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Fun Things to do in Charleston

South Carolina

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city guide

There are many reasons to come to Charleston, South Carolina. From family vacations to weddings, to a little tinkling of Southern Charm. Charleston is a city rich in history, culture, exquisite dining, family friendly attractions, watersports and just a relaxing escape under the sun


Best time to go

Best temperature March to May or from September to November

High season around Easter.

Best deals and few tourists late fall or early winter.


Fun city facts and activities

    Walk Waterfront park

    Go on an art walk
    Factory tour of Charleston tea garden
    Visit Angel oak (1500 year olds)
    Visit the Isles of Palms Beach
    Window shop at the City Market and King street
    Charleston Gateway walk
    Explore Charlestons 8 Iconic Streets to Explore
City facts

Neighborhoods to explore

    Mount Pleasant
    South of Broad
    Sullivan's Island
    Harleston Village
    James Island
    Folly Beach
    West Ashley

Food Specialties

    The city of Charleston is known for a few things: white sandy beaches, endless activities and things to do, a rich cultural history and a culinary scene thats on par with both Paris and NYC. The city is home to a number of James Beard Award-winning and -nominated chefs and restaurants, which means that you have plenty of opportunities to have an amazing meal within the Holy City. No matter what youre cravingfrom fried chicken to pizza to tacos and everything in betweentheres loads of great food to be eaten at the best restaurants in Charleston.

Charleston Offbeat activities

Free or cheap things to do

1. Take a Historical Ghost Tour
2. Take a Walking Food Tour
3. Take a Gullah Geechee Cultural Tour
4. Go Kayaking on Shem Creek
5. Visit the Angel Oak Tree
6. Check Out the Street Art in the North Central Neighborhood
7. Take a Cooking Class at the Culinary Institute of Charleston
8. Visit the Old City Jail
9. Go on a Brewery Tour
10. Visit the Avondale Family Farms

Offbeat activites
Kid friendly

Fun things to do in with kids

Free or cheap things to do

1. The Charleston Museum Wraggborough
Standing as one of the oldest museums in the country, Charleston Museum was first founded in 1773.

2. South Carolina Aquarium Charleston Harbor
Located on the historic Charleston Harbor, this world-class aquarium is close to many other top attractions for kids.

3. Childrens Museum of the Lowcountry Radcliffeborough
Established in 2003, Childrens Museum of the Lowcountry provides youngsters unlimited fun, education experiences.

4. Coastal Expeditions Boat Tour Mt. Pleasant
The Coastal Expeditions has been around since 1992, offering visitors excellent guided adventures into the rich natural habitats surrounding Charleston.

5. North Charleston Fire Museum North Charleston
This renowned collection of antique, professionally restored fire engines is one of the finest in the country.

6. Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum Charleston Harbor
Around since the 1970s, this is a cant-miss attraction for you and your clan.

7. Charleston Farmers Market Marion Square
This lively farmers market is located in the heart of Historic District Downtown in Charleston.

8. Fort Sumter National Monument Sullivans Island
The construction of Fort Sumter began in 1829 and it served as a Confederate garrison during the American Civil War.

9. Dock Street Theater French Quarter Downtown
Considered Americas First Theater, the Dock Street Theater is now home to the Charleston Stage organization.

10. Charleston Riverdogs Westside
The Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park is a top-notch Minor League Baseball stadium and home field of the Charleston RiverDogs baseball team.

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Best Parks

City data and FAQ 

Is Charleston worth going to?
Oh yes. Its a beautiful, clean city with so much history. And its a seaport city with beautiful island beaches. Youve got to go.
Bonnie Knight - Studied at College of Charleston

There are very many towns and cities in the USA that look very much alike. Charleston SC is not one of those and if architecture and history are your thing then its worth an extended visit. Come in the spring or fall when the weather is conducive to foot travel.
Chris Leigh-Jones Lives in Charleston, SC (2013 Present_

Oh, heck yeah! We got everything. Beaches. History. Beaches. Architecture. Beaches. International Arts Scene. Beaches. Gardens, golf and beaches. Shopping. Did I mention beaches? Fishing, crabbing, shrimping on our beaches. I will also hazard a guess and say we have more James-Beard Award-winning restaurants/chefs per square mile than any city of our size. But most people come for the beaches. And the GHOSTS. Dont knock the ghost tours. In fact, we have ghosts stationed as lifeguards on our beaches. Theres all manner of sordid history to explore. In truth, most people come for the garden/house tours in the early spring and fall, which are amazing. If you are coming in the dead of summer, I highly reccomend you rent a beachhouse, if you can afford it. Book everything as well in advance as possible. Its probably the best walking city in the country. Very sophisticated for a smaller, southern city (metro pop: 600,000). Welcome to Charleston!
Robert Pfaff Lives in Charleston, SC

It is indeed. Yet, like other storied cities, Venice comes to mind, Charleston is full of traffic and tourists which obscures the real city. The Real City of Charleston is by turns goofy and charming. For example, on Carolina Day in June, Charlestonians assemble at St Michael's Church to hear a sermon, then retire to Washington Square across Broad Street to join other members of numerous civic groups, the SC Historical Society, the Hibernian Society, Washington Light Infantry, to name only three. Men wear their best seersucker suits, white buck shoes, Panama hats, women wear linen dresses, children in strollers wave Palmetto flags. When the bagpipers tune up, neighbors line up and march to the Battery, that point of land where the Ashley and the Cooper Rivers join to form the Atlantic Ocean. Carolina Day is just one example of civic pride. It's not a reenactment but an affectionate tribute to a singular city and its place in American history.
Suzanne Krebsbach Lives in Charleston, SC

Are two days enough to visit Charleston?
Depends on what you want to see. When out of town guests came for a wedding the gentleman wanted to experience an offshore fishing trip so he chartered a boat and captain. Other guests wanted shopping, rooftop bars, and plantation tours.
Suzanne Krebsbach Lives in Charleston, SC

No 2 days is enough to hit a few highlights but not enough to see everything. You will need to determine what it is that is important for you to see in that time.
Marie Grant Lives in South Carolina (1981 Present)

What is charleston famous for?
Charleston is famous for many things, its architecture, its history, its southern charm. There are many things to see and do in Charleston.
Marie Grant Lives in South Carolina (1981 Present)
Charleston is famous for it incredible history and beauty. Charleston is one of my favorite places to visit, and the very first visit, during a carriage ride through the beautiful surroundings, the stories told and the beauty brought tears to my eyes.
Suzi Karr Lives in WIndermere, FL
Charleston is known for its amazing history, beautiful old buildings, friendly people, delicious food, and exciting cultural events. It has been named the best city in the USA for ten years in a row.
Mysi Murray Lives in Charleston, SC
Various things, but, one thing that is often overlooked that Charleston is famous for is its gates. The gates at different homes is the subject of tours and even books.
Don Morgan Lived in South Carolina

Do you need a car to visit Charleston?
Yes a car is probably easier to get around in depending on what it is you are interested in seeing.
Marie Grant Lives in South Carolina (1981 Present)

Everyone is different and a lot depends on how long you plan to visit and what you want to see. If you are only going to be there for a day sightseeing the history district - then you may not need a car. The longer you stay and the further away from the historic district the more you will need your own transportation (a car, Uber, etc.).
Mark Fox Lives in South Carolina

Downtown Charleston is very walkable. If you want to visit any nearby places, however, like the beach, you do need a car.
Blair Miller

The main part of historic Charleston is great for walking, but everything else is in outlying areas. Mount Pleasant is across a couple miles of bridge. The beaches are farther. Usually you can do all right avoiding rush hours. The airport is a ways out. Id get a rental.
Rabert Wayne Smith - Lived in The United States of America
Charleston is a perfect place to visit by just walking from place to place for me. I far more enjoy experiencing the steps back in time afoot rather than through a car window. Besides spending valuable time searching for a parking space and negotiating often exasperating traffic, a bicycle is an option for alternative routes through this unique, intriguing and astoundingly gorgeous city! Motorized transportation to outlying attractions like Isle of Palms and its beach, the absoluety must see, shabby-sheik Folly Beach and its exceptionably walkable streets and beach, and to Magnolia Plantation's historic grandeur, ambience and gardens is highly recommended and very accessible. I absolutely love walking about stunningly beautiful Charleston, South Carolina!
Mark Johnson - Lives in North Carolina

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