Discover Charleston Package: Summer Travel Made Easy

Visiting Charleston and need a general lay of the land? Here at the Fulton Lane Inn, we suggest the Discover Charleston Package. For three nights and two days, you’ll be treated to Charleston’s best attractions with tickets and pre-arranged tours. Your home base on King Street puts you in short walking distance of the Charleston’s best restaurants, shops and postcard-worthy sights.

The Discover Charleston Package is perfect for first-timers or folks returning to Charleston for the umpteenth time. The package etches out plenty time for you to enjoy both downtown Charleston and the gorgeous outskirts of town. Road trip with friends, bring the family, escape for a romantic retreat – this itinerary is ideal for any kind of Charleston vacation.

The Discover Charleston Package offers two people a glimpse into the city’s most beautiful and historic places. This three-day, two-night experience features:

a carriage ride through Charleston’s downtown historic district

tour inside the Nathaniel Russell House

a day to sight see at one of three Charleston landmarks – your choice! Fort Sumter, Middleton Place Gardens or Drayton Hall

First up: your carriage ride

Views of downtown Charleston

From a comfortable, shaded seat, you’ll tromp through the enchanting streets of downtown Charleston by horse drawn carriage with an expert tour guide. You’ll hear some history, Charleston trivia and fun anecdotes.

Beauty, history and charm are abundant no matter which tour route you’re treated to. You’ll see floral-lined streets, historic homes, beautifully restored buildings, majestic church steeples, etc. Our Innkeeper Lisa Anderson thinks this is the best way to see Charleston. You’ll get an excellent overview of the city and pinpoint a few places worth returning to.

Next up: the Nathaniel Russell House

Nathaniel Russell House

courtesy Historic Charleston Foundation

Ah, the Nathaniel Russell House… Built in 1808, this house is pushing 200 years old- but it’s just as beautiful as the day it was built. Its formal garden creates a grand entrance into the regal home. The real treat is inside – the home’s ‘floating’ three-story spiral staircase, not to mention countless amazing decorative touches.

Standing tall at 51 Meeting Street, this South of Broad home is located near the picturesque High Battery and lush White Point Gardens. The Nathaniel Russell House is a stunning example of Charleston’s unwavering efforts to preserve and protect its history. If you enjoyed peering into Charleston’s homes and gardens on your carriage ride, this is a chance to explore firsthand.

Next Up: Decision time! Here’s a quick guide to picking the best landmark to suit your tastes.

Sightseeing Day – Option 1: Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter

What makes Fort Sumter standout? Its incredible history and significance in American history. This national park is a dream locale for history buffs. The first shots of the Civil War were fired here in 1861. The structure itself is remarkable and virtually unchanged by the elements. Take a ferry ride across the Charleston Harbor and a park ranger will lead a short tour. Be sure to budget some time to explore the fort at your leisure. Take everything in.

Sightseeing Day – Option 2: Middleton Place Gardens

Middleton Place

Escape downtown and enter into the dreamland that is Middleton Place. Middleton Place is only a 15 minute drive from the Fulton Lane Inn, yet feels about a thousand miles away from reality.

Plotted and built by the wealthy Middleton family, this was once a rice plantation and one of the most grand estates on the east coast. The real attraction here are the gardens, which in the 1700′s were built to be the “premier garden of the thirteen colonies.” Spending an entire day here is easy. Wander through a maze of perfectly symmetrical gardens, admire butterflies, bright, blooming flower and the most picturesque views of the Ashley River. A longer walk around the plantation reveals sheep in a lush green pasture and horses in the stable yard. You’ll see blacksmiths hammering iron and seamstresses sewing, just as they did hundreds of years ago.

Middleton Place is a great option for couples on a romantic getaway. Drive here and sprawl out in the sun under live oak trees and sleepy Spanish moss.

Outdoor adventurers should tack on extra time to rent kayaks and paddle along the river. ($40 a person for two hours – well worth this memorable experience)

Sightseeing Day – Option 3: Drayton Hall

Drayton Hall

“Next door” to Middleton Place is Drayton Hall. This plantation home is beautiful in its simplicity. Historic preservation at its finest.

The enormous house is completely unfurnished and has been for decades. This way its gorgeous exterior and interior features are better preserved. The folks from Drayton Hall explain, “Instead of being restored to the vision of those who lived centuries after it was built, Drayton Hall is an artifact that has survived the American Revolution, the Civil War, the earthquake of 1886, hurricanes like Hugo, and maybe most surprisingly today, urban sprawl.”

Take a guided tour of the home. Meander in and out of each room to discover ornate plaster ceilings and incredibly detailed woodwork. Discover a doorway marked by the heights of Drayton children through the generations. Archaeological digs go on beneath the house frequently. If you’re lucky, you’ll be here when a new discovery is made. And don’t miss that clear, beautiful view of the Ashley River from the rear of the house. It’s all so grand and beautiful. Being at Drayton Hall is like taking a real step back in time.

Decisions, decisions. Our 24-hour concierge team can help you choose which site to see. You can also take time to weigh your options while lingering over breakfast in bed or sipping sherry in the lobby. Whichever experience you choose, you are bound to fall in love with Charleston.

Get to planning! Summer 2013 is the perfect time to soak up every ounce of Charleston’s beauty and charm. Current Discover Charleston Package rates start at $610 for two people. Get more details here or call us at 800-720-2600.

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