Dr. Randy’s Family Guide to Mount Pleasant
Mount Pleasant is rich in tradition and culture. Our beautiful city is home to many great historical sites, restaurants, and things to do.
We’re proud to have our new pediatric dental practice in Mount Pleasant, and we’d love to share some of our favorite local attractions with you. We’ll even include some of our personal favorites, just for fun!
From our family to yours, enjoy Dr. Randy’s guide to Mount Pleasant!
Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum
In case you failed to notice, there are a few ships sitting in the mouth of Cooper River. That’s where you’ll find the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum. The flagship of the museum is the USS Yorktown, named after the famous Revolutionary War battle. She has seen a lot of action, and now serves as a national historic landmark in Charleston Harbor.
Within the Yorktown resides the Medal of Honor museum, telling the stories of the brave men and women who have been awarded the country’s highest military honor. When the locals really want to have a good time, the aircraft carrier’s large, flat-top surface plays host for celebrations, fireworks, and even the occasional campout!
Boone Hall Plantation
While not all historical sites are as visually striking as Patriots Point, there are some places that can make you feel as though you’ve stepped through time. The Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens in Mt. Pleasant will take you right back to the antebellum era.
This site features an epic colonial plantation home, dating all the way back to 1681. Boone Hall is one of the oldest plantations in America, and the farm is still in operation. You might have even tasted some of their produce at local restaurants! The plantation is an absolutely beautiful site (it’s a favorite place for pictures), and a Mt. Pleasant must-see.
There have been many celebrity weddings at Boone Hall’s “Cotton Dock” that overlooks a portion of marshland, including that of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. It is a stunning location for family photos, though you do have to pay admission to get there. Their nearby market (on Highway 17 N.) is a great place to get local produce during spring and summer.
Boone Hall’s Strawberry Festival, which usually occurs in late April, is a great family event with rides, a strawberry pie contest, and a chance to pick all-you-can-eat berries. In the fall, they host hay rides and an amazing corn maize, which our family enjoys every year.
The Old Village of Mt. Pleasant
By Ammodramus (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
The Old Village of Mt. Pleasant is a great chance to take a walking tour of our local history. All around the area, historical markers quietly tell the story of our town’s battles, achievements, and people.
The Old Village is 30 blocks between the Charleston Harbor and Royal Avenue. There you’ll see past architectural styles, including the original Mount Pleasant plantation house, known as the “Hibben House” for the father of our city, James Hibben.
If you have seen the movie “The Notebook”, the charming village they walk through as youngsters is actually the present day “Old Village”! It truly is like stepping back in time. One of our favorite family activities is to visit the Pitt Street Pharmacy and order lunch at their very authentic soda fountain (I highly recommend the grilled cheese or chicken salad). We’ll grab a milkshake to go and drive to the beautiful, oak-shaded playground at Alhambra Park, which is just across the street from a stunning view of Charleston Harbor.
The Old Village Post House, located on Pitt Street, is a must for a date night.
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
For all you history buffs out there, the Pinckney’s were one of the most prominent citizens never to land a seat in the White House. Pinckney was a member of the South Carolina General Assembly, and was an important figure during the Constitutional Convention. He would later serve four terms of the Governor of South Carolina, serve in the Senate, the House of Representatives, and as an ambassador to Spain.
The Charles Pinckney National Historic Site is just a small portion of the major estate (known as “Snee Farm”) that the Charleston native owned. While none of the original structures are still standing, the current home still dates to the 1820’s and remains a sterling example of the architecture common through the Carolinas and Virginia at the time.
The grounds of the Pinckney site is a perfect place for a picnic; there are many picnic tables, or for family photos — there’s no charge to enter!
Epic Escape Games
A new form of entertainment has been popping up all across the country, and it involves players allowing themselves to be trapped in various styles of puzzle rooms. The most popular puzzle room provider in the Mt. Pleasant area is Epic Escape Games.
Participants (all willing, I assure you) can choose one of four puzzle rooms to be trapped in with their compadres. Each room is its own compelling adventure. Choose from the infamous Undead Outbreak, using your collective brains to escape the mysterious research facility before the zombie horde reaches you, and Area 51, Derailed, and Meltdown.
Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park
While many of the places in our guide are historical sites, Mount Pleasant’s place for fun in the sun is the Memorial Waterfront Park. It’s one of the best places to gather, hang out, and socialize. The park features a nautically-themed playground, a cafe, and several different trails that run along the Cooper River. Memorial Waterfront Park is also one of the go-to places to host a number of community events, including picnics, concerts, and movie screenings.
This playground is so well designed, the actual playground is beneath the span of the Ravenel Bridge, so the children stay shaded, or if a sudden shower comes along, they are high and dry. Our kids love to go on the pier and fish. You buy a very inexpensive fishing permit from the store (they have great milkshakes, too) bring your own fishing gear and chairs and find a comfy spot. Even if you don’t catch anything, there is usually a great breeze even on hot days and you will be at eye level with the passing container ships, which is fascinating for adults and children alike.
