Roadtrip: Airborne and Special Operations Museum – Fayetteville, NC

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By Mark A. Leon

Just a few hours away in Fayetteville, North Carolina is the Airborne and Special Operations Museum?and it may be one of the most memorable historic museum experiences in the Carolinas. ?With the design and quality of a museum that would make Washington, D.C. jealous, this tribute to the 82nd Airborne out of nearby Fort Bragg and their impact on World War I through today is an emotional ride that will leave you in awe.

We take tremendous pride in honoring those that have served in the South. ?Their dedication and courageous acts will forever be honored. ?To experience not only their contributions, but to put you in their shoes is a remarkable feat that this museum has achieved. ?From the parking lot to the trenches of France and Vietnam, you are transformed to the places where boys became men and freedom was preserved.

Experience the humanity of war, the visual amazement of the scenes of fear and strategic maneuvers and walk through a recollection of 100 years of protecting and preserving freedom around the world.

This is truly a remarkable place for all ages. ?Did we mention it is free.

Take a visual walk in our steps and see why this must be considered for your next road trip


Commemorate as you enter

Canine Memorial


Paratrooper welcomes you
Main entrance
Medal of Honor database in front lobby

Learn about each campaign
Feel like you were part of the action

War torn France
Amazing artifacts
Visually stunning

Be part of the battles

Life in Vietnam

Life and death situations

Viewing Room

Humanitarian efforts

Experience the heart, humanity and courage of war.

Free in Charleston – Yes, Free in Charleston – 11 Free Things to Do!!!

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

Strapped for cash but still want to explore some Charleston magic.? Sick of walking the streets aimlessly and want to find something new and unique.? Here are eleven ideas to help you schedule your time here in Charleston.


Free Charleston Walking Tour – Tours By Foot – Tours by Foot offers daily free tours focused on Civil War, historic and architectural.? They are the only pure free walking tour in Charleston.? You have to book your tour online.

Free hush puppies from Hyman’s – Most days, on the corner of Market and Meeting, a friendly smile will offer free hush puppies from Hyman’s.? This is a meal in itself and worth a linger in that area.? Some days you may even catch a free music act.

Mace Brown Museum of Natural History – Open weekdays / weekends from 11 AM – 4 PM except for Wednesday.? Located on the College of Charleston campus, this free look at millions of years of history through archeological remains is a treat for children and adults and totally free.

City Gallery at Waterfront Park – This gallery located right on Waterfront Park in front of the Pinapple fountain is open Monday – Friday – 10 AM – 6 PM and Saturday and Sunday – 10 AM – 5 PM.? This is free and offers some amazing exhibits from local and national artists from all walks of life.

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art – Open Monday – Saturday – 11 AM – 4 PM.? Located on Calhoun Street on the College of Charleston campus, this art gallery offers a true unique art experience with exhibits ranging from students to professionals.? This is a free gallery for all.

College of Charleston Koi Pond – Come to this quiet pond and park on the College of Charleston campus.? Bring a lunch or snack and sit by the pond enjoying the turtles and koi fish.? Also, have a picnic or enjoy a refreshing drink under the warm Southern sky.

Karpeles Transcript Museum – Located on Spring Street.? This old Methodist Church is now home of some of the most rare documents in the world.? It is free, but only open Tuesday – Friday – 11 AM – 4 PM.

Citadel Student Parade – If you have not witnessed this amazing free 45 minute event, you have missed out on a true Charleston tradition.? During the school year on Friday’s only at 3:45 PM, students get in full uniform and do formations in the courtyard of the campus.? Make sure you check the schedule on this link.

Charleston Postal Museum – Right inside the historic post office on Broad Street, is a quaint little museum that dates back to the 1800’s.? For any history buff or postal fan, this is a must see.? Read through the guest book and see all the visitors from around the world.

The Best Friend of Charleston – If you love trains and love to learn more about how the locomotion train changed Charleston forever, come by and see the little train that could.? It is free and you will learn a great deal.? Right next to the Visitors Center.

Magnolia Cemetery – Just north of the peninsula is one of the most historic cemeteries in the South.? From Confederate soldiers to founding fathers, this cemetery is haunting and comforting at the same time.




A Week in Charleston…Without Breaking the Bank

Article by Mark A. Leon

Charleston is a rich city that combines the traditional elements of Southern hospitality, historic preservation, fine dining, arts, entertainment and even ghosts.? This is a city with rewards and splendors stretching outside the peninsula and throughout the neighboring communities.? One thing is certain, we have many options to fulfill our interests and curiosities.

