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Marion Square, Charleston

4.3
#22 of 39 in Sightseeing in Charleston
Landmark Tourist Spot
Marion Square is greenspace in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, spanning six and one half acres. The square was established as a parade ground for the state arsenal under construction on the north side of the square. It is best known as the former Citadel Green because The Citadel occupied the arsenal from 1843 until 1922, when the college moved to Charleston's west side. The name was then changed to Marion Square, in honor of Francis Marion.The square is bounded by Calhoun (south), Meeting (east), Tobacco (a pedestrian only right-of-way that lies between the square and properties to the north) and King (west) Streets. The land is what remains from a 10acre parcel conveyed to the colony of South Carolina in 1758. When Joseph Wragg died, his son, John Wragg, received 79 acres along King Street. In 1758, John Wragg sold 8.75 acres to the provincial government for 1,230 pounds for use in the construction of a defensive wall to keep the city safe from Indians and, later, the British. By 1783, there was no longer a need for the defense works, and the 8.75 acres were transferred to the newly created city government. In 1789, the state reacquired a portion of the land along the northern edge to build a tobacco inspection complex. When John Wragg's estate was being administered, an error was discovered; it seems that when the 8.75 acres was acquired by the city, an extra 1.40 acres was also taken over to compensate for the portion of the 8.75 acres which had become used as roads. A petition was submitted to the South Carolina Senate by John Wragg's heirs, and the matter was taken up by a Senate committee in December 1800. The state opted to pay the heirs for the 1.40 acres that had been mistakenly taken beyond the original 8.75 acres; returning the land was impractical since the tobacco complex had already been built by the time the error was discovered.
Marion Square is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our world travel planner, Charleston Edition.
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Where to stay in Charleston

Charleston is serviced by dozens of local hotels and practically every major U.S. chain. Expect to pay top dollar for a room on the downtown peninsula, particularly if you wish to stay in one of the historic hotels. The upside of taking a room there is the proximity of all major attractions--you won't need a car to explore and enjoy your visit. Less expensive options are available in North Charleston, West Ashley, and Mount Pleasant, where you'll find all kinds of inns for the budget-conscious traveler.
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4.5
  • Wandering down King Street we ended up at this little park. Since the Spoleto Festival was going on-there were all sorts of artists set up with tents. My favorite was the colored doors with flowers in...  more »
  • I was here during the Soleto Festival so it probably looked a little different than normal. Fantastic art market during that time though. The paintings and photographs essentially turned the square in...  more »
  • I have cross Marion Square hundreds of times and it never seems the same. Whether its the sun, the clouds, or the people - something is always different. A pleasant break from the hustle and bustle of...  more »
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  • The space is large, open and central to the shopping and dining district. It offers several small monuments and historic notes around the square and hosts the downtown farmers market on Saturday mornings. Street parking May be difficult to find, but a parking garage is available across King St. It's a public park space - don't expect lavish amenities or a bar and you'll be fine. Walk. Look. Appreciate.
  • Perfect place to go and relax right in the middle of the city! It's Charlestons own central park. Spring and summer bring the yearly artist and farmers market every Saturday morning. A great spot for people watching. Corner of King and Calhoun.
  • Hard to find a parking spot nearby, however totally worth the pain. Beautiful park and great place to start strolling the city around. The surrounding houses are stunning.
  • A very nice park in the center of downtown. Very close to the college campus. The biggest issue is that it seems a bit sketch at night.
  • Went on a Saturday around noon and enjoyed watching the breakdancing group that performed at one of the corners. Also enjoyed walking around and seeing the trees and fountains.