By Glenn Arnette, III
S.C. History Comes Alive!
Berkeley County / Moncks Corner
There is something special about Berkeley County and the Moncks Corner area. It is a lot of history! Believe me, I had no idea how much history and the enjoyment you can have in the area.
Located near Charleston, this becomes a destination stop. You should plan to stay a night and take in the following attractions and parks: Cypress Gardens, Mepkin Abbey, the Old Santee Canal Park and Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center. I guarantee you will thank me many times. It is truly and educational experience for the entire family!
Cypress Gardens offers the Blackwater Cypress Swamp (where scenes from the films, The Patriot and The Notebook were filmed), Butterfly House, Swamparium and flat-bottom boats, three-and-a-half miles of walking trails, exhibits, gift shop and rental facilities. Besides being beautiful it is amazing and you could spend an entire day there and never do everything. This place offers quiet moments in history and the Blackwater offers one of the most enjoyable canoe trips through the Swamp. Then you take time to tour the Swamparium facility. This is a very impressive “alive” museum!
To read more about Cypress Gardens go to www.cypressgardens.info or give them a call at 843-553-0515.
Next and not far away at all is the Mepkin Abbey. It was founded in 1949 on the land given by Henry R. Luce and his wife, Clare Boothe Luce. It has become a place to find peace, joy and perspective. You can visit as a casual visitor, or do a self guided tour. They have church and monastery tours twice daily. This tour is wonderful and includes the background history to Mepkin Abbey and you have the opportunity to attend the Midday Prayer service with the Monks. When you visit, do not rush as the beauty is something spectacular. Take time to walk and meditate in the Labyrinth.
For more information visit their website at www.mepkinabbey.org or call for reservations 843-761-8509.
The one other attraction you must enjoy is the Old Santee Canal Park along with the Berkeley Museum and Heritage Center. This is the first canal in the United States and began operating in 1800. From the Revolutionary War until today, this place explodes with history. Wait until you see the Little David semisubmersible (1863). It is the first torpedo-boat of its kind. The steam-powered Little David was the Confederate Navy’s secret weapon that forever changed the nature of naval warfare. There is a large to scale model in the Interpretive Center and a full size model in front of the Old School House and Museum.
For additional information go to www.oldsanteecanalpark.org or call 843-899-5200 for the park and call 843-899-5101 for the Museum and Heritage Park.
All of Berkeley County is packed with exciting things to do. Just plan a couple days and stay in the area. Charleston is about 30-45 minutes away, but the rates are better and the convenience of being in Berkeley County makes a difference.
Enjoy and visit the website for additional travel stories: www.worldtravelbyglenn.com.