Top 25 Things To Do in Charleston

Where cobblestone streets whisper history, Lowcountry cuisine delights the palate, and Southern charm infuses every experience.

West Parker
By
West Parker
July 18, 2024

As you stroll down the gas lamp-lit streets of Charleston, the gentle clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages echoes off weathered brick walls. The air is thick with the heady scent of jasmine and the savory aroma of shrimp and grits wafting from nearby restaurants. This is Charleston, South Carolina – a city where history isn't confined to museums but lives and breathes in every corner.

Known affectionately as the Holy City, Charleston's skyline is punctuated by church steeples rather than skyscrapers. But don't let its old-world charm fool you. While Charleston reveres its past, it's also a city firmly rooted in the present, with a thriving culinary scene, vibrant arts community, and a knack for blending traditional Southern hospitality with modern sophistication.

From exploring antebellum mansions to lounging on sun-drenched beaches, from savoring Lowcountry cuisine to uncovering hidden courtyards, Charleston offers a smorgasbord of experiences that will captivate first-time visitors and long-time devotees alike. So, grab a sweet tea, and let's dive into the 25 best things to do in this jewel of the South.

Wander Through the Historic Charleston City Market

Charleston City Market interior showcasing traditional sweetgrass baskets, highlighting local craftsmanship and culture
Discovered these intricate sweetgrass baskets at the City Market. Did you know this Gullah tradition dates back to the 1700s?

Step into the heart of Charleston's commercial history at the iconic City Market. This sprawling complex of open-air buildings stretches for four city blocks, offering a sensory feast of sights, sounds, and smells. As you meander through the market, you'll encounter everything from local artisans weaving intricate sweetgrass baskets (a centuries-old Gullah tradition) to vendors selling aromatic spices and savory benne wafers. The market is not just a shopping destination; it's a living museum of Charleston's cultural heritage.

  • Location: 188 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401
  • Hours: Daily 9:30 AM - 6 PM (Night Market Fri-Sat 6:30 PM - 10:30 PM)
  • Admission: Free

Why Visit: It's the cultural and commercial pulse of Charleston, offering a glimpse into the city's rich history and vibrant present.

Insider Tip: Visit during the evening Night Market to enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere and catch local musicians performing.

Explore Fort Sumter National Monument

Fort Sumter National Monument in Charleston Harbor, featuring historic fortifications and cannons
Standing where the Civil War began at Fort Sumter. The boat ride out here offers amazing views of Charleston!

Sail across Charleston Harbor to the site where the American Civil War began. Fort Sumter, a sea fort built on a man-made island, stands as a testament to one of the most pivotal moments in U.S. history. As you walk the grounds where Confederate forces fired the first shots of the Civil War, you'll gain a tangible connection to the past. The fort's museum houses artifacts from the battle, including the original flag that flew over the fort during the bombardment.

  • Location: Charleston Harbor (accessible only by boat)
  • Hours: Daily ferry departures at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 2:30 PM
  • Admission: Adults $30, Children (4-11) $18

Why Visit: It's an unparalleled opportunity to stand on the grounds where American history was shaped.

Insider Tip: Book your ferry tickets in advance and arrive early to secure a spot on the top deck for the best views of Charleston's skyline during the ride.

Stroll Along The Battery and White Point Garden

The Battery and White Point Garden in Charleston, showcasing park benches, oak trees, and harbor views
Perfect spot for a morning stroll! The Battery offers stunning views of the harbor and some serious antebellum mansion envy.

Take a leisurely walk along The Battery, Charleston's iconic seawall and promenade. This picturesque stretch offers stunning views of Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor on one side, and stately antebellum homes on the other. As you amble along, you'll reach White Point Garden, a verdant oasis dotted with old oak trees and historic cannons and statues. It's the perfect spot to pause, breathe in the salty air, and watch sailboats glide by on the sparkling waters of the harbor.

  • Location: E. Battery Street, Charleston, SC 29401
  • Hours: Open 24/7
  • Admission: Free

Why Visit: It offers the quintessential Charleston experience, combining natural beauty, history, and architecture.

Insider Tip: Visit at sunrise for a magical view of the harbor and to beat the crowds and the heat.

Tour the Nathaniel Russell House Museum

Elegant spiral staircase inside the Nathaniel Russell House Museum in Charleston, exemplifying Federal-style architecture
Can't get over this 'floating' staircase at the Nathaniel Russell House. Apparently, it's held up by its own geometry!

