This 663-acre park is located on the site where English settlers first landed in 1670, thereby establishing the birthplace of the Carolina colony and the plantation system that eventually spread throughout the American South. The park's infrastructure and pathways were redefined and upgraded, and a visitor center/museum was added with lots of interactive exhibits describing the history of the first permanent English settlement in the Carolinas. A history trail, with the option of listening to a prerecorded audio tour, enables visitors to experience the reality of those first settlers. Interpretive park rangers in 17th-century dress tend heirloom crops such as rice, indigo, and cotton; fire cannons and muskets; and deliver information about the daily life of the era's indentured servants. You can wander through informal English gardens and the Animal Forest, home to species which were native to the area at the time of the original settlement. There's absolutely no flashy theme-park atmosphere here: Just a commitment to archaeology, natural beauty, and the transmission of history.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Very Highly Recommended 2010