"Yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery" is a common self-help mantra that indicates it's best to forget the past, but it's an antithetical formula for the visitor to Charleston. From the cobblestone streets that sporadically line the lower peninsula to centuries-old seawalls that stabilize The Battery, Charleston is a city where history begs to be explored. And her attractions span a wide timeline: An expansive oak tree that some estimate to be 1,500 years old; former plantation sites and public gardens started in the 1600s; forts that were part of the Revolutionary War in the late 1700s, the Civil War in the 1860s and World War II in the 1940s.
To experience the timeline in one visit, perhaps a trip to The Charleston Museum is in order. Or, concentrate on certain timeline eras, such as the H.L. Hunley — the nation's first submarine whose solitary mission ended in tragedy, lost to the sea until 1995 — to relive the Civil War years, or Middleton Place, site of a former 1800s plantation that is retelling history with greater transparency about both priviledged owners and enslaved Africans who lived within it's sprawling estate.
Visitors will find history at the forefront of interest when they come to the Holy City, and they'll find attractions that help unravel any mystery that may lie within them. The chief question they may be left asking is: "Tomorrow, what shall we explore?" If not in this trip, there's always another day.