If you’re looking for things to do in Charleston, SC, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a list of our favorite activities in the area, from exploring Charleston’s rich history and architecture to enjoying nature and spending time on the beach. No matter what kind of traveler you are, we guarantee there’s something on this list that will appeal to you! So read on and start planning your Southern escape today.
1. Visit Magnolia Plantations & Gardens
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens is one of the most popular attractions in Charleston, South Carolina. This historic site may be the most educational experience you have during your entire trip.
The magnificent hues of flowers, like daffodils, stand out all the more when considered in light of their history. The open hours for this Charleston attraction are dependent on the season.
2. Take A Stroll Through Rainbow Row
Rainbow Row is one of the most popular photo ops in Charleston. This line of houses gets its name from being painted in different colors, which was once done to help sailors find their way back to port.
Today, these pastel-hued houses are some of the most iconic in the city and make for a beautiful stroll at any time of day. Rainbow Row is located on East Bay Street, right in the heart of downtown Charleston.
3. Visit King’s Street
King Street, in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, is home to a variety of activities. For inhabitants and tourists alike, this has become a popular area to discover all types of entertainment.
King Street is an excellent option for those looking to have fun in Charleston. With over three centuries of history, King Street is one of the most significant sites to see in this city. It’s great to visit particular attractions or simply expect anything that comes your way. It’s also worth learning about King Street’s backstory, as it was severely impacted by the American Civil War.
4. Stop By The Charleston Farmers Market
The Charleston Farmers Market is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Charleston, South Carolina. The market is open every day and hosts a variety of vendors selling local goods like handmade sweetgrass baskets, jewelry, and art.
This is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or two (or three!) to bring home with you. The Charleston City Market is located on Meeting Street in downtown Charleston.
5. Check Out Fort Sumter National Monument
Fort Sumter National Monument is one of the most popular historical sites in Charleston, South Carolina. The fort was the site of the first shots fired in the Civil War, and today it stands as a reminder of this pivotal moment in American history.
Visitors can take a ferry out to the fort to explore the grounds and learn more about its significance. Fort Sumter National Monument is located on an island in Charleston Harbor. The best way to get there is by taking a ferry from Patriots Point.
6. Spend A Day at Folly Beach
Folly Beach is a lovely beach in Charleston, South Carolina. And there are a lot of fun things to do here. This barrier island is a great place to relax on the sand, go for a swim, or try your hand at surfing. There are also plenty of restaurants and bars right on the beach, so you can refuel after a day in the sun. Folly Beach is located just south of downtown Charleston. To get there, simply take the James Island connector.
7. Climb the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge spans over 2 miles and provides stunning views of Charleston Harbor.
Visitors can walk or bike across the bridge, and there’s also a park at the halfway point where you can stop and enjoy the view. The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is located on Highway 17, just north of downtown Charleston.
8. Visit Waterfront Park
Waterfront Park is located right on the water and features a variety of amenities like a playground, pavilions, and a walking path.
Waterfront Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the United States, and it is probably one of the reasons why Charleston is regarded as one of the nation’s most stunning regions.
At the park, you can simply sit back and watch boats go by since it has excellent visual access to Charleston Harbor. The pineapple fountain is one of the most appealing features. Pelicans can also be seen resting on the piers or flying through the air.
9. Charleston Tea Plantation
The Charleston Tea Plantation is a must-see tourist attraction in Charleston, South Carolina. The plantation is open for tours and also has a tea café on site.
It is the perfect place to learn about the history of tea production in Charleston and sample some of the local tea. The Charleston Tea Plantation is located on Wadmalaw Island, about 30 minutes outside of downtown Charleston.
10. Take A Ghost Tour
Charleston, South Carolina, is one of the most haunted cities in the United States. There are a variety of ghost tours available that will take you to some of the most haunted places in the city.
If you’re interested in learning about Charleston’s dark past, then a ghost tour is a must-do activity. There are a number of different companies that offer ghost tours, and they typically last around 2 hours.
11. Visit The Aiken-Rhett House Museum
The Aiken-Rhett House is a historic home in Sumter, South Carolina, located near the city center. It’s well worth going to see what life on plantations was really like if you want to go more in-depth into it. The historic house, its slave quarters, stables, and kitchen are intriguing to explore.
The property is one of the most well-preserved early 19th-century urban antebellum neighborhoods in the country. It demonstrates how cities such as Richmond, Savannah, and Charleston housed huge communities of enslaved people. Aside from all of its relics and works of art, guests may appreciate the fine architectural details included in the house, which was erected in 1820.
12. The Citadel
The large Citadel campus, which includes a rich collection of historical sites, monuments, and memorials, is located only 10 minutes northwest of the city. It was founded in 1842, and it has tours allowing you to see its magnificent Spanish Moorish-style schools, barracks, and parade ground.
The beautiful Summerall Chapel and the distinctive Howie Bell Tower, as well as monuments and memorials to military campaigns and personnel, can be seen while visiting the colorful Checkerboard Quadrangle of Padgett-Thomas Barracks. A weekly full dress ceremony is held every Friday in which the regimental band and pipes perform a stirring performance.
13. The Charleston Museum
The Charleston Museum is the oldest museum in the United States. The museum has a variety of exhibits that focus on the history and culture of Charleston.
The museum also has a number of historic buildings on its property, including a plantation house and a Revolutionary War-era powder magazine. The Charleston Museum is located in downtown Charleston and is open every day except for Mondays.
14. Boone Hall Plantation
Boone Hall Plantation is open for tours, and it’s a great place to learn about charleston’s history.
Boone Hall Plantation is located on Highway 17, about 20 minutes outside of downtown Charleston. The plantation has a number of historic buildings, including a plantation house. Boone Hall Plantation is open every day except for Sundays.
15. Nathaniel Russel House
Another notable house in Charleston that is well worth seeing is the elegant Nathaniel Russell House, which lies just to the south of downtown. It is now a National Historic Landmark and museum, and it’s widely recognized as one of the finest Neoclassical buildings in the United States.
The magnificent house, which was built in 1808 by slave trader and merchant Nathaniel Russell, has a breathtakingly beautiful interior with exquisite appointments and furnishings everywhere you look. While its ornate plasterwork decorations and period pieces are impressive, the lovely home is best recognized for its incredible cantilevered spiral staircase that climbs up through the structure.
16. South Carolina Aquarium
The South Carolina Aquarium is one of the top tourist attractions in Charleston, South Carolina. The aquarium focuses on the marine life of the Atlantic Ocean.
The aquarium also has a number of interactive exhibits, including a touch tank where you can pet stingrays. The South Carolina Aquarium is located in downtown Charleston and is open every day except for Tuesdays.
17. Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Kiawah Island Golf Resort is home to five championship golf courses, including the famed Ocean Course, which has hosted a number of PGA Tour events.
The resort also has tons of amenities, including tennis courts, swimming pools, and restaurants. Kiawah Island Golf Resort is located on Kiawah Island, about 30 minutes outside of downtown Charleston.
18. Marion Square
If you’re a history buff, Marion square is definitely the place for you! The square also has a number of monuments that you can explore.
Things To Do In Charleston, SC – Conclusion
When it comes to tourist attractions, Charleston, South Carolina, has a lot to offer. The city is filled with historical landmarks, museums, and other attractions that are sure to please everyone in the family. Whether you’re interested in learning about the history of Charleston or just want to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city, you’ll find plenty to see and do while you’re in town.
Need An RV For Touring Charleston?
Cozy turtle is the perfect place to rent an RV for your next Charleston vacation. We have a wide selection of RVs to choose from, and our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to help you find the perfect RV for your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our rental options or to make a reservation.