48 Hours in historic Charleston, South Carolina

Fri May 6, 2011 7:35am EDT
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By Verna Gates

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters Life!) - On the eve of the American Civil War, Charleston boasted of being one of the wealthiest and most glamorous cities in the world.

By the end of the bloody conflict, even Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman, who torched everything in his path, took pity on the city, according to historian Richard Rosen.

Today the homes that were once private playgrounds open their doors to reveal the luxurious lifestyles of the Old South as Charleston commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, which started with a boom from its city cannons.


11:00 a.m. - Many good hotels are located in the historic district of the city. After unpacking, walk to the Visitor's Center which provides plenty of information about tours and events.

12 - Start your visit with the Revolutionary War in a home where George Washington stayed for seven nights. The Charleston Museum's Heyward-Washington House, on 87 Church Street, belonged to Thomas Heyward Jr., a colonial signer of the Declaration of Independence.

1 p.m. - Stop for something to eat at nearby Bocci's Italian Restaurant at 158 Church Street or stroll to Queen Street where there are more restaurants.

2 p.m. - Head to the Nathanial Russell House at 51 Meeting Street. Curling upward like a chambered nautilus, a free-flying staircase dominates the Neoclassical home. www.historiccharleston.org   Continued...

<p>Civil War Union Army re-enactors at Fort Sumter in Charleston, April 12, 2011. REUTERS/Harriet McLeod</p>