This is also the location of the “Blessing of the Fleet”, where our local shrimp boats are blessed by local clergy before beginning their season. It usually takes place in late April, and if you plan to go, go early. It is a very popular event with many food vendors, live music, and activities. If your children are very small, make sure you have lots of tricks up your sleeve in case the traffic is slow.
Every Friday in August, bring the family, blankets and chairs, and enjoy a BEAUTIFUL sunset while being serenaded by local musicians and enjoying a free flick.
Once the sun dips down, enjoy a FREE movie (which usually starting around 8:00 – 8:30 pm) and local fare. Food vendors are on site, and food sales start at 6:30 pm. This is a favorite of kids in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, alike!
Stay up-to-date with the schedule: Find more details, here.
Macaroni Kids Charleston
If you’re ever looking for ideas and activities for the kids, my number one resource is Charleston’s Macaroni Kids. From summer camps, to events, to lessons, Macaroni Kid is the local guide for kids. We are proud partners of this amazing resource for parents in the Charleston and Mt. Pleasant communities.
Sharks Teeth at Folly Beach Pier
The pier at Folly Beach is one of the top places in the Mt. Pleasant area to get in your saltwater fishing, bird watching, or to just enjoy the view. The pier extends more than 1,000 feet into the ocean, ending with a 1,400 foot covered platform, making this the perfect space for events such as dances, fishing tournaments, or live music. There is a restaurant on site, as well as restrooms and a gift shop.
While there are plenty of things to do at Folly Beach like kayaking, surfing, and fishing, one of our favorite things to do is to comb the beaches for sharks’ teeth! During low tide, the water pulls away to reveal wet sand, which is the best place to find the teeth of the tiger and hammerhead sharks that are native to the waters.
There is also an isolated beach at the end of Daniel Island that residents refer to as “Shark Tooth Beach”. Here are directions: Go to the end of Grand Council St and take the path past the cell phone tower. Make a right after the gate by the tower. It takes about 15 minutes by bike (you cannot drive this path) and we are told that snakes are frequent travel companions, as are spiders, so proceed with caution! Make sure you go at low tide.
Charles Towne Landing Animal Forest
By Brian Stansberry (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The traditional zoo collects animals from far and wide, often holding them in what equates to a prison cell in an environment they are not native to. The Animal Forest at Charles Towne Landing takes a different approach, hosting only animals native to the area in preserves they can be comfortable in.
A short walk through the paths of the Animal Forest show you the history South Carolina and the species that have long called it home. You’ll be able to see bison, bears, pumas and more!
North Charleston Fire Museum
Have you ever started collecting something, and you just couldn’t stop collecting? The North Charleston Fire Museum and Educational Center is one of the most complete firefighting collections in the country. This isn’t just a showroom full of antiques, either; all of the fire trucks (the oldest dating to the 1780’s) in this museum can still run and fight fire.
The Fire Museum’s collection features exhibits and shows that are hands on and educational. Besides having the chance to glimpse into the life of a firefighter, guests can gain a better understanding of the science and history of firefighting in the United States. This is a favorite for kids of all ages!
Charleston Tea Plantation
It’s tea like you’ve never seen it. Charleston Tea Plantation is the only tea in the world made 100% from American-grown tea. Located on Wadmalaw Island, the plantation has been insulated from the encroachment of modern life, becoming a time capsule that will remain untouched.
The Charleston Tea Plantation is the perfect day trip for families in the low country. The educational tours are free (there is a small fee for a trolley ride through the massive tea fields), you can enjoy a picnic under ancient oak trees, and visit the gift shop to find the perfect souvenir for the little ones.
Angel Oak Tree
What is the oldest living thing in America?
I’m not entirely sure myself, but the Angel Oak Tree on John’s Island is probably in the running. Age estimates range from 500-1,500 years, meaning this tree is at least twice as old as the nation it resides in. It is a remarkable sight to behold, and a humble reminder that some things precede us and will outlive us.
Bazaar at the Point
We like to buy local when we can in an effort to support our craftsmen in Mount Pleasant. Every fourth Sunday of the month, you’ll find a concentration of locally-sourced food, arts, and crafts during the Bazaar at the Point. Come join in the family-friendly fun from 11am – 2pm at the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina…you’ll be glad you did!
Second Sunday on King St
Charleston’s most famous thoroughfare is a haven of the best restaurants, crafts, boutiques, and vendors. On the Second Sunday of every month, King Street (in Charleston) comes alive, blocking off traffic so that the community can come together in a way that has become rare in modern America. Enjoy live music, fine art, and exquisite food with your family — whether in one of the restaurants on site or from one of the many street vendors.
Did we miss something in Mount Pleasant you’d like to see included in Dr. Randy’s guide?
Feel free to contact us and share your recommendation. We’ll take the best of the best and work them into the guide throughout the year.