Step back in time as you enter this meticulously restored 19th-century home. The Nathaniel Russell House is a National Historic Landmark and one of America's most important neoclassical dwellings. As you wander through the rooms, you'll marvel at the ornate architecture, period antiques, and the showstopping three-story floating staircase. The house offers a window into the lives of Charleston's elite in the early 1800s, as well as the enslaved people who worked there.

  • Location: 51 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 10 AM - 5 PM, Sun 2 PM - 5 PM
  • Admission: Adults $12, Children (6-16) $5

Why Visit: It's one of the finest examples of Federal-style architecture in the country and provides insight into Charleston's complex history.

Insider Tip: Don't miss the gardens behind the house, which have been restored to their 19th-century glory.

Indulge in a Food Tour

Food tour participants enjoying shrimp and grits, a classic Charleston dish, showcasing local culinary traditions
Tasting our way through Charleston! These shrimp and grits might be the best thing I've ever eaten.

Savor the flavors of Charleston on a guided culinary adventure. Charleston's food scene is a delicious blend of Lowcountry traditions and innovative modern cuisine. On a food tour, you'll sample local delicacies like she-crab soup, shrimp and grits, and Charleston chewies while learning about the city's culinary history. From historic taverns to trendy eateries, you'll taste your way through Charleston's gastronomic landscape.

  • Location: Various locations in downtown Charleston
  • Hours: Tours typically run daily, times vary
  • Price: Tours start at $65 per person

Why Visit: It's the best way to experience Charleston's renowned culinary scene and learn about the city's food history.

Insider Tip: Come hungry and pace yourself - there's a lot of food to try!

Relax on Folly Beach

Folly Beach in Charleston with beachgoers and iconic pier, highlighting the area's coastal attractions
Beach day at Folly! Loving the laid-back vibe here. Did you know it's nicknamed the 'Edge of America'?

Escape the urban bustle and sink your toes into the sand at Folly Beach. Known locally as "the Edge of America," this laid-back beach town is just a short drive from downtown Charleston. Spend the day sunbathing, surfing (it's one of the best spots on the East Coast for catching waves), or fishing off the Folly Beach Pier. As the day winds down, grab a drink at one of the beachfront bars and watch the sun dip below the horizon.

  • Location: Folly Beach, SC 29439
  • Hours: Beach access 24/7
  • Admission: Free (parking fees may apply)

Why Visit: It offers a perfect blend of beach relaxation and seaside town charm, all within easy reach of Charleston.

Insider Tip: Visit the Morris Island Lighthouse, visible from the northeastern end of the beach, for a great photo op.

Marvel at the Angel Oak Tree

The Angel Oak Tree on Johns Island near Charleston, showcasing its enormous size and sprawling branches
In awe of the 400-year-old Angel Oak. Its branches cover over 17,000 square feet!

Stand in awe before one of the oldest living things east of the Mississippi. The Angel Oak Tree, estimated to be 400-500 years old, is a natural wonder that will take your breath away. Its massive, gnarled branches - some of which are larger than most tree trunks - spread out over 17,000 square feet, creating a canopy of dappled sunlight and shadow. It's a place of quiet contemplation and a powerful reminder of nature's endurance.

  • Location: 3688 Angel Oak Road, Johns Island, SC 29455
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 9 AM - 5 PM, Sun 1 PM - 5 PM
  • Admission: Free

Why Visit: It's a awe-inspiring natural wonder and a serene escape from the bustle of the city.

Insider Tip: Bring a picnic to enjoy under the sprawling branches, but remember to respect the tree and follow all posted guidelines.

Visit the South Carolina Aquarium

Sea turtle swimming in the Great Ocean Tank at South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston, highlighting marine conservation efforts
Met this gentle giant at the SC Aquarium. Their sea turtle rescue program is doing amazing work!

Dive into the diverse aquatic ecosystems of South Carolina at this state-of-the-art aquarium. From the mountains to the sea, you'll encounter a wide array of marine life native to the region. The highlight is the two-story Great Ocean Tank, home to sea turtles, sharks, and colorful fish. Don't miss the Sea Turtle Care Center, where you can learn about the aquarium's conservation efforts and see recovering sea turtles.

