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The 21 Best Things to Do in Charleston

By Allston McCrady

21 Best Things to Do in Charleston Caviar Bars Jazz Brunch and Boutique Shopping

People gravitate to Charleston for many reasons: its buzzing restaurants , eclectic art scene, curb-appeal homes, and proximity to the water—not to mention the rich history and overall southern charm. Those components all combine to make it one of our readers' favorite cities year after year. Here, we've combined them all into our list of the best activities and the top spots to hit the next time you're there—spanning old and new, we've got all the essentials that will ensure you remember your trip to this Lowcountry gem, pay homage to its past, and have plenty of souvenirs to bring home. Whether it's your first visit or your tenth, you'll never run out of new and exciting activities to try in this city—from fine art museums and live music to the meals and hotels not to miss. These are the best things to do in Charleston.

Read our complete Charleston travel guide here .

This gallery has been updated since its original publish date.

All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

Gibbes Museum of Art Arrow

This stately Beaux Arts building in the heart of downtown Charleston houses a permanent art collection spanning four centuries. You can browse the museum shop on the ground floor at no cost (a nice way to duck the weather), or pay to head upstairs for an immersive view of Charleston’s artistic past and present. The Gibbes is not a huge museum: you could walk through it in under an hour, but it’s better to linger, to savor your favorites, and to read the insightful commentary. Not all paintings are Charleston-centric in subject matter, but as a whole they tell a Charleston story: a pastel portrait dated 1711 created by America’s first known female artist; aristocratic oils depicting Colonial residents in silk and lace finery; ornate silver monogrammed teapots hammered with palmetto imagery for a wealthy Antebellum patron; glazed stoneware hand-signed by its enslaved maker. There are watercolors and etchings from Charleston’s 1920s and 1930s artistic “renaissance,” sweetgrass pieces fashioned by Gullah weavers, and the vivid and surreal paintings of celebrated local artist Jonathan Green. 

popular places to visit in charleston sc

Bluegrass Brunch at High Cotton Arrow

Brunch at High Cotton restaurant is a hot ticket—reservations recommended, unless you manage to beat the church crowd and stampede there early. It’s a convivial place divided into four separate dining areas: a cozy, darkly paneled bar where the bluegrass players set up, a rear “French Quarter” room opening to a patio, the more formal “East Bay Room” (the quietest seating, musically), and the grand, sunny main dining room surrounded by street-facing windows. The food is a smorgasbord of southern flavor—fittingly, as brunch is should be an indulgent ritual–and highlights include crispy fried oysters, buttermilk fried chicken over Belgian waffles, and the like. Meat lovers go for steak & eggs (twin filet mignon) or the burger with sunny-side-up egg and béarnaise. Bring your family (cinnamon rolls and beignets for kids). Bring your friends. Tap your toes to the upright bass, and feel your mood lift.

Charleston Beauty Image CityScape

Self-Guided Walking Tour Arrow

Sure, you could hop on a horse carriage , or into a pedicab, or join an official walking tour, all excellent ways to explore the city. But sometimes you want to explore at will, without a historical lecture in your ear, and the best way to do that is on foot. This is a walking tour that clocks in at just under two miles in length, and it's a must-do for anyone visiting Charleston. Start at Waterfront Park , whose pier juts out into the harbor, to scope out the original Colonial city wall, then make your way to the East Bay, where you might just catch a regatta in progress. Ogle over the live oaks at White Point Gardens, and walk south to north on Legare (pronounced Lah-GREE) for the best vantage points of what are arguably Charleston's most beautiful homes—and stop at 14 Legare, the "Pineapple Gates House" for pics. End at Goat.Sheep.Cow , where you can have them arrange a picnic spread that you can take to nearby Washington Square, and feast on expertly curated cheese under the shade of a live oak tree.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

Center for Birds of Prey Arrow

Up the coastal highway sits an extraordinary sanctuary for birds of prey, a non-profit that takes in injured eagles, falcons, owls, hawks, pelicans, etc., treats and releases them. Clearly the staff and volunteers have hearts of gold and perform an essential service, but luckily for the public, it’s also a captivating place to visit. Eighteen miles northeast of Charleston, you pull off at the giant metal bird sign, where a winding dirt road leads you back, deep into the maritime forest, to the preserve. You learn about threats to different avian species worldwide, about breeding and reintroduction programs, about migratory instincts and built-in sonar and other trivia. Meanwhile, wild red-tailed hawks and bald eagles pass high overhead. Education Director Stephen Schabel says that his record for bald eagle sightings in a single day was forty!—and that if he doesn’t spot at least eight, he’s doing something wrong.

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Two Sisters Tours Arrow

These two sisters, whose family has been in Charleston for seven generations, know the city better than almost anyone. Mary Helen Dantzler and Therese Smythe retired from careers as lawyers, then followed in their mother’s footsteps (a venerable tour guide herself). If you book a tour, you’ll get one sister or the other. They don’t work in tandem. They tried that once, but you know how sibling dynamics go. So they work solo. You can join a group tour for $25 per person by signing up on their website, or call to arrange a private tour for a higher fee. We gathered in Washington Square for roughly a two-hour walk through the cobblestone streets and hidden alleys of Charleston. For a balanced, local’s introduction to Charleston, from grand houses to former slave quarters, this is it.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

The Caviar Bar at Zero George Arrow

Boutique hotel Zero George is known for the epicurean wizardry of its executive chef, Vinson Petrillo. But while many come for the tasting menu at the hotel’s ground floor restaurant, The Caviar Bar is something separate and exclusive. By reservation only, you’ll walk through wrought-iron gates into the garden courtyard, up the steps of the beautifully restored 1804 house, to an open piazza, where you are led to your marble-topped table. Flickering votives, ornate banisters, birdsong, palm trees and maples, all set the scene, while soft jazz crooners set the mood. This is an impress-your-mate, impress-your-date spot for sure: cozy, posh, romantic, refined. With only two seatings per evening, you share the veranda with a handful of other well-dressed couples, some of them guests of the hotel, maybe even the devoted local couple who comes weekly. It’s not really intended for the pre-theater crowd (even though the Gaillard Auditorium is a block away) because you really shouldn’t rush the experience to make a show on-time

High Wire Distilling Distillery Charleston

High Wire Distilling Arrow

High Wire, Charleston's first distillery since prohibition, has been drawing people in with its distinctive spirits and  cypress-paneled tasting room, and a tour is a fantastic way to take in everything it has to offer. Each tour is limited to 16 people, and they fill frequently. You’ll get a close look at a succession of custom mills and gleaming tanks, including a giant copper pot still with a Jules Verne-style window. You’ll learn the science behind milling, mashing, heating, agitating, fermenting, and distilling—the almost magical process that turns liquid to vapor and then into liquid again. For the grand finale, you get to sample the artisanal hooch in the tasting room, either as flights or in cocktails designed for you to replicate easily back home. For a full tour of the distillery floor, reservations are highly recommended. Pro tip: walk-ins can opt for an abbreviated tour from the comfort of their bar stool.

Hotel Bennett Charleston

Afternoon Tea at Hotel Bennett Arrow

This is a grand hotel, so naturally there are multiple restaurant concepts onsite for fresh variety. La Pâtisserie is a sunny and gorgeous space for morning coffee, tea, smoothies, and pastries by French Pastry Chef Rémy Fünfrock, plus daily artisanal sandwiches and desserts galore (try the strawberry sponge cake). Rooftop lounge Fiat Lux is great for afternoon and evening cocktails (both spirited and non) plus charcuterie boards, elevated nibbles, and some pretty amazing rosemary duck fat fries. Perhaps the most over-the-top experience is Hotel Bennett’s weekend Afternoon Tea (by reservation), a fantastic ritual that unfolds in the ground floor oval Camellias Bar, named so because you are literally surrounded by glittering wallpapered accents of giant camellias. A jacketed server pours flights of sparkling rosé at the flower-studded bar, then walks across softly-hued pink marble to deliver towers of savory canapés to each table, followed by another tower of sweets prepared by the aforementioned French pastry chef—all washed down with your choice of a wide selection of leaf teas and herbal infusions. Plus the bar moonlights as a swanky destination for champagne, oysters, and caviar.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

Cypress Gardens Arrow

Those of you who remember the romantic rowing scene from The Notebook , or the haunting swamp hideout for Revolutionary hero Francis Marion in Mel Gibson’s The Patriot , have already previewed this singular locale. Hollywood location scouts choose Cypress Gardens for its wildly picturesque blackwater swamp, but also for its well-managed accessibility. For $5, you can let a local guide do the paddling for you as he points out wildlife and historical trivia in a wonderfully thick southern accent. Or you can opt to paddle yourself; just follow the little white arrows that suggest a route around the vast bog. Don’t worry if your boat bounces off a cypress tree or two (it’s hard to steer clear of them all). Duck as you pass under two walking bridges, and keep your eyes out for seasonal birds, alligators, and turtles who have crawled out to sun themselves. Before or after you boat, you should walk at least part of the 3.5-miles of trails encircling the water. It’s beautiful any time of year—each month features different fascinations: camellia blooms and bald eagles in winter, azaleas and wild violets in spring, lily pads and booming frog choruses and droning cicadas in summer, rust-colored foliage and screech owls in fall, plus the egrets and otters.

Charleston Museum

The Charleston Museum Arrow

As museums go, there’s nothing stuffy or old-school about this one, even though it just celebrated its 250th year of existence. The formidable modern structure houses relics from Charleston’s past, and weaves a story from the 18th century to the present. Visitors wander through history, both cultural and natural, listening to recordings by locals. It’s a great place to ground yourself, and to catch your breath in the museum’s restful inner courtyard.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

Ibu Movement Arrow

Like magic, a small street-front doorway and single staircase serve as a portal to 50 different countries. Textiles from 50 countries, that is, but you feel transported. The one-of-a-kind, second-floor boutique was born of founder Susan Hull Walker’s passion for craftsmanship (she weaves), for travel, and a mission to empower female artisans around the world. Ibu is an Indonesian-Malay term honoring women. So when you buy the thing you never knew you needed and suddenly can’t live without, you are not only giving a deferential bow to its maker, you're also doing a small part to help disrupt poverty and fund financial independence for a global sister.

Charleston Sullivan's Beach

Sullivan's Island Beach Arrow

Located at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor, the beaches on this island are ones that have been loved for generations, as is evidenced by some of the gingerbread cottages in the historic part of town. But what makes these beaches special, compared to Charleston's other beaches , is their wide expanse of sand, peaceful waves (because of sandbars), and natural paths through vegetation that not only make you feel as if you're stepping back in time, but protect the shoreline during storms and build a sense of anticipation for that first glimpse of blue water.

The Citrus Club Charleston

Citrus Club Arrow

Citrus Club serves well-curated small plates and fanciful cocktails to adults only (21-and-up). You don’t have to be a guest of the club's home at The Dewberry Hotel to access the it, but you will need to check in with the concierge by the elevator to receive a temporary keycard granting you access to the sky. The 8th floor elevator door spills you into a pristine white lobby hung with local artist Douglas Balentine’s charcoal beach figures. A host leads you to your table. While the indoor space and velvet bar stools are terrifically chic, the outdoor terrace is Citrus Club’s calling card. Guests tuck into posh little nooks separated by potted olive trees, lemons, limes, and a smattering of palms. Uninterrupted breezes travel from prevailing corners of a 360-degree view. You can see clear from river to river with a piña colada in hand.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort Charleston

Kiawah Island Golf Resort Arrow

Kiawah Island bills itself as a “stone’s throw” from historic Charleston, S.C. and if so, we'd like to meet the person who can throw that stone. Realistically, the 21-mile drive takes about 45 minutes. The leisurely drive through a tunnel of oaks takes you onto the barrier island which, although close to the mainland, feels worlds away. On your agenda: self-pampering, resort fine dining, tennis, kayaking, and world-class golf. If that sounds about right, Kiawah is well worth a day’s excursion or overnight; The Sanctuary is the only Forbes 5-Star and AAA 5-Diamond hotel in the state.

Robert Lange Studios Gallery Charleston

Robert Lange Studios Arrow

On a typical daytime visit, this gallery and working artist studio feels terrifically spacious and calm, with indie acoustics on the playlist and paintings covering contemporary subjects are on the walls. One dynamic exception occurs on the first Friday of each month, when lots of area galleries (see King Street for more) stay open into the evening, offering up drinks and hors d’oeuvres for what Charlestonians call the “Art Walk." On that night, RLS is elbow-to-elbow indeed, with easily a thousand people passing through to sip wine and discuss paintings, or to play with the interactive “stack your own rocks” table upstairs.

Preservation Society of Charleston

Preservation Society of Charleston Arrow

If you seek an authentic Charleston keepsake, this store off King Street has you covered. Think of it as a souvenir shop with taste and soul. Every item they source is locally made, with the exception of books that may have been published elsewhere, and pecans from a farm two hours north. The independent boutique was founded by and is still run by one of Charleston’s prominent preservation groups, thus the name. After your initial walk-through, head to the back room for comfy couches, old wood floors and tapestry rugs, a gaggle of great books to peruse, and air-conditioning! 

Charleston King Street

King Street Arrow

Although more chain stores have moved into this multi-block shopping stretch in the last few years, it's still a walker's paradise. If you love to avoid looking like "everyone else," then get fully outfitted at Hampden Clothing, Worthwhile or Ibu Movement , then accessorize with a blingy bauble (heirloom, preferably) from Croghan's Jewel Box or Joint Venture Estate Jewelers. Scent thyself with high-end spritzes from Cos Bar or Blue Mercury, shop for silver and the coffee table or curio to display it at George C. Birlant or the other antique shops, then accessorize your home with a piece of artwork from a variety of galleries, ranging from Hagan Fine Art to classics from the Audubon Gallery.

Mrs Whaley's Garden Charleston

Mrs. Whaley's Garden Arrow

Unlike Charleston's historic homes, the city's private gardens are rarely open to the public, with throngs of visitors buying tickets for bi-annual house and garden festivals and tours. But here’s a secret: Emily Whaley’s garden at 58 Church Street stays open year-round, on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons. And it's just the way Mrs. Whaley would've wanted it. In 1997, the feisty octogenarian known as “Cheeka” to friends and family wrote a book of musings, opinions, gardening thoughts, and memories, all woven together into a conversational memoir titled Mrs. Whaley and Her Charleston Garden . The book made the New York Times bestseller list, and 20 years on, the author's private oasis is still attracting visitors. Slip your $10 through the front door mail slot, then swing open the gate and walk back: you'll feel the breeze rustle through shade plants, see the bumblebees nudge climbing roses, and the acanthus sending up spiky purple blooms.

Coastal Expeditions Charleston

Coastal Expeditions Arrow

Greater Charleston is both surrounded by and interlaced with saltwater marshes, and kayaking is a great way to appreciate that. You can either rent kayaks (singles or doubles) or standup paddle boards to venture solo (with tips on where to go), or book guided tours of varying lengths with Coastal Expeditions. It is quite common to see surfacing dolphins feeding in pairs and groups, with the occasional summer manatee making an appearance.

Bike Taxi Charleston South Carolina

Charleston Bike Taxi Arrow

Why Uber when you can take a bike taxi? They're an open-air way of being chauffeured from Point A to Point B, with unobstructed views of the city. We can all agree that fewer cars on the road are a good thing. Less noise, less pollution, quieter streets. Ten years ago, there weren’t that many pedicabs in Charleston. Now there are three companies. We like this one because of its professionalism, polish, promptness, and easy-to-spot telltale yellow cabs. You can flag one down, or call to be picked up.

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In the Kitchen with Chef Bob Waggoner Arrow

This is as much dinner party as it is cooking class, visible to the street by a large surround of glass. Chef Waggoner hands you a glass of brut rosé Champagne, and there’s a bit of small talk, but then you get right to it, following his rapid-fire directives. You hone knife skills, learn to “blanche and shock,” to cut on the bias, to score fish and get a proper sear and finish it off in the oven, to caramelize and deglaze, to reduce and emulsify. There’s no published schedule for what you’ll be cooking on any given night. It’s up to the chef, and what looks best at the market that particular day. When we were there that included vermillion snapper on a bed of fennel, shallots, asparagus, green peas, and flat parsley, sautéed in a saffron-orange-butter-white-wine reduction, garnished with sunflower sprouts. Multiple wine pairings are included in the evening’s flat price. 

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19 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Charleston, SC

Written by Becca Blond and Barbara Radcliffe Rogers Updated Dec 28, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

There is something about Charleston's charm that never gets old and keeps travelers returning year after year. With its walkable downtown, a legacy dating back to the 1700s, and easy-on-the-eyes architecture, this Southern port city is like no other place in America.

Street scene in Charleston

The Holy City is the kind of place where old and new intersect. You can spend a morning learning about the city's complicated history on a horse-drawn carriage ride and an evening staying very much in the present with a meal at one of its buzzy, innovative restaurants showcasing the best of Lowcountry cuisine. You'll find endless things to do here.

Make sure to pack some good walking shoes to see the attractions, because you'll want to explore as much of Charleston as possible on foot. Take a walk down centuries-old cobblestone streets in the historic district with its church towers and veranda-fronted homes. Stop to peek into Spanish moss-covered gardens in the alleys behind the graceful old mansions lining its waterfront around The Battery.

Or head to one of the many barrier islands just offshore to walk in the sand and play in the sea.

The city is also home to the oldest landscaped gardens in the U.S. and a few excellent museums. Check out our guide to learn more about Charleston's top attractions.

1. Middleton Place

2. waterfront park, 3. international african american museum, 4. magnolia plantation & gardens, 5. watch basket weavers at the old city market, 6. take a boat to fort sumter national monument, 7. uss yorktown and patriots point, 8. stroll through the battery and white point gardens, 9. see angel oak and johns island, 10. south carolina aquarium, 11. bike across the ravenel bridge, 12. boone hall plantation, 13. the charleston museum, 14. drayton hall, 15. old slave mart museum, 16. nathaniel russell house and aiken-rhett house, 17. cathedral of st. john the baptist and historic churches, 18. calhoun mansion, 19. tour historic homes at the festival of houses and gardens, where to stay in charleston for sightseeing, map of attractions & things to do in charleston, sc, charleston - climate chart.

Middleton Place Plantation

Home to America's oldest landscaped gardens, Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark that began in 1675 as a rice plantation. Once the home of the Middleton family, whose lineage included two of the country's Founding Fathers, today it is a living history museum.

It tells its complicated, often dark story, which included the generations of enslaved labor, in a truthful manner. The Beyond the Fields: Enslavement at Middleton Place documentary is shown three times daily and recognizes the stories of "brutality, survival, contribution, and perseverance" of the people enslaved here.

Visitors can also tour the 1755 Middleton family home , where you'll see large garden rooms, rare books, porcelain, and family portraits. As well as paying a visit to the Stableyards, where you'll meet the heritage breed livestock.

The gardens are the real treat, however. Covering some 65 acres, they feature a magnificent series of descending terraces, hedged galleries, and pools, the grounds show off their symmetrical 17th-century European design. The gardens bloom year-round with rare camellias in the winter and azaleas in the spring. Walking tours of the gardens are included with admission and offered daily at the top of the hour between 10am and 3pm.

Look for Middleton Place on the Ashley River, about 15 miles north of downtown Charleston.

Official site: https://www.middletonplace.org

Waterfront Park

A place where tourists and locals gather to relax and enjoy the views of Charleston Harbor, the 12-acre Waterfront Park stretches along more than 1,000 feet of waterfront. Old-fashioned park benches and double swings face the water, where sailboats and larger ships are common sights.

Fountains, including the unusual Pineapple Fountain , are lighted at night, and seasonal flower gardens add splashes of color. The park's central location near the City Market and historic sights, along with its free Wi-Fi, make it even more popular.

Address: 1 Vendue, Charleston, South Carolina

International African American Museum

After 20-years of planning and $100 million in costs, the International African American Museum (IAAM) opened in Gadsen's Wharf and brings Charleston's role in the slave trade to the forefront.

The museum's location is significant because Gadsen's Wharf was the U.S. entry point for more than 40 percent of captive Africans sold into slavery at auctions here beginning in 1783. In fact, it is believed that more than 80 percent of African Americans, including Michelle Obama, can trace one or more ancestors back to Charleston.

The museum's mission is to document the journey captive Africans were forced to take from the 1700s onward. The exhibitions in the nine galleries tell the unvarnished story of the brutality these enslaved people, and their descendants, endured from a local, national, and international perspective. It also has a Center for Family History that will serve as a first-of-its-kind resource for the study and advancement of African American genealogy.

The International African American Museum's site choice and building financial investment is one of several ways Charleston is owning up to the role it played in enslaving humans after years of downplaying it. The first came in 2015 when the Confederate flag was finally removed from the South Carolina State House. The city council also formally apologized for Charleston's role in slavery in 2018.

Official site: https://iaamuseum.org/

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

It's not just garden lovers who will be enchanted by the year-round beauty of Magnolia Plantation's extensive gardens. These are America's oldest publicly accessed gardens, first opened to visitors in 1870, although portions of them date to two centuries earlier. They are also the nation's last large-scale Romantic-style garden, in contrast to most show gardens where nature is controlled and shaped by formal beds, paths, and landscaping.

Nurtured by generation after generation of the same family, the gardens have grown as each subsequent owner added new features. You can take a guided tour of the house, visit an Antebellum cabin, take a boat tour, see exhibits, and take younger visitors to a nature center and petting zoo.

Address: 3550 Ashley River Road, Charleston, South Carolina

Official site: www.magnoliaplantation.com

Old City Market in Charleston

One of the most popular things to do in Charleston is to browse through the old market building, a prominent landmark in the historic district. Lively and colorful, it is a good place for souvenir shopping and just absorbing the local atmosphere.

Vendors sell locally made handcrafts and traditional food products like stone-ground grits, but the prime souvenirs of Charleston are the beautiful sweetgrass baskets. As tourists watch fascinated, Gullah artisans in the open-air "sheds" alongside the market hall weave these intricate works of art from native Lowcountry rushes, creating treasures that are among the country's oldest and most highly prized traditional crafts. The techniques and patterns originated in West Africa, and these baskets are the quintessential souvenir of Charleston.

Built in 1841 in the Greek Revival style, the red sandstone building with green ironwork trim, along with its sheds, are among the more than 100 sites in the city listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Location: Between North and South Market streets

Official site: https://www.thecharlestoncitymarket.com

Fort Sumter National Monument

The American Civil War began on April 12, 1861, at Fort Sumter, when the Confederacy pummeled the federal fort in Charleston Harbor. At the end of the war, the American flag was once again raised over the remains of Fort Sumpter, exactly four years after the attack.

