Now you may hear this park referred to as Waterfront Park, Battery Park, or just simply the battery. This historic area of town once served as a trading port when Charleston was once a major harbor along the eastern seaboard. It has survived bombardments during the nasty War of Northern Aggression, earthquakes, Hurricane Huge, looming condo development, yet it still stands today and is a favorite spot of locals and tourists alike, especially at sundown.
I arrived just before sunset giving me time to walk through this splendid park. This park and its 8 acres are an oasis for those seeking shelter for the warm tropical climate that can even be found such as this day in late February. The perfectly manicured grounds boats gardens, gazebos, benches to sit a spell, magnificent oaks that make natural canopies that fend off the suns rays and reminders of the unrest during the Civil War. Your see cannons strategically placed facing the battery and a beautiful civil war statue to honor those who gave their life. There are several fountains throughout the park and some are lit up for spectacular effect in the evening. I notice several children splashing around in them and one dog that was enjoying one of the smaller fountains as his own drinking bowl.
And what views from here. The marvelous mansions of Rainbow Row run along here named for their pastel hues. Walk across to the more than 1000 feet of concrete pier that run along that battery. You over look the Cooper River and can lookout at nearby Ft. Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War rang out. You also watch as sailboats float lazily by while you are wishing you were joining them.
This area was saved in 1979 when developers wanted to develop high rise condos. Citizens were outranged and loved their view so the rallied around and raised funds to build this park. Today this park is one of the most popular places in town. As I am walking around and enjoying the sites I spot runners, walkers, joggers, owners being walked by their dogs, children at play, lovers strolling hand and hand, and visitors coming by in horse drawn carriages and trolleys.
After spending about 45 minutes walking and taking pictures, I walk on over to the water front and down Rainbow Row admiring the beautiful homes and the water views. Kids roll by on skateboards and in-line skates. As it comes closer for the sun to set I see more and more people making their way to the battery front. I see several people painting the beautiful skies that are upon on this evening. I see photographers hauling out tripods and oversized cameras to get that perfect shot. Then I spot plenty of amateurs (like me!) with just your standard 35 mm and digital camera in hand ready for their own picture perfect moment. As I make my way to get a better view of the setting sun plenty of people greet me and remark what a day for taking beautiful pictures. I agree. As the sun starts its slow tumble into the nighttime sky the place is packed. The sun seems to vanish into the Cooper River and I am quickly snapping picture after picture. As that last crack of day wanes, people clap and cheer the sun on. In some ways it is reminiscing of Mallory Square in Key West. But this is Charleston, so things are a little more refined.
I stay around a few more minutes and then make my way back to my car and call to try to get some cupcakes from cupcake but I am unsuccessful this night. So like many others I go in search of food leaving plenty of others to enjoy the nighttime beautify of this special place. You can find parking here and plenty of restaurants offering magnificent waterfront views can be found. At least once while here you must stop in and take in a sunset viewing. It is as close to heaven as you can get.