I'm going to have to break my Charleston pictures into several posts because WE LOVED IT THERE. We spent four nights camping in a field in James Island, and luckily had beautiful weather the whole time. Our first day we took our breakfast out to Folly Beach and walked out on the pier. It was lovely there--sort of a cross between Cape Cod and Key West (which we had yet to visit). After we were finished gazing at the ocean (even though we're never really finished) we drove out to Magnolia Plantation. I'd heard, of course, about the famous gardens, but we also wanted to tour our first southern plantation! The garden was definitely the highlight--I can't get enough of that dramatic Spanish moss (which I learned was called such because it resembled the beards of Spanish explorers, not because it is of Spanish origin). While strolling through the gardens we also saw some small alligators, peacocks, four large turtles, a crane, and a blue heron.
The house tour was actually kind of a disappointment. The original house was burned by Union soldiers and was rebuilt, but then that house was also destroyed and the resulting structure was kind of a mashup. The columns weren't even added until the 1990s (!), and only because the owner got sick of people telling him his plantation didn't look classic enough. Still, the plantation visit was worth it for the gardens. When we were finished there we decided to go back to Folly Beach to see the Morris Lighthouse, but when we got there we didn't want to pay to park so we decided to go back in the morning before the street parking was filled. We had dinner back at the campground and took a stroll over to the public area of the park, where we sat on a swing by the river and watched the sun set before heading back to bed.