  • Location: 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29401
  • Hours: Daily 9 AM - 5 PM
  • Admission: Adults $29.95, Children (3-12) $22.95

Why Visit: It offers an immersive look at South Carolina's aquatic habitats and supports important conservation work.

Insider Tip: Time your visit to catch one of the daily dive shows in the Great Ocean Tank for an up-close look at feeding time.

Explore Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Scenic wooden bridge surrounded by blooming azaleas at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston
Spring at Magnolia Plantation is unreal! Did you know these are the oldest public gardens in America?

Step into a world of antebellum grandeur at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Founded in 1676, it's the oldest public gardens in America, with stunning year-round blooms. Take a tour of the historic house, wander through the lush gardens, and learn about the plantation's complex history, including its role in slavery. Don't miss the Audubon Swamp Garden, a cypress and tupelo swamp teeming with wildlife.

  • Location: 3550 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414
  • Hours: Daily 9 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Admission: Adults $20, Children (6-12) $10

Why Visit: It offers a deep dive into Charleston's plantation history and boasts some of the most beautiful gardens in the South.

Insider Tip: Take the Nature Train tour for a comprehensive overview of the plantation's diverse landscapes.

Paddle Through Shem Creek

Kayakers exploring Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant near Charleston, with traditional shrimp boats in the background
Kayaking Shem Creek was such a cool experience! Saw dolphins and learned about the local shrimping industry.

Get a different perspective on Charleston's waterways with a kayak or paddleboard excursion through Shem Creek. This picturesque creek in nearby Mount Pleasant is lined with seafood restaurants and bars, but it's also a haven for wildlife. As you paddle, keep an eye out for dolphins playing in the water and pelicans diving for fish. The creek opens up to Charleston Harbor, offering stunning views of the city skyline and the Ravenel Bridge.

  • Location: Shem Creek Park, 99 Harry M. Hallman Jr Blvd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
  • Hours: Park open daily sunrise to sunset
  • Price: Kayak rentals from $30 for 2 hours

Why Visit: It combines outdoor adventure with beautiful scenery and wildlife spotting opportunities.

Insider Tip: Plan your paddle for early morning or late afternoon to catch the golden hour light and avoid the midday heat.

Discover History at the Charleston Museum

Prehistoric whale skeleton exhibit at the Charleston Museum, showcasing the region's natural history
Mind blown by this massive whale skeleton at the Charleston Museum. It's America's first museum, founded in 1773!

Delve into Charleston's rich past at America's first museum. Founded in 1773, the Charleston Museum houses an impressive collection of historical artifacts, from prehistoric fossils to Civil War relics. Highlights include the Egypt gallery, featuring an authentic mummy, and the Lowcountry History Hall, which traces the area's cultural and natural history. It's a treasure trove for history buffs and curious minds alike.

  • Location: 360 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29403
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 9 AM - 5 PM, Sun 12 PM - 5 PM
  • Admission: Adults $12, Children (3-12) $5

Why Visit: It offers a comprehensive look at Charleston's history and culture, from prehistoric times to the present day.

Insider Tip: Don't miss the museum's two historic house museums, the Joseph Manigault House and the Heyward-Washington House, which are included in your admission.

Take a Ghost Tour

Night-time ghost tour group with lanterns outside a historic Charleston cemetery, capturing the city's spooky side
Braved a ghost tour tonight! Charleston's supposedly one of America's most haunted cities - I believe it now!

As night falls, uncover Charleston's spooky side on a ghost tour. With its long history and well-preserved architecture, Charleston is considered one of the most haunted cities in America. Join a guided walk through dimly lit streets and graveyards, listening to tales of pirates, prisoners, and star-crossed lovers. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, these tours offer a unique and entertaining way to learn about Charleston's darker history.

  • Location: Tours typically start in the historic downtown area
  • Hours: Evening tours, times vary
  • Price: Adult tickets start around $25

Why Visit: It's a fun and slightly spooky way to learn about Charleston's history after dark.

Insider Tip: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket - evenings can be cool, even in summer.

Shop on King Street

Shoppers exploring King Street in Charleston, showcasing the city's premier shopping district and historic architecture
Retail therapy on King Street! Love how the shops are mixed in with beautiful historic buildings.

