An Educational Trip To Charleston, SC

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Are you looking for a way to sneak in a trip to the South Carolina coast with the kids, while also working in some educational content? There are so many opportunities for educational things to do in Charleston, SC! We’re sharing our recent educational trip to Charleston, SC with you just in case you want to explore, learn, and expand your knowledge, too.

Charleston is so rich with opportunities for learning. You, the parent might even learn some fun things along the way. 

  • Like did you know a famous poet called one of the barrier islands home for a short time, prior to his fame? 
  • You might know that the Civil War started in Charleston Harbor, but did you know what started it? 
  • Did you know that there is a certain behavior that the dolphin pods that reside in Charleston Harbor teach their young, that isn’t seen anywhere else? 

See right there we covered language arts, history and science. That’s just a drop in the bucket of the things you can discover in Charleston, not to mention getting to relax in a beautiful setting. 

Educational travel to Charleston, SC

For more things to see and do while in Charleston, check out our huge Guide To Charleston, SC.

Accommodations for this trip were generously provided by The Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant. All opinions are my own, honest and genuine.

Educational Things to Do in Charleston, SC

Here are some of the fun educational things we found in in Charleston, SC:

The Young Soldier Stationed At Fort Moultrie

Subjects: Language Arts and History

On May 26th a young man enlisted in the Army, unable to afford the last three years of university and left without options. He lied about his age and his name and after just two short years of a five year term, he “hired” someone to complete his term. 

That young man’s name was Edgar Allan Poe, and evidence of his short stay on Sullivan’s Island is all around you when you visit. If you are very clever, you can slip some Poe related math into your lesson. 

Edgar Allan Poe Library Charleston

Learning Opportunities:

You can also include lessons on the history of Fort Moultrie. If you’ve never been to this National Park location before you can read this local mom’s review of Fort Moultrie, before you head out.  

The Ellis Island Of Slavery

Subject: History/Social Studies

While you’re visiting Sullivan’s Island and Fort Moultrie, go behind the visitors’ center. There you will find a small black bench. Have a seat. That bench was placed there as a place to memorialize the history of enslaved Africans, and a place for people to reflect. When seated on “The Bench By The Road”, the first of many to have been placed since 2008, you’ll be looking out onto the water where most enslaved people entered this country.

This provides you with a great opportunity to talk to children about what it must have felt like to be brought to a foreign land, and how they would feel. 

Exploring black history in Charleston, SC

Learning Opportunities

There are endless opportunities around Charleston to learn about slavery. One of my favorite “hands-on” opportunities is on Philadelphia Alley in the historic district. You and your children can stroll this brick-paved alley and find the handprints left behind by the slaves that formed the bricks at local plantations. Those bricks can also be found in the buildings at the local plantations, like Boone Hall Plantation.

The Unique Dolphins Of Charleston Harbor

Subject: Science 

There are so many different things that are different ecologically in the Low Country from what we have around us in the Upstate. I love that in just a few hours we can go from a mountain ecosystem to a coastal one. This provides our children with so many opportunities to learn about the environment!

As a volunteer with a research laboratory in Florida while in college, I sat next to a Loggerhead Sea Turtle nest as it unexpectedly erupted. If I could somehow provide everyone on the planet with that magical experience I would. The next best thing is learning about them from afar, and maybe if you time your trip to the coast right, you could have a once in a lifetime sea turtle experience, too.

A more common sight off the shores of Charleston are the pods of wild dolphins that call these waters home. But these aren’t just any dolphins, they are so unique that they have been the subject of research studies. No one knows why, but the dolphins that are native to this area do something called strand-feeding. 

Learning Opportunities 

There is a good deal of eco-tours that will take you around the harbor and some will even have an ecology expert on board. We recently took an eco-tour with Sandlapper Tours and would recommend it as a safe option to learn about the ecology of the coastal waters.  

Another option for aquatic study while in Charleston is a visit to the South Carolina Aquarium. You can use a virtual aquarium field trip, or go in person and then do the activities found online. The Aquarium is a great way to learn about the ecology of our state!

South Carolina Aquarium

Home Away From Homeschool 

Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant

The Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant generously provided us with a home-away-from-homeschool for this article and we loved our time there. Schoolwork is hard work, and it’s nice to have a place you feel safe to kick back and relax afterward. The hotel has an on-site restaurant, a huge outdoor pool deck, and heightened cleaning protocols.

Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant

Eliza’s Bar + Kitchen has delicious options for any meal of the day. The kids loved having chocolate chip Belgian waffles for breakfast! My favorite was the wedge salad at dinner, make sure you get the ranch dressing.
The rooms also include a properly functioning mini-fridge. Something we find essential when traveling because there are always leftovers! 

Charleston SC Hotel Indigo

For those traveling with pets, The Hotel Indigo is pet-friendly too! There are several great travel packages that include meals, pet stays, and more on the Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant website

We love staying in Mount Pleasant because it’s centrally located. The Hotel Indigo is just a short drive across the Ravenel Bridge to the downtown area, and you don’t have to pay downtown parking prices, in fact, parking here is totally free! 

Travel Times to Popular Destinations from Hotel Indigo Mount Pleasant :

  • Patriots Point – 3 minutes
  • The South Carolina Aquarium – 9 minutes
  • Sullivan’s Island – 10 minutes
  • Historic Charleston – 11 minutes
  • Isle Of Palms – 14 minutes 
  • Folly Beach – 24 minutes
  • Kiawah Island – 58 minutes

Have you found an awesome way to work homeschooling or an educational aspect into a trip to Charleston? We’d love to know in the comments!

Travel Guide to Charleston, South Carolina

Looking to make a longer trip? Here’s our Charleston, SC Visitor Guide… things to do, where to eat, and where to stay.

About the Author
Melanie is a native New Yorker, who landed in the Upstate by way of Florida. She is the mom of two awesome kids, and the three of them love going on adventures!

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