The Historic Charleston City Market in South Carolina

November 21, 2018 1:28 pm87 commentsViews: 425

Charleston, South Carolina is one of these special cities that have all the advantages of a large metropolitan area while maintaining its history. The city is one of the oldest in the United States having been settled in the 17th century. The city is located on a peninsula bordered by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. The location is a natural harbor still guarded by Fort Sumter– the site of the first shot of the Civil War.

The Market Area is Alive with History

The City Market – or just “the market” to locals – is positioned in the Charleston’s Historic District, and is within walking distance of a myriad of 200-year old homes, exclusive shops, fine restaurants, and antiques shops.

The Centre Market was opened in 1807 to serve as a place for citizens to purchase meat, vegetables, and other staples. Its design is not a marvel, as it is basically a long, open structure which provides shelter from the rain and sun. A few shops are enclosed and offer air conditioning, but most of the vendors at the market sell from table tops which are located on the opposite sides and the middle of the length of the building stretching for three blocks down Market Street. There are two narrow paths through the market where shoppers move deliberately trying to find the best deals on common and unique merchandise.

The market and the Historic District were heavily damaged by Hurricane Hugo in 1989, but repairs to the area were swift. Charlestonians have endured many storms over the centuries and face the brutal tempests with courage and determination. Many improvements were made as a result of Hugo, and the market area is as vital as ever. The market has survived war, storms, and a major earthquake in 1886.

Charleston Offers Contemporary Entertainment and Southern Charm

The market area is conveniently supplied with numerous upscale accommodations ­– some with histories of great interest to guests. A camera is a must when visiting the market. Photographers can have a full day of activity digitally preserving an eclectic assortment of architecture and the market’s sweet-grass weavers, whose intricate baskets are among the most popular items for sale.

Art lovers peruse the work of local artists whose skills are displayed on canvas, in jewelry, wood carvings and a variety of unique media. Bennie wafers are a local sweet delicacy sold up and down the rows along with pralines, assorted pastries, and local seafood favorites in the areas popular eateries. The main shopping area resembles a huge flea market with merchandise from tacky to elegant.

For those who would rather not walk, carriage rides leave for tours of the Historic District regularly. Walkers can get an intimate look at old Charleston by taking a leisurely walk down cobblestone streets and along the Battery just minutes away.

The Charleston City Market is a center of activity for shoppers of souvenirs, sweets, fine food and much more. It is located in the city’s Historic District and is within walking district of buildings that have witnessed major events of the nation’s past.


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