Favorite Rides & Destinations

Fall 2017

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www.FavoriteRidesAndDestinations.com | ridermagazine.com PAGE 27 FALL 2017 ISSUE 02 / VOL. 02 Above: Diesel submarine Clamagore resides with the carrier Yorktown and the destroyer Laffey at Patriots Point, Charleston. Above: The Civil War began at Fort Sumter, and it was the only battle during that war to take place in South Carolina. Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is one of the largest in the nation, home to the carrier Yorktown, a destroyer and a diesel submarine that's a sister boat to the one I served aboard in the '60s. Aboard the Yorktown are not only numerous aircraft, but also a haunting Medal of Honor Museum. Boats depart here to Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began. I took the excursion and found it edifying. Interestingly, the extensive bombardment upon Fort Sumter was the only Civil War battle fought in South Carolina. I crossed the somewhat intimidating Ravenel Bridge into Charleston, where the steeple of St. Michael's Church, the city's oldest, pierces the skyline in exclamation. Cotton and rice made Charleston into the richest city in the South and caused the antebellum era to prosper. Plantations abound here. North of the city, along the Ashley River National Scenic Byway, they line up beneath the moss- threaded live oaks like Gardens of the Gods: Drayton Hall, Magnolia Plantation and Middleton Place. I chose to visit Magnolia Plantation because it's the oldest and said to be the most beautiful. Two garden bridges here could appear on any scenic calendar or jigsaw puzzle. The nature train took us visitors by cypress-lined swamps that were former rice fields. Numerous alligators basked on inclined planks poking out of the green scum. Wandering dogs don't last long here, we were told. I couldn't pass up visiting one of the Sea Islands, so I diverted off U.S. 17 into Beaufort, South Carolina's second oldest city, next to Charleston. Nearby Port Royal is a waterfront town emanating authentic Southern charm, and across the Beaufort River lies Parris Island, the Marine Corps boot camp that has been the site of recruit training since Nov. 1, 1915. The Beaufort region actually comprises several Sea Islands, and has captivated movie makers who chose various sites throughout to film such notables as "The Great Santini," "The Big Chill," "The Prince of Tides," and the blockbuster, "Forrest Gump." Charleston's Ravenel Bridge represents one of the longest cable-stay designs in North America.

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