The Cooper River separates Mount Pleasant, S.C., from Charleston, and in earlier times, the Charleston newspaper placed advertisements to let Mount Pleasant residents know they had mail waiting: They had to take a ferry to Charleston to claim their mail.
Today, the eight-lane Arthur Ravenel Bridge connects the two. In under 15 minutes, you can leave the bustle of Charleston and arrive in a peaceful, laid-back town built alongside Charleston Harbor and Shem Creek.
Mount Pleasant has, in its own right, numerous attractions, fantastic lodging and dining choices and compelling outdoor recreation opportunities.
Boone Hall Plantation (www.boonehallplantation.com) is a must-see. Allow time to tour the main house, see the Black History in America exhibit, walk to the cotton dock, ride the plantation coach tour and view the Butterfly Pavilion.
Walking tours of Mount Pleasant’s Old Village usually include Waterfront Park. Mosey up and down Pitt Street to see old businesses including the 60-year-old Pitt Street Pharmacy (www.pittstreetpharmacy.com), which serves homemade milkshakes.
Rev up your patriotism a notch with a visit to Patriots Point, at the foot of the Ravenel Bridge. The naval and maritime museum (www.patriotspoint.org) is the permanent home of the World War II aircraft carrier USS Yorktown. See the Vietnam Experience Exhibit and the Cold War Monument, as well.
Grab your chance to get on the water at Coastal Expeditions (www.coastalexpeditions.com). Kayaking has never been as leisurely and peaceful as out on the usually smooth waters of Shem Creek and the harbor. It’s not unusual to spot numerous fowl, a dolphin or manatee.
For the perfect getaway or special occasion, settle in at the Cottages on Charleston Harbor (www.thecottagesoncharlestonharbor.com). There’s no better way to watch the big ships, tugboats and sailboats traverse the harbor than from the private screened porch of one of 10 two-bedroom luxurious cottages, still a best-kept secret.
Wings rule at Kickin’ Chicken (www.kickinchicken.com); grab a gourmet sandwich at the Square Onion, a deli-styled establishment (www.squareonion.com). Indulge at the Charleston Harbor Fish House (www.charlestonharborfishhouse.com) with a classic seafood pasta dish such as shrimp scampi. Eat like a local at Page’s Okra Grill (www.pagesokragrill.com).
For a special evening out, make your way to Langdon’s Restaurant & Wine Bar (www.owensdininggroup.com/langdons) – a AAA/Four Diamond restaurant where Lowcountry and global flavors are enhanced by the elegant setting. Or create your own fusion of fine dining and history in the Old Village area at the Old Post House & Inn (www.hallmanagementgroup.com/oldvillageposthouse).
Nov. 13-14: YALLFest, downtown Charleston. One of the largest festival in the country specifically geared toward young adult and middle-grade literature. Details: www.yallfest.org.
Nov. 14-15: Plantation Days at Middleton Place, 4300 Ashley River Road, Charleston. See what life on a Lowcountry plantation was like in the 18th and 19th centuries. Details: www.middletonplace.org.
Dec. 4-6: Garden & Gun Jubilee, Charles Towne Landing, 1500 Old Towne Road, Charleston. A mix of sporting, shopping, food, music, art, special dinners and live entertainment on the grounds of the historic state park. The festival celebrates Southern culture. Details: www.gardenandgunjubilee.com.