With so many rewarding options at our fingertips, sometimes we lose sight of some wonderful things that don’t get the recognition they deserve.? We thought we would take you with us for one week in Charleston and offer up some “not so well known” ideas to enjoy.


East Bay Meeting House Open Mic Poetry – Located at 160 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC, the Monday Open Mic Poetry, hosted by Jim Lundy, is a cultural mix of emotion, insight and creative expression.? The performance begin at 8:00 PM, but if you want to share your talents music or poetry, come at 7:00 PM to sign up for the evening.? The event is free, but we welcome you to have a cocktail, glass of champagne, wine or tea.

Wild Olive Monday and Tuesday Wine Specials – If you have not indulged in one of the finest restaurants in Charleston, you must take a trip to John’s Island on Monday or Tuesday to enjoy a selection of red and white bottled wines for $19.00.? It is a perfect way to start or end your evening.? Wild Olive is open until 10 PM.? Head to the bar area and enjoy great wine and conversation for $19.00 a bottle.? Wild Olive is located at 2867 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, SC.? Make sure you go early to Johns Island so you can see the awe inspiring Angel Oak.


Palmetto Brewery Open Mic and Craft Beer Located at 289 Huger Street, Palmetto Brewery offers an outdoor stage and indoor watering hole for some of the best local craft beer.? On Tuesdays, from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM, locals and visitors showcase their talents while the rest of us enjoy a cold frosty brew.

The Drawing Room Artist Performance and Half Price Wine – Every Tuesday, local artist Fred Jamar will paint right before your eyes while you enjoy half price bottles of wine.? Quite an artistic way to spend a Tuesday in the French Quarter.? If you are still wanting to enjoy the night air, head in the elevator to the Vendue Rooftop Bar.? You can find this at 19 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC.


Improv Comedy at Theater 99Every Wednesday at 8:00 PM for $5.00, you are treated to two Improv comedy shows.? Great local comedy for a laughably cheap price.? Theater 99 is located at 280 Meeting Street.


Free Historic and Civil War Walking Tour There truly is a free walking tour in Charleston.? A free two hour tour with each tour being a different focus.? Did we mention Free (Which means you have to sign up early).? At 9:30 AM, there is a Historic Charleston Tour and at 1:00 PM if you are feeling like more exercise, join the Civil War History Tour.


Mace Brown Museum of Natural HistoryThis one is for kids and adults alike and free of charge.? The College of Charleston is home to one of the most remarkable collections of natural history artifacts from sharks skeletons to a prehistoric bear.? This is a truly educational and fun way to spend a Friday morning or afternoon.? They are only open to 4:00 PM and located at 202 Calhoun Street.? School groups or other public groups that would like to visit the museum should call (Geology Department Office), or email to schedule their visit.

Magnolia CemeteryYou want to feel the spirit of ghosts in Charleston?? Forget the ghost tours.? Head just north of the peninsula and walk through the final resting places of patriots, soldiers and citizens that founded and built this great area.? The cemetery does lock its at 5:00 PM in the winter and 6:00 PM in the spring and summertime and they are located at 70 Cunnington Avenue, Charleston, SC


Walk the Arther J. Ravenel Jr. Bridge / Hit Up the Charleston Farmers MarketStart your Saturday morning right with a beautiful 5 mile walk to both ends of the Arthur J. Ravenel Jr. Bridge / Cooper River Bridge.? Enjoy views of the Charleston Harbor from up above and then head over to Marion Square for the Saturday Farmers market.? Don’t get there too late, many vendors begin to wrap up shortly after 1:00 PM.? Get some fresh fruit or a smoothie or just lie in the park.

Caw Caw Interpretive Center / Wildlife Preserve – What you will see in a two plus hour walk – Hundreds of species of birds, alligators resting on the edge of the water, snakes, swamps, marsh, rice fields and open skies for miles.? All for $2.00 a person and only 15 miles outside the city limits.


Prohibition Swing Dancing / Free LessonsEvery Sunday at 6:00 PM Prohibition offers free swing lessons with open swing beginning at 7:00 PM with the V-Tones.? It is a dance party set in the backdrop of the 1920’s.

?Jazz at the Pier starring the beautiful Starr Acheson –?Every Sunday from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM on the Folly Beach Pier is live jazz music starring local singer Starr Acheson.? Enjoy jazz and the ocean waves as you watch the final hours of the weekend slip away in style.