Indulge in some retail therapy on Charleston's premier shopping street. King Street is divided into three distinct districts: Lower King for antiques, Middle King for fashion, and Upper King for design and dining. From high-end boutiques to local artisan shops, you'll find a diverse array of stores to explore. Don't forget to look up - the street is lined with beautiful historic buildings that are worth admiring.

  • Location: King Street, Charleston, SC 29401
  • Hours: Vary by store, typically 10 AM - 6 PM
  • Price: Free to browse

Why Visit: It offers a blend of high-end shopping, local boutiques, and beautiful historic architecture.

Insider Tip: Visit on the second Sunday of the month when the street becomes pedestrian-only for Second Sunday, featuring street performers and outdoor dining.

Visit the Gibbes Museum of Art

Visitor admiring a colorful landscape painting at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, highlighting local artistic heritage
Discovered some amazing Southern artists at the Gibbes Museum. The building itself is a work of art!

Immerse yourself in the visual arts at the Gibbes Museum. Housing an extensive collection of American art with a focus on works with a connection to Charleston and the South, the Gibbes offers a unique perspective on the region's artistic heritage. From colonial portraits to contemporary installations, the museum's collection spans several centuries. The building itself, a Beaux Arts masterpiece, is a work of art in its own right.

  • Location: 135 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401
  • Hours: Tue-Sat 10 AM - 5 PM, Sun 1 PM - 5 PM
  • Admission: Adults $12, Children (6-12) $6

Why Visit: It provides a comprehensive look at Southern art and culture through the ages.

Insider Tip: Check the museum's calendar for special exhibitions and events, which often provide unique insights into specific aspects of Southern art and history.

Cruise Charleston Harbor

Tourists enjoying a Charleston Harbor cruise with the iconic Ravenel Bridge visible in the background
Harbor cruise was a great way to see Charleston from the water. The Ravenel Bridge is even more impressive up close!

See Charleston from a different perspective on a harbor cruise. As you glide across the waters of Charleston Harbor, you'll be treated to panoramic views of the city skyline, Fort Sumter, and the iconic Ravenel Bridge. Many tours offer narration, providing fascinating insights into the city's maritime history and pointing out landmarks along the way. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, which often play in the harbor's waters.

  • Location: Charleston Harbor Tours depart from 10 Wharfside Street, Charleston, SC 29401
  • Hours: Multiple daily departures
  • Price: Adults $30, Children (4-11) $20

Why Visit: It offers unparalleled views of Charleston's coastline and a relaxing way to learn about the city's history.

Insider Tip: Opt for a sunset cruise for spectacular photo opportunities as the sky changes color over the harbor.

Explore the Old Slave Mart Museum

Exterior of the Old Slave Mart Museum in Charleston, preserving an important and sobering aspect of the city's history
A somber but crucial visit to the Old Slave Mart Museum. It's housed in a former slave auction gallery - really puts history into perspective.

Confront a difficult but crucial part of Charleston's history at the Old Slave Mart Museum. Located in a building that once housed an antebellum slave auction gallery, this museum offers a sobering look at the city's role in the domestic slave trade. Through artifacts, personal accounts, and informative exhibits, the museum tells the stories of the enslaved people who passed through this site and the impact of slavery on Charleston and the nation.

  • Location: 6 Chalmers Street, Charleston, SC 29401
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 9 AM - 5 PM
  • Admission: Adults $8, Children (5-17) $5

Why Visit: It provides an essential understanding of Charleston's complex history and the lives of enslaved African Americans.

Insider Tip: Take time to read the personal narratives throughout the museum - they offer powerful, firsthand accounts of the slave experience.

Picnic at Hampton Park

Visitors enjoying a picnic beneath oak trees in Hampton Park, Charleston, showcasing the city's green spaces
Found the perfect picnic spot in Hampton Park. It's less crowded than some other Charleston parks and so peaceful!

Escape the hustle and bustle of downtown at Hampton Park, the largest park on the Charleston peninsula. This 60-acre green space offers a tranquil retreat with walking trails, a pond, and beautiful gardens. It's a favorite spot for locals to jog, bike, or simply relax on a sunny day. The park is also home to a variety of bird species, making it a great spot for birdwatching.

  • Location: 30 Mary Murray Drive, Charleston, SC 29403
  • Hours: Daily 7 AM - sunset
  • Admission: Free

Why Visit: It offers a peaceful green space away from the tourist crowds and a chance to mingle with locals.

