I am really pleasantly surprised (bad pun) about my decision to stay in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. It’s been many, many years since I was last in the Charleston area. Mount Pleasant is really a great little area with everything and “my Airbnb home” is 2 seconds off Route 17 but also very quiet. It’s a beautiful ride over the Arthur Ravenel Bridge and only minutes into the historic area of Charleston. (You can actually walk or bike across the beautiful structure).
Today there was a forecast of bad weather so we chose to do indoor activities for most of the day. We headed over to Sullivan’s Island because our host said it was a must do for a visitor. The rain held off while we meandered through Fort Moultrie, a fort from the 1700’s turned into a national park. Don’t forget it’s the centennial celebration for our national parks – AND IF YOU ARE MILITARY – you get a year long pass into every national park. We had a nice homeschool field trip and I learned something myself as usual.
The fort has a free movie every hour – we lasted about 10 minutes before Ellie exclaimed her boredom. We left and perused the small gift shop where Ellie surprised me by asking for a book about the Civil War and one other – two nice books that are both fun and educational.
We drove a short distance to the South Carolina Aquarium, situated along the waterfront in downtown Charleston. Parking is easy with a large parking garage across the street that charges 1$/30 minutes. We passed the hours (for $24.95 adults/$17.95 kids) learning all about native sea life and what we can do to help the environment.
We splurged on the Turtle Hospital Excursion – $15 adults/$10 children. For me it’s definitely worth the extra cost – the proceeds goes toward helping rehabilitate injured sea life. They take you into the basement where they have a hospital for turtles and give the group an up-close behind-the-scenes tour (at least 30 min). We were not allowed to touch the animals but it was still pretty cool. They teach you all about why the turtles end up there – usually fishing lines or boats (humans). Several of the turtles also had cataracts – who knew?
We really enjoyed the aquarium, it’s not large by any means but they do a good job nevertheless. People walked around with snakes and tortoises – to touch and ask questions. Ellie loved the actual touch area where they have rays, crabs, starfish and dogfish that you can touch. She even got to feed them with lucky timing.
I would recommend bringing your own food, they have a poor selection of anything nutritious – mostly junk food. I would also recommend making a day of it and walking next door to the Fort Sumter Monument (and ferry to the island – allow at least 3 hours for that).
So next time you’re in the Charleston area – stop by the aquarium – you’ll be doing yourself and the world a favor!