Charleston, South Carolina is a city with a rich history, stunning architecture, beautiful beaches, and delicious food. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or just looking for some fun in the sun, Charleston has something for everyone.
Interesting facts about Charleston:
- Charleston was founded in 1670, making it one of the oldest cities in the United States.
- The city is named after King Charles II of England.
- Charleston played a major role in the American Revolution, with several key battles fought in and around the city.
- Charleston was also a major center of the slave trade, with many slaves brought to the city through the port.
- The city was devastated by a major earthquake in 1886, which caused extensive damage and killed over 100 people.
- Charleston is known for its beautiful architecture, with many historic homes and buildings that showcase the city’s unique style.
- The city is home to several beautiful plantations, including Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Middleton Place, and Boone Hall Plantation.
- Charleston is also known for its delicious food, with a wide variety of restaurants offering everything from classic Southern cuisine to modern fusion dishes.
- The city is famous for its ghost stories and haunted history, with many ghost tours and spooky sites to explore.
- Charleston has been the backdrop for several movies and TV shows, including The Notebook, The Patriot, and Army Wives.
- The city is home to several major festivals and events throughout the year, including the Charleston Wine and Food Festival, the Spoleto Festival, and the Charleston Fashion Week.
- Charleston is located on a peninsula that is surrounded by water, making it a popular destination for boating and water sports.
- The city has a thriving arts scene, with several galleries and museums showcasing local and international artists.
- Charleston is home to several beautiful beaches, including Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms.
- The city is known for its warm and welcoming hospitality, with locals who are always happy to share their love for Charleston with visitors.
In this article, we’ll highlight the 19 best things to do in Charleston, South Carolina.
Visit the Magnificent Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is a must-visit attraction for any visitor to Charleston. This historic plantation dates back to the 17th century and is famous for its stunning gardens that showcase the beauty of the South. Visitors can take a guided tour of the plantation to learn about its rich history and explore the stunning gardens that feature a wide variety of flora and fauna, including camellias, azaleas, and magnolias. The plantation also offers boat tours of the nearby waterways, where visitors can see alligators, turtles, and a variety of bird species.
Explore Fort Sumter National Monument
Fort Sumter National Monument is an important historical site that played a pivotal role in the Civil War. Visitors can take a boat tour to the island where the fort is located and explore the site, which includes a museum and several exhibits about the history of the fort and the Civil War. The fort offers stunning views of the harbor and is a great place to learn about the history of Charleston and the United States.
Take a Walking Tour of Charleston’s Historic District
Charleston’s Historic District is one of the most beautiful in the country, with stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and historic sites around every corner. Taking a walking tour of the district is the best way to explore the area, as it allows visitors to see the city’s most beautiful and historic sites up close. Visitors can take a guided tour or explore on their own to see the stunning churches, beautiful parks, and historic homes that make Charleston so unique.
Discover the Charleston City Market
The Charleston City Market is a must-visit for anyone who loves shopping. This historic market has been around since the 1800s and is filled with vendors selling everything from local crafts to delicious food. Visitors can explore the market’s many stalls to find unique souvenirs, locally made crafts, and delicious treats. The market also features a beautiful courtyard and several restaurants, making it a great place to spend an afternoon.
Stroll Through the Beautiful Waterfront Park
Charleston’s Waterfront Park is a beautiful place to relax and take in the stunning views of the harbor. The park features a large pier that extends out into the water, as well as beautiful gardens and several fountains. Visitors can stroll along the pier, watch the boats go by, and even have a picnic on the grassy areas.
Visit the South Carolina Aquarium
The South Carolina Aquarium is a must-visit for anyone who loves marine life. This beautiful aquarium is home to a wide variety of marine animals, including sea turtles, sharks, and even river otters. Visitors can explore the aquarium’s many exhibits to learn about the animals and their habitats, and even take part in interactive activities like feeding the animals.
Go Beach Hopping
Charleston is home to several beautiful beaches, each with its own unique charm. Visitors can go beach hopping to explore the different beaches and enjoy the sun, sand, and surf. Some of the most popular beaches in Charleston include Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms, each of which offers something different for visitors.