The ruins of the battered fort are well preserved, and National Park Rangers tell the story of Fort Sumter and how it helped shape history.

Visitors must ride to the island by boat, from the Visitor Education Center downtown at Liberty Square or from Patriots Point, a good chance to view the city from the water.

Official site: www.nps.gov/fosu/index.htm

USS Yorktown and Patriots Point

Just across Charleston Harbor from the Historic District is Patriots Point, where you can board the USS Yorktown . This immense vessel was the tenth aircraft carrier to serve in the United States Navy, receiving the Presidential Unit Citation and earning 11 battle stars for service in World War II, as well as five battle stars for service in Vietnam.

The USS Yorktown was also the vessel selected to recover the Apollo 8 astronauts, and even made a film debut in the 1944 documentary The Fighting Lady. The USS Yorktown was retired to Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in 1975. While at Patriots Point, you can also tour aircraft, submarines, and other maritime exhibits.

Address: 40 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Official site: www.patriotspoint.org

The Battery and White Point Gardens

The promenade along the seawall washed by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, as they meet and form Charleston Harbor, became a public garden in 1837 but was fortified as Battery Ramsey when the Civil War began.

Historic mortars and cannons from that war, as well as a Confederate monument, are displayed here, but the main reason the park is a favorite place for tourists to stroll is that it is bordered by some of Charleston's grandest stately homes and mansions, and offers a spectacular view of Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor.

Address: Murray Blvd, Charleston, South Carolina

Angel Oak

Paying a visit to Angel Oak on Johns Island is well worth the pretty 20-minute drive from downtown. This magical tree is thought to be one of the oldest living oak trees east of the Mississippi. It is 65 feet tall, 25.5 feet wide, and provides shade to more than 17,2000 square feet.

The tree is thought to be between 300 and 400 years old . It is preserved by the city as a historical site and sees about 400,000 visitors each year.

There is more than just Angel Oak to see on Johns Island. The largest island in South Carolina , it has an undeveloped, still wild vibe throughout. The island is home to numerous live oak trees and draped in Spanish moss that will have you stopping to take pictures at every turn.

If the season is right, rent a kayak, SUP, or charter a small fishing boat to explore the salt marshes and rivers here. It's a wonderfully relaxing way to spend a morning or afternoon and birdwatchers will rejoice at the number of species that can be spotted.

Johns Island is also a jumping-off point on the way to two of the region's most popular barrier island beaches on Kiawah and Folly Islands.

Folly Beach can get very crowded on hot summer days, and parking can be difficult, but the beach is one of the best around. Drive away from the central part of the beach on E. Arctic Ave., however, and you'll find fewer people and better parking.

Kiawah Island also has beautiful beaches and excellent golf.

South Carolina Aquarium

One of the most popular things to do for families in Charleston is the South Carolina Aquarium. Despite its name, it isn't just home to underwater creatures. Birds, land-dwelling mammals, plants, and reptiles join the sea inhabitants in every kid's favorite Charleston attraction.

The emphasis is on participation, so in addition to the two-story, 385,000-gallon aquarium tank, where there are daily interactive shows, you'll find Shark Shallows, where you can touch sharks and rays, and a touch tank with starfish and other creatures.

To get a feel for the behind-the-scenes animal care, visitors can tour the aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital - South Carolina's only hospital for sick and injured sea turtles. The aquarium's best-loved resident is Caretta, a 220-pound loggerhead sea turtle that lives in the Great Ocean Tank.

Official site: http://scaquarium.org

Ravenel Bridge

The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge across the Cooper River, joining downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant, became a well-loved landmark immediately upon its completion in 2005. Its sleek cable-stay design is more than just a pretty bridge: it is built to withstand winds in excess of 300 miles per hour and a 7.4-scale earthquake, and even to prevent collisions with ships.

Along with its multiple traffic lanes, the bridge includes a shared bicycle-pedestrian path named Wonders' Way, and walking or biking across it is a favorite activity for its sweeping views of Charleston.

Author Becca Blond at Boone Hall

One of America's oldest working plantations, the 1681 Boone Hall is best known for its moss-draped, three-quarter-mile Avenue of Oaks and for preserving original cabins of enslaved people. The highly photogenic trees that frame the approach to Boone Hall were planted in 1743 by the son of Major John Boone, the original owner.

Boone Hall Plantation

Crops have been continuously grown here for more than three centuries, and you can buy fruits, berries, and vegetables at their Boone Hall Farms Market, close to the plantation on Hwy. 17.

Address: 1235 Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

Official site: www.boonehallplantation.com/

Entrance to the Charleston Museum

Known as "America's First Museum," The Charleston Museum was founded in 1773 under the Charleston Library Society. Its collections are vast, arranged in a number of permanent exhibits that begin with Native Americans and early settlers in the Lowcountry History Hall , where you can see rare slave badges and early tools used in rice growing.

Exhibit areas illustrate early weaponry, life during the Revolution, and Charleston's role in the Civil War. The Early Days gallery displays the often-quirky collections of 19th-century world travelers, including an Egyptian mummy and case and Greek and Roman antiquities.

The Loeblein Gallery of Charleston Silver shows southern-made silver through the Victorian era (including George Washington's christening cup), and the Historic Textiles Gallery shows changing examples from the museum's outstanding collection of historic needlework, costumes, and textiles. Kidstory brings the history of Charleston and the Lowcountry to life in hands-on exhibits.

Address: 360 Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina

Official site: www.charlestonmuseum.org

Drayton Hall

The elegant Drayton Hall is the oldest unrestored plantation house in America still open to the public. Similar to other local plantations, Drayton Hall offers guided house tours, but where it differs is that the house itself (its walls, floors, and fireplaces) remains virtually undisturbed, giving a rare glimpse into the past.

Dating from 1738, Drayton Hall Plantation was one of the few to survive the Civil War intact. Its interiors still feature ornamental details and original 18th-century craftsmanship. Other personal touches also remain, including as a children's growth chart dating back more than 300 years.

Drayton Hall also acknowledges the role it played in the larger history of the American South, including its abuse of enslaved people. The plantation's African-American cemetery, dating from about 1790, is among the oldest African-American cemeteries in the nation still in use.

Many travelers chose to combine a visit to Drayton Hall and Middleton Place . And you can purchase a joint entry ticket on Drayton Hall's website.

Official site: http://www.draytonhall.org

Old Slave Mart Museum

In the heart of the French Quarter, near the French Huguenot Church, the Old Slave Mart Museum is set inside the building where enslaved people were auctioned prior to the Civil War and is a somber, but important part of a Charleston trip focusing on history.

The tour is self-guided, with signage explaining the history. There are also personal accounts from enslaved individuals, artifacts, and audio and visual exhibits. It is a small but deeply affecting museum that gives a sobering view of history.

A block away is the Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon , where costumed guides relate a history of pirates and patriots who were once imprisoned here.

Address: 6 Chalmers Street, Charleston, South Carolina

Official site: http://www.oldslavemartmuseum.com

Nathaniel Russell House and Aiken-Rhett House

After walking past so many aristocratic mansions with their verandahs and imposing facades, you'll certainly be curious to look inside. A number are open as house museums, some furnished and decorated as they were in their heyday, and all giving a glimpse of upper-crust life in old Charleston.

Two of these are maintained by the Historic Charleston Foundation. The 1808 Nathaniel Russell House , at 51 Meeting Street, is among America's most important Neoclassical homes, known for its free-standing, three-story staircase and its ornate plasterwork. It is furnished with part of the organization's valuable collection of fine and decorative art, and is also especially known for its beautiful gardens.

Another notable Foundation property is the Aiken-Rhett House , at 48 Elizabeth Street. The 1820 home is unique in having remained in the same family for 142 years until it became a museum.

Official site: https://www.historiccharleston.org

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and Historic Churches

Remarkable historic churches are scattered throughout Charleston, and each has a story to tell. Among the city's most interesting is the brownstone Cathedral of St. John the Baptist , a neo-Gothic structure built to replace the previous cathedral, which was lost in the devastating 1861 fire that destroyed much of the city. The pews are carved from Flemish oak, and the three original altars are made of white marble. It has some notable stained glass windows as well.

Among Charleston's other interesting churches are the Romanesque-style Circular Congregational Church , with colonial burial grounds dating from 1695, and the French Huguenot Church , home to the oldest continuously active Huguenot congregation in the United States.

St. Michael's Episcopal Church , a National Historic Landmark, dates to 1751 and is known for its four stained glass windows by Tiffany Company of New York and for the cedar pew where George Washington sat in 1791.

Address: 120 Broad Street, Charleston, South Carolina

Official site: https://charlestoncathedral.com

Calhoun Mansion

Representing a different era from the Historic Charleston Foundation's antebellum homes, the 1876 Italianate Calhoun Mansion is a prime example of Gilded Age décor and taste. Some of its 30 main rooms have Tiffany decorations, and they are filled (some might say overfilled, but that was the taste of the times) with outstanding collections of decorative arts of the late 19th-century era.

The ballroom has a 45-foot-high ceiling, and behind the mansion, you can stroll through the formal English gardens.

Address: 16 Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina

Official site: www.calhounmansion.net/

Historic homes on The Battery in Charleston

Organized by the Historic Charleston Foundation, the Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens features tours and educational programs specifically geared toward architectural and gardening enthusiasts.

Held during the peak of the blooming season, the Festival offers guests the rare chance to see inside the city's private homes and gardens. Approximately 150 of America's most distinctive historic houses, spread throughout 12 colonial and antebellum neighborhoods, are open to tour.

Official site: www.historiccharleston.org/Events/Annual-Festival-of-Houses-and-Gardens.aspx

The main attractions in Charleston are clustered around the Historic District, and staying in this area of downtown will allow you to experience the best of the city. History buffs will want to base themselves in the heart of the Historic District; families may choose to stay to the northeast, closer to the aquarium; and budget seekers will find themselves five to seven miles out, and across the river to the west. The free DASH trolley operates three routes in the downtown area. Below are some highly rated hotels in convenient locations:

Luxury Hotels:

  • The elegant French Quarter Inn offers exemplary service, luxurious accommodations and amenities, and is located in the center of the Historic District, just steps from the Charleston City Market.
  • A five-minute walk from the beautiful Waterfront Park, The Spectator Hotel is a stylish new boutique hotel that assigns a butler to each guest.
  • A luxury option, perfect for those who prefer to have full kitchen amenities, is The Restoration . This newly reopened property is on trendy King Street, Charleston's premier shopping area.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • Close to the South Carolina Museum, the boutique Indigo Inn features 41 rooms in an 1850s-era restored warehouse.
  • The new Hyatt House Charleston is a large hotel in the Upper King District, about a 15-minute walk from the heart of the Historic District and about a mile from the South Carolina Aquarium.

Budget Hotels:

  • The Comfort Suites West of the Ashley is on Highway 17, five miles out from downtown. This hotel has large modern rooms at an attractive price.
  • In the same area and offering a large outdoor pool, the Holiday Inn Express is a good option for families.
  • A few miles closer to downtown is the newly renovated Sleep Inn , with cozy rooms and an outdoor pool.

Charleston Map - Tourist Attractions

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The 28 Best Things To Do In Charleston, South Carolina

Good times and good eats abound in this beloved South Carolina city.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

  • Restaurants
  • Get Outside

Given that Southern Living readers have named it The South’s Best City several times, Charleston, South Carolina, requires no introduction or persuasive arguments in its favor: The booming food scene, colorful historic homes, and waterfront views make the case for themselves. It’s easy to fill a long weekend itinerary here, and given that it’s nearly impossible to tackle everything on your “to eat” list in just a few days, the Holy City is a place you’ll want to plan a return trip or two . Here are our favorite restaurants, bars, shops , and experiences, from lauded, well-known picks to those that fly a bit further under the radar.

Check Some Restaurants Off Your Bucket List

Savor fresh shrimp at bowens island restaurant.

When it comes to dinner with a view, one place stands out as the finest (but still no-frills) place to eat local shrimp, and that's Bowens Island—a nearly 80-year-old family-owned restaurant perched in a few ramshackle structures on the river. Order a fried shrimp platter with hushpuppies and slaw, or go for the Frogmore Stew (for the uninitiated, that's a shrimp boil), a drool-worthy combination of boiled shrimp, potatoes, corn, and sausage.

bowensisland.com , 870 Bowens Island Rd, Charleston, SC 29412

Settle In for Soul Food at Bertha’s Kitchen

The bright purple awning and teal blue facade of this James Beard Award winner (2017 America’s Classic) may be the first things that catch your eye, but it’s the red rice, chicken necks, and okra soup that’ll make it worth your while to join the line of hungry patrons that snakes from the counter register around the restaurant’s perimeter. 

facebook.com , 2332 Meeting Street Rd, Charleston, SC 29405

Try FIG’s Famous Tomato Tarte Tatin

Tourists may be quick to complain about summertime’s soupy humidity and mosquitoes, but locals know that the season’s arrival brings at least one welcome visitor: Chef Mike Lata’s Tomato Tarte Tatin. The dish, crowned with garlic confit and served alongside whipped goat cheese, typically appears on the menu in June and lingers until September or October—in other words, only when the local tomatoes are at their best. But even if your trip doesn’t fall in line with this window, FIG is still worth the reservation: the staff is gracious and knowledgeable, and the food is singularly memorable even in a town swamped with dining options.

eatatfig.com , 232 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401 

Order a Plate of Fried Chicken at Leon’s

The worst kept secret in the city is a must-visit for first-timers. Few other places in town capture so well the relaxed ease that seems woven into Charleston’s very DNA. Housed in an old garage and outfitted with warm wooden tables and an art collection that feels like it was passed down from generation to generation until it landed here, Leon’s is the kind of place that feels like it’s always been part of the Charleston dining landscape—a triumph considering it’s a relative newcomer, opened in 2014. Fried chicken and oysters (raw and char-grilled) are the main draws on the menu, but don’t miss the scalloped potatoes either; it all pairs nicely with a bucket of Miller High Life ‘Ponies.’

leonsoystershop.com , 698 King St, Charleston, SC 29403

Tuck into a Thali at Ma’am Saab

Helmed by Chef Maryam Ghaznavi, this Pakistani spot celebrates inventive twists on storied dishes. At lunchtime, order the Signature Thali, a plate that Southerners might recognize as being akin to a meal at a meat-and-three; choose from creamy butter chicken, saag paneer (a vegetarian dish with spinach and cheese), curried chickpeas, and smoked ground beef. 

maamsaabchs.com, 251 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401 

Sample Chez Nous’ Changing Menu 

Nestled in an historic house on a hidden away street, you likely wouldn’t just happen upon this neighborhood eatery that feels like a mini escape to Europe, and that’s half the charm. The cozy atmosphere is elevated but inviting, and the handwritten menu of seasonally driven dishes changes daily. It’s fortunate, too, that the options are so few (two appetizers, two mains, two desserts), as you’ve got a good excuse to order one of each.

cheznouschs.com , 6 Payne Court, Charleston, SC 29403

Save Room for a Slice of Cake

While Peninsula Grill could claim many of their dishes as “worth traveling for,” the fine dining establishment is best known for its Ultimate Coconut Cake, a 12-layer confection stuffed with cream cheese icing, coated in toasted coconut, and topped with strawberries. 

peninsulagrill.com; 112 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401

Learn About The City’s History Firsthand

Spend an afternoon at the international african american museum (iaam).

Opened in June 2023 and positioned on what was once Gadsden’s Wharf (the arrival site around 40% of all enslaved people in North America), the IAAM houses 12 permanent exhibitions and a Special Exhibitions gallery, which explore a wide range of topics, from the Gullah Geechee peoples in South Carolina and Georgia to the African Diaspora’s impact on the U.S. at large. The museum is also home to the Center for Family History, where visitors can use on-site resources to discover their own families’ stories. Carve out time to explore the African Ancestors Memorial Garden below the building, as well; it’s free and open to the public.

iaamuseum.org , 14 Wharfside St, Charleston, SC 29401

Squeeze In Multiple Sites with a Walking Tour

There’s no better way to experience Charleston than by strolling its streets with someone who’s both well-versed in its history—including the “historic gossip” that makes learning about the past especially exciting—and has a pulse on what’s current. You’ll find just that with Walk and Talk Charleston. Helmed by hat-wearing founder, “Lid Lady” Tyler Page Wright Friedman, the company offers a variety of educational experiences, from their “Classic Charleston History and Historic Gossip Tour” to “The Real Rainbow Row Tour,” which chronicles the city’s LGBTQ+ history.

walkandtalkchs.com

Take the Ferry to Fort Sumter

For history buffs, a visit to Fort Sumter —the place where the Civil War began—is a must. On April 12, 1861, Confederate troops fired on this then-Union-held fort, launching the four-year war. Today, Fort Sumter is a national park and designated historic and commemorative site with a museum. Positioned in the middle of Charleston Harbor, the only way to reach it is via a tour boat, which can be booked through Fort Sumter Tours. Opt for the day’s first time slot for a chance to help the park rangers raise the U.S. flag over the fort. 

fortsumtertours.com

Visit the Aiken-Rhett House Museum

Built in 1820, the Aiken-Rhett House is today considered one of the best-preserved townhouse complexes in the country. Rather than restoring the home upon acquiring it in 1995, the Historic Charleston Foundation took a preserved-as-found approach, which means the furniture, finishes, and architecture on site haven’t been changed since the mid-19th century. Perhaps most unique to the site is that the quarters in which enslaved people lived were also left essentially untouched, offering a more comprehensive look into life in antebellum Charleston. You can move through the museum with a guide or opt for a self-guided tour with the Historic Charleston Foundation’s free app.

historiccharleston.org , 48 Elizabeth St, Charleston, SC 29403

Step Aboard the U.S.S. Yorktown

Visit WWII’s “Fighting Lady,” a decorated aircraft carrier that also served in the Vietnam War and recovered the astronauts and capsule from the Apollo 8’s spaceflight (the first with humans to reach the moon). For a truly immersive experience, book a one- or two-night stay aboard the ship through the Yorktown’s Operation Overnight program.

patriotspoint.org, 40 Patriots Point Rd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464 

Toast Your Travels With Delicious Drinks

Pair your cocktail with a view.

Formerly a federal building, circa-1964 The Dewberry is now one of the city’s most lauded boutique hotels. Even if a stay here isn’t in the cards, reserve a table at Citrus Club on the hotel’s 8th floor terrace for a light lunch and tasty drinks with a prime view of the city. Looking to make a scene? Order the Tropical Itch, a rum-and-bourbon concoction garnished with a back scratcher. 

thedewberrycharleston.com; 334 Meeting St, Charleston, SC, 29403

Discover New-to-You Wines 

Whether you’re committed to a grocery store Pinot Grigio or you’re always on the hunt for the next best thing, Femi Oyediran and Miles White, sommeliers and co-owners of Graft Wine Shop & Wine Bar, can school you in the latest and greatest glass. At this neighborhood spot, you’re sure to find good wine and good music and be welcomed like a local.

graftchs.com , 700b King Street, Charleston, SC 29403

Sip a Poolside Paloma at Little Palm

Revel in the delightfully retro atmosphere of The Ryder hotel’s poolside bar and café, which is awash in peach and pistachio hues. We’re suckers for Little Palm’s playful cocktail names, like the “Extra Leg Room,” made with gin and oolong tea soda, and the “Offshore Accounts,” which features three different spirits.

littlepalmbar.com ; 237 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401

Sample Edmunds Oast’s Local Brews

Check out the city’s craft beer scene with a stop at Edmund’s Oast, a local brewery that churns out dozens of ales, from classic blondes to fruity sours. Choose from two locations: the original “fine casual” restaurant and cocktail bar on Morrison, or the production brewery and taproom on King, where they’ve always got 20 house-brewed beers on tap. 

edmundsoast.com ; 1081 Morrison Dr, Charleston, SC 29403 and 1505 King St #115, Charleston, SC 29405

Have a Nightcap at Félix

If you’re hoping for an early A.M. drink without venturing to a dive, Félix Cocktails et Cuisine is the move. Sink into a leather-wrapped banquette at this Paris-inspired bistro and end your evening with a Félix Royale, a draft cocktail crafted with local gin, lime juice, and sparkling wine.

felixchs.com , 550 King St #100, Charleston, SC 29403

Revel In the City’s Arts Scene

Getty Images

Catch a Show at America’s First Theater

The Dock Street Theater originally opened in Charleston’s French Quarter in 1736, the first building constructed exclusively for theater performances. After the city’s Great Fire, which wiped out the original building, the theater was rebuilt in 1809 as a hotel and didn’t serve as a performing arts center again until 1937, after an extensive renovation. Today, the Dock Street Theater is an inspired venue to see a musical or play; the theater’s resident professional company, Charleston Stage, offers more than 100 performances each year. 

charlestonstage.com ; 135 Church St, Charleston, SC 29401

Peruse the Collection at the Gibbes Museum of Art

Opened in 1905, the city’s historic art museum is home to more than 7,000 pieces in various mediums which date from the colonial era to present. Don’t miss the Mary Jackson Modern and Contemporary Gallery (part of the museum’s permanent collection), which is named for the famous Charleston sweetgrass basket artist and features pieces by artists native to the area or who have spent time here, as well as those who have created works that present a compelling and honest portrait of South. 

gibbesmuseum.org , 135 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401

Pop Into the Local Galleries

With more than 40 galleries in the area, the Holy City has no shortage of places to connect with local artists and peruse their works. Time your trip with the first weekend of the month and join the Charleston Gallery Association for its First Friday Artwalk, when local galleries keep their doors open after hours for a convivial celebration of Charleston’s arts community.

charlestongalleryassociation.com

Mark Your Calendar for Spoleto

While the local arts scene never sleeps, Spoleto Festival USA is an especially exhilarating time for local arts lovers and visitors. Each spring, for more than two weeks, the city plays host to one of the country’s most impressive arts festivals, in which renowned and up-and-coming musicians, singers, dancers, actors, and other artists descend upon Charleston for a series of memorable performances, exhibitions, and shows. 

spoletousa.org

Shop for A Memorable Souvenir

Find a sweetgrass basket at the charleston city market.

