Local Area

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Local Area

JB Charleston Local Areas

Joint Base Charleston – Air Base is within the city limits of North Charleston. Joint Base Charleston – Weapons Station is on the west bank of the Cooper River in the cities of Goose Creek and Hanahan. Downtown Charleston is about a 35-minute drive to the south from either location. The base and the local communities enjoy a great relationship with service members taking part in many civic, social and cultural events.

Find more information about the local communities by visiting the cities’ websites:

The local area surrounding Joint Base Charleston is flush with natural amenities that offer myriad opportunities for recreational pursuits to visitors and residents both, and the area’s rich military history is on display at many local attractions. This chapter highlights just a few of the local offerings to get you started as you explore your new community, but in no way should it be considered a comprehensive list — it would take a book to cover everything.

Museums and Historical Sites

There is no shortage of history in the local area. You can spend hours or days exploring museums, buildings and famous sites around town.

Aiken-Rhett House Museum

48 Elizabeth St.
Charleston, SC 29403

Built in 1818, this town house complex showcases antebellum Charleston and has been preserved since 1858. The museum’s audio tour will help visitors exploring the home get a taste of 19th-century life in the city.

Drayton Hall

3380 Ashley River Road
Charleston, SC 29414

This is the only plantation on the Ashley River that is still almost completely historically intact. With professional guided tours as well as interactive tours via DVD, Drayton Hall is open daily except on major holidays.

Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center

340 Concord St.
Charleston, SC 29401

Situated in Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter National Monument is where the Civil War began. The Visitor Education Center on Sullivan’s Island is the main ferry departure point for the fort, with transportation available daily. The center itself has exhibits on the events leading up to the Civil War, and National Park rangers are on hand to answer questions.

South Carolina Aquarium

100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, SC 29401
843-577-FISH (3474)

The South Carolina Aquarium not only has native animals and plants to view in its 60 habitats and 385,000-gallon Great Ocean Tank: Visitors can feed stingrays, visit the sea turtle hospital or enjoy the antics of river otters at play. Open daily.

The Charleston Museum

360 Meeting St.
Charleston, SC 29403

Founded in 1773, this museum is often referred to as America’s first museum. Permanent exhibits include displays on Egyptian history, historic textiles and Charleston’s role in the American Revolution and Civil War.

The Hunley Warren Lasch Conservation Center

1250 Supply St.
North Charleston, SC 29405
843-743-4865, ext. 10

The Hunley, in its 90,000-gallon conservation tank, is available for tours on the weekends. Tours also include facial reconstructions of the Hunley crew, artifacts extracted from inside the submarine, the legendary gold coin that saved the Hunley captain’s life and more.

The North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Education Center

4975 Centre Pointe Drive
North Charleston, SC 29418

Established in 2007, the North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Education Center is conveniently located just minutes from Charleston International Airport and adjacent to Tanger Outlet Mall. The Fire Museum blends fire-fighting history and hands-on education into one remarkable experience for the entire family, all in one unforgettable destination.

Beaches, Parks and Recreation

Given all the activities at hand, enjoying the outdoors in South Carolina is easy and fun. Choose from an array of beaches, parks and outdoor events.

Butterfly Park

4800 Park Circle
North Charleston, SC 29405

This hidden gem in the middle of the city offers a special place to enjoy a picnic or to just kick back and relax. See the most butterflies during spring and fall visits but don’t miss the nearby farmers market during the summer months.

Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge

5821 N. Highway 17
Awendaw, SC 29429

Cape Romain’s beautiful beaches, salt marshes and maritime forest draw more than 277 species of migratory birds. There are hiking trails, beachcombing, fishing and hunting, as well as picnic areas and covered shelters. The refuge is accessible only by personal boat or ferry, which can be arranged through Coastal Expeditions at 843-881-4582.

Folly Beach

107 E. Indian Ave., Suite 208
Folly Beach, SC 29439

The closest beach to the city of Charleston, Folly Beach is a 7-mile-long barrier reef with a fishing pier and lighthouse. Enjoy a walk on the beach or try the waves — Folly Beach is famed as one of the best surfing destinations on the East Coast.

Harbor Town Golf Links

11 Lighthouse Lane
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Practice your swing on the same greens as legendary golfers at this world-class PGA golf course. Home to the Heritage Tournament, this 18-hole course will challenge and delight all levels of golfers.

Riverfront Park

1001 Everglades Ave.
North Charleston, SC 29405

Riverfront is open to the public year-round and is a favorite destination for residents and visitors. On the banks of the Cooper River, the park is adjacent to the historic homes once occupied by naval officers stationed on the Charleston Naval Base. It is surrounded by grand oak trees and river vistas. Bordered by Noisette Creek, the park also boasts a contemporary performance pavilion and meadow.

Wannamaker County Park and Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark

8888 University Blvd.
North Charleston, SC 29406

A nature-oriented park with more than 1,000 acres of woodlands and wetlands, this is a great family getaway. There are miles of paved trails, picnic sites and the nearby Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark, with its seasonal, island-style water play on more than 15 acres.

Shopping, Dining and the Arts

There is a nearly endless selection of restaurants, shops and fine arts to explore here.

Charleston City Market

188 Meeting St.
Charleston, SC 29401

Part of Charleston for more than 200 years, the Charleston City Market is open daily with vendors selling everything from clothing and food to souvenirs and artwork.

Dock Street Theatre

135 Church St.
Charleston, SC 29401

Home to the Charleston Stage, the city’s resident professional theater, more than 120 performances can be seen each season in this historic 1809 venue, which features modern lighting and sound.