Experience the Charm of Rainbow Row
Rainbow Row is one of the most iconic sites in Charleston, featuring 13 colorful historic houses that are some of the most photographed in the city. Visitors can stroll down the street to admire the beautiful colors and learn about the history of the houses, which date back to the 18th century.
Enjoy the Food Scene
Charleston is famous for its delicious food, with a wide variety of restaurants offering everything from classic Southern cuisine to modern fusion dishes. Visitors can enjoy meals at some of the city’s best restaurants, or explore the many food markets and festivals that take place throughout the year. Some of the must-try dishes in Charleston include shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, and fried chicken.
Take a Carriage Ride Through the City
Taking a carriage ride through the city is a unique and fun way to explore Charleston. Visitors can sit back and enjoy the ride while learning about the city’s history and architecture from an experienced guide. Carriage tours are available throughout the day and evening, allowing visitors to see the city’s beauty in different lights.
Explore the Art Galleries
Charleston is home to a thriving art scene, with numerous galleries showcasing local and international artists. Visitors can explore the galleries to see a wide variety of art, from traditional paintings to contemporary sculptures. Some of the most popular galleries in Charleston include the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and the Gibbes Museum of Art.
Visit Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum
Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in military history. This museum is home to several historic ships, including the USS Yorktown, and visitors can explore the ships and learn about their history. The museum also features a variety of exhibits and interactive displays, making it a great place for families to visit.
Take a Day Trip to Boone Hall Plantation
Boone Hall Plantation is another beautiful plantation that is worth a visit. This plantation dates back to 1681 and is known for its stunning Avenue of Oaks, which features over 300 live oak trees. Visitors can take a tour of the plantation, visit the gardens, and learn about the history of the property, which includes slavery and the Gullah culture.
Visit the Charleston Museum
The Charleston Museum is the oldest museum in the United States and is a great place to learn about the city’s history and culture. The museum has a wide variety of exhibits, including artifacts from the Civil War and interactive displays about life in Charleston. Visitors can also take part in educational programs and events, making it a great place for families to visit.
Watch a Show at the Dock Street Theatre
The Dock Street Theatre is a historic theater that dates back to 1736. Visitors can watch a variety of shows, from plays to musical performances, and experience the charm of this beautiful venue. The theater is also a great place to learn about the history of theater in Charleston, as well as the city’s role in the American Revolution.
Go on a Ghost Tour
Charleston is known for its haunted history, and a ghost tour is a fun and spooky way to learn about the city’s ghosts and legends. Visitors can choose from a variety of tours, from walking tours to carriage rides, and explore the city’s haunted sites and spooky stories.
Take a Sunset Cruise
A sunset cruise is a romantic and beautiful way to see Charleston’s stunning harbor. Visitors can enjoy the views while sipping on a cocktail and watching the sun set over the water. Sunset cruises are available throughout the year and are a great way to relax and take in the beauty of the city.
Visit the Angel Oak Tree
The Angel Oak Tree is a stunning live oak tree that is estimated to be over 400 years old. Visitors can take a tour of the area and learn about the history of the tree and its significance to the local community. The tree is a popular spot for picnics and photos, and is a must-visit for nature lovers.
Explore the Charleston Tea Plantation
The Charleston Tea Plantation is the only working tea plantation in the United States and is a unique and interesting place to visit. Visitors can take a tour of the plantation, learn about the tea-making process, and even sample some of the delicious teas. The plantation also features a beautiful garden and is a great place to spend an afternoon.
Charleston, South Carolina is a beautiful and historic city that is full of amazing things to do. Whether you’re interested in history, art, food, or just having fun, there is something for everyone in Charleston.
What is the best time of year to visit Charleston?
The best time to visit Charleston is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.
How many days should I plan to spend in Charleston?
To see all the best things in Charleston, plan to spend at least three days in the city.
Is Charleston a walkable city?
Yes, Charleston’s historic district is very walkable, and many of the city’s attractions are within walking distance of each other.
What is the best way to get around Charleston?
The best way to get around Charleston is on foot or by bike. The city also has a free trolley that runs through the historic district.
What is the best beach in Charleston?
There are several beautiful beaches in Charleston, but some of the most popular are Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms.