tora Tora before being decommissioned and converted into a museum in 1975. Today, it sits overlooking the Charleston harbor as part of the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum.

Charleston City Market

Charleston City Market

Charleston City Market

In the early 1800’s the Charleston City Market was established in the center of downtown to provide a suitable place for plantations and farms to sell their produce. The 4 block column of continuous sheds between Meeting Street and East Bay Street also provided a city center for locals to gather and interact. Today, the city market is still bustling with activity from a variety of vendors and entrepreneurs that line the market walkway selling everything from handmade sweetgrass baskets, to unique home decor collections, to woodworking crafts and handmade jewelry, clothing, toys and even cooking spices.

 The Battery in Downtown Charleston

The Charleston Battery in downtown Charleston, SC

View from The Battery in downtown Charleston.

At the southern tip of the Charleston peninsula lies The Battery where some of the most breathtaking views of Charleston harbor can be found. Originally named after an artillery battery established there, it now refers to the area around the fortified seawall that was built in the 1750’s and the  promenade that was added in 1820’s on the peninsula. The highlight of The Battery is White Point Garden which is a beautiful waterfront park that faces the harbor and features a small pavilion, several historical monuments and a couple civil war and revolutionary war era cannons.

 Rainbow Row in Downtown Charleston

Rainbow Row in Charleston, SC

Rainbow Row

The 13 iconic homes that lie between 83 East Bay Street and 107 East Bay Street make up Rainbow Row. Made famous by their pastel coloring, these historic buildings originally served as wharf-side shops and supply stores for ships in the harbor during the 18th and 19th centuries. The second story of the buildings were typically reserved for living quarters. Most of the structures were in dire condition following the Civil War and did not begin to be restored until the 1930’s. Today, this is one of the most photographed and visited streets in Charleston thanks to the meticulous restoration efforts and unique history that these homes posses.

 Pitt Street Bridge in Old Village – Mount Pleasant

Pitt Street Bridge in Old Village Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Pitt Street Bridge in Old Village Mount Pleasant

Old Village is Mount Pleasant’s oldest neighborhood and was the original hub for businesses and merchants this side of the Cooper River. Tucked away in Old Village is the old Pitt Street bridge which originally connected Mount Pleasant to Sullivans Island in the 1800’s. In 1899, the bridge was replaced by a trolley bridge and replaced again in 1929 to accommodate automobiles. The bridge was dismantled in 1945 and its remains were converted into the Pickett Bridge Recreation Area. The park itself is built directly on top of the old structure which extends out towards the Intracoastal Waterway providing uninterrupted views of Sullivans Island and the entire Charleston harbor including the Ravenel bridge and beautiful views of  downtown at sunset.