Freshfields Village

149 Village Green Lane
Johns Island, SC 29455

Located at the crossroads of Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns Island at the end of Betsy Kerrison Parkway, Freshfields Village is a hub of shops, businesses, art galleries and restaurants, as well as weekly events such as Music on the Green.

Gallery Row

Broad Street
Charleston, SC

Enjoy the galleries in this shopping and art district, purchase fine art or sit down to a meal in one of the memorable restaurants. The merchants association hosts a “First Friday” event each month, as well as various other events.

North Charleston Coliseum & Performing Arts Center

5001 Coliseum Drive
North Charleston, SC 29418

Whether you want to watch puck action with the South Carolina Stingrays, enjoy the Best of Broadway series or see ballerinas on tiptoes in “The Nutcracker,” the North Charleston Coliseum & Performing Arts Center is the place to do it.

Festivals and Events

Enjoy Southern hospitality at its finest by attending one of the many annual celebrations and events.

Charleston Wine and Food Festival

Marion Square Park
329 Meeting St.
Charleston, SC 29403

Each spring, this four-day event showcases many vendors and shops from the Charleston area. The heart of the festival is the Culinary Village and Grand Tasting Tents in Marion Square Park. Tickets are available through the website.

Christmas Parade & Festival

Park Circle
North Charleston, SC 29405

The Christmas Festival includes a holiday market, children’s activities, craft and food vendors, live music and more.

Festival of Lights

James Island County Park
871 Riverland Drive
Charleston, SC 29412

Every holiday season, James Island County Park puts up over 700 displays and more than 2 million lights along a 3-mile driving tour. For those who’d rather be driven than drive, there’s a 54-passenger train ride through the park, along with marshmallow roasts, carousel rides and musical concerts.

Flowertown Festival

Summerville Family YMCA
Summerville, SC 29483

The spring blaze of azaleas, honey-scented wisteria and dogwood signal that it’s time for this gracious town’s annual three-day flower festival of arts, crafts, entertainment, good food and Southern hospitality to benefit the Summerville Family YMCA.

Fourth of July Festival

Riverfront Park
1001 Everglades Ave.
North Charleston, SC 29405

The festival features musical guests, children’s activities, food trucks, craft vendors, a laser light show and lowcountry’s largest Fourth of July fireworks show.

North Charleston Arts Festival

Park Circle
North Charleston, SC 29405

The festival includes nearly 200 high-quality performances, exhibits and activities by local, regional and national artists. From music to dance, literature to theater, visuals arts to media arts, the festival offers something for everyone.

Parade of Boats

Charleston Harbor
Charleston, SC

Boats bedecked with lights sail in formation along a route from Mount Pleasant to Charleston in this December event. The sparkling aquatic parade ends with a bang with a fireworks display over Charleston harbor.

Spoleto Festival

14 George Street,
Charleston, SC 29401-1524

One of the nation’s major performing arts events, the Spoleto Festival was founded in 1977 by composer Gian Carlo Menotti. The yearly springtime talent extravaganza presents emerging and established artists in the visual arts, opera, classical music, jazz, soul, bluegrass, theater, chorale and dance in more than 120 performances over 17 days and nights.

Veterans Day Tribute

Park Circle
North Charleston, SC 29405

The Department of Defense and the Veterans Day National Committee selected North Charleston as one of two regional sites in the state for the past five years. Visit the website for more information.

Surrounding Areas

Expand your horizons and investigate other nearby regions of South Carolina. The beaches can be phenomenal, or take a trip to Thoroughbred Country or Santee Cooper Country.

Goose Creek

Bordered by the Cooper and Back rivers to the east and Charleston to the southeast, the city of Goose Creek incorporated in 1961, but its origins stretch back to settlers known as the Goose Creek Men in the 1600s. Thanks to continuing military interests, the town now has grown to almost 40,000people.

Hilton Head

The largest island between New Jersey and Florida, Hilton Head embraces 42 square miles of beaches, marinas, golf courses and tennis courts. Many campsites and cabins are within strolling distance of the ocean. Be sure to check out the Indian Shell Ring at Sea Pines Forest Preserve.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach is the heart of the Grand Strand, a stretch of beaches and resorts that run along South Carolina’s coastline. In addition to its beautiful, wide beaches, visitors can golf, play tennis, listen to live music, browse a phenomenal selection of T-shirts or hit the outlet malls. Take a trip to Pawley’s Island, one of the oldest resorts, or check out attractions such as Brookgreen Gardens or the South Carolina Opry.

Santee Cooper Country

An outdoor paradise, Santee Cooper Country is northwest of Charleston and is one of the state’s prime recreational sites. Lakes Marion and Moultrie offer excellent boating and fishing. Explore Edisto Memorial Gardens, which features a display of more than 4,800 award-winning roses and plants, and is home to South Carolina’s yearly Festival of Roses.


The self-proclaimed “Birthplace of Sweet Tea (1847),” hospitable Summerville has 700 homes and buildings on the National Register of Historic Places and is a popular suburb of Charleston, just 20 minutes to the south. Its abundant azaleas, camellias, dogwood and redbud, wisteria, flowering bulbs and art draw tourists and new residents alike. Peaceful Azalea Park lies at the heart of the town.

Thoroughbred Country

Interstate 20 will take you into Thoroughbred Country, the capital of horseback riding in South Carolina. Visit the town of Aiken, once a winter retreat for wealthy Northerners, and home to museums, a wonderful parkway system and plenty of dining choices. Be sure to stop at North Augusta’s Living History Park where colonial life is alive and well, or take a tour of the city of Blackville and learn about Mennonite history and culture.

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