One of the oldest markets in the country, Charleston City Market runs the length of four blocks in the heart of downtown, anchored by the Great Hall on Meeting Street with a series of one-story sheds that continue until you reach East Bay. Here, you can shop for a wide variety of souvenirs (there are some 300 vendors), but the real treasures here are sweetgrass baskets, which are hand-woven by Gullah artists, many of whom learned to weave from the generations before them.

thecharlestoncitymarket.com , 188 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401

Browse New and Antique Pieces at Croghan’s Jewel Box

A go-to destination for finding meaningful, heirloom-worthy gifts, this century-old shop on King Street is helmed by the third and fourth generations of the same family. Beyond curating an incredible assortment of new and estate jewelry and silver, they also carry the Goldbug Collection , a cheeky, more approachable line of pieces designed in-house and inspired by the city.

croghansjewelbox.com ; 308 King St, Charleston, SC 29401

Try the Latest Trend at The Tiny Tassel 

With “Live colorfully!” for her motto, it’s little wonder that founder Mimi Striplin’s shop in the Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood is filled with jewelry, accessories, and clothing that give Rainbow Row a run for its money. Named for the brand’s signature tassel earrings, the brand (led by Striplin and her lead designer mom, Keiko) releases a new collection each season, so you’re sure to find something unique every time you shop. 

thetinytassel.com ; 46 Spring St Unit B, Charleston, SC 29403 

Explore Artisan-Made Luxury Goods at Ibu Movement’s Showroom

Founded by former minister Susan Hull Walker in 2014, this organization partners with women artisans in 40 countries, empowering them with living wages that enable them to move towards financial independence and provide for their families. Ibu’s cozy shop on King Street peddles an assortment of their beautifully crafted goods, from raffia handbags made in Colombia to silk-and-cotton dresses made in Uzbekistan.

ibumovement.com , 183 King St 2nd Floor, Charleston, SC 29401

Play Outside

Stroll the arthur ravenel jr. bridge.

The two-and-a-half mile cable-stayed crossing between downtown Charleston and the suburb of Mount Pleasant is a scenic place to break a sweat. Climb the hilly spans on the protected pedestrian path, and stop at the top to catch your breath and score a bird’s-eye view of the sparkling Cooper River and downtown Charleston, including the many steeples that earned the place its Holy City moniker.

Look for Sharks’ Teeth at Melton Peter Demetre Park

Only a few miles from downtown, James Island is largely residential without downtown’s draws for tourists. For a true locals-only experience, head to the city-owned waterfront spot , where you can hunt for sharks’ teeth with panoramic views of downtown Charleston and Mount Pleasant or cast a line off the 190-foot fishing pier.

charleston-sc.gov ; 640 Wampler Drive, Charleston, SC 29412

Enjoy a Beach Day

Make the short drive to Sullivan’s Island , a small barrier island ten miles from downtown Charleston. There’s not a trace of touristy kitsch in this bitty beach town, where historic homes line oak-shaded streets and storybook cottages invite passersby to stop and smell rose-wrapped trellises. Up for dinner and a show? Pick up a pizza from The Obstinate Daughter and take it to the sand for a sunset picnic.

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Visitor Guide

Book your vacation, the official charleston visitor guide – spring 2023.

Welcome to the Official Charleston Visitor Guide for Spring 2023! This comprehensive guide showcases the best of Charleston and is designed to help you make the most of your trip. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, you'll find plenty of things to see and do in this charming city, which is steeped in history and Southern hospitality. From historic landmarks and breathtaking beaches to world-class restaurants and charming boutiques, Charleston has something for everyone. So get ready to explore and let this guide be your companion on your journey. We hope you have an unforgettable Charleston experience!

Charleston's nonstop flight list is growing.  Check if your airport is on the list.

Request a mail-in Visitor Guide  via CharlestonCVB.com

popular places to visit in charleston sc

30 Best & Fun Things To Do In Charleston (South Carolina)

By: Author Jerric Chong

Posted on Published: October 12, 2019  - Last updated: October 16, 2023

Things To Do In Charleston

South Carolina’s most beautiful, as well as its biggest and more historic city, Charleston is one of the top vacation spots in the entire American south.

Although Charleston isn’t officially the capital of South Carolina, locals and millions of tourists who visit every year agree that this picturesque city holds the top spot as a keeper of the state’s history, entertainment, culture, and art.

You can go back in time when you enter Charleston as its past is home to American settlement, the dark ages of slavery, and the Civil War.

While ancient plantations and beautiful museums are often peppered with humbled history lovers, adrenaline junkies, foodies, and party lovers find their peace rejoicing numerous thrill-filled water sports, delicious foods, and exciting nightlife!

Rightly termed as a vibrant cultural hub by residents and tourists, Charleston boasts exciting activities suitable for all kinds of tourists.

This city is a combination of the fast-pace of a big city and the southern hospitality associated with the surrounding area.

Table of Contents

1. The Battery

The Battery

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Checking out The Battery is one of the best things to do in Charleston, South Carolina.

It has nothing to do with electronic devices, as this peninsula goes back to the Civil War days.

This is one of the most beautiful Charleston attractions and is great for a family outing.

The history of The Battery makes it one of the best things to see in Charleston, South Carolina.

Originally for the artillery battery that was once posted here, it’s since become a wonderful promenade.

Visitors love going for strolls along this land and seeing the beautiful homes.

White Point Garden is an amazing part of The Battery, with lots of reverence paid towards military heroes.

If you’re looking to recharge, you need to come to The Battery.

It’s amazing how it’s evolved from defense means to a phenomenal place for socializing and relaxation.

A visit to the Battery is something you must do when in Charleston.

Address: East Battery & Murray Blvd., Charleston, SC 29401, USA

2. Zero George

Zero George

Zero George

There are numerous reasons to check out Zero George , which is one of the best boutique hotels in the south.

At this Charleston, South Carolina attraction, you can experience lots of fun activities and be amazed by the striking beauty of your environment.

This isn’t just a place for sleeping in between sightseeing.

There’s lots of fun stuff to do at Zero George, such as cooking classes and attending art shows.

The Zero Restaurant + Bar is the optimal place for having a romantic meal.

If you need things to be modified in any way, the staff will be happy to cater to your whims.

Should you be staying in downtown Charleston and really want to live it up, you should book a room at Zero George.

This is definitely one of the top 10 hotels in Charleston, South Carolina.

You’ll quickly see why it’s among the best places to go for people who are serious about having excellent lodging experiences.

Address:  0 George St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

3. Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

Jack Nevitt / Shutterstock

One of the top things to do in Charleston, South Carolina is to go to the Magnolia Plantation & Gardens .

A Charleston institution that goes back to 1676, Magnolia Plantations & Gardens offers lovely scenery and plant life and much more.

Coming here might be the best history lesson you have during your entire trip.

The gardens are definitely key in this being one of the best tourist attractions in Charleston, South Carolina.

For over 300 years, one family has been operating these gardens.

The opulent colors of flowers like daffodils stand out even more when you consider how storied the history of these gardens is.

At Magnolia Plantations & Gardens, you can see one of the most important points of interest in South Carolina.

Hours for this Charleston attraction can vary based on what time of year it is.

For general garden admission, it’s $20 for adults and $10 for children, ages six to 12.

Address:  3550 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414, United States

4. King Street

King Street

meunierd / Shutterstock

There’s a lot of things to do in downtown Charleston, but your best bet for where to roam around is King Street.

This has become a beloved part of Charleston, South Carolina for denizens and visitors to experience all kinds of entertainment.

When you’re looking to have fun in Charleston, King Street is a great choice.

With over three centuries of history, King Street is one of the most important places to visit in this city.

It’s lots of fun to go to specific attractions or just brace yourself for whatever might come your way.

It’s also worth reading up on King Street’s history, as it experienced serious trouble as a result of the Civil War.

However, the mid-20th century and on has been very good to King Street.

The great sights of King Street are numerous and there are many unique things to do.

It’s been through some rough times, but it’s come out stronger than ever.

When you’re looking for fun things to do in Charleston, South Carolina, King Street needs to be a priority.

5. Charleston Farmers Market

Charleston Farmers Market

Jeramey Lende / Shutterstock

One of the best shopping activities in any worthwhile city is going to its farmers market.

The Charleston Farmers Market is one of the top ones in the south.

You can come to Marion Square at downtown Charleston and pick up some of the most scrumptious produce you’ve ever come across.

Goin to the Charleston Farmers Market is what to do if you want to see how wonderful this city is.

Beyond buying great produce, you can also find fantastic flowers and see some lovely live performances.

On Saturdays, Marion Square becomes something of a city-within-a-city.

You haven’t fully experienced Charleston, South Carolina until you’ve been to the farmers market.

It’s so much fun to explore the market grounds and accumulate more shopping bags.

The Charleston Farmers Market is open on Saturdays from April to November from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Address:  329 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403, United States

Going on a road trip around South Carolina? Don’t miss our lists of things to do in Greenville, SC  & things to do in Columbia, SC !

6. John Pope Antiques

John Pope Antiques

John Pope Antiques

Antiquing isn’t just something your grandmother does.

One of the best things to do in Charleston, South Carolina is to go to John Pope Antiques.

This is an excellent antique shop full of cool items.

Operated by the eponymous John Pope, this shop is located on King Street.

His collection includes many great decorative items, such as chandeliers.

They might be older pieces, but they can feel new and wonderful when you bring them home.

Coming to John Pope Antiques is one of the most unexpectedly enjoyable activities in Charleston, South Carolina.

If you’re looking for a great entryway to the past, coming to John Pope Antiques is one of the best activities available.

The curation and Pope’s expertise alone should draw you in.

Address:  180 King St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

7. Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park

Possessing a very apt name, Waterfront Park is a great South Carolina attraction for experiencing wonder on land and sea.

You can come to Waterfront Park full of energy or feeling fairly mellow and end up satisfied either way.

This park makes a great case for Charleston as one of the most beautiful places in USA .

Providing great visual access to the Charleston Harbor, Waterfront Park is one of the top places in Charleston for just sitting back and seeing boats go by.

One of the most exciting attractions is the pineapple fountain, which might have you salivating for a tropical treat.

You can also spot pelicans hanging by the piers or flying.

Waterfront Park is something you must see if you want proof of how impressive a park can be.

One of the most amazing places to visit in South Carolina , Waterfront Park continues to engage and delight visitors.

It’s open every day from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Address:  Vendue Range, Concord St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

8. Sullivan’s Island

Sullivan's Island

Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock

One of the most beautiful natural tourist attractions in Charleston, South Carolina is Sullivan’s Island .

If you’re looking for things to do in Charleston this weekend, you should come here with your family.

Sullivan’s Island is an area outside of the city that offers plenty of amazing sights.

Fairly small, at a little over three square miles in area, Sullivan’s Island is nonetheless one of the most engrossing places to visit in the whole south.

One of the greatest lighthouses in the country is the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse.

You also need to spend some quality time on the beach, doing things like building sandcastles or fishing.

Going to Sullivan’s Island is one of the most fun things to do in Charleston.

If you’re curious about how to plan a vacation to Charleston, South Carolina, Sullivan’s Island is a great thing to put on your list.

Coming here is what to do if you want to be beside the water and beside your loved ones.

Husk restaurant

TIm J. Nichols / Shutterstock

Charleston, South Carolina is one of the top food cities in the entire south, and Husk is one of the best restaurants in the city.

This beloved eatery takes the beauty of southern cooking and mixes it with some serious sophistication.

You’ll be having a meal that’s both hearty and complex.

Chef Sean Brock has put together one of the most intriguing menus of any restaurant in Charleston.

While the options can change, you can be assured that there’s always going to be great things available.

Some items that have been served at Husk include cornmeal-dusted catfish and southern-fried chicken skins.

Going to Husk is what to do in Charleston if you want to see how unique southern cooking can be.

It’s one of the best things to do in Charleston when you’re looking for a place o eat with your partner.

Address:  76 Queen St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

10. South Carolina Aquarium

South Carolina Aquarium

Daniel M. Silva / Shutterstock

One of the most fun things to do in Charleston is to go to the South Carolina Aquarium .

The marine life of the city can be appreciated even more here, one of the best Charleston attractions.

If you’re looking for places in South Carolina that teach you a lot about fish and other species, you should come here.

Lots of amazing species can be observed at the South Carolina Aquarium, and the staff does an excellent job of making sure they’re as comfortable as possible.

If you’re traveling with your kids, they’ll love being able to see animals like otters and sharks.

Exhibits like “The Shallows” and “Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery” give even more awareness of the importance of marine life preservation.

For family entertainment activities in Charleston, you should come to the South Carolina Aquarium.

It’s open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is $29.95 for adults and $22.95 for children, ages three to 12.

Address:  100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

Visiting other areas of South Carolina? Why not check out some of the things to do in Myrtle Beach  & some of the things to do in Hilton Head ?

11. Charleston Tea Plantation

Charleston Tea Plantation

Thomas Trompeter / Shutterstock

Wadmalaw Island’s sole tea plantation, Charleston Tea Plantation is one of the best places to visit in Charleston for seeing how an amazing plant is cultivated.

Even if you prefer coffee as your hot beverage of choice, the Charleston Tea Plantation is still among the top points of interest in the city.

Located a short distance south from the city proper, Charleston Tea Plantation is a sight to behold.

You’ll also want to keep your ears open, as there are lots of cool details to take in about how the tea is produced.

What was once a potato farm has become one of the premier tea producers in the world.

You can have one of your best experiences in Charleston at the Charleston Tea Plantation.

Its operating hours are from Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m to 4 p.m.

The factory tours are free while the trolley tours are paid experiences.

During the week, you can go with a group on the more expensive and more informative Bill Hall Exclusive Tour.

Address:  6617 Maybank Hwy, Wadmalaw Island, SC 29487, United States

12. French Quarter Inn

French Quarter Inn

French Quarter Inn

If you’ve been in serious need of a vacation and want to be pampered to your heart’s content, then staying at the French Quarter Inn in Charleston is what to do.

Charleston is one of the best vacation spots in the south for its amazing hotels alone.

You can have a lot of fun here and gain a great deal of appreciation towards how much the staff puts into giving guests a wonderful time.

At this downtown Charleston hotel, you can feel like you’re in a modern-day fairytale.

This is a hotel to stay at if you seek a more personal experience.

It’s not a very big hotel, so you should secure your room as early as you can.

Among the great amenities are bicycles that you’re allowed to take out and multiple varieties of pillows for your relaxation needs.

The French Quarter Inn has become one of the top places to lodge in Charleston.

It’s so great, you might have trouble pulling yourself away from your room or the hotel grounds.

Hospitality is at its best when you’re boarding at the French Quarter Inn.

Address:  166 Church St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

13. Charleston Music Hall

Charleston Music Hall

Edith Howle / flickr

One of the most impressive Charleston attractions for cultural engagement is Charleston Music Hall .

This is what to see in Charleston if you want to see some of the top musical acts today.

A beautiful and historic space, Charleston Music Hall is one of the best concert venues around Charleston.

Charleston Music Hall has been through a lot.

First established as part of the state railroad under the name “Tower Depot,” it evolved to be retail and office space before closing down upon the arrival of the Great Depression.

Revived as a music venue, it has hosted legendary acts like David Crosby, Ray Charles, and David Byrne.

Hearing the amazing story of Charleston Music Hall makes it even more heartwarming to know that it all turned out for the best.

Look at the venue’s schedule for this weekend.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to experience a great show at one of Charleston’s best venues.

Address:  37 John St, Charleston, SC 29403, United States

14. Charleston Museum

Charleston Museum

Wally Gobetz / flickr

The historic importance of Charleston is monumental, and the Charleston Museum does a wonderful job of illustrating this.

If you’re looking to come to Charleston this weekend, going to the Charleston Museum is among the best activities.

Here, you can see great exhibits that different points of Charleston’s history.

The Charleston Museum is like a historian’s waking dream.

Permanent exhibits take you through Charleston’s history as well as places like Ancient Rome and Egypt.

Younger guests will be overjoyed by checking out the interactive delights of “Kidstory,” such as seeing what it’s like to operate a lighthouse.

One of the top museums in the south, the Charleston Museum is more than deserving of your patronage.

It’s open from Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for youths, ages 13 to 17, and $5 for children, ages 3 to 12.

Address:  360 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403, United States

15. Hampden Clothing

Hampden Clothing

Hampden Clothing

Top among Charleston attractions for the fashion-conscious is Hampden Clothing .

Going to this clothing outlet is lots of fun, both for people who love to shop and those who think it’s not their cup of tea.

At Hampden Clothing, you’ll be around so many great items to add to your wardrobe.

Hampden Clothing was founded by Stacy Smallwood, with a focus on giving women greater confidence through clothing.

There are remarkable pieces made by great designers, such as Ulla Johnson and Borgo de Nor.

You can find great clothes for all occasions here.

Few things can make you feel as cool as picking up a sharp new outfit.

Hampden Clothing is what to see if you desire to look and feel your best.

It’s open from Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Address:  314 King St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

16. Charleston Culinary Tours

Charleston Culinary Tours

Charleston Culinary Tours

If you’re coming to Charleston this weekend, you should be coming with a sizable appetite, as one of the most fun options for making your way around Charleston is by going on a Charleston Culinary Tours .

These dining trips let you see how great the food options are in Charleston.

With five to choose from, you can explore this city’s culinary diversity.

Tours tend to last a few hours, but you’ll likely be having so much fun, it can feel like the time is going by much faster.

You can take tours of downtown, King Street, or perhaps go on a “Sustainable Seafood” tour.

If you want to try some great drinks, there are brewery tours as well as a mixology tour.

Charleston Culinary Tours are of the most cool things to experience in this city.

As you go around the city, you’ll remember that eating is as much about pleasure as it is about necessity.

Be sure to book your spot on any of these tours right away.

17. Middleton Place

Middleton Place

Adam Skonn / Shutterstock

Many great plantations are available for visiting in Charleston.

Middleton Place should be near the top of your list if you want to see multiple ones.

This is a gorgeous complex that showcases the unquestionable southern beauty of the city.

The original Middleton Place was largely torched near the Civil War’s conclusion, and the Great Earthquake caused further destruction.

What exists now is the Southern Flanker’s House Museum, which serves to educate on how people at Middleton Place lived, including slaves, astounding gardens, a great restaurant and shops, and more.

You’ll step out of the present and into the wonders of the past when you’re here.

Middleton Place is one of the most important places to see in Charleston for gaining historical awareness.

It operates daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is $29 for adults, $15 for students, and $10 for children, ages six to 13.

Address:  4300 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414, United States

18. The Darling Oyster Bar

The Darling Oyster Bar

NaturalBox / Shutterstock

There’s nothing fishy about wanting to go the Darling Oyster Bar .

This is one of the top things to see for seafood lovers.

Situated on Kings Street, the Darling Oyster Bar provides your tastebuds with so many great flavors from so many great species.

The Darling Oyster Bar has become one of the top seafood restaurants today because of how dynamic the menu is.

When you eating at the Darling Oyster Bar, you’re refueling your body and treating your mind by giving it access to so much goodness.

If you’re ever near Kings Street and get a seafood craving going, make sure to make your way to the Darling Oyster Bar as soon as possible.

It’s open from Monday to Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., Saturday from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Address:  513 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, United States

19. McCrady’s Restaurant

McCrady's Restaurant

McCrady’s Restaurant

It can be pretty impressive when you go to a restaurant that’s 50-100 years old, but McCrady’s Restaurant is more than 200 years old.

It’s definitely earned its place in the American culinary pantheon, with a fantastic menu and terrific service.

One of the best things to see and do in Charleston is to take in a meal at McCrady’s Restaurant.

Situated on Unity Alley in downtown Charleston, McCrady’s Restaurant doesn’t just skate by on a historic reputation.

It also has a very impressive menu, with some of the most delicious duck, mahi mahi, and scallops you’ve tried.

Lots of great wines and other drinks can be paired with your meal.

There are so many great historic things to see in this city, and McCrady’s Restaurant makes things even better by being a top-notch place to eat as well.

Your sightseeing downtown can culminate in getting a meal here.

McGrady’s Restaurant is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Address:  155 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

20. Magnolia Cemetery

Magnolia Cemetery

Vizual Studio / Shutterstock

A visit to Magnolia Cemetery is a very important experience if you want a window to the past.

This Charleston burial place pays homage to those have gone before us, many who lived more than a century ago.

It’s also a gorgeously-designed space, which helps to illustrate the mysterious beauty of death.

Magnolia Cemetery was first constructed in 1850 and lies close to the Cooper River.

Although it’s a very solemn space, the artistic decor brightens it up.

If you’re a Civil War buff, you should see the area where many Confederate soldiers were laid to rest.

Going to Magnolia Cemetery can be both a sightseeing experience as well as a poignant lesson on the preciousness of life.

It’s what to see for anyone who cares about uncovering knowledge about the past.

Magnolia Cemetery is open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Address: 70 Cunnington Ave, Charleston, SC 29405, USA

Exploring other parts of South Carolina? Why not check out some of the fun things to do in Beaufort, SC ?

21. The Dewberry

The Dewberry

The Dewberry

Constructed in the 1960s, The Dewberry is a more recent but no less impressive example of a historic building in Charleston.

Another prestigious hotel, The Dewberry offers guest amenities that can make them feel so very cared for.

For fun and luxury, come to The Dewberry.

The rooms at The Dewberry are set up with comfort in mind.

Every room is furnished with your own bathrobe and slippers and beds fitted with lush Irish linens.

Rooms you can choose include Charleston Flats, One-Bedroom Suites, and Grand Kings.

Going to sleep at night and waking up in the morning are both great when you’re staying at The Dewberry.

If you want your Charleston experience to be one you always hold dear, you should book a room here.

Should you be looking to honeymoon in Charleston and want to find the right hotel, The Dewberry should definitely be in consideration.

Address:  334 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403, United States

22. Calhoun Mansion

Calhoun Mansion

SHoener / Shutterstock

Seeing historic residences like the Calhoun Mansion is one of the coolest parts of touring any city.

This is the biggest personal residence in all of Charleston.

With 35-rooms, Calhoun Mansion is a seriously impressive piece of Charleston history.

This mansion was first constructed in 1876 by the influential George Walton Williams.

Although it was once of the most cherished buildings in the south, it underwent serious decay.

However, a multi-million dollar restoration process was able to give it the dignity it deserved.

Exploring the halls and rooms of Calhoun Mansion is one of the greatest sources of entertainment in all of Charleston.

It’s open every day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is $17 for scheduled tours, except for children age 11 and younger, who get in for free.

Address:  16 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

23. Upper King Design District

Upper King Design District

Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock

The Upper King Design District is one of the most fun neighborhoods in Charleston.

The attractions here are quite lovely, with many great shops and places to eat.

At night and in the daytime, the Upper King Design District offers visitors lots of plusses.

Businesses in this district are seriously posh.

A date night through the Upper King District lets you act like a celebrity for an evening.

You can witness thoughtful artwork at The Southern Gallery, get some food at The Macintosh, and end your evening with a drink at Palmetto Brewing Co.

If you’re ever in or near Charleston and want to find a place that rewards a cultured mindset, you should come to the Upper King Design District.

You can scoop up items that would be absolutely perfect for your home or for a loved one.

All the while, you can have lots of fun just exploring the grounds.

Address:  387 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, United States

24. Croghan’s Jewel Box

Croghan's Jewel Box

Croghan’s Jewel Box

A fine piece of jewelry can take an outfit from great to stunning, and Croghan’s Jewel Box is the place to be for finding this finishing touch.

Located on King Street, this jewelry shop has been around for more than 100 years.

As you browse the various items, you’ll understand why it’s become such a hallowed part of Charleston.

Since being founded by William Joseph Croghan, Croghan’s Jewel Box has gotten bigger in both store size and legacy.

The items here are the real deal, both in terms of composition and how pleasing the aesthetics are.

You can collect things made of gold, diamond, and ruby.

Jewels are a go-to analogy for when something is beautiful and unique, and Croghan’s Jewel Box shows you why.

This is a marvelous store for marvelous people to find marvelous things.

Croghan’s Jewel Box is open from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Address:  308 King St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

25. The Ordinary

The Ordinary

The Ordinary

If there was ever a restaurant that could be accused of false modesty, it’s The Ordinary .

This is one of the best places to enjoy seafood in Charleston today.

Catch a table at The Ordinary and get ready to have a sublime meal.

When you come into The Ordinary, you should be impressed by the impossibly-high ceilings and its gorgeous oyster bar.

The menu is also broken down into cold dishes, such as pickled roe shrimp, and hot ones, such as Caribbean fish stew.

If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can order caviar service.

The Ordinary is one of the best places to visit at night in Charleston for a great meal.

You can have a lot of fun sampling all of the different items and perhaps trying seafood you’ve never had before.

This restaurant is open from Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Address:  544 King St, Charleston, SC 29403, United States

26. Poe’s Tavern

Poe’s Tavern

Wilmington and Beaches CVB / flickr

You might not think of Edgar Allan Poe when you consider famous Charleston residents.

However, the legendary poet was once a poet living on Sullivan’s Island.

Today, the island honors his legacy with Poe’s Tavern , a great place to have a drink and a hearty bite to eat.

Poe’s Tavern has the kind of menu that might cause you to forget your diet momentarily.

Perhaps the biggest attraction are the Angus Chuck burgers, which tip the scales at half-a-pound.

Some items have playful Poe-inspired names such as “Annabel Lee” and “Pit & Pendulum.”

Other treats include fish tacos and quesadillas.

If you’re a fan of “The Raven” who’s craving some excellent food and drink, you should come to Poe’s Tavern.

Poe himself would hopefully feel touched that his name had been attributed to such a good restaurant.

Poe’s Tavern is open from Monday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Address:  2210 Middle St, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482, United States

27. Drayton Hall

Drayton Hall

Karel Tatransky / Shutterstock

Another remarkable plantation to tour is Drayton Hall .

Situated in Charleston’s “Low Country,” Drayton Hall endured through wars to become one of the most monumental pieces of Charleston history.

There’s also the Palladian design of the house, a style that still holds up as a piece of architectural beauty.

Constructed in the first half of the 18th century, Drayton Hall counts itself as the lone survivor of plantation homes that made it through the American Revolution as well as the American Civil War.

The home has been kept in very good condition, and the surrounding landscape has retained its lushness.

Tours cover all sorts of important parts of history, from wartime to the African American experience.

Drayton Hall has unquestionably earned its status as a National Historic Landmark.

It’s open from Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Admission is $32 for adults and $15 for youths, ages eight to 14.

Address:  3380 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414, United States

28. John’s Island

John's Island

Serge Skiba / Shutterstock

John’s Island is a more rustic island, but it’s still a very beautiful part of the Charleston area.

The state’s biggest island, as well as one of the five biggest ones on the entire east coast, going to John’s Island can be like having a vacation getaway inside your vacation getaway.

If there’s one particular thing that you have to see at John’s Island, it’s Angel Oak.

This tree is centuries old and has withstood all sorts of natural disasters.

Although one hurricane in the 1980s caused some harm, Angel Oak has been able to persist.

John’s Island can be seen as an all-important finishing touch that makes Charleston complete.

You might come for Angel Oak but you may also stay far longer based on how splendorous it all is.

This is a slice of paradise that keeps on giving.

29. The Spectator Hotel

The Spectator Hotel

The Spectator Hotel

The hotel industry in this city can feel like its primary focus is to show just how many great accommodations one city can have.

The Spectator Hotel could be very well called “The Spectacular Hotel,” as that’s exactly how it makes guests feel.

If you want to feel total bliss at a temporary residence, stay at The Spectator Hotel.

Have you ever fantasized about having a butler?

The Spectator Hotel provides you with one.

The old-timey feel is felt further when you step into the bar, which might be better called a “speakeasy,” given how well it recalls Prohibition-era drinking establishments.

The Spectator Hotel provides you with fun and pleasure in maximum dosages.

It shows how classiness is a trait that never goes out of style.

The only drawback to staying at The Spectator is having to get back to your comparatively-less glamorous everyday life.

Address:  67 State St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

30. The Schooner Pride

Schooner Pride

Schooner Pride

There’s too much water around you to not go out on at least one boat outing.

The Schooner Pride is a magnificent sailing vessel that can fit many people.

You’ll see just how important Charleston’s sailing legacy is when you embark on a voyage on The Schooner Pride.

A maximum of 49 people at a time can board The Schooner Pride, which starts proudly at 84-feet tall.

With its many masts, it looks like a sailboat you might’ve seen in dreams or storybooks.

For two hours, you can put other concerns aside and just embrace the ebb and flow of the water.

Any moment can be made even more special by being in the right setting.

The Schooner Pride brings out the magic in your South Carolina vacation all the more.

Prices for sails on the Schooner Pride vary based on experience.

Address:  360 Concord St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States

Start Planning Your Trip To Charleston

Charleston’s not just a fun southern city.

It’s one of the most historically important cities in the entire country.

It is full of beautiful natural attractions, high-society living arrangements, and tons of awesome food.

If you want to see just how excellent South Carolina is, spend some time in its capital.

17 essential things to do in Charleston, South Carolina

Amy C. Balfour

Oct 28, 2021 • 8 min read

Visitors take a ride on Charleston's Old horse drawn Carriages,Charleston,South Carolina,USA

The city of Charleston is a unique blend of historic charm and modern entertainment © Getty Images

Charleston has upped its game. Carriage tours still clip-clop through the historic district and ferries still shuttle crowds to Fort Sumter, but new attractions and revamped old favorites are keeping the Holy City relevant – and fun.

Rooftop bars, innovative breweries and small-batch distilleries keep opening their doors while plantations and historic homes are digging deep into Charleston’s diverse and complicated history. And foodies take note: Debates about the city’s best barbecue are just as passionate these days as debates about shrimp and grits. 

This list of Charleston’s best things to do offers a mix of the old and new.

Two teenage girls on the street of Charleston, South Carolina

Stroll the Historic District

Historic Charleston feels like one big living museum, and it's easily explored by foot. Antebellum homes, grand churches, weathered cemeteries and brilliant gardens – often tucked behind wrought-iron gates – hug the straight and narrow streets, which were laid out in the 1670s. Highlights include the colorful homes of Rainbow Row and the Battery and White Point Gardens on the waterfront at the southern tip of the peninsula. Pick up a map at the visitor center .

Culinary Adventures

With its seafood shacks, quirky mainstays and a dizzying array of “must-try” restaurants from wunderkind chefs, Charleston has enjoyed a culinary hot streak for a decade. Many menus are built around Lowcountry dishes and seafood, but creative interpretations of old favorites keep the dining scene fresh. Beyond shrimp and grits, top regional fare includes oysters, pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes, she-crab soup, and a Lowcountry boil (shrimp, corn, potatoes, sausage and seasoning).

Tried-and-true stalwarts include Mike Lata’s FIG , oysters at the Ordinary and food that’s both fast & French at Gaulart & Maliclet . Barbecue is also hot, with Home Team BBQ and Lewis Barbecue getting consistent local kudos. Top-notch International options are plentiful too.

Immerse in Gullah Culture

Enslaved people brought from West Africa to the Lowcountry held onto many of their homeland traditions after slavery ended. The resulting Gullah culture (Geechee in Georgia) has its own language and traditions, including amazing storytelling, art and music. Learn their history at McLeod Plantation on James Island, where tours describe the daily lives of enslaved people on a cotton plantation and trace the emergence of the Gullah culture. Their culture is celebrated annually in late May at the Gullah Festival in nearby Beaufort. Gullah Tours visits historic sites in and around Charleston.

Sample locally sourced spirits

Sweet tea is a distinctly Southern beverage, and according to state lore the popular drink was created in South Carolina. The team at Firefly Distillery embraces this heritage with its sweet tea-flavored vodka, which is made with tea from the Charleston Tea Garden. High Wire Distilling uses ingredients and heirloom grains from across the Lowcountry and South Carolina for its popular spirits. Tastings are available at both distilleries. Tours are offered Thursday through Saturday art High Wire. 

Nathaniel Russell House In Charleston, South Carolina

Explore Historic Homes

The Historic Charleston Foundation protects historic buildings in the city and advocates for the preservation of gardens, parks and neighborhoods. The foundation manages two historic buildings: The Aiken-Rhett House and the Nathaniel Russell House. Tours of the former, a townhouse that has been preserved but not restored, share details about past owners as well as the enslaved people who worked there. A self-supporting spiral staircase anchors the Nathaniel Russell House, a meticulously restored 1808 Federal Style-house.

First Sumter National Monument

The shelling of Union-held Fort Sumter by Confederate forces in 1861 triggered the Civil War. The fort, which occupies a small pentagon-shaped island in Charleston Harbor, sees a steady stream of visitors, especially in summer. But even with the crowds, it’s easy to immerse in the chaotic confusion of that historic day thanks to the remote setting – a ferry ride is required – and an engaging ranger talk that spotlights the historic clash.

Walk the Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge

Burn off last night’s shrimp and grits with a power walk over the graceful Arthur J Ravenel Bridge, which links the town of Mount Pleasant and the Charleston Historic District. The 2.5-mile pedestrian path over the cable-stayed bridge rises about 200ft above the Cooper River and provides gorgeous views of both communities. There's a parking lot with access to the pedestrian path in Mount Pleasant. The view from the span is especially nice at sunset.

Tour the only tea garden in the US

Attempts to grow tea commercially in the US began in the 1820s in southeastern South Carolina, where the sandy soil, sub-tropical weather and frequent rainfall were well-suited for tea plants. In the 1960s wild tea plants from one of these early plantations were harvested and successfully re-planted on Wadmalaw Island 30 miles southwest of Charleston. Today Charleston Tea Garden offers tours of its tea factory (free) and trolley tours of its acres of hardy tea plants. 

Sunset at the pier in Charleston

Get out on the water

Flanked by creeks, marshes, rivers and the Atlantic Ocean, the Lowcountry is an ideal place for paddling trips and boat excursions. Wildlife and gorgeous coastal views abound. Keep it simple with a ride on the Charleston Water Taxi between Charleston and Mount Pleasant or scan for dolphins during the boat ride to Fort Sumter. Adventure Harbor Tours runs sunsets cruises and trips to uninhabited Morris Island. Numerous outfitters offer paddling trips through Shem Creek and Lowcountry creeks and marshes.

Wander the Gardens at Middleton Place

Designed in 1741, the elegant gardens at Middleton Place are the oldest landscaped gardens in America. Today they are also home to more than 100,000 azaleas. One of three historic plantations along the Ashley River northwest of downtown, Middleton Place owes its early beauty to the work of the enslaved people who spent years developing and maintaining the land. Their stories are shared onsite. Lowcountry fare is on the menu at the popular restaurant here.

Ride the Charleston Beer Trolley

A free trolley swings through the Charleston Beer District in downtown Charleston on Saturdays, stopping at ten breweries between 1pm and 9pm. You can visit them by hopping on and off. Revelry Brewery has a fire pit on its rooftop while Edmund’s Oast has 20 house-brewer beers on tap. Check the Charleston Brewery District Facebook page for the current trolley schedule.

Explore Mount Pleasant

For a break from the historic district, board a water taxi at Waterfront Park and cross the Cooper River to Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant. At the Naval and Maritime Museum you can tour the USS Yorktown, an enormous decommissioned aircraft carrier used in WWII. You’ll need your car to visit Boone Hall Plantation and its striking Avenue of Oaks, planted in 1743. The most compelling buildings here are the original slave cabins. Explore charming Old Village then make your way to lovely Shem Creek for dinner by the water. Look for dolphins and party boats.

Find family fun Downtown

If your kids dig spooky attractions, it’s hard to get much creepier than the dungeon at the Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon in the Historic District. The British held American patriots in the cramped space here during the Revolutionary War. The 385,000-gallon ocean tank and the sea turtle rehabilitation hospital lure in kids for a closer look at the South Carolina Aquarium . The Kidstory area at the Charleston Museum explores the city’s history with hands-on exhibits. Enormous skeletons of prehistoric creatures keep things real in the natural history gallery. For skateboarding, head to SK8 Charleston , a 32,000ft concrete skatepark in North Charleston.

Visit the Old Slave Mart Museum

In the heart of the Historic District, this small but hard-hitting museum occupies the site of a former open-air market that auctioned African Americans in the mid-1800s. Text-driven exhibits provide an unflinching look at the cruelties and horrors of the slave trade. Compelling oral histories from former enslaved people and a handful of chilling artifacts also make a powerful impression.

History Prep at the Charleston Museum

History hurtles at you from every direction in Charleston, which played a pivotal role in America’s past as a busy port city and center of trade. For a quick history primer, spend an hour or two in the Charleston Museum . Exhibits dedicated to the city’s early development and its role in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars provide helpful background and context. Artifacts highlight diverse experiences, including those of Native Americans, enslaved African Americans and influential politicians.

Sip Cocktails on a Rooftop Bar

Swanky rooftop bars with sweeping views of downtown are plentiful. They are also easy to find – just ride the elevator to the top of the trendiest hotels. Twinkling views of city lights and Charleston Harbor bring crowds to the iconic Rooftop Bar at the art-themed Vendue. You’ll find an infinity pool, illuminated umbrellas and more stunning city views at the Pavilion Bar atop the Market Pavilion Hotel.

Downtown King street in Charleston South Carolina with people walking in southern town at sunset by shops, restaurants, cars parked on road

Shopping on King Street

King Street is the historic district’s prime shopping corridor. With numerous stores selling home furnishings and housewares, Upper King is considered the design district while Middle King is the fashion district, home of well-known clothing stores as well as high-end boutiques. The southernmost stretch, Lower King, is dotted with antique stores. Pop into Blue Bicycle Books for new and used books, many with a focus on the South.

You might also like: Charleston vs Savannah: how to choose between the two Southern cities Best parks in Charleston, South Carolina

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  • Best Things to Do in Charleston

22 of the Absolute Best Things to Do in Charleston

Known for its picturesque, antebellum charm, incredible cuisine, and colorful history, Charleston makes for one of the best vacation spots in the United States. Its colonial-style buildings and cobblestone boulevards evoke the romantic Old South, while its coastal location provides plenty of scenic variety.

From family-friendly gardens to spooky ghost tours, Charleston has something for everyone. Continue reading to learn about 22 of the best attractions Charleston offers.

Picnic at Riley Waterfront Park

The Riley waterfront park

Riley Waterfront Park is one of Charleston's most popular places to unwind. This ten-acre park overlooks both Charleston Harbor and Cooper River and offers waterfront and off-the-water paths to tread upon. In the park is the beautiful Pineapple fountain, which is gorgeously lit up at night. This park has been beloved by Charleston locals and tourists alike since it was established in 1990.

Relax with a drink or some iconic Charlestonian dishes on one of the benches along Riley Waterfront Park’s iconic esplanade, for the perfect end to a day in the city.

Stroll down Rainbow Row

Rainbow Row

Rainbow Row is a famous series of 13 houses along Charleston’s East Bay Street. With its captivating, eponymous bright colors, Rainbow Row is one of the most photo-worthy locations in the city. Each pastel home has its own fascinating history and architecture. Theories as to why the houses are so brightly colored range from the colors helping drunk sailors find their way home more easily, to their allowing merchants to indicate what wares they sold, to their ability to keep the buildings cooler during hot summers.  Whatever the truth, Rainbow Row is a must-see part of Charleston.

Visit Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon

Yet another testament to the rich history of Charleston, Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon is a fascinating place to visit. Built-in 1771, it has changed roles countless times: it was a British dungeon during the American Revolution, an elegant hall during George Washington’s 1791 visit to Charleston, and a meeting place for the ratification of the Constitution, among many other functions. With its gorgeous Georgian-Palladian facade, this landmark cannot be missed on a visit to Charleston. Admission to this historic building is only $12 for adults; within it, visitors can see the history of the nation come alive.

Marvel at the Angel Oak

Angel Oak

Known as one of the most beautiful trees in the world, Angel Oak is another Charleston treasure. It is between 400 and 500 years old, making it one of the oldest living trees east of the Mississippi, and its canopy shades more than 17,000 square feet. Many believe that this tree is haunted by the spirits of enslaved people. Whether this is true or not, many visitors claim that the tree has an otherworldly presence. Angel Oak is just a 30-minute drive outside the city, and its surrounding park is free admission. This tree is an absolute must-visit wonder.

Visit Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens

Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens

The 738 acres at Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens contain a wealth of nature and history. Its well-preserved slave quarters offer an eye-opening look inside the culture and lifestyle of enslaved people on the plantation, while the main hall provides visitors a glimpse inside the traditions of Southern planting families. The gardens are home to countless butterflies and varieties of antique flowers. Visitors can learn about the history of enslaved people, the plantation’s farming practices, and more during a visit to Boone Hall, with tickets starting at just $28.

Peruse the Charleston Museum

Charleston Museum

Charleston Museum is famously known as America’s very first museum. Established in 1773, the museum and its two Historic Landmark Houses are home to a vast collection of artifacts. From exhibits on antique textiles to Lowcountry Native American history to sports in Charleston, the museum is steeped in information. Its focus is on the archaeological, artistic, and communal history of South Carolina. Learn about everything from antique weapons to fossils with a visit to Charleston Museum, where admission starts at $12.

Take a Ghost Tour

Ghost Tour

Many believe Charleston to be one of the most haunted cities in America; visitors can experience the city’s paranormal underside during their own guided ghost tour. Tour Charleston offers a Ghosts of Charleston Nighttime Walking Tour with special access to Unitarian Church Graveyard, a haunted hotspot. During the tour, a storyteller brings Charleston’s haunted history to life while guests embark upon a nighttime tour of the city’s spookiest locations. This terrifying 90-minute ghost tour is available for $35 and is a must for those interested in Charleston’s haunted history.

Visit Charles Towne Landing

Charles Towne Landing

There is no better way to wrap up this list than Charles Towne Landing: the birthplace of South Carolina. This landing is where a group of English settlers first arrived in 1670. Nowadays, the park is home to a replica village and sailing ship that allows people to experience the life and era of America’s first settlers. Admission to the park is only $12 for adults. With 6 miles of trails and 80 acres of gardens, Charles Towne Landing is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and to experience some of the nation’s history.

Visit the historic Middleton Place

Middleton Place

Middleton Place, a National Historic Landmark, is the site of the oldest landscaped gardens in America. Originally a plantation owned by the Middleton family, it is now a museum dedicated to those who lived and worked on the plantation. The stories of Middleton Place range from those of the Founding Fathers to that of enslaved people, offering a rich look into the history of the nation. Adult tickets are $29 for access to these 110 acres of gardens, farmland, and historic buildings at Middleton Place.

Walk the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge

A gorgeous, 8-lane suspension bridge, the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge stretches from Charleston to Mount Pleasant over the Cooper River. It offers sweeping views of Charleston, and it is one of the best places to watch the sunset in the city. The bridge has a 12-foot path for pedestrians and bikers, named Wonders’ Way. The path is named after Garrett Wonders, who died in a vehicle accident on the bridge before the path was constructed. The 2.5 mile long bridge is the perfect place to admire Charleston’s picturesque skyline and harbor during a sunset stroll.

Relax at Sullivan’s Island Beach

Palms, Sullivan’s Island Beach

Located at the mouth of Charleston Harbor, right by the Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island Beach is the perfect respite from city life. Guests can surf, swim, and catch some rays at this scenic stretch of coastline. The beach is public, and it offers one of the most natural environments in the area. On the beachfront, visitors can find many bars and restaurants for a perfect way to wrap up a day in the sand.

Charleston Culinary Tours

Culinary Tours

Charleston is renowned for its delicious Southern fare and its lively culinary scene. From classics like shrimps and grits to fried green tomatoes, Charleston has some of the best cuisines in the United States. Undiscovered Charleston offers a culinary history walking tour with a cooking demo and a lunch and wine-tasting experience. Chef Forrest Parker will start by taking you on a 90-minute walking tour where you will get to understand the culinary influences that shaped Charleston into one of the world’s top food destinations. You’ll end the tour by enjoying a delicious 4-course meal at Bistro A Vin prepared by Chef Parker himself. Immerse yourself in the world of true Southern fare while learning about the history of Charleston’s most popular dishes!

Tour Charleston in an Old South Carriage Tour

The Old South Carriage

Founded in 1670, Charleston is brimming with stories from the past. The Old South Carriage Company offers horse-drawn carriage tours through this beautiful port city, complete with a tour guide. Guides recount more than 300 years of the city’s vibrant history as visitors ride through 30 blocks of historic Charleston.

A carriage tour is a relaxing and authentic way to learn about Charleston’s history and to see its notable homes; the carriages are drawn by Belgian or Percheron draft horses, the same horses that tilled American farms in the 19th century. Tickets are $50 for a one-hour tour.

