South Carolina’s capital, as well as its biggest and more historic city, Charleston is one of the top vacation spots in the entire American south.
Charleston combines the fast-pace of a big city with the southern hospitality associated with the surrounding area.
These are 30 things to do in Charleston, South Carolina.
1. The Battery
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
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
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
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
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
6. 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
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
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.
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
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
11. Charleston Tea Plantation
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
21. 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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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 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
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.