Charleston is a beautiful city located in South Carolina.
The city is a treasure trove of Southern charm and is full of rich history.
The beautiful architecture and surrounding gardens give this city the appearance of being suspended in time.
Charleston is known as the “Holy City” thanks to the many church steeples across its skyline.
Take in the stunning views of the Battery and French Quarter while strolling along the Waterfront Park, then take ideas from Middleton Place’s cultivated beauty.
For a taste of the city’s supernatural side, try a ghost tour at night in one of the most haunted cities in America.
Things To Do In Charleston SC
1. Middleton Place
Middleton Place is a national historic landmark that was once the site of plantations. The plantation is now a museum that is open to the public.
Middleton Place originally began in 1741 as a rice plantation. It then passed down through the generations of the Middleton family.
It now encompasses over 110 acres. You’ll find the stable yards, slave quarters, gardens, Eliza’s house and historic buildings.
The museum offers tours of the house, grounds, the plantation gardens, and outbuildings with an explanations about these historic sites.
You’ll also find farm animals and butterfly lakes while you take a beautiful carriage ride through the grounds.
A complete tour of the Middleton Place grounds and house will take about 4 hours, but you can do the main parts in about 3 hours.
If you have time make sure you try some of the delicious food on offer at the Middleton Place Restaurant.
The Middleton Place Restaurant offers traditional Low Country favorites made from fresh, local, seasonal, and organic ingredients, harvested fresh from the on-site organic farm and gardens.
Address: Middleton Place, 4300 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414-7206
2. South Carolina Aquarium
One of the most popular things to do in Charleston for families is a visit to the South Carolina Aquarium.
The South Carolina Aquarium is located on the Charleston Harbor, downtown Charleston and boasts views of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.
The aquarium opened in 2000 and is home to a variety of marine life, including sharks, dolphins, and stingrays.
The South Carolina Aquarium also has an interactive area where children can touch stingrays and horseshoe crabs.
The aquarium is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is charged for adults and children over the age of 3.
Address: South Carolina Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29401
3. Charleston City Market
The Charleston City Market is a market located in downtown Charleston.
The indoor Charleston City Market has a rich history and was established in the 1790s.
It stretches for four city center blocks.
Although popular with visitors and locals alike, the market is the perfect place to grab a souvenir.
A great place to spend a few hours browsing the stalls for local artwork, woven baskets, home goods, accessories, candles, jewellery, pottery and more.
Charleston City Market is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Address: Charleston City Market, 188 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
4. Joe Riley Waterfront Park
Joe Riley Waterfront Park is a 12-acre park located along the Charleston harbor.
The park has a variety of features including a playground, an amphitheatre, gardens, and a pier.
The Waterfront Park is popular with tourists and locals alike.
It is a great place to relax, take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the scenery. The park is also a good place to take photos.
There are a variety of events held at the park throughout the year. These events include concerts, festivals, and movies.
The Waterfront Park is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Address: Joe Riley Waterfront Park, 79 Cumberland St, Charleston, SC 29401
5. Charleston Museum
The Charleston Museum is one of the oldest museums in the United States and is a must see for anyone interested in Charleston history and the Charleston area.
It was founded in 1773 and sits about a mile north of downtown Charleston.
The Charleston Museum houses a variety of exhibits, including Archaeology Collections, Palaeontology Collections, fine art, furniture, silver, pottery, textiles and more.
They also have historic homes to tour at an additional cost.
There is a ground floor gift shop for Charleston visitors that sells souvenirs, history books, cookbooks, silver rice spoons, and some cute collectibles for children.
The museum is open daily from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is charged for adults and children over the age of 3.
Address: Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403
6. The Battery & White Point Garden
The Battery & White Point Gardens is a park located in Charleston’s historic district.
This prominent landmark provides a spectacular view of Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor.
The area is named after the artillery batteries that were once located there and has lots of reverence paid towards military heroes in Charleston’s history.
The park features a variety of gardens, a playground, an amphitheatre, and a pier. The park is popular with locals and tourists alike.
The Battery is open daily from dawn to dusk. White Point Gardens is open daily from 8:00am to 6:00pm.
Address: White Point Gardens, 1 Murray Blvd, Charleston, SC 29401
7. Magnolia Plantation Gardens
Magnolia Plantation Gardens is a historic plantation located in Charleston, South Carolina.
The plantation was founded in 1676 by the Drayton family.
The plantation is home to a variety of gardens, including the Azalea Garden, the Camellia Garden, and the Rose Garden.
There is also a historic house, which is open to the public for tours.
The Magnolia Plantation Gardens is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is charged for adults and children over the age of 3.
Address: Magnolia Plantation Gardens, 3550 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414
8. Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge that spans the Cooper River in Charleston, South Carolina.
The bridge carries eight lanes of traffic and has a pedestrian walkway.
The bridge was opened to traffic in 2005 and is one of the tallest bridges in the United States.
The bridge is named after Arthur Ravenel Jr., a former member of the United States House of Representatives.
The bridge is open to traffic and pedestrians 24 hours a day.
The best time of day to walk or bike the bridge is at sunset with the middle of the bridge offering an amazing view of the sun setting over the Cooper River.
Address: 1 Cooper River Dr, Charleston, SC 29401
9. Fort Sumter National Monument
Fort Sumter National Monument is a national monument located in Charleston Harbor.
The monument commemorates the site of the first battle of the American Civil War.
The monument is home to an interesting museum, which tells the story of the fort and the war.
There is also a gift shop and a book store.
Fort Sumter National Monument is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm and admission is charged for adults and children over the age of 3.
