It’s well known that Charleston, South Carolina is a photographer’s paradise with its world-renown historic downtown, beaches, marshes, and a beautiful waterfront park. In fact, take a look at my Photographing Historic Charleston post to get a glimpse at a few of Charleston’s historic homes and buildings. However, Charleston photography subjects do not end at its riverfront. There are at least 4 great Mt. Pleasant photo spots that photographers should visit as well.
Actually, there are many great photo spots in the Mt. Pleasant area but we will mainly focus on 4 great photo spots for today.
Where is Mt. Pleasant?
Things to Know About Mt. Pleasant
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina was founded in 1680 and later became known for Shem Creek, a shrimping village and as a summer destination for wealthy Charleston residents. Today, Mt. Pleasant is not only home to Shem Creek but also Patriot Point Naval and Maritime Museum, the Ravenel Bridge, Boone Hall, great shopping and dining, and safe neighborhoods.
Interesting fact- Mt. Pleasant has been named as one of the top 50 best cities to live in America. It has a median income of over $100,000 which is more than double the state’s average income. To learn more about Mt. Pleasant visit: Mt. Pleasant.
Now let me get to why you clicked on this post- to see my 4 Great Photo Spots in Mt. Pleasant.
4 Great Photo Spots in Mt. Pleasant
1. Arthur Ravenel Bridge
The Arthur Ravenel Bridge also known as the Cooper River Bridge is first up on list of 4 great photo spots in Mt. Pleasant.
The Ravenel Bridge opened in 2005 to replace the old Cooper River Bridge and connects downtown Charleston to Mt. Pleasant. Upon being built, it became the 3rd largest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere with 2 stunning diamond-shaped towers. Yes, it’s those diamond towers that make it such a great subject to photograph!
In case you are wondering what a cable-stayed bridge is, it is a bridge whose weight is supported by diagonal cables that run to the bridge towers which are built to support the bridge’s weight.
Where to Photograph the Ravenel Bridge
The Ravenel Bridge can be photographed from both sides of the Cooper River but since we are focused on Mt. Pleasant, here are my top 3 locations in Mt. Pleasant that produce the best bridge images.
A. Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park this location is easily reached and offers convenient parking, restrooms, and a 1250-foot-long pier. The only drawback to this location is that the photographic compositions of the bridge are a bit limited since the park is directly beside the bridge.
However, all is not lost as the piling under the bridge photograph well in addition to wide-angle shots of the bridge taken from both the park and the pier. Also, photographs of just the towers using a 70-200mm zoom lens are well worth the visit. I especially like the early morning light for taking photographs of the bridge pilings.
Ravenel Bridge Photo from Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park
Mt. Pleasant Waterfront Park Map
B. East of Highway 17 on Ferry Wharf Rd– The area just east of Highway 17 is without a doubt the best location to photograph night shots of the Ravenel bridge. However, this location is adjacent to the Embassy Suites Hotel so be mindful that parking may not always be allowed if events are underway. As with all privately owned land, access can change quickly. Be respectful at all times to preserve this access for others.
C. Photographs from the Top of the Bridge -The bridge has a 2.5 mile wonderful walking path the entire length of the bridge. However to photograph the bridge towers or cables you only need to walk 1.25 miles to the top of the bridge. Sadly, I do not have any photos from on top of the bridge due to a bum knee and can only show you a generic stock photo from the top of the bridge at this time. I wish you and your knees better luck getting to the top of the bridge!
2. Shem Creek
Shem Creek is in Mt. Pleasant itself and directly off the main thoroughfare; Coleman Blvd. At Shem Creek one will find a collection of very good restaurants, shops, marsh walks, shrimp boats, power boats, and paddle-boards. The Shem Creek area has a long and great history that can be viewed here: About Shem Creek.
For photographers, the area offers a number of nautical and travel subjects as well as marsh landscapes. Popular photographs include shots of the creek from an overpass on Coleman Blvd. The best compositions include the boats and restaurants on both sides of the creek.
Although photography at Shem Creek is good in both the morning and evening hours, sunset is my favorite time to photograph the Creek. After photographing the creek from the above-mentioned overpass, I suggest walking the 2200-foot marsh boardwalk located in the western parking lot. This easy boardwalk passes by beautiful marshes, boats, birds, and more before it ends at a great spot for capturing sunsets.
Photo of Shem Creek
3. Sullivan Island Lighthouse
Sullivan Island Lighthouse also known as Charleston Light is a modern triangle shaped 140 foot tall black and white lighthouse. The Lighthouse was built as a replacement for the old Morris Island Lighthouse which was being destroyed by erosion.
Sullivan Island Lighthouse Location
Sullivan Island Lighthouse Photo Tips
Photos of Sullivan Island Lighthouse
4. Boone Hall Plantation
Boone Hall Plantations and Gardens is one of the top photographic destinations in the greater Charleston area and for good reason. In fact, a photograph of the oak tree-lined road is an iconic landscape photograph from South Carolina.
I am currently writing a post about photography at all of Charleston’s Plantations and Gardens including Boone Hall. So for this post, I will keep it brief with just a mention and a couple of tips. Stay tuned for my complete photo guide to Charleston Plantations and Gardens which includes Boone Hall that is coming out soon.
Boone Hall Photo Tips
Map of Boone Hall
Well I could not stop this post at 4 photo locations so here are a few more options to put on your Mt. Pleasant Photo Destination list.
Other Good Photo Stop around Mt. Pleasant
Ft. Moultrie is located just south of the Sullivan Lighthouse making it an easy stop after photographing the Lighthouse. Although the Fort is not very photogenic, its location by the ocean and bit of good light can provide some interesting Fort images. Unfortunately, I have never been able to catch that perfect light but still believe Ft. Moulrie to be a good photography spot.
3 More Places To Photograph around Mt. Pleasant If You Have The Time.
As always thanks for joining me on another of my Road Trip Friday Photo Travels and I hope you find this information helpful if you happen to visit the Mt. Pleasant area.