Insider Tip: Visit in spring when the park's numerous azaleas are in full bloom, creating a stunning display of color.

Tour the Edmondston-Alston House

Exterior view of the Edmondston-Alston House in Charleston, exemplifying the city's Greek Revival architecture
Toured the Edmondston-Alston House today. The view from the piazza is the same one General Beauregard had watching Fort Sumter in 1861!

Step into the world of Charleston's 19th-century elite at the Edmondston-Alston House. This Greek Revival mansion, built in 1825 and later remodeled, offers a glimpse into antebellum life in Charleston. The house is notable for its well-preserved interiors and family heirlooms, as well as its prime location overlooking Charleston Harbor. It's said that General Beauregard watched the bombardment of Fort Sumter from the second-story piazza in 1861.

  • Location: 21 East Battery, Charleston, SC 29401
  • Hours: Tue-Sat 10 AM - 4:30 PM, Sun 1 PM - 4:30 PM
  • Admission: Adults $12, Children (6-13) $5

Why Visit: It offers an intimate look at Charleston's antebellum history and stunning views of the harbor.

Insider Tip: Combine your visit with a stroll along The Battery for a full immersion in Charleston's historic waterfront.

Visit the Charleston Tea Garden

Rows of tea plants at the Charleston Tea Garden on Wadmalaw Island, America's only tea plantation
Did you know the Charleston area has the only tea plantation in North America? Fascinating tour and the samples were delicious!

Take a trip to nearby Wadmalaw Island to explore America's only tea plantation. The Charleston Tea Garden offers a fascinating look at how tea is grown, harvested, and processed. Take a factory tour to see how tea leaves become the beverage we know and love, then hop on a trolley tour of the tea fields. Don't forget to sample some of their locally grown teas in the gift shop.

  • Location: 6617 Maybank Highway, Wadmalaw Island, SC 29487
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 10 AM - 4 PM, Sun 12 PM - 4 PM
  • Admission: Free factory tour, $14 for trolley tour

Why Visit: It's a unique opportunity to see tea production firsthand and enjoy the beautiful Lowcountry landscape.

Insider Tip: Try their special Charleston Breakfast blend, which is only available at the garden.

Explore the H.L. Hunley Submarine

The preserved H.L. Hunley submarine in its conservation tank in Charleston, highlighting Civil War naval history
Saw the H.L. Hunley today - the world's first successful combat submarine! It's amazing how they preserved it after 136 years underwater.

Dive into maritime history with a visit to the H.L. Hunley, the world's first successful combat submarine. This Confederate vessel, which sank in 1864 after torpedoing a Union ship, was raised from the ocean floor in 2000 and is now preserved in a specially designed tank. The tour provides fascinating insights into Civil War naval technology and the ongoing conservation efforts.

  • Location: Warren Lasch Conservation Center, 1250 Supply Street, North Charleston, SC 29405
  • Hours: Sat-Sun 10 AM - 5 PM
  • Admission: Adults $16, Children (5-17) $8

Why Visit: It offers a unique look at Civil War naval history and cutting-edge marine archaeology.

Insider Tip: The submarine is housed in a working laboratory, so you might see conservators at work during your visit.

Attend a Show at the Charleston Gaillard Center

Elegant interior of the Charleston Gaillard Center, showcasing its neoclassical design and red velvet seating
Caught a show at the Gaillard Center last night. The acoustics are incredible, and the building is gorgeous!

Immerse yourself in Charleston's performing arts scene at the Charleston Gaillard Center. This world-class venue hosts a diverse array of performances, from classical music and ballet to contemporary concerts and Broadway shows. The building itself is a marvel of neoclassical architecture, beautifully restored to its former glory.

  • Location: 95 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401
  • Hours: Box office Mon-Fri 11 AM - 6 PM, performance times vary
  • Price: Varies by performance

Why Visit: It's the premier venue for performing arts in Charleston, offering world-class entertainment in a stunning setting.

Insider Tip: Check their calendar for free community events and educational programs.

Visit Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site

Recreated wooden palisade at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, illustrating early colonial life in Charleston
Stepped back in time at Charles Towne Landing. It's wild to think this is where Charleston began in 1670!

Travel back in time to the birthplace of the Carolina colony at Charles Towne Landing. This 664-acre park preserves the site where English settlers first landed in 1670. Explore the replica 17th-century trading ship, walk through the experimental crop garden, and keep an eye out for wildlife in the natural habitat zoo. The park offers a perfect blend of history and nature.