Wander through Charleston City Market

Charleston City Market

One of the nation’s oldest public markets, Charleston City Market, is both a cultural and a culinary hub. Open during the day year-round, with weekly Night Markets, Charleston City Market is constantly bustling. Over 300 entrepreneurs sell their wares at the market, offering everything from Christmas collectibles to handcrafted jewelry to gourmet jellies.

Visitors can spend a whole day at the market talking to locals, trying Charleston cuisine, and shopping for souvenirs, making it one of the best activities for getting to know the city.

Explore Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter, standing regally at the entrance of Charleston Harbor, was the location of the first battle between the Confederacy and the Union during the American Civil War. Its walls still show much of the extensive damage left behind by that 1861 assault. Now a National Historic Park, it can be accessed by a 30-minute ferry ride. Visitors can explore the fort and its accompanying museum, which showcases the history of the Civil War and of the fort itself.

For $32, visitors can explore the grounds, take a trip around the harbor, and learn about Fort Sumter’s important place in American history.

Farmers Market

Farmers Market-1

Find the best of Charleston’s fresh produce and artisanal goods when you visit the Charleston Farmers Market, nestled in the heart of the city’s historic downtown. Featuring dozens of vendors that range from small family farms to candle makers to flower sellers, this market has something for everyone. It’s more than just a place to shop, however — it’s also the perfect way to connect with the local community and to make some lasting memories.

Held from 8am to 2pm every Saturday from April to November (though there’s also a holiday market in December), the Charleston Farmers Market will give you a genuine taste of Lowcountry living.

Gibbes Museum of Art

Gibbes Museum of Art-2

The finest visual art institution in Charleston, the Gibbes Museum of Art is a must-visit destination for art aficionados and those interested in the cultural history of Charleston. With over 10,000 pieces in its permanent collection, this Beaux Arts-style museum offers hours of entertainment and education. Artists whose work is in the permanent collection include Henrietta Johnston, Merton Simpson, and George LaGrange Cook. A visit here will also introduce you to the up-and-coming and well-established contemporary artists in and around Charleston. 

Stop by the Gibbes Museum any day of the week to soak in the important artistic heritage of the region and to appreciate some of the region’s most iconic artists.

Sailing Yacht Charters

Sailing Yacht Charters

Looking for a luxurious and private way to enjoy the sights of Charleston from the sea? Charleston Yacht Charter has you covered. Combining the best of Southern hospitality with the fascination of the open seas, this yacht charter opportunity will make for an unforgettable experience. Charleston Yacht Charter operates three luxury boats — Fate, Mystique, and Kismet, each with state-of-the-art interiors and professional staff. No matter which one you choose, you are in for an unparalleled, bespoke experience.

Each tour will take you past Charleston’s most iconic sights, including Fort Sumter, The Battery, Waterfront Park, and much more.

Edmondston Alston House

Edmondston Alston House-1

Built in 1825, Edmondston Alston House was one of the very first houses to be built on The Battery, and bore witness to some of the most important moments in Charlestonian history, including the Civil War and the Charleston Earthquake of 1886. Owned over the centuries by a merchant and then the affluent Alston family, the interior is a time portal back to the 19th century, complete with an original copy of the Ordinance of Secession.

With history that includes stories about such figures as Robert E. Lee, Edmondston Alston House is a fascinating testament to Charleston’s tumultuous past.

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum

Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum

History and military valor are on full display at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, an institution that is home to the World War II-era aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Yorktown and a fleet of other ships. Since it opened in 1976, this museum has highlighted the valiant and courageous efforts of American troops over the years, as well as various technological innovations that have contributed to American victories. 

Featuring interactive, experiential exhibits, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is the perfect place to learn more about — and immerse yourself in — the stories of the men and women bravely serving America.

McLeod Plantation Historic Site

McLeod Plantation Historic Site

An important site in the history of African Americans, McLeod Plantation is a hub of Gullah and Geechee heritage. Located on James Island, this former plantation is now dedicated to telling the history of slavery from the perspective of people who were enslaved. Its cabins exhibit the wealth of culture that was created by the enslaved people of the region, and its grounds are home to guided tours that explore the history and legacy of enslavement. 

To reckon with Charleston’s legacy of slavery, McLeod Plantation is a must-visit destination.

South Carolina Aquarium

South Carolina Aquarium

Conservation efforts are at the forefront of South Carolina Aquarium’s initiatives. Not only does it operate a world-class Sea Turtle Care Center to rehabilitate sick and injured sea turtles, it also has efforts to reduce plastic pollution in the seas and to promote the responsible consumption of seafood. Besides that, South Carolina Aquarium is home to over 5,000 species of aquatic animals, from massive groupers and pelicans to alligators and river otters. 

Enjoy sustainable, family-friendly fun with a trip to the South Carolina Aquarium.

These 22 activities are just a few of the countless activities Charleston has to offer. Whether on a family vacation or a solo trip, this fascinating Southern city is the perfect destination. 

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The 17 Best Things to Do in Charleston

popular places to visit in charleston sc

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Frequently ranked as one of America's best places to visit, Charleston, South Carolina , is a top destination for its temperate climate, coastal locale, friendly charm, and wealth of activities for the whole family. From world-class dining and historic sites to museums, and shopping, the Holy City and the surrounding area offer plenty of things to do for a short weekend or an extended stay.

Whether you're planning your first visit to Charleston or a repeat visitor, here are the top 17 things to do in Charleston.

Take a Walking Tour of the Historic District

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Sure, you can explore popular historic district sites like Waterfront Park, Rainbow Row, and the Battery on your own. But why not take advantage of the city's free, two-hour guided walking tour to learn about Charleston's past and present from the pros? Tour options range from Civil War history to architectural landmarks to the always popular night-time ghost tour for supernatural enthusiasts.

Discover Lowcountry Cuisine

TripSavvy / Anna Haines 

Long known as a top destination for classic Southern favorites like shrimp and grits and regional Lowcountry specialties like Frogmore Stew, Charleston is a food lover's paradise . Eat dinner at the pioneering Husk , which merges fine dining with seasonal, regionally-sourced ingredients. Later, try Bertha's Kitchen or the family-run Hannibal's Kitchen for soul food like collard greens and fried chicken.

Attend Spoleto Festival USA

Charleston offers visitors a variety of annual festivals and special events, none more famous than Spoleto Festival USA. Running annually from Memorial Day weekend through early June, Spoleto hosts more than 150 performances ranging from jazz and dance to opera and theatre in churches, parks, performing halls, and other venues throughout the city. Its companion festival, Piccolo Spoleto , features free and low-cost offerings from local and regional artists.

Discover Charleston's Museum Mile

Charleston's Museum Mile runs along a one-mile section of Meeting Street, beginning at the Charleston Visitor Center downtown. This easily walkable route includes six museums like the Charleston Museum and The Children's Museum of the Lowcountry, plus historic homes, picturesque parks, and notable churches and buildings. Ticket packages can be purchased online or at the Charleston Visitor Center.

Walk Along the Historic Charleston Battery

No trip to the city is complete without a stroll along The Battery , located at the southern end of the Charleston peninsula where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers meet. Points of interest include Charleston's grandest historic homes, displays of Civil War artillery, the scenic White Point Gardens shaded by majestic live oak trees, and views of Charleston Harbor—perfect for packing a picnic and watching the sunset.

Explore the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum

To learn about the city's role in naval history, explore Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum. In the northern suburb of Mount Pleasant, Patriots Point is home to three former ships-turned-museums: the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, the destroyer USS Laffey, and a submarine, USS Clamagore. The complex also includes the Medal of Honor Museum, the Cold War Submarine Memorial, and the Vietnam Naval Support Base exhibit, the only one of its kind in the United States. ​

Visit the South Carolina Aquarium

Courtesy of South Carolina Aquarium

Located along the Charleston Harbor, the South Carolina Aquarium is home to more than ten thousand plants and animals like river otters, loggerhead sea turtles, horseshoe crabs, sharks, sea urchins, and ocean fish. Exhibits cover the state's habitats from the mountain forests of Appalachia to the coastal plain, and highlights include the Touch Tank—where visitors can feel hermit crabs and Atlantic stingrays—and the two-story, 385,000-gallon Ocean Tank, the largest in North America.

Buy Local Produce and Crafts at the Charleston Farmers Market

Consistently ranked one of the top farmers' markets in the country, the Charleston Farmer's Market takes place Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., April through November, at Marion Square in the historic district. The market includes more than one hundred vendors selling everything from fresh produce to cut flowers to artisan jewelry, plus frequent live music and food trucks dishing up breakfast sandwiches and Lowcountry boil. Don't miss the special Holiday Market on select Saturdays and Sundays in December.

Tour Historic Homes

From the Georgian-inspired Heyward-Washington House on Church Street to the stately 18 th -century Aiken-Rhett House Museum on Elizabeth Street, Charleston is full of elegant, well-preserved historic homes that retain original furnishings, wallpaper, and other decorative details. Many of them are open to the public year-round, while the Preservation Society of Charleston offers self-guided tours of additional homes and gardens each fall from late September through late October.

Stroll and Shop Historic King Street

  SeanXu /Getty Images

Once the city's main thoroughfare, historic King Street bisects the peninsula from north to south. Its colorful buildings house restaurants, bars, and shops; stores range from national retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Anthropologie to local purveyors like Croghan's Jewel Box, Robert Lange Studios art gallery, Blue Bicycle Books, and Hampden Clothing.

Sample Local Beer and Spirits

With more than 30 local breweries and distilleries, craft beer and spirits are a booming industry in Charleston. Visit taprooms like Charleston Distilling Co., Fatty's Beer Works, Highwire Distilling, and Holy City Brewing on your own. Or, book a four-and-a-half-hour tasting tour with Crafted Travel to sample beer and spirits at three different spots for $84.

Take a Boat Tour

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Some of the best views of this coastal city are from the water, so hop on board the Morris Island Boat Tour with Adventure Harbor Tours. The three-hour excursion includes sightings of some of Charleston's most notable landmarks, such as the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, the Battery, Fort Sumter, and Waterfront Park. You'll also get to stop at nearby Morris Island, an undeveloped barrier island teeming with wildlife and unspoiled beauty. During the 90-minute walking tour, you'll learn about the tides and the island's history, the ecology of barrier islands and marshland, and search for treasures like shark teeth and shells. You may even spot a dolphin or two!

Visit Nearby Edisto Island

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While the Charleston area offers plenty of beaches, this sea island just 45 miles southwest of the city is less commercially developed than its peers and provides a more low-key coastal experience. Learn about the area's history at the Edisto Island Museum ; hike or bike the trails at the oceanfront Edisto Beach State Park ; and visit snakes, frogs, alligators, iguanas, and other reptiles at the Edisto Island Serpentarium .

Get Up Close with History at Fort Sumter

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Originally built as one of a series of fortifications on the Southern coast after the War of 1812, Fort Sumter is where Confederate forces first fired shots at the Union Army, thus starting the Civil War. Catch a ferry from Liberty Square Visitors Center or Patriots Point to the small island in Charleston Harbor, now part of the National Park Service. The site includes a small museum and a self-guided tour for visitors to explore the historic structure.

Go on an ArtWalk

The city's more than 40 downtown art galleries open their doors to the public as part of the Charleston Gallery Association's monthly ArtWalk series. Typically held on the third Thursday of each month, participating galleries, local boutiques, and restaurants stay open late, offering wine, snacks, and plenty of time for shopping and browsing.

Take a Picture with the Angel Oak Tree

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For your trip's most Instagram-worthy snap, head to nearby John's Island for photos with the famed Angel Oak Tree. At more than 400 years old, 65 feet high, and 25 feet wide, the tree is the largest live oak east of the Mississippi River. It's located down a long dirt road inside Angel Oak Park.

Tour Historic Graveyards and Cemeteries

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Dubbed the "Holy City" due to its proliferation of church spires, many of these historic houses of worship have on-site gravesites and cemeteries open to the public. At St. Philip's on Church Street, you'll find the final resting place of DuBose Heyward, whose novel Porgy inspired the George Gershwin opera "Porgy and Bess." Nearby, two signers of the American Constitution—John Rutledge and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney—are buried at St. Michael's, the city's oldest church.

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A girl at the Waterfront Park next to the Pineapple Fountain, one of the best places to visit in Charleston, SC.

16 Best Places To Visit In Charleston (+ Unique Vacation Spots)

December 4, 2021 //  by  Southern Trippers

There are so many beautiful and unique places to visit in Charleston, South Carolina! If you are planning a trip here, we have put together a list of some of the best Charleson attractions!

If you are deciding where to travel to in the South, you cannot go wrong with Charleston. This historic city is full of gorgeous buildings, delicious restaurants, and picture-perfect scenes down every street and hidden alley.

Planning your trip to Charleston last minute?

Make sure to book your hotels and tours in Charleston in advance to ensure availability! The longer you wait, the more difficult it gets. Here are our top picks for your trip :

Top Tours And Experiences In Charleston:

  • Charleston: Fort Sumter Entry Ticket and Ferry Ride (Our pick!!)
  • Historical Walking Tour (Great way to see the city)
  • Historic Harbor Cruise (Can choose sunset or daytime!)
  • City Highlights Guided Bus Tour (Relaxing tour)

Top picks for places to stay in Charleston:

  • Francis Marion Hotel (Amazing historic district location)
  • Hyatt Place Charleston Historic District (Affordable)
  • Hotel Emeline (Upscale and chic)
  • Market Pavilion Hotel (4 star Downtown location)

No matter what kind of traveler you are or your interests, there are activities in Charleston for you! Photographers will want to hunt down the best Instagram spots in Charleston while history buffs will be memorized by all the historic sites.

There are also a ton of awesome places to stay in Charleston ! There are big houses for the extended family or cozy, little bed and breakfasts for couples.

Without further ado, here are the best places to see in Charleston, SC!

Looking down a downtown street at Charleston during sunset.

Rainbow Row

Charleston is known for its bright and colorful buildings. One of the best places in town to enjoy this quirkiness is Rainbow Row.

Found on East Bay Street, Rainbow Row is a collection of thirteen pastel-colored Georgian houses. The homes date back to 1740. They were renovated and began to don their signature colors in the 1930s.

Today, Rainbow Row is one of the best places to visit in Charleston, South Carolina , for taking photos. The buildings add a pop of color and the palm trees in front are pretty as well. This is truly one of the best places to stay in Charleston . This area is not to be missed.

Book Here: Charleston: 90-Minute Historic City Highlights Tour

Girl twirling a blue dress in front of the brightly colors houses on Rainbow Row, one of the best places in Charleston for photos.

Fort Sumter

Take a 30-minute ferry ride across Charleston Harbor to the small island that holds Fort Sumter. The boat ride itself is a great way to see the city from the water and attractions like the USS Yorktown and the Ravenel Bridge. You might even spot dolphins.

If you did not know, Fort Sumter is where the first shots of the U.S. Civil War were fired. Tour the old fort and learn about its historical significance.

The museum inside has a bunch of artifacts that tell the story of the Civil War in South Carolina. There are plenty of National Park rangers to answer all of your questions as well.

Book Here: Fort Sumter: National Monument Entry Ticket & Ferry

Aerial view of Fort Sumter at golden hour, one of the best places to visit in Charleston for history.

Pineapple Fountain

Head to the beautiful, eight-acre Waterfront Park to find the famous Pineapple Fountain surrounded by pretty flowers. This fountain has stood here since 1990.

Pineapples are a common sight throughout Charleston, and they represent hospitality. It is hard to find a prettier and more classically Charleston scene than this fountain.

Waterfront Park also has a fantastic view of the harbor and is one of the best places to visit in Charleston for sunset. Find a bench to sit and watch boats sail by.

Bring the kids during the day to play in the awesome splash fountain. The pier has cool bench swings and places to fish. There are also events held at the park throughout the year.

Girl in a blue dress standing in front of the Pineapple Fountain, one of the most famous things to do in Charleston.

Philadelphia Alley

Philadelphia Alley runs between Queen and Cumberland Streets. This is a great place for photos or a stop on a ghost tour . This innocent-looking alley has quite an interesting history.

Back in the 1700s, this area was known as “Dueler’s Alley,” and while the duels might be based more on legend than fact, they certainly make for interesting stories. One infamous duel ended in the death of Dr. Joseph Brown Ladd who is said to still haunt the alley under the name of the Whistling Ghost.

Whether haunted or not, Philadelphia Alley is a pretty place for a stroll and is usually not crowded.

Book Here: Charleston’s Alleys & Hidden Passages Guided Small-Group Walking Tour

A girl wearing a dress and hat walking down Philadelphia Alley with its bright colored buildings.

Shamrock Garden

Shamrock Garden is a little, manicured garden surrounded by historic buildings. This boxwood garden is found on Legare Street and is a hidden gem in Charleston . This is a private garden, but it is easy to snap a photo through the black, iron fence.

Along with being one of the best secret tourists attractions, Shamrock Garden should be included as one of the best places to visit in Charleston. It will not be crowded with tourists and you can get a unique photo.

The entirety of Legare Street is pretty as a storybook. There are plenty of overhanging trees, vine-covered walls, and brick buildings.

Looking into Shamrock Garden with its neat hedges, sculpture, and shed.

Sullivan’s Island

Sullivan’s Island is a short 20-minute drive from Charleston and is a great place to escape the city for a day of fun. The island has been kept minimally developed to preserve the natural beauty and small-town feel.

There are beautiful, quiet beaches here for relaxing as well as a nature trail. This is a great place to make family memories or have quality time with your significant other.

Along with beaches, there are historic districts to explore. You can visit Fort Moultrie and photograph the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse.

Also, did we mention there is a castle here? Mugdock Castle has an interesting history that stretches back to the late 1800s. It started off as a church and though it is not super big, it is still cool to see. Don’t forget to check out our list of the best Islands In South Carolina if you want to explore more!

A girl in a red swimsuit walking at sunset along the beach on Sullivan's Island, one of the best places to visit in Charleston.

Folly Beach

Folly Beach is one of the best beaches in Charleston . You will find the beach on Folly Island just south of the city. This beautiful oasis is one of the best vacation spots in Charleston!

The stretch of sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing or swimming. Kids will have fun building sandcastles and looking for shells. At low tides, you might even find shark’s teeth.

Folly Beach is also known for its great surfing conditions. If you are looking for a place to put your board in the water on the East Coast, this is where you should come.

There are also a ton of great restaurants in Folly Beach where you can enjoy a great meal.

Book Here: Charleston: Folly Beach Stand Up Paddleboard Dolphin Safari

The Folly Beach Pier jutting into the water at sunset.

Cypress Gardens

Cypress Gardens is a 40-minute drive north of Charleston and if you get the chance to visit, you will not regret it! This 175-acre swamp garden is absolutely gorgeous and perfectly romantic. So romantic, in fact, that a scene from “The Notebook” was filmed here.

You can recreate the movie scene by hopping in a rowboat and paddling through the tall, cypress trees. You will spot a ton of birds, turtles, and maybe even some alligators.

Cypress Gardens also has a Butterfly House and a Swamparium where you can learn about native wildlife. There are also over three miles of walking trails. This is easily one of the best places to visit near Charleston.

A girl in a boat surrounded by orange trees at Cypress Gardens, one of the best places to visit in Charleston.

Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms is a great day trip from Charleston. A 35-minute drive will bring you to this upscale, beach resort destination.

The Isle of Palms County Park is a family-friendly place to soak in the sun or go for a dip in the water. Kids will have fun climbing on the playground or playing a game of sand volleyball. Bring a picnic to enjoy and grab an ice cream from the snack bar for dessert.

Rent beach chairs and umbrellas so you can rest in peace while your kids play in the surf under the watchful gaze of the lifeguards. There are also a ton of great eateries along the beachfront.

A girl in a floral dress walking along the shoreline at Isle of Palms Beach during a pastel sunset.

French Huguenot Church

There are a ton of beautiful churches in Charleston and the French Huguenot Church is certainly one of the most photogenic. Even if you are not religious, you can appreciate this church for its breathtaking architecture.

The original church was built in 1687 but was destroyed by a fire in 1796. The replacement was built in 1800 before it was then dismantled and renovated into the Gothic Revival style between 1844 and 1845.

This beautiful, white building is another of the best places to visit in Charleston for photography. It makes a wonderful backdrop for an Instagram selfie, especially with the palm trees in front.

The beautiful front of the French Huguenot Church with palm trees.

Camellias is a pretty, premier champagne lounge found inside the Hotel Bennett. If you feel like treating yourself or want to have a romantic outing, this is the place to go in Charleston.

Enjoy a fancy, afternoon tea or a snack of caviar, charcuterie, or seafood. The signature Camellias Cake is to die for. And of course, the champagne and cocktails are amazing!

This pink-themed eatery was even named the Most Instagrammable Restaurant in South Carolina by Food Network. You are sure to want to snap some photos here!

Diners sitting at pink tables and a bar with a chandelier overhead at Camellias.

FIG is one of the best places to eat in Charleston . This beautiful bistro takes classic Southern dishes and elevates them to the next level while using the best, seasonal ingredients.

This delicious restaurant not only has great meals, but also an amazing atmosphere. The staff puts the guests first so they feel taken care of while they dine.

Make a reservation here and enjoy a meal based on seasonal availability. Since the menu is always changing, you can try something new every time you come.

A pot of fish stew with a red sauce on a table with bread.

Historic Charleston City Market

If you love shopping mixed with history, then you will think the Historic Charleston City Market is one of the best places to visit in Charleston. The current market dates back to 1841 and is considered one of the oldest in the country.

This is a wonderful place to shop locally since there are over 100 vendors. You can pick up a cool souvenir or buy a tasty treat. The wares sold here include a variety of things including paintings, clothing, jewelry, crafts, specialty foods, and so much more!

There are also great restaurants here where you can enjoy an authentic Southern meal. Even if you do not buy anything, this market is one of the best Charleston tourist attractions for walking around and soaking in the vibe of the city.

Book Here: Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour of French Quarter & City Market

Entrance to the Historic Charleston City Market at dusk, one of the best places to visit in Charleston for shopping.

Dock Street Theater

Known as America’s First Theatre, the Dock Street Theater opened its doors in 1736 and held the first opera in America. Unfortunately, the original theatre was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1740.

Years later, a hotel was built on the site and the building went through a couple of phases before being remolded into the current Dock Street Theatre and reopening in 1937.

The theatre is owned by the City of Charleston and many performances are put on here throughout the year. Try to catch a show while you are in town or at the very least, come take photos of the beautiful facade.

Book Here: Charleston’s French Quarter Guided Walking Tour

Looking up at the front of the Dock Street Theater with its many intricate details.

Ravenel Bridge

The cable-stayed Ravenel Bridge connects downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant. You can drive across, but the best way to experience the bridge and enjoy the views of the harbor is by walking. It is two-and-a-half miles in length, and you can walk as much or as little of it as you want.

If you are looking for the best places in Charleston for photography, then you should come here for sunset or early evening. From the Mount Pleasant side, you can spot the Charleston skyline reflected in the water.

At night, the bridge is lit-up and stunning, making it one of the coolest places to go in Charleston at night.

Ravenel Bridge stretching across the harbor at sunset, one of the best places to visit in Charleston.

Edmondston-Alston House

The Edmondston-Alston House is one of the many historic buildings found in the Battery along the waterfront. A tour here is one of the best activities in Charleston for stepping back in time.

The house was built in 1825. The informative, guided tour will lead you through opulently decorated and furnished rooms that showcase how the upper-class lived.

Unlike many historic buildings in Charleston that had to be rebuilt after fires, earthquakes, or hurricanes, the Edmondston-Alston House has stood the test of time, making it an invaluable piece of the city’s history.

A yearly Christmas event allows visitors to see the home decked out for the holidays. You can enjoy a glass of hot cider while listening to the Charleston Caroling Company.

Book Here: Charleston: The Edmonston-Alston House Walking Tour

Side view of the exterior of the Edmondston-Alston House during golden hour with palm trees.

There are so many fun places to go in Charleston from amazing parks to beautiful beaches to historic buildings. No matter which Charleston vacation spots you visit, you are sure to have an epic time in this charming Southern city. It was hard to narrow down this list of the places to visit in Charleston, there are just so many!

best places to visit in Tennessee Nashville skyline

21 of the Best Things to Do in Charleston SC

the angel oak is one of the most famous attractions here, a quick visit is one of the best things to do in charleston sc

Have you wondered why Charleston, South Carolina continues to win accolades for being a great place to visit?

Just imagine a place with:

  • perfect weather
  • beautiful beaches
  • historic attractions

But it gets better:

Regardless of the time of year you’re here, there is always something fun to do in Charleston. This historic city is full of pleasant surprises, even for visitors from much larger cities.

But I know the feeling:

There’s a lot to sift through when planning a visit, or just a weekend day while living here.

Start with our list of the top activities for your first day. The rest should fall into place after that, depending on what amount of time you’re looking to spend here.

Here’s our list of the best things to do in Charleston, South Carolina !

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Check out this video by Jetblue they created when they first started flying to Charleston’s airport. It’s a brief introduction to the sights and sounds you’ll experience on a typical day in Charleston, South Carolina.

Don’t forget to check our recommendations for the best time to visit Charleston, SC , if you’re not sure when you’re coming.

Table of Contents

Top 10 best things to do in charleston, south carolina this weekend.

With a laundry list of activities to take advantage of regardless of the weather here, a visit to Charleston requires prioritizing. Here are the top attractions to do on your first visit here. If you don’t get to them all, there’s always the second visit! And speaking of coming back, keep visiting this page as we continue to add more things to do in South Carolina.

1. Historic Charleston City Market

lights for sale at the Charleston City Market

No visit to Charleston would be complete without wandering through the  Historic Charleston City Market  and nearby. Though the market area is touristy, the  Charleston City Market  is pretty and historic. It’s also an opportunity to check-out the Museum on Market Street (when open). Walking through (using the free public restrooms) and looking at the various goods is all free. You’ll find anything related to Charleston, as well as many unique things, here:

  • Sweetgrass baskets
  • Artisanal food
  • And much more

I would not recommend any of the restaurants on Market Street, but rather to head elsewhere after exploring.

I would also recommend heading elsewhere to find a sweetgrass basket made by local artisans.

The markup is serious here.

That said, you can grab a drink with a view at either the Pavilion Bar or Henry House. Those are two great choices for a rooftop restaurant in Charleston with a view of the Historic Charleston City Market.

2. The Battery and White Point Gardens

the battery in the south of broad neighborhood of charleston sc

Where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers meet sits one of the most quintessential tourist attractions here: White Point Gardens . This park features a prime location at the tip of the peninsula in the South of Broad neighborhood in Charleston. Visitors enjoy beautiful views of Charleston Harbor and the Ravenel Bridge. Missing a stroll through White Point Gardens and along the Battery would leave a visit to Charleston inadequate.

White Point Gardens, often incorrectly called, “Battery Park”, is perfect for a quiet afternoon stroll. Another historic home on the Battery, the Edmonston-Alston House , is a perfect addition to your visit down here.

3. Charleston Tours

One of the fastest ways to see Charleston and surrounding area is through the guidance of a trained local.

Charleston, SC, tours are always fascinating. And that goes double for history buffs.

All Charleston tour guides are well-trained before taking visitors out, and there’s plenty of tour types to choose:

  • Charleston culinary tours, most are a walking tour
  • Historic tours
  • Ghost tours in one of the most haunted cities in America
  • Boat tours of Charleston harbor

Ghost tours in Charleston, SC , especially are a treat: as a historic city, there are more than a few great ghost stories to share with visitors.

But there are also carriage rides and Charleston plantation tours to enjoy on your visit. And a boat tour around Charleston harbor is a delightful way to see the city from a different angle. And walking tours are a great way to stretch your legs in a very walkable city.

Each have unique information about the city’s rich history according to the individual tour guide, so you’ll be sure to enjoy some variety.

4. Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor

Charleston, South Carolina was of significant political and military importance for the Confederacy during the American Civil War.

And luckily, visitors are welcome to the location that marked the start of the Civil War.

It’s located right here in the Charleston harbor. When Citadel cadets started firing upon Fort Sumter, the Civil War officially started.

Fort Sumter, SC , is one of the best tourist attractions in Charleston for history buffs.

Even if you’re not into scrambling over rocks for an hour, the ride out to Fort Sumter can be spectacular.

Boat tours of the harbor, including the Schooner Pride, are readily available.

5. Rainbow Row

Arguably the most photographed location in Charleston, Rainbow Row is a line of 13 historic homes on East Bay Street. Painted various pastel colors to match a Caribbean color scheme, the houses faced the Cooper River when they were first constructed. Today, they stand between Tradd Street and Elliot Street and are right along the route from White Point Gardens to Waterfront Park .

6. Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge

Aside from Rainbow Row, the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge is what most Charlestonians associate with living in the Lowcountry. It almost seems that no matter where you are in the area, you can see the two towers of the bridge standing high above everything. A fair amount of that is probably because of how low-lying the land is here. But a walk or bike ride along the Ravenel bridge is a relaxing way to see the Charleston skyline and the harbor.

7. Charleston Waterfront Park

Another scenic location on the Charleston peninsula, Waterfront Park is one of the top tourist attractions in Charleston, South Carolina.

The pineapple fountain is alone is a major draw; it’s another one of the most famous sites to see here.

But sitting on one of the swinging benches on the wharf is a great way to while away the afternoon.

Walk down Vendue Range to start your visit to Waterfront Park. Wander southward to the point where the park spits you back out into the French Quarter. And poke your head into the Art Gallery at Waterfront Park , while you’re here.

8. Middleton Place

Definitely one of the most beautiful places to visit in Charleston, Middleton Place sits on the Ashley River . The house is not the most impressive of the plantations near Charleston , as the original home was burned in the Civil War . That said, the gardens are gorgeous and framed by live oaks lining the Ashley River. Take a carriage ride, explore the house, or enjoy a meal at the Middleton Place restaurant. But definitely don’t miss a chance to wander through this former rice plantation.

9. College of Charleston Campus

College of Charleston campus

Walking through the central part of the College of Charleston campus is like walking through Disneyland’s version of Charleston . The buildings and homes have all been beautifully restored. The lights and Spanish moss dripping from the limbs of the giant live oaks make nighttime at the Cistern a magical experience, to boot .

10. The Nathaniel Russell House

The Holy City is most famous for the architectural gems throughout downtown. That list of historic houses is sure to include the Nathaniel Russell House . Walking around town is a delight, but exploring the inside of some of these homes add interest to fans of architecture and interior design . It’s also good to see how people lived in the height of Charleston’s influence and wealth. It’s difficult to find examples of how the vast majority of Charleston’s inhabitants lived downtown (the slaves and urban poor) . And yet, the Nathaniel Russell House is one of several excellent examples of the upper crust’s lifestyle .

More Activities and Attractions in Charleston, South Carolina

11. the best charleston beaches.

  • Isle of Palms
  • Sullivan’s Island
  • Folly Beach
  • Kiawah Island
  • Seabrook Island
  • Edisto Beach

12. Charleston Plantations

Magnolia Plantation

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens , a 70-acre Charleston tourist attraction, features gardens in formal, romantic, and natural styles. Be sure to take the guided tour of the Audubon Swamp Garden and visit the petting zoo.

  • Boone Hall Plantation
  • Drayton Hall
  • McLeod Plantation Historic Site

13. Hampton Park

palmettos at hampton park

At 60 acres, Hampton Park is the largest park in downtown Charleston (though not the largest park in all Charleston) .

It’s also the prettiest and most relaxing, in this writer’s humble opinion.

A circular running path around the perimeter of Hampton Park compliments the interior.

Stroll through the middle to find the gazebo, playground, pond with fountains and friendly ducks, and the best plantings in Charleston . To get here, head north of the Crosstown and pass Westside neighborhood and Hampton Park Terrace .

14. Shopping in Charleston

Going shopping is not necessarily for everyone. But the best shopping in downtown Charleston, SC , is a major draw for more than a handful of people .

King Street shopping is Charleston’s version of Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, Fifth Avenue in New York, or Bond Street in London . But high-end and luxury shopping is not the only thing found in this shopping area. From used book stores to thrift shops to specialty Charleston coffee shops and Charleston bakeries , there are plenty of establishments to pique anyone’s interest .

For those looking to save some money, there are plenty of malls near Charleston, like the Tanger Outlets in North Charleston or the Citadel Mall in West Ashley.

15. Broad Street

There’s an old saying that there are two types of people in South Carolina: people who live South of Broad Street, and everyone else.

Broad Street has long been associated with wealth.

Today, the street is lined with art galleries, luxury real estate offices, law offices, and some great restaurants. A personal favorite is Fast and French.

16. King Street

Broad Street is associated with Old Charleston, but King Street is linked to the modern and the future of the city . Lower King Street is full of high-end boutique shopping. Meanwhile, Upper King Street is where you’ll find many of the best restaurants and bars in the entire city.

17. Charleston Museum

  • Joseph Manigault House
  • Heyward-Washington House

Not maintained by the Charleston Museum, but just around the corner is another historic home. The Aiken-Rhett house museum is owned by the Historic Charleston Foundation, and it’s pretty cool, too.

Another personal favorite is the Old Slave Mart Museum. This gut-wrenching museum in the city center is a powerful reminder of the insidious source of Charleston’s wealth.

18. Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon

The Old Exchange and Provost Building was completed in 1771.

It was the socio-cultural center of the city of Charleston from the end of the colonial era and into early Revolutionary period .

It survived an attempt to demolish and convert its spot where East Bay Street and Broad Street meet to a gas station.

And today, it’s a National Historic Landmark.

The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon below the building is even older than what’s above it. It’s worth a visit to see how pirates and others found outside the law were treated in early America (and maybe see a ghost yourself).

19. South Carolina Aquarium

No trip to Charleston, South Carolina, would be complete without visiting the South Carolina Aquarium .

Opened in May of 2000, the South Carolina Aquarium inspires conservation with some pretty spectacular exhibits such as the two-story tank . It is home to more than 5000 animals, including birds, stingrays, a touch tank of sharks, and river otters!

This unique facility is both educational and entertaining for at least a few hours (a lot more if you’ve got kids). Be sure to come see why the South Carolina Aquarium has been consistently voted the best tourist attraction in Charleston for families !

20. Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park

The “Joe”, as it’s locally known, is named after the former 10-term mayor of Charleston. It’s located on the banks of the Ashley River between Brittlebank Park and the Citadel Military College campus . Of course, baseball is a major part of the draw of the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park , but that’s just a part of the story of the stadium and its draw . Their hipster-style hot dogs cannot be beat.

21. Gibbes Museum of Art

22. the islands near charleston.

sullivan's island

Charleston sits amid a constellation of islands. Some are sea-facing (the famed sea islands), others are not.

But each has its own flair and unique points to see. Aside from ones I already mentioned for their beaches ( Isle of Palms , Sullivan’s Island, and Folly Beach), some others to explore:

Johns Island

The largest island near Charleston, Johns Island still hosts wide country roads sided with live oaks dripping Spanish moss. It’s like a different, much more laidback world over there. And some of the best restaurants in all Charleston, for some reason.

James Island

The most densely populated of the islands in Charleston’s orbit, James Island hosts such hip neighborhoods as Avondale. It’s also got some of the most diverse options for food in the area.

Wadmalaw Island

The most rural, and remote of the islands near Charleston, SC. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time when you’re here, enjoying the fresh air. It’s also the home of the Charleston tea plantation.

60 of the Best Places to Eat in Charleston

There’s a reason Charleston was voted North America’s Best City and second best city in the world (after Kyoto, Japan). Among them: the food.

10 of the Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Downtown Charleston, SC

Many fine dining Charleston restaurants have gained nation-wide notoriety for their ingredients, their chefs, or just their flavors. No visit to Charleston is complete without exploring as many of the fantastic Charleston restaurants as time here permits.

Seafood Restaurants

A trip to Charleston would not be complete without savoring at least one meal of seafood fresh from the surrounding Lowcountry waters . Coastal South Carolina seafood cuisine on offer at the various seafood restaurants in downtown Charleston, SC , ranges from shrimp and grits to she-crab soup and fresh oysters .

Casual Restaurants in Charleston

As is befitting for a city with such a strong foodie culture, there are plenty of other casual restaurants in Charleston, SC , to try. A few fantastic options downtown include: Xiao Bao Biscuit , Hominy Grill, Butcher and Bee, Edmund’s Oast, and the Ordinary.

While lacking a major Italian-American population, Charleston does have a pretty good pizza scene, too. Check out our list of places to find the best pizza in Charleston, SC .

Brunch Restaurants in Charleston

Before visiting all the historical attractions within Charleston, a decent brunch in Charleston, SC , is almost required . With many local favorites endemic to here, restaurants in Charleston serve, without question, the best brunch in all the South .

Check out our list before your hunt for the best shrimp and grits in Charleston.

Even More of the Best Things to Do in Charleston, SC: The Lists

To help curate the various Charleston activities according to the goal of your visit, we’ve also made lists according to who’s tagging along with you on your trip:

  • your significant other
  • an outdoor enthusiast
  • your entire family
  • someone very, very, cheap

dock street theater entrance

21 of the Most Romantic Things to Do in Charleston, SC

  • The Morris Island Lighthouse Trail on Folly Beach
  • Sailing on the Schooner Pride
  • Taking a cooking class at Zero George Hotel

23 of the Most Fun Stuff to Do in Charleston, SC, with Kids

There is no more effective birth control in the world than traveling with kids (except babysitting). But traveling to Charleston can be pretty breezy with tykes in tow.

Lucky for you there are plenty of fun things to do in Charleston, SC, with kids for plenty of family fun.

Here’s a list of this writer’s favorite fun things for kids to do in Charleston after having dragged kids around myself.

60 of the Best Free Activities in Charleston, SC

Despite the aura of genteel opulence that is what many define as Charleston, there are plenty of free things to do in Charleston, SC . In fact, many a Charleston local will spend weeks exploring the city and its various free attractions without spending much .

10 of the Most Fun Outdoor Activities in Charleston, SC

beach near charleston sc

Did you know that Charleston is in the middle of a biological hotspot? This area includes a huge number of endemic species of plants and wildlife found nowhere else in the world. And the unbridled development that happened elsewhere in the hotspot largely passed Charleston by (until recently).

Now, there are still plenty of fun outdoor activities to enjoy in Charleston and nearby . Some of the most popular outdoor activities here include:

  • Golfing, with award-winning courses as the Kiawah Island Golf Resort
  • Fishing, with places like Folly Beach pier and Mount Pleasant pier scattered throughout the area

And a few personal favorites are:

  • Biking around the Lowcountry
  • Nature trails at Caw Caw and other county parks
  • Kayaking at James Island County Park
  • Any sort of activity at any of the beaches, obviously

You just need to know where to look in the area stretching from Edisto and Kiawah Island up to Awendaw and Isle of Palms .

Charleston Nightlife

ravenel bridge

Looking for things to do tonight in Charleston SC?

Then read on:

With so many opportunities to enjoy Charleston nightlife, there are rarely dull moments in town. Enjoying a night on the town is pretty easy in as lively a place as Charleston. From:

  • Exploring the best bars in Charleston, SC around Upper King Street
  • To higher-end establishments
  • Seeing a theater production at the Dock Street Theatre
  • Enjoying some live music at the Charleston Music Hall
  • Or a Riverdogs baseball game at the Joe

There’s plenty to keep visitors and locals alike busy.

Explore our full list of the most fun things to do in Charleston, SC, at night .

Charleston events this weekend

circular church at sunset

Charleston, SC is a city full of life and things to do! Each year, the city hosts hundreds of events, festivals, and fun activities that bring locals and visitors together.

The list of things happening Charleston this weekend more than likely includes an event or two.

Unless you’re visiting in the dead of winter, which… Why?

Charleston Farmers Market

The largest farmers market in the country gathers each Sunday morning at Marion Square in our vibrant cultural hub. Stalls at the Charleston Farmers Market are near bursting with everything from produce to hand-carved tables, most local.

Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

Exhibits, lectures, wildlife art, and other activities are part of the three-day Southeastern Wildlife Exposition . The exposition, one of the largest wildlife events in the country, is held every February.

folly beach pier

The Charleston Wine + Food Festival

The Charleston Wine + Food Festival includes four days of wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, and regional cuisine. The festival is held each year in March. It’s one of Charleston’s most popular events.

The Charleston Jazz Festival

The Charleston Jazz Festival is a three-day event that features local and national jazz musicians performing. The event is scheduled for April.

Lowcountry Cajun Festival

The Lowcountry Cajun Festival is a family-friendly event that celebrates Louisianan cuisine and culture. The April festival will feature Cajun cuisine, music, dancing, and crafts.

Spoleto Festival USA

Spoleto Festival USA is a two-week arts festival that features opera, theater, dance, and music performances. The festival is held every year in May and June.

Charleston International Film Festival

The Charleston International Film Festival , held in November, showcases independent films from around the world. The festival features over 100 films as well as a number of special events, panels, and workshops.

Charleston Visitors Center

After exploring this list, one of the first places to go in Charleston SC is the Charleston Visitors Center. It provides a great background to the history and main tourist attractions in Charleston, South Carolina. The building close to Upper King even has an introductory video and a replica of part of a historic home. The staff at the Charleston Visitors Center is also happy to provide information about the best attractions and activities here. You can even snag discounts on tours.

Check out our list of other fantastic Charleston travel guides if you need more material.

Hotels and Places to Stay in Downtown Charleston, South Carolina

garden fountain

All these Charleston activities are useless if you don’t have anywhere to sleep.

But Charleston is a major tourist destination, so there are plenty of hotels and inns to suit various needs. Check out our list of the best places to stay in Charleston, SC . It includes our favorite hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts both in the historic downtown and on the beach.

10 of the Most Romantic Bed and Breakfasts in the Downtown Charleston Historic District

As a former innkeeper, I’d be remiss not to list a few local favorites. The  list of the most romantic bed and breakfasts in downtown Charleston  include such popular ones as Two Meeting Street Inn and the John Rutledge House. And all are within walking distance of everything you’ll want to do when you visit Charleston.

38 of the Best Hotels in Charleston

There are a ton of hotels here. Check out our list of the top hotels in Charleston we recommend, based on what amenities you’re looking for, their location, and their rates.

9 of the Best Boutique Hotels in Downtown Charleston, SC

Most of the best luxury boutique hotels in downtown Charleston, SC , are within walking distance of the best things to do here. You’ll also find out the best areas to stay in Charleston during your visit.

Must-Visit Neighborhoods Near Downtown Charleston

Shem Creek

One of my personal favorite neighborhoods off the peninsula is  Park Circle, in North Charleston, SC . This is a funky, artsy, and very hipster area. It’s more than worth an afternoon spent poking around the shops, parks, restaurants, and bars.

Mount Pleasant , just across the Ravenel Bridge from Charleston, hosts nautical attractions like:

  • The USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier at Patriots Point
  • Shem Creek, where fishing boats dock and carousers watch the sunset over drinks
  • Old Town Mount Pleasant, a charming historic neighborhood

It also has some of the best restaurants for Lowcountry cooking.

What About the Best Things to Do in Savannah, GA?

Taking a day trip from Charleston to Savannah is fantastic. Both for the destination, as long as the points to visit along the way.

Are there are plenty of things to do in Savannah, GA , to keep you busy over a long weekend.

Or read the best weekend road trips to take from Charleston . Every direction has something cool and unique to discover, you just need the transportation, the music, and a good road trip buddy or two.

Updated and republished: March 28, 2023

Related Hipster Charleston Guides You May Enjoy:

  • 60 of the Best Free Things to Do in Charleston, SC
  • Where to Find the Best Pizza in Charleston, SC: 4 Choices
  • Your Guide to the Hottest Events in Charleston this Weekend
  • Historic Downtown Charleston: A Hipster Guide to the Best Here
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This South Carolina Destination Was Just Named the No. 1 City in the U.S. by T+L Readers — Here's Why

With a fantastic new Filipino restaurant, the opening of the International African American Museum, and an ever-expanding luxury hotel scene, it's easy to see why T+L readers' old standby stays relevant and exciting year after year.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

Charleston, South Carolina, has once again charmed Travel + Leisure readers, winning the top spot in the 2023 World's Best Awards ' favorite cities in the U.S. category for the 11th year in a row. Last year, the South Carolina city earned a coveted spot in the WBA Hall of Fame .

Readers especially loved Charleston's thriving culinary scene and easy walkability, all doused with Southern charm.

The dining scene, of course, spotlights Southern cuisine, with fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, hush puppies, and she-crab soup as staples. Charleston's must-try dishes include the okra soup at Bertha's Kitchen ; biscuits from Callie's Hot Little Biscuits ; deviled crabs from Dave's Carry-Out ; and crab rice from Hannibal's Soul Kitchen .

Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure

The restaurant hype continues to surge with several new openings in the last few years, like Bevi Bene Brewing ; Sorelle , which just opened in February 2023 with a wine room and a pizza counter; and Raw Lab , an omakase-style raw bar. Perhaps the biggest restaurant news of this year is the opening of Filipino restaurant Kultura , by Chopped champion Nikko Cagalahan , which just started welcoming diners this month.

Other additions to the Charleston culture scene include the long-awaited International African American Museum in June 2023. The luxury offerings are also on the rise, with a new Soho House coming in next year.

The new hot spots add a fresh perspective to a city steeped in history — another aspect that resonated with T+L readers. Fort Sumter National Monument ; Historic Charleston City Market ; Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum ; Magnolia Plantation and Gardens ; Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens ; and Rainbow Row all offer a look into Charleston's past. The Charleston Heritage Federation preserves its history through centuries-old homes and museums, while the Historic Charleston Foundation holds an annual Festival of Houses and Gardens in the spring for an inside look at some the nation's most beautiful homes.

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Best places to visit in south carolina.

With good-looking cities and towns, sandy beaches and Lowcountry locales, South Carolina is home to spellbinding destinations that promise carefree vacations. From the shores of Hilton Head Island to Charleston's historic district, the Palmetto State's timeless appeal can make it difficult to narrow down vacation plans. To help you make decisions, U.S. News considered cultural offerings, cuisine, the friendliness of locals and more to rank this list of the best places to visit in South Carolina. Read below to map out your trip, and be sure to vote for destinations you love to help us with next year's list.

Charleston, SC

Hilton head, kiawah island, greenville, sc, georgetown, sc, myrtle beach, huntington beach state park, congaree national park, caesars head state park.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

The charms of this coastal city can't be overstated, and travelers from across the country have taken notice. Civil War history buffs can tour Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, savvy Instagrammers can take advantage of photo ops along The Battery and Rainbow Row, and sun seekers can flock to Folly Beach and other nearby stretches of sand. Plus, everyone will enjoy sampling Charleston's world-class Southern cuisine, including staples like shrimp and grits, roasted oysters and she-crab soup.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

Located about 100 miles southwest of Charleston, Hilton Head Island caters to travelers seeking a slow-paced vacation. Much less developed than other beach options like Myrtle Beach and North Carolina's Outer Banks, Hilton Head Island boasts 12-plus miles of pristine shoreline. Coligny Beach Park offers a wealth of facilities, such as adjacent shops and restaurants, but those looking for less-crowded sands should seek out the beach access point at Alder Lane. What's more, Hilton Head has earned the nickname "Golf Island" for its dozens of championship courses.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

With 10 miles of undisturbed beaches, renowned golf courses and top-notch resorts , Kiawah Island has all the essentials for a serene (albeit costly) beach vacation. Kiawah Island (located about 30 miles southwest of Charleston) features smooth beaches that are great for biking, lounging and spotting bottlenose dolphins and sea turtles. Meanwhile, novice golfers can attend clinics at a learning center, while pros can take on the challenging Ocean Course (notorious for its wind). Come mealtime, visitors can find everything from ice cream parlors to upscale dining at the island's resorts or the picture-perfect Freshfields Village.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

Beaufort's quaint oak tree-lined streets and Civil War-era homes provide a glimpse into the small town's antebellum days. Sign up for a walking or horse-drawn carriage tour to take in your surroundings, then visit the Beaufort History Museum to learn more about the town's past. You'll also want to check out Penn Center on the nearby St. Helena Island to educate yourself about Gullah culture. Once you've gotten your fill of history, head to the Beaufort River to kayak or paddleboard, or make your way to the Port Royal Cypress Wetlands and Rookery for a couple of hours of bird-watching.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

Although Greenville doesn’t receive throngs of visitors like other South Carolina destinations, it's one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, meaning it may not remain a hidden gem for much longer. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Greenville has earned a reputation as a hub for outdoor activities. Head to Falls Park on the Reedy to walk across its impressive Liberty Bridge or bike the 28-mile Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail. In town, catch a show at the Peace Center, stroll down Main Street or mingle with friendly locals at a brewery.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

This small town between Charleston and Myrtle Beach packs in a lot of history. Get the lay of the land with a tram tour in the historic district, where you'll find attractions that tell disparate stories of life before the Civil War, from Georgian mansions like the Kaminski House Museum to The Rice Museum, which details Georgetown's impactful rice plantation economy. A boat tour can also take you past plantations like Hopsewee Plantation and Hobcaw Barony, which call attention to Native American and Gullah culture and the slave experience. Back in town, the Harborwalk is worth a stroll for its restaurants, shops and art galleries. 

popular places to visit in charleston sc

Myrtle Beach, one of the most iconic East Coast beach destinations , is especially popular with families thanks to its wealth of kid-friendly attractions (think: miniature golf courses and Ripley's Aquarium of Myrtle Beach). But visitors of all ages will enjoy spending time by the water. Myrtle Beach's 60-mile stretch of coastline is ideal for relaxing, and the gentle water makes it an excellent place to swim, fish, paddleboard and kayak. To get a dose of nature without rubbing elbows with hordes of tourists, travelers can head to Myrtle Beach State Park, which offers equestrian trails, playgrounds, a campground and a fishing pier.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

Situated less than 17 miles southwest of Myrtle Beach, Huntington Beach State Park offers an escape from the busyness of South Carolina's better-known beaches. You can swim, fish and go boating at its 3-mile-long undeveloped beach. Additionally, more than 300 bird species call this park home; walk along Huntington Beach's two nature trails to access some of its best places for bird-watching (you may also spot some alligators). Don't forget to save time for a guided tour of Moorish-style Atalaya Castle and a visit to Brookgreen Gardens to marvel at its flowers and sculptures.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

Central South Carolina's Congaree National Park is home to North America's largest stretch of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest, making it an excellent place to go hiking. Congaree boasts more than 27 miles of trails and boardwalks suitable for all skill levels, including the shorter Boardwalk Loop Trail and longer paths like the Weston Lake Trail and the Oakridge Trail that are havens for birds, wild turkeys and deer. When you're not exploring its beautiful forest, spend a few hours fishing in Congaree National Park's lakes or canoeing or kayaking down Cedar Creek.

popular places to visit in charleston sc

Caesars Head State Park stuns visitors with an easily accessible overlook that grants sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Escarpment's 2,000-foot drop. This outcropping is just the starting point for exploring the park, which sits roughly 30 miles northwest of Greenville on the North Carolina-South Carolina border. Sixty-plus miles of trails lead to sights like the Devil's Kitchen, where hikers can clamber between narrow walls of a mountain that's been split in two, and Raven Cliff Falls, which rewards those who complete the 2-mile trail with a 420-foot cascade. Fishing and bird-watching (particularly during the fall hawk migration) are also popular things to do.

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Where to Dine in Charleston, According to a Local

Because these days, South Carolina’s favorite food town is about much more than blue crabs and barbecue.

By Stephanie Burt

Published on May 8, 2024

If shrimp and grits are what come to mind when you think about food in Charleston, my hunch is that you haven’t been down to my neck of the woods lately. Since the late aughts, the city has undergone a culinary renaissance propelled by a cohort of chefs, notably Sean Brock, who brought the farm-to-table movement to new heights. In part because of this burgeoning scene, Charleston’s tourism sector has grown exponentially in recent years, and the city of just over 150,000 residents now receives close to 1 million tourists annually. (Some 35,000—including a handful of SAVEUR staffers—descend on the Charleston Wine + Food Festival each year alone.) 

But Charleson’s culinary evolution continues apace to the present. These days, a new class of chef-driven restaurants has cemented the city as an evergreen food destination, drawing from the traditional Lowcountry palate as well as international flavors and cooking techniques. 

Charleston is a thriving centuries-old port, and its food is grounded in the influences of enslaved people from West Africa and beyond who largely built the city from the ground up, grew its crops, and worked and cooked here. On this peninsula hugged by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, they creatively combined spices and other foodstuffs that came off the ships with the bounty of this place—corn, game, shrimp, fish, crab, oysters—and established a singular cuisine at the intersection of many cultures. 

The peninsula is still Charleston’s gastronomic epicenter, which means a lot of the best restaurants are within walking distance from one another. However, as the city has grown, so has its culinary footprint, and now diners can be served—and served well—by spending some time west of the Ashley River, in the Park Circle neighborhood of North Charleston, and out on the Sea Islands. 

Charleston’s restaurants are marvelously diverse, and nowadays, you’re almost as likely to find flounder cooked in miso-infused broth as you are to enjoy it dredged in cornmeal and deep-fried. That's why this primer runs the gamut.

I hope the list sparks your imagination: This city by the sea is where I dove headfirst into food writing, and almost two decades later, I am just as enamored with Charleston’s restaurant scene as I was that first soft-shell crab season. My biggest piece of advice? Come hungry—enjoying all that Charleston has to offer takes time, reservations, and a voracious appetite. 

The Glass Onion

1219 Savannah Highway (843) 225-1717

The Glass Onion

Sixteen years and counting, The Glass Onion continues to churn out pitch-perfect po’boys with flash-fried plump local shrimp served on a soft yet crusty roll. Beyond the sandwiches, there are in-season vegetable sides like local field peas stewed with onions and fresh herbs, which are great to share alongside entrees including pan-roasted Carolina trout and succulent pork chops. The diner-style dining room is simple yet comfortable enough to linger for dessert, which may be a tart meringue pie one day and buttermilk panna cotta the next.

320 Broad St., Suite 160 (843) 969-2555

Costa

At this Mediterranean restaurant next to Colonial Lake, Chef Vinson Petrillo (of Restaurant at Zero George fame) reminds everybody why burrata became so trendy in the first place: This is the good stuff, ultra-creamy with a mild tang (and it doesn’t hurt that there’s an option to have it arrive gilded with caviar). Eggplant parmesan, bubbling from the oven, feels like a coat on a cool night, but regardless of the weather, I find myself returning to the cool beef carpaccio with velvety slices of meat encasing an Asian-inspired herby salad.

Da Toscano Porchetta Shop

109 President St . No Phone

Da Toscano Porchetta Shop

After moving to Charleston to open Le Farfalle , chef Michael Toscano connected with local pig farmer Tank Jackson and soon perfected his already exceptional porchetta. At this Charleston take on an Italian American butcher shop, try the flavorful, thinly sliced pork on a focaccia sandwich topped with salsa verde, or skip the swine and opt for the eggplant scapece sandwich with arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, and ricotta. When you’ve gone hard the night before, Da Toscano’s breakfast sandwiches—such as porcini-rubbed prime rib topped with a sunny-side-up egg—always save the day. 

Rodney Scott’s BBQ

1011 King St. (843) 990-9535

Rodney Scott’s BBQ

There’s often a line out the door to this restaurant on Upper King, and when Rodney’s in the house, a line to see him, too. Rodney Scott is one of the great pitmasters of smoky whole-hog barbecue, which requires the strength to lift butterflied pigs over glowing coals, the stamina to tend it for multiple hours, and the patience to know when it’s crisp enough to serve with zippy vinegar sauce. The sound system is always playing some classic pop or blues in the sun-filled dining room, and the music is even piped out to the parking lot for customers at the drive-through. Rodney’s is a rare taste of country-style barbecue in the city—red cafeteria tray, pork skins, beans, collards, and all. 

Vern's 

41 Bogard St. A No phone

Vern's

It feels like a cozy dinner party at this Cannonborough neighborhood haunt, where seasonal bistro dishes are the draw. A few recent standouts include escargot with tarragon and gruyère, gnocchetti with walnut arugula pesto, and bavette steak with sweet onions from Wadmalaw Island. Bethany, the co-owner, is a marvelous host, serving wine, hugging customers, and deftly maneuvering the crush of diners. Settle in for aperitivi at the bar, then peruse the wine list favoring low-intervention small producers. 

Kultura 

73 Spring St. (843) 974-1674

Kultura

There’s no cornbread in sight at this Filipino restaurant with a pleasant side yard patio—yet as any local will tell you, Kultura has quickly become a Charleston favorite since opening last year. Ingredients sourced nearby, like Peculiar Pig pork and a variety of vegetables, shine through in dishes like arroz caldo topped with smoked trout roe and tocino (twice-cooked pork ribs with banana ketchup and furikake rice krispies). It’s astonishing that the cooks can achieve such depth of flavor and beautiful plating using little more than an induction burner and a small oven. On Sundays, guests belt out karaoke hits at brunch while sipping mimosas and halo-halo cocktails made with coconut, sake, and ube foam. 

6 Payne Court (843) 579-3060

Chez Nous

We’ve already professed our love for this spot swimming in fairytale European charm, but the lasting appeal of Chez Nous is how it connects the diner with the seasons—six menu items at a time. On a recent visit, there was crispy fish with peas and sofrito, shaved carrot and golden beet salad spooned over creamy mozzarella, and berries in vanilla cream for dessert—all served in an unhurried, well-choreographed procession. At Chez Nous, the candlelight glows, the Old World wine list flows, and there’s always a new season to celebrate.

1333 Theater Drive, Mount Pleasant (843) 388-5178

Malika

This Pakistani street food mecca next to a movie theater is the Mount Pleasant sister restaurant of Ma’am Saab . Its walls pop with Pakistani street posters, and Bollywood music blasts from the speakers. Masala fries, sprinkled with the house chile-spice blend, come topped with onions, cilantro, and spicy ketchup; they’re a solid starter to munch on while deciding between mains like beef kabab with green chutney and tamarind or the paneer tikka masala combo with vegetable korma. For dessert, don’t miss the traditional kulfi (pistachio, rose, and cinnamon) ice cream. 

232 Meeting St. (843) 805-5900 

FIG

Though FIG recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, reservations are as hard to come by as ever (so book ahead!). Favorites like the gnocchi and tomato tartine are always in seasonal rotation, but there’s always something new to try in dishes like broiled Steamboat oysters with green garlic (which go great with Cruse Wine’s sparkling rosé), beets with house-made cottage cheese, and sautéed snowy grouper served in a pool of artichoke dashi with peas and asparagus. After-dinner cocktails such as the “café de Carmen”—espresso, Hoodoo chicory, Giffard Banane du Brésil, and Cynar—make a wonderful pairing for desserts like rich Carolina Gold rice pudding topped with local blueberries. 

Bintü Atelier

8D Line St. (347) 249-6594

popular places to visit in charleston sc

Bintü Atelier is one of Charleston’s first African restaurants. Tucked in a house in Eastside with an old-fashioned kitchen store attached, the establishment cranks out stunning mains such as goat with melon seed and pumpkin; mafe, a groundnut stew with chicken; and fried soft-shell crab served over shito spicy crab rice. To wash it all down, there are fresh house-made juices from pineapple to ginger to soursop. This is a family-run operation (you can often spot chef Bintou N’Daw Young at the stove through the screen door), which adds to the warm, homey feel.

The Obstinate Daughter

2063 Middle St., Sullivan's Island (843) 416-5020

The Obstinate Daughter

From wood-roasted clams to seasonal vegetables, the OD (as it’s affectionately called) is all about shareable French, Italian and Spanish plates. Start with oysters from the raw bar, a flatbread with butterbean puree, or Frogmore chowder with shrimp and sausage, then move on to a veal cutlet over creamy grits or the Capanelle made with seasonal fish, green olives, calabrian chili, and breadcrumbs. Make sure to save room for a gelato sampler from Beardcat’s downstairs, which uses local and seasonal ingredients ranging from strawberries to Counter Culture espresso. The OD is the rare restaurant that’s great for romantic dates, family celebrations, and everything in between. 

Bertha's Kitchen

2332 Meeting Street Rd. (843) 554-6519

Bertha's

Braving the long line here is part of the pilgrimage, and everybody’s in it together: construction workers, churchgoers, the lawyer from those TV ads, and now you. Bertha’s is about more than the silky okra soup, creamy mac and cheese, green beans like my granny’s, and fried pork chops (my go-to order ever since one of the owners gave me the up-down and said, “You look like it might be a pork chop day”). With its mural of Bertha herself and tables of impatient children waiting for their parents in line, Bertha’s is community across the steam table. 

Chubby Fish  

252 Coming St. (854) 222-3949

Chubby Fish

Cooks here work hand in hand daily with local fishermen to bring patrons the best Lowcountry seafood imaginable. You might luck out with a snapper ceviche with avocado and cucumber on one visit, while the next, it might be fried soft-shell crab nachos. The dining room bathed in varying blues, the wine list with plenty of lights and white, and the ever-helpful staff make this Cannonborough neighborhood standby feel like a party—without getting in the middle of yours. Insider tip: The caviar sandwiches on potato rolls are one of the best Charleston restaurant experiences on the peninsula.

Lowland Tavern

36 George St. (854) 895-4137

Lowland Tavern

Lowland Tavern is the kind of place local chefs flock to when they’re not on the line: It’s cozy yet decadent, thanks to the art-saturated walls and ornate 19th-century fireplaces, and the menu is deceptively simple yet full of subtle culinary flexes. Take the Tavern burger and fries, for instance, inspired by James Beard Award-winning chef Jason Stanhope’s favorite burgers at Peter Luger Steak House and Minetta Tavern in New York: It’s bathed in creamy cognac sauce and comes on a pillowy, sesame-flecked bun that absorbs just enough of the juices so they don’t dribble down your chin. When I’m in the mood for something lighter, I spring for the celery salad with dates, walnuts, and mint. 

Jackrabbit Filly

4628 Spruill Ave., North Charleston (854) 895-4137

Jackrabbit Filly

The patio here on a summer night is Park Circle (North Charleston’s hip neighborhood) at its finest. The cocktails—perhaps a carafe of the sake-based If You’re a Bird, I’m a Bird—and easy-to-drink Lambrusco, chenin blanc, and rosé make for many gregarious rounds, and the dim sum brunch of dumplings, congee, and a big ol’ piece of chocolate chip banana bread is so popular it’s often standing-room only. No matter the occasion, at least one order of Sichuan hot karaage, drizzled with house “filly sauce” and served with sweet pickles, is a must.

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popular places to visit in charleston sc

Stacker

The best affordable restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, according to diners—plus, see the rest of the 30 best

Posted: May 16, 2024 | Last updated: May 16, 2024

<p>With the advent of Big Data, it's easier than ever to quantify what people like around the globe. And when it comes to food—particularly easy, cheap eats—Americans have very specific opinions. Dining brands in U.S. have a long and storied history, and whether they're fast food, fast-casual, high-end, or super cheap, American restaurants offer something for almost everyone.</p><p><a href="https://www.stacker.com/south-carolina/charlestonsc">Stacker</a> compiled a list of the highest rated restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina that are listed as "cheap eats" on <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com/">Tripadvisor</a>. Tripadvisor rankings factor in the average rating and number of reviews. Some restaurants on the list may have recently closed. Easy, inexpensive options here run the gamut of cuisine, service options, and styles. The restaurants on this list are chock-full of variety, mixing ethnicities, food regions, and cultures into steaming melting pots of deliciousness.</p><p>Anyone reading the list will surely see some favorite eateries and classic go-to restaurants. Keep reading to see if any of your favorite cheap eateries made the list.</p>

Highest-rated cheap eats in Charleston, South Carolina, according to Tripadvisor

With the advent of Big Data, it's easier than ever to quantify what people like around the globe. And when it comes to food—particularly easy, cheap eats—Americans have very specific opinions. Dining brands in U.S. have a long and storied history, and whether they're fast food, fast-casual, high-end, or super cheap, American restaurants offer something for almost everyone.

Stacker compiled a list of the highest rated restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina that are listed as "cheap eats" on Tripadvisor . Tripadvisor rankings factor in the average rating and number of reviews. Some restaurants on the list may have recently closed. Easy, inexpensive options here run the gamut of cuisine, service options, and styles. The restaurants on this list are chock-full of variety, mixing ethnicities, food regions, and cultures into steaming melting pots of deliciousness.

Anyone reading the list will surely see some favorite eateries and classic go-to restaurants. Keep reading to see if any of your favorite cheap eateries made the list.

<p>- Rating: 4.0 / 5 (314 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: American, Bar<br>- Address: 215 E Bay St Suite 100, Charleston, SC 29401-2633<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d2186038-Reviews-Mac_s_Place-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#30. Mac's Place

- Rating: 4.0 / 5 (314 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5) - Type of cuisine: American, Bar - Address: 215 E Bay St Suite 100, Charleston, SC 29401-2633 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (238 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.5/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Coffee & Tea, American<br>- Address: 160 E Bay St Suite 103-104, Charleston, SC 29401-2140<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d1830746-Reviews-Bakehouse_Charleston-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#29. Bakehouse Charleston

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (238 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.5/5) - Type of cuisine: Coffee & Tea, American - Address: 160 E Bay St Suite 103-104, Charleston, SC 29401-2140 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.0 / 5 (286 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: American, Bar<br>- Address: 337 King St, Charleston, SC 29401-1438<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d489268-Reviews-Kickin_Chicken-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#28. Kickin' Chicken

- Rating: 4.0 / 5 (286 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5) - Type of cuisine: American, Bar - Address: 337 King St, Charleston, SC 29401-1438 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (90 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Bakeries, American<br>- Address: 199 Saint Philip St, Charleston, SC 29403-5429<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d4062785-Reviews-Brown_s_Court_Bakery-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#27. Brown's Court Bakery

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (90 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5) - Type of cuisine: Bakeries, American - Address: 199 Saint Philip St, Charleston, SC 29403-5429 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (154 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Bakeries, Cafe<br>- Address: 73 Spring St, Charleston, SC 29403-8300<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d2184367-Reviews-WildFlour_Pastry-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#26. WildFlour Pastry

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (154 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5) - Type of cuisine: Bakeries, Cafe - Address: 73 Spring St, Charleston, SC 29403-8300 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (91 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Pizza, Italian<br>- Address: 295 Seven Farms Dr Suite E, Charleston, SC 29492-8001<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d1526230-Reviews-Orlando_s_Pizza-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#25. Orlando's Pizza

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (91 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5) - Type of cuisine: Pizza, Italian - Address: 295 Seven Farms Dr Suite E, Charleston, SC 29492-8001 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 5.0 / 5 (45 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (5.0/5), Service (5.0/5), Value (5.0/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American<br>- Address: 1739 Maybank Hwy Suite U, Charleston, SC 29412-2103<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d14155295-Reviews-Maple_Street_Biscuit_Company-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#24. Maple Street Biscuit Company

- Rating: 5.0 / 5 (45 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (5.0/5), Service (5.0/5), Value (5.0/5) - Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American - Address: 1739 Maybank Hwy Suite U, Charleston, SC 29412-2103 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (155 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.5/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Coffee & Tea, Cafe<br>- Address: 70.5 Beaufain St, Charleston, SC 29401-1933<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d4308319-Reviews-Second_State_Coffee-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#23. Second State Coffee

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (155 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.5/5) - Type of cuisine: Coffee & Tea, Cafe - Address: 70.5 Beaufain St, Charleston, SC 29401-1933 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (196 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Italian, Pizza<br>- Address: 229 Saint Philip St, Charleston, SC 29403-5428<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d811995-Reviews-D_Allesandro_s_Pizza-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#22. D'Allesandro's Pizza

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (196 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5) - Type of cuisine: Italian, Pizza - Address: 229 Saint Philip St, Charleston, SC 29403-5428 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (232 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: American, Cafe<br>- Address: 2366 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414-4754<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d1132547-Reviews-Sunflower_Cafe-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#21. Sunflower Cafe

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (232 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5) - Type of cuisine: American, Cafe - Address: 2366 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414-4754 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.0 / 5 (253 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, Italian<br>- Address: 40 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401-2027<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d1479412-Reviews-Pizzeria_Di_Giovanni-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#20. Pizzeria Di Giovanni

- Rating: 4.0 / 5 (253 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5) - Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, Italian - Address: 40 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401-2027 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.0 / 5 (255 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American<br>- Address: 76 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401-3118<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d2343288-Reviews-Market_Street_Deli_and_Salads-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#19. Market Street Deli and Salads

- Rating: 4.0 / 5 (255 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5) - Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American - Address: 76 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401-3118 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (187 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: American, Cafe<br>- Address: 1980 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29407-4780<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d436777-Reviews-Bear_E_Patch_Cafe_West-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#18. Bear E Patch Cafe West

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (187 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5) - Type of cuisine: American, Cafe - Address: 1980 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29407-4780 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (111 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: American<br>- Address: 2332 Meeting Street Rd, Charleston, SC 29405-6114<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d436746-Reviews-Bertha_s_Kitchen-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#17. Bertha`s Kitchen

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (111 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5) - Type of cuisine: American - Address: 2332 Meeting Street Rd, Charleston, SC 29405-6114 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.0 / 5 (619 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (3.0/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: American, Cafe<br>- Address: 137 Market St, Charleston, SC 29401-3131<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d555328-Reviews-Sweetwater_Cafe-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#16. Sweetwater Cafe

- Rating: 4.0 / 5 (619 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.0/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (3.0/5) - Type of cuisine: American, Cafe - Address: 137 Market St, Charleston, SC 29401-3131 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.0 / 5 (1,153 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (3.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (3.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: not available<br>- Address: 170 Church St, Charleston, SC 29401-3141<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d489247-Reviews-Charleston_Market-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#15. Charleston Market

- Rating: 4.0 / 5 (1,153 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (3.5/5), Service (4.0/5), Value (3.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5) - Type of cuisine: not available - Address: 170 Church St, Charleston, SC 29401-3141 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (962 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American<br>- Address: 476 1/2 King St, Charleston, SC 29403-6229<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d6775322-Reviews-Callie_s_Hot_Little_Biscuit-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#14. Callie's Hot Little Biscuit

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (962 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (3.5/5) - Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American - Address: 476 1/2 King St, Charleston, SC 29403-6229 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (182 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.5/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American<br>- Address: 133 Queen St, Charleston, SC 29401-1950<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d2195115-Reviews-Queen_Street_Grocery_Cafe-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#13. Queen Street Grocery & Cafe

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (182 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.5/5) - Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American - Address: 133 Queen St, Charleston, SC 29401-1950 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (785 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.5/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: American, Bar<br>- Address: 18 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC 29401-2114<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d436603-Reviews-Griffon-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#12. Griffon

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (785 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.5/5) - Type of cuisine: American, Bar - Address: 18 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC 29401-2114 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (261 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Dessert, American<br>- Address: 474 Savannah Hwy West Ashley, Charleston, SC 29407-7208<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d2423523-Reviews-Ye_Ole_Fashioned_Ice_Cream_Sandwich_Cafe-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#11. Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream & Sandwich Cafe

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (261 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5) - Type of cuisine: Dessert, American - Address: 474 Savannah Hwy West Ashley, Charleston, SC 29407-7208 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (446 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Bakeries, American<br>- Address: 481 King St, Charleston, SC 29403-6231<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d2366337-Reviews-Glazed_Gourmet_Doughnuts-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#10. Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (446 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5) - Type of cuisine: Bakeries, American - Address: 481 King St, Charleston, SC 29403-6231 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (546 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Dessert<br>- Address: 6 Vendue Range 324 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401-2114<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d2322854-Reviews-Belgian_Gelato-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#9. Belgian Gelato

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (546 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5) - Type of cuisine: Dessert - Address: 6 Vendue Range 324 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401-2114 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (1,230 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: American, Diner<br>- Address: 1644 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407-7869<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d1741364-Reviews-Early_Bird_Diner-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#8. Early Bird Diner

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (1,230 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5) - Type of cuisine: American, Diner - Address: 1644 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407-7869 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (410 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American<br>- Address: 1922 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407-6251<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d6602889-Reviews-Boxcar_Betty_s-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#7. Boxcar Betty's

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (410 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5) - Type of cuisine: Quick Bites, American - Address: 1922 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407-6251 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (303 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Dessert, American<br>- Address: 223 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401-3107<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d9834350-Reviews-Peace_Pie_Charleston-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#6. Peace Pie Charleston

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (303 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5) - Type of cuisine: Dessert, American - Address: 223 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401-3107 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (312 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.5/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Coffee & Tea, American<br>- Address: 4 Vanderhorst St, Charleston, SC 29403-6121<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d841249-Reviews-Kudu_Coffee_Craft_Beer-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#5. Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (312 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.5/5) - Type of cuisine: Coffee & Tea, American - Address: 4 Vanderhorst St, Charleston, SC 29403-6121 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (328 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: French, European<br>- Address: 39 George St corner king street and George street, Charleston, SC 29401-1422<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d8117528-Reviews-Breizh_Pan_Crepes_Deli-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#4. Breizh Pan Crepes & Deli

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (328 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5) - Type of cuisine: French, European - Address: 39 George St corner king street and George street, Charleston, SC 29401-1422 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (576 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Dessert, American<br>- Address: 501-A King St, Charleston, SC 29403-7205<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d6737478-Reviews-Jeni_s_Splendid_Ice_Creams-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#3. Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (576 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.0/5), Atmosphere (4.0/5) - Type of cuisine: Dessert, American - Address: 501-A King St, Charleston, SC 29403-7205 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (1,693 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.5/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: American, Deli<br>- Address: 40 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29401-3004<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d3546523-Reviews-Brown_Dog_Deli-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#2. Brown Dog Deli

- Rating: 4.5 / 5 (1,693 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (4.5/5), Service (4.5/5), Value (4.5/5), Atmosphere (4.5/5) - Type of cuisine: American, Deli - Address: 40 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29401-3004 - Read more on Tripadvisor

<p>- Rating: 5.0 / 5 (178 reviews)<br>- Detailed ratings: Food (5.0/5), Service (5.0/5), Value (4.5/5)<br>- Type of cuisine: Coffee & Tea, American<br>- Address: 159 Church St, Charleston, SC 29401-3123<br>- <a href="https://www.tripadvisor.com//Restaurant_Review-g54171-d13828677-Reviews-Bitty_Beau_s_Coffee-Charleston_South_Carolina.html">Read more on Tripadvisor</a></p>

#1. Bitty & Beau's Coffee

- Rating: 5.0 / 5 (178 reviews) - Detailed ratings: Food (5.0/5), Service (5.0/5), Value (4.5/5) - Type of cuisine: Coffee & Tea, American - Address: 159 Church St, Charleston, SC 29401-3123 - Read more on Tripadvisor

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Northern Lights visible in the Carolinas

GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - An extreme geomagnetic storm could continue to allow the Northern Lights to dip south across the United States this weekend, including into the Carolinas.

For the first time in 2003, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association observed a severe G5 storm. This has the potential to impact communications and power grids across the world. In 2003 some power issues were experienced in Sweden and Africa.

The Northern Lights that appeared overhead here in the Carolinas and Georgia on Friday night may appear again, as particles from a recent string of strong solar eruptions continues to impact Earth. Sky conditions will be favorable, with just a few scattered clouds possible. While there is no guarantee, the aurora would most likely be visible any time between 9:00 PM and 3:00 AM. Get to a darker location away from lights with a clear view of the sky, and you’ll have a chance.

Could be visible in the Carolinas Saturday

People across the upstate shared pictures of the lights on Friday night.

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The good news is the forecast for this weekend in the Carolinas is great for viewing. We have mainly clear skies on Saturday so be sure to step outside to see if you can catch a peek.

FOX CAROLINA FIRST ALERT WEATHER FORECAST

For best viewing, head out of town to a place where the sky is dark, away from light pollution. The aurora is most active between the 3 to 4 hours before and after midnight.

Dark skies and late at night

If you do see the Northern Lights, but sure to snap a pic and share with us! We want to see them, too.

SHARE YOUR PICS

Along with the Northern Lights, there could be disruption in cell service and satellite navigation.

You can always get the latest Northern Lights forecast with the Aurora Tracker on FOX Carolina.com

Copyright 2024 WHNS. All rights reserved.

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Best places to live: See where Greenville, Spartanburg rank on U.S. News most desirable list

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Greenville and Spartanburg were among five South Carolina cities mentioned in U.S. News & World Report's 2023-24 list of the 150  "Best Places to Live in the U.S .," released Tuesday.

The report analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Among the 150 US metros, Greenville ranked 31st on the list while Spartanburg was 43rd.

Other highlights:

  • Greenville is the second-best place to live in SC. In the US stats, Greenville ranks 12th in cheapest places to live, 23rd in fastest-growing places, 23rd in most dangerous places and 67nd in best places to retire.
  • Spartanburg is the third-best place to live in SC. In the US stats, Spartanburg ranks 11th in cheapest places to live, 12th in fastest-growing places and 68th in best places to retire.
  • Myrtle Beach ranks as the top place to live in SC and the 18th best place to live in the US.
  • Charleston ranks as the 53rd best place to live in the US (No. 4 in SC) and Columbia ranks 92nd (No. 5 in SC).
  • Charlotte, NC is the No. 8 best place to live in the US.
  • Asheville, NC is the 29th best place to live in the US.

18. Myrtle Beach: Golfer's paradise, retirement destination

Year after year, Myrtle Beach brings in tourists from all around the world, the magazine said. Outsiders know the city for its sprawling boardwalk and beaches, but its No. 28 ranking in best places to retire prove that it is also a great place to live. Young professionals, growing families and empty nesters will relish the city's warm weather and relatively low cost of living. Nature lovers will find that there is always somewhere new for their hiking boots to explore, like hiking at Huntington State Park or strolling the 60 miles of shoreline that run along the Grand Strand. Myrtle Beach is also home to 90 golf courses, making it the perfect vacation getaway for those looking to score a hole in one after a long week at the office.

31. Greenville: Vibrant downtown, arts and athletics

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city, once the "textile capital of the world", has transformed into the Upstate's cultural and entertainment center, the magazine said. Its award-winning downtown is expanding with projects like the $1 billion County Square redevelopment and luxury McDaniel townhomes development . The city has many sports fans who proudly display their athletic spirit for Clemson University's Clemson Tigers and Greenville's Minor League baseball team, the Greenville Drive, who can be found swinging away at Fluor Field. Events like the three-day Artisphere , which has gained national attention, embrace talented artists and musicians, both local and from around the world, who keep the downtown scene bursting with color and sound.

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43. Spartanburg: The Hub City of international business

Spartanburg was once a major railroad intersection in the 19th century known as the "Hub City," its rich history predating the Revolutionary War, the magazine said. The city is now known for having a diverse collection of international companies like its full-time North American BMW plant. Downtown, it is hard to miss the Denny's restaurant chain headquarters, a tall building that sticks out off of East Main Street. It is also not uncommon to find locals dining with their pets at restaurant patios in the pet-friendly downtown. Institutions of higher learning and a burgeoning food scene keep locals busy with things to do.

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53. Charleston: Charming architecture, fine cuisine

The magazine said, no one does southern hospitality like the Holy City. Its culinary scene lures food lovers from all around with its seafood and lowcountry cooking. Southern style clothing is featured through the fronts of boutique shops lining King Street, America's most distinctive downtown. History is preserved through cobblestone walkways, Spanish moss hanging from oak trees and spooky ghost legends that raise goosebumps on the arms. The city's summers are hot and humid, but locals use days like these to soak in the sun on the beach.

92. Columbia: Capital city features Gamecocks' sports, family fun

Residents of South Carolina's capital will find that there is plenty to do in the city, the magazine said. Columbia has a variety of music and art galleries around town, such as the Koger Center for the Arts and Township Auditorium. Home to the University of South Carolina, many residents bond over their love of USC sports, especially the Gamecocks football team. Parents also know that there is an abundance of places to bring children, like the EdVenture's Children Museum where kids can engage in scientific and technological learning activities, and the Columbia Museum of Art which contains an observatory, planetarium and 4-D theater. Traffic is relatively mild in the city, but don't be fooled ― Columbia is South Carolina's second most populous city.

Nina Tran covers trending topics for the Greenville News. Reach her via email at [email protected].

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  1. 19 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Charleston, SC

    popular places to visit in charleston sc

  2. 19 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Charleston, SC

    popular places to visit in charleston sc

  3. 28 Best Things to Do in Charleston, South Carolina

    popular places to visit in charleston sc

  4. 10 Best Things to Do in Charleston

    popular places to visit in charleston sc

  5. A Beginner’s Guide to Charleston, South Carolina: 15 Must-See

    popular places to visit in charleston sc

  6. The Top Things to Do and See in Downtown Charleston, South Carolina

    popular places to visit in charleston sc

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  1. Best Places To Visit In South Carolina USA -Travel Guide

  2. THE BEST PLACES TO EAT IN CHARLESTON SOUTH CAROLINA!

  3. 10 Best Beautiful Places in Charleston #shorts

  4. Charleston South Carolina Flash Flooding Due to Heavy Rain (April 11 2024)

  5. Charleston Drive on a Beautiful Day Part 1/6, South Carolina USA 4K-UHD

COMMENTS

  1. 27 Best Things to Do in Charleston, SC

    According to many, the Aiken-Rhett House Museum is a unique and educational place to learn about life in Charleston during the 19th century. Originally built in the early 1800s and then expanded ...

  2. The 21 Best Things to Do in Charleston

    Our top recommendations for what to do in Charleston, S.C., with pictures and travel tips. Find fun things to do, best places to visit, unusual things to do, and more for couples, adults, and kids.

  3. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Charleston

    South Carolina's Most Visited Plantation and Gardens. National Registry of Historic Places. Ancient Oak Avenue. Tours full of History. World Famous Gardens of the 19th Century "Romantic Style". Selected by Travel + Leisure (2014) as the only South Carolina garden deemed one of "America's Most Beautiful Gardens".

  4. THE 30 BEST Places to Visit in Charleston (UPDATED 2024)

    The best day trips from Charleston according to Tripadvisor travellers are: Charleston Water Taxi Cruise with Dolphin Sighting; Get Out of Town! Visit 12 Lowcountry Stops with the Complete Charleston Tour! Myrtle Beach to Charleston with Horse & Carriage Ride, Harbor Cruise, Boone Hall; Day Trips to Charleston#7 See Ft Sumter,CarriageTour,Lunch ...

  5. 28 Best Things to Do in Charleston, South Carolina

    For others, outside of downtown, there are beaches, yachting, fishing, golf, shopping and so much more. Charleston also offers some of the best cuisine in the South," says Wilson, front office ...

  6. 19 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Charleston, SC

    8. Stroll through the Battery and White Point Gardens. The Battery and White Point Gardens. The promenade along the seawall washed by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, as they meet and form Charleston Harbor, became a public garden in 1837 but was fortified as Battery Ramsey when the Civil War began.

  7. Things to Do In Charleston SC

    Visit our event calendar to discover all of the top activities and fun things to do in Charleston. Your official guide to things to do in Charleston, SC. Tour landmarks, get outdoors, or just soak up the vibrant culture. It's all here. Start exploring.

  8. The Best Attractions of Charleston

    The Avenue Of Oaks at Boone Hall Plantation is one of the most spectacular entrances anywhere in the world and welcomes visitors to a place that reflects Southern heritage spanning 300 years of history, beauty, and grace. Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Website. 843-884-4371. Map Directions. Featured.

  9. The 28 Best Things To Do In Charleston, South Carolina

    While Peninsula Grill could claim many of their dishes as "worth traveling for," the fine dining establishment is best known for its Ultimate Coconut Cake, a 12-layer confection stuffed with cream cheese icing, coated in toasted coconut, and topped with strawberries. peninsulagrill.com; 112 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401.

  10. Visitor Guide

    The Official Charleston Visitor Guide - Spring 2023. Welcome to the Official Charleston Visitor Guide for Spring 2023! This comprehensive guide showcases the best of Charleston and is designed to help you make the most of your trip. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, you'll find plenty of things to see and do in this ...

  11. 30 Best & Fun Things To Do In Charleston (South Carolina)

    Address: 16 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401, United States. 23. Upper King Design District. Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock. The Upper King Design District is one of the most fun neighborhoods in Charleston. The attractions here are quite lovely, with many great shops and places to eat.

  12. Best things to do in Charleston

    Ride the Charleston Beer Trolley. A free trolley swings through the Charleston Beer District in downtown Charleston on Saturdays, stopping at ten breweries between 1pm and 9pm. You can visit them by hopping on and off. Revelry Brewery has a fire pit on its rooftop while Edmund's Oast has 20 house-brewer beers on tap.

  13. 22 of the Absolute Best Things to Do in Charleston

    A gorgeous, 8-lane suspension bridge, the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge stretches from Charleston to Mount Pleasant over the Cooper River. It offers sweeping views of Charleston, and it is one of the best places to watch the sunset in the city. The bridge has a 12-foot path for pedestrians and bikers, named Wonders' Way.

  14. The 17 Best Things to Do in Charleston, South Carolina

    Address. 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29401-6300, USA. Phone +1 843-577-3474. Web Visit website. Located along the Charleston Harbor, the South Carolina Aquarium is home to more than ten thousand plants and animals like river otters, loggerhead sea turtles, horseshoe crabs, sharks, sea urchins, and ocean fish.

  15. 16 Best Places To Visit In Charleston (+ Unique Vacation Spots)

    Rainbow Row. Charleston is known for its bright and colorful buildings. One of the best places in town to enjoy this quirkiness is Rainbow Row. Found on East Bay Street, Rainbow Row is a collection of thirteen pastel-colored Georgian houses. The homes date back to 1740.

  16. 23 of the Best Things to Do in Charleston SC, This Weekend

    But a walk or bike ride along the Ravenel bridge is a relaxing way to see the Charleston skyline and the harbor. 7. Charleston Waterfront Park. Another scenic location on the Charleston peninsula, Waterfront Park is one of the top tourist attractions in Charleston, South Carolina.

  17. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Charleston

    Circa 1738, Drayton Hall is the oldest unrestored plantation house in America still open to the public. 10. McLeod Plantation Historic Site. Established in 1851, McLeod Plantation has borne witness to some of the most significant periods of Charleston's - and our nations - history.

  18. Best Things to Do in Charleston SC

    Attractions. Watersports. Boating & Fishing. Health & Wellness. Parks & Nature Preserves ... Our goal is to provide viewers the best of the best so that you can find the information you need when you need it. ... Address. The City Site, LLC 334 East Bay Street #201 Charleston, South Carolina 29401. Phone and Email (843) 296-6966. This email ...

  19. Charleston Was Just Named the No. 1 City in the U.S. by T+L ...

    Charleston, South Carolina, has once again charmed Travel + Leisure readers, winning the top spot in the 2023 World's Best Awards' favorite cities in the U.S. category for the 11th year in a row.

  20. Charleston's Top Historical Sites

    No visit to Charleston is complete without visiting at least one of its many historical sites. ... Condé Nast Traveler's Best Place to See in South Carolina. Charleston, Charleston County. Website (843) 769-2600 ... Charleston, South Carolina 29401. Phone and Email (843) 296-6966.

  21. 10 Best Places to Visit in South Carolina

    Caesars Head State Park. #10 in Best Places to Visit in South Carolina. Caesars Head State Park stuns visitors with an easily accessible overlook that grants sweeping views of the Blue Ridge ...

  22. The 15 Best Restaurants in Charleson, South Carolina

    The 15 best restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina are about more than blue crabs and barbecue—and one savvy local knows all the top spots. ... the ships with the bounty of this place—corn ...

  23. The best affordable restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina ...

    The best affordable restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, according to diners—plus, see the rest of the 30 best Stacker Posted: May 16, 2024 | Last updated: May 16, 2024

  24. Best Restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina

    Your guide to the best of Charleston's dining scene. ... Charleston Travel Guide. ... The 15 Best Restaurants in Charleston. Michelle Gross | May 10, 2024 ⁄ Destinations ⁄ USA ⁄ South ...

  25. Northern Lights visible in the Carolinas

    We have mainly clear skies on Saturday so be sure to step outside to see if you can catch a peek. ... For best viewing, head out of town to a place where the sky is dark, away from light pollution ...

  26. Northern lights may return to South Carolina. What to know

    The best time to see the northern lights are during the 3 to 4 hours before and after midnight. Get away from cities and light pollution to best view the phenomenon. Threat from the storm

  27. Northern lights may return to South Carolina skies

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — On Friday night, South Carolina residents got a surprise with the arrival of the northern lights - an occurrence not seen in the far southern states in roughly two decades.

  28. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Charleston

    2023. 2. Middleton Place. 4,409. Historic Sites. Middleton Place National Historic Landmark is home to America's oldest and most important landscaped gardens. Began in 1741, the historic site today encompasses 110 acres including the Gardens, House Museum, Stableyards, and Eliza's House.

  29. Best places to live: See where Greenville, Spartanburg rank on U.S

    Greenville and Spartanburg were among five South Carolina cities mentioned in U.S. News & World Report's 2023-24 list of the 150 "Best Places to Live in the U.S.," released Tuesday.. The report ...