Address: Fort Sumter National Monument, 1214 Middle St, Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482
10. McLeod Plantation Historic Site
McLeod Plantation Historic Site is a plantation that was founded in 1851.
The plantation is located on James Island, just outside of the Charleston area.
It is home to a variety of buildings, including slave quarters, a kitchen, and a barn, with a lovely garden and orchard to also explore.
The plantation is open for tours Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
Admission is charged for adults and children over the age of 3.
Address: 325 Country Club Dr, Charleston, SC 29412
11. Nathaniel Russell House
The Nathaniel Russell House is a historic house located in Charleston’s historic district.
The house was built in 1808. It is one of the most well-preserved historic homes from the Federal period.
If you have time for only one historic home tour while visiting Charleston this is the one to see. It is beautifully restored and historically informative.
The house is open for tours Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
Admission is charged for adults and children over the age of 3.
Address: Nathaniel Russell House, 51 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
12. Old Slave Mart Museum
The Old Slave Mart Museum is a museum located in Charleston’s historic district.
The museum is housed in a building that was used as a slave market from 1856 to 1863.
The museum tells the story of the slave trade in Charleston, South Carolina. It also houses a collection of artefacts, including shackles and whips.
Galleries have interactive exhibits, including push buttons that allow you to hear the historical accounts of enslaved people.
The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
Admission is charged for adults and children over the age of 3.
Address: 6 Chalmers St, Charleston, SC 29401
13. Rainbow Row
Rainbow Row is a row of brightly-colored houses located in Charleston’s historic district. The houses were built in the 18th century.
The houses that stand proudly on Rainbow Row aren’t just unique because of their colors, each one has a rich history and can tell visitors a lot about Charleston through the ages.
Today, Rainbow Row is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Charleston and is one of the most photographed parts of Charleston.
The houses are open to the public and are used as shops and restaurants.
Address: 83 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401
14. Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon
The Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon is a historic building located in Charleston’s historic district.
The building was built in 1771. It served as a marketplace and a jail during the Revolutionary War.
Today, the building houses a museum that tells the story of the Revolutionary War. The dungeon is also open to the public.
Admission to the Old Exchange includes a self-guided exhibition on the top two floors of the building and a 25 minute guided tour of the bottom floor cellar.
The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and 11:00am to 5:oopm on Sunday.
Address: 122 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401
15. Pineapple Fountain
The Pineapple Fountain is a fountain located in Charleston’s Waterfront Park.
The fountain was built in 2001 and features a pineapple shape that spews water into a basin below.
It is made of bronze and concrete, and is one of the most photographed attractions in Charleston.
The fountain is open daily from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is free.
Address: Pineapple Fountain, 1 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC 29401
16. Aiken Rhett House Museum
The Aiken Rhett House is a historic house located a little more than a mile north of downtown Charleston, South Carolina.
The house was built in 1818. It is one of the best-preserved houses from the antebellum period.
The house and its outbuildings include a kitchen, the original slave quarters, carriage block and back lot.
The outbuildings are where the enslaved members of the household really comes to life on the tour: they are some of the best preserved outbuildings in the whole city.
The house is open for tours Monday through Sunday from 10:00am to 5:00pm.
Address: Aiken Rhett House, 48 Elizabeth St, Charleston, SC 29401
17. Drayton Hall
Drayton Hall is a historic house located in Charleston, South Carolina.
The house was built in 1738 and is one of the oldest surviving plantation houses in America.
Drayton Hall survived both the Revolutionary War and the American Civil War.
Drayton Hall now has a remarkable museum and has exhibits on both the pre Civil War and post Civil War, showing the role Drayton Hall played in the history of Charleston.
The house is open for tours Monday through Sunday from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Admission is charged for adults and children over the age of 6.
Address: Drayton Hall, 3380 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29414
18. Charleston Music Hall
The Charleston Music Hall is a live music venue located in Charleston, South Carolina.
One of Charleston’s hidden gems, the hall hosts a variety of special events and musical performances, including jazz, rock, and country.
Regularly hosting big-name bluegrass, blues, and country acts, the beautiful 900-seater Charleston Music Hall is well worth a visit.
Admission prices vary depending on the event.
Address: Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St, Charleston, SC 29403
What should I not miss in Charleston SC?
Some of the top things to see in Charleston, South Carolina include the Old Slave Mart Museum, Rainbow Row, The Pineapple Fountain, and Drayton Hall.
Fun things also include the South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston Farmers Market and Kiawah Island Golf Resort where there is pampering, resort fine dining, tennis, kayaking, and world-class golf.
What food is Charleston South Carolina known for?
Charleston is famous for its She Crab Soup, cornbread, shrimp and grits. It’s also known for a wide variety of other soup and stewed dishes.
Charleston is a haven for seafood lovers, with the sweetest oysters and the daily catch on the menu at nearly every restaurant.
I recommend taking one of the Charleston culinary tours to explore the wide variety of food and southern hospitality on offer.
What is Charleston SC best known for?
Charleston SC is best known for its history, architecture, and food.
The historic downtown area is home to famous homes, cobblestones streets, and plenty of stories.
What is the best month to visit Charleston SC?
The best time to visit Charleston SC is in the spring or fall.
The weather is mild and there are a variety of festivals and events taking place.
How many days do you need in Charleston SC?
You could spend a few days in Charleston SC and still not see everything the city has to offer.
However, if you are only visiting for a short time, 3-5 days is a good amount of time to explore the city.
Is there a beach in Charleston SC?
Yes, there is a beach in Charleston, South Carolina. The closest beach to the city is Folly Beach, which is about a 20-minute drive from downtown, Charleston.
Loggerhead sea turtles crawl onto Folly Beach between May and September to lay eggs.