  • Location: 1500 Old Towne Road, Charleston, SC 29407
  • Hours: Daily 9 AM - 5 PM
  • Admission: Adults $12, Children (6-15) $7

Why Visit: It provides a hands-on look at colonial history and a beautiful natural setting for outdoor activities.

Insider Tip: Rent a bike to explore the park's extensive trail system, which offers beautiful views of the marsh and forest.

Take a Brewery Tour

Visitors enjoying beer flights during a brewery tour in Charleston, highlighting the city's craft beer scene
Cheers to Charleston's craft beer scene! This flight at Westbrook Brewing was a flavor explosion.

Quench your thirst and satisfy your curiosity on a tour of Charleston's burgeoning craft beer scene. The city has seen a boom in microbreweries in recent years, each offering unique flavors and styles. A brewery tour will take you behind the scenes to learn about the brewing process, meet the brewers, and of course, sample a variety of local beers.

  • Location: Various breweries around Charleston
  • Hours: Tours typically run in the afternoon and evening
  • Price: Tours start around $60 per person

Why Visit: It's a fun way to experience Charleston's craft beer culture and meet fellow beer enthusiasts.

Insider Tip: Don't miss Westbrook Brewing Co., known for their innovative flavors and their popular White Thai witbier.

Visit the Aiken-Rhett House Museum

Preserved interior with peeling wallpaper at the Aiken-Rhett House Museum in Charleston, showcasing unrestored antebellum architecture
The Aiken-Rhett House is hauntingly beautiful. Unlike other house museums, it's preserved, not restored - feels like stepping into a time capsule.

Step into a time capsule of antebellum Charleston at the Aiken-Rhett House Museum. Unlike many historic homes, the Aiken-Rhett House has been preserved rather than restored, offering a rare and authentic glimpse into 19th-century life. The audio tour takes you through the main house, slave quarters, stables, and kitchen, providing a comprehensive look at life for both the wealthy inhabitants and the enslaved people who lived and worked here.

  • Location: 48 Elizabeth Street, Charleston, SC 29403
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 10 AM - 5 PM, Sun 2 PM - 5 PM
  • Admission: Adults $12, Children (6-16) $5

Why Visit: It offers an unvarnished look at antebellum life and architecture, including rarely preserved urban slave quarters.

Insider Tip: The audio tour is excellent and included in your admission - don't skip it!

Relax at Waterfront Park

Visitors enjoying the iconic pineapple fountain at Waterfront Park in Charleston, a symbol of the city's hospitality
Cooling off at the pineapple fountain in Waterfront Park. Did you know the pineapple is a symbol of hospitality in Charleston?

Unwind at one of Charleston's most beloved public spaces, Waterfront Park. This eight-acre park along the Cooper River offers stunning views of Charleston Harbor, plenty of benches for relaxing, and grassy areas perfect for picnicking. The park's most iconic feature is the Pineapple Fountain, a whimsical water feature that's become a symbol of Charleston's famous hospitality.

  • Location: 1 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC 29401
  • Hours: Open 24/7
  • Admission: Free

Why Visit: It's a beautiful spot to relax, enjoy harbor views, and cool off on a hot day.

Insider Tip: On summer evenings, join locals in dipping your feet in the Pineapple Fountain - it's allowed and encouraged!

Take a Culinary Class at Zero George

Cooking class participants in the restored carriage house kitchen at Zero George in Charleston, showcasing culinary tourism
Learned to make proper shrimp and grits at Zero George! The 1804 carriage house kitchen is a chef's dream.

Elevate your culinary skills with a cooking class at the prestigious Zero George hotel. Led by expert chefs, these classes focus on Lowcountry cuisine and seasonal ingredients. You'll learn to prepare classic Charleston dishes with a modern twist, all while sipping on carefully paired wines. The classes take place in a restored 1804 carriage house, adding a touch of historic charm to your culinary adventure.

  • Location: 0 George Street, Charleston, SC 29401
  • Hours: Classes typically run in the evening, schedule varies
  • Price: Classes start at $150 per person

Why Visit: It's an immersive way to experience Charleston's renowned culinary scene and take home some new cooking skills.

Insider Tip: Book well in advance - these popular classