Charleston, SC is a beautiful, active city with a variety of unique sites and attractions. Situated on the Atlantic Coast, Charleston is one of the most popular vacation destinations in South Carolina. With picturesque beaches, lush natural areas, bustling neighborhoods, and a vibrant culture, Charleston has lots to offer travelers of all tastes and personalities. Whether you’re considering a move to the area or simply visiting for a week, there are quite a few destinations you’ll want to check out while you’re there. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the best things to do and see in the Charleston, SC area.
1. Spend a Day at Folly Beach
If you enjoy hanging out at the beach, then you’ll be in heaven in Charleston. There are many lovely beachfront spots in the area, but few are as wonderful as Folly Beach. You’ll find all sorts of fun things to do around the community. If you prefer traditional beach-going activities, you could surf, do some sunbathing, or build an awesome sandcastle. You may also want to take a scenic bike ride through the neighborhood or watch the breathtaking sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. When you’re ready to eat, there are some fantastic restaurants right near the beach, and you can enjoy a delicious meal while looking out over the water.
Although Folly Beach is undoubtedly a great place to visit, it’s also a superb place to live. If you are interested in moving to the Charleston area, there are many nice neighborhoods to choose from. While you’re in town, you can stop by to see some of the beautiful Folly Beach homes for sale. You may just find the property of your dreams during your visit.
lazyllama / Shutterstock
2. Explore King Street
The Charleston area is home to some top-tier shopping destinations. One of the most popular spots in town is King Street, which is always bustling with activity. The street is home to a diverse collection of stores, including locally owned antique shops, high-end boutiques, and just about everything in between. Whether you want to pick up a few souvenirs or just do some window shopping, you’ll have no shortage of choices. In addition to all the different shops, King Street boasts lots of excellent restaurants and hopping nightlife destinations. If you’re someone who likes to be where the action is, this is the spot.
3. Catch a Baseball Game
For sports fans, there’s plenty to enjoy in the Charleston area, and one great option is to catch a minor league baseball game. If you’ve got the whole family with you, spending an evening enjoying a ballgame is always fun. The city is home to the Charleston RiverDogs, the Single-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. The team plays at the beautiful Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park, which is a great place to watch a game. You can grab hotdogs and beverages for a reasonable price, cheer on the RiverDogs, and enjoy the festivities that take place throughout every game. Not only will watching the game be a fun experience, but the tickets are also pretty cheap. And since famous actor Bill Murray is a part owner, who knows? You may see him in the stands!
4. Explore Mount Pleasant
Another one of the many peaceful neighborhoods around Charleston is Mount Pleasant. If you get the chance, it’s absolutely worth spending a day exploring the tranquil area. Mount Pleasant is known for its quiet atmosphere, unique history, and outdoor recreational opportunities. If you like getting out and being active in the fresh air, you’ll have a great time hanging out in Mount Pleasant. For example, you could play a round at one of six gorgeous golf courses, go hiking through one of many scenic parks, or take a refreshing swim at either of two picturesque beaches. The neighborhood also offers fascinating museums, amazing historical sites, lively shopping destinations, and superb eateries.
Denton Rumsey / Shutterstock
5. Visit the Historic Forts
Are you a history buff? If you are, you’ll be right in your element while exploring the Charleston area, which is known for its rich history. There are quite a few awesome historical attractions around the city, but few are as cool to visit in person as Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historic Park. At these fascinating sites, you can learn about Charleston’s role in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Each fort has its own unique history. Fort Sumter, which is found on an island only reachable by boat, was the site where the Civil War began. As for Fort Moultrie, it’s located on beautiful Sullivan’s Island, and it was in use between 1776 and 1947. While you’re there, you may also want to browse some of the lovely Sullivan’s Island real estate. The island is another place worth considering if you’re thinking about moving to the Charleston area.
6. Take a Ghost Tour
One of the best things about Charleston is its diversity. No matter what your interests are, you can surely find fun things to do around the city. One of the most memorable experiences available in the area is taking a ghost tour. On one of these treks, you’ll have the chance to see many of the spookiest and most well-known paranormal locations around Charleston. The city has a history dating back more than 300 years, so there have been plenty of opportunities for creepy happenings. For example, you’ll get to see the Old Exchange dungeon, which is said to be haunted by orphan poltergeists and other former residents. For something a little different, there are also haunted cruises that will take you to the sites of historic naval battles and pirate encounters.
7. Cool Off at a Waterpark
If your kids are with you during your trip to Charleston, you’ll be looking for things to do and see that will entertain them. And since the Charleston area can certainly get hot during the summer months, heading to one of the local waterparks to cool off could be a fun option. A couple of great waterparks in the area are worth checking out. One is the Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark, which is known for its incredible 65-foot water slides and its massive wave pool. There’s also the Splash Zone Waterpark, where your little ones can enjoy the lazy river, tube slides, and leisure pool. These fun-filled parks aren’t just a blast for the kids, either. Many of the rides and attractions will be just as enjoyable for you and the other adults as well!
javarman / Shutterstock
8. Sample Charleston’s Delicious Cuisine
Everybody loves to eat, and while you’re visiting Charleston, you’ll have some tremendous dining options. One way to sample the best of what the city has to offer is by embarking on a Charleston food tour. The area is known for its unique blend of classic Southern cuisine and fresh seafood. On a guided culinary tour, you’ll get to try a handful of the area’s most beloved restaurants. You’ll also get the chance to sample a bunch of the Southern specialties that the city is famous for, such as hush puppies, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and fried oysters. Suffice it to say that you’ll definitely want to have a light breakfast on the day of the tour!
9. Browse the Museums
The Charleston area is home to an excellent selection of diverse museums. If you enjoy learning new things, why not spend an afternoon or two exploring a few of these fascinating educational attractions? One great option is the Aiken Rhett House Museum, where you can learn about what life was like for enslaved African Americans during the country’s Antebellum era. Another quality option is the Charleston Museum, where you can browse the incredible fossils and intriguing exhibits as you learn about the city’s fascinating history. Alternatively, if you’re passionate about art, you could stop by the Gibbes Museum of Art, which is one of the oldest art museums in the United States.
10. Visit the Spectacular Angel Oak
When you visit new places, it’s always worth taking the time to visit some of the most notable natural landmarks. If you’re wondering what to see in Charleston, SC, one fantastic landmark to stop by is the Angel Oak. Located on Johns Island, the breathtaking tree stands over 66 feet tall and is believed to be one of the oldest living oak trees east of the Mississippi River. The amazing Angel Oak isn’t just tall, though. The tree also has numerous branches and winding roots, creating an absolutely unforgettable sight for visitors. While you’re there, you’ll definitely want to pose for a photo.
11. Visit the South Carolina Aquarium
Charleston is filled to the brim with awesome family-friendly attractions, and one great example is the South Carolina Aquarium. Whether you have children with you, or just want to see some cool sea creatures yourself, you can have hours of fun at the renowned aquarium. In total, the facility is home to more than 5,000 creatures, including sharks, sea urchins, horseshoe crabs, and many more. Plus, there are interpretive touch tanks, which give you the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to touch stingrays and other amazing creatures.
Cvandyke / Shutterstock
12. Relax at Riverfront Park
If the weather is nice during your time in Charleston, you could get out and enjoy it by spending a relaxing day at one of the city’s picturesque parks. There are plenty of superb parks to choose from, but one of the loveliest in the area is Riverfront Park. The peaceful park accommodates all sorts of activities. While you’re there, you could enjoy a serene picnic by the water, take a stroll along the pier, or enjoy a scenic bike ride around the park. The park also hosts several lively events every year, including the High Water Festival in April and the Riverfront Festival in October. Both offer live music and delicious food for attendees to enjoy.
A Wonderful City Offering Lots to Do and See
As you can see, the Charleston area offers a wide variety of intriguing sights, activities, and neighborhoods. Whether you’re spending a day, a week, or a month in the city, you certainly won’t run out of interesting and exciting ways to spend your time. And if you’re thinking about buying property in Charleston or moving to the area permanently, you’ll have plenty of beautiful neighborhoods to choose from. Folly Beach, Mount Pleasant, and Sullivan’s Island are just a few of the many places worth considering for your new home. So, if you’re looking for a superb place to visit, start planning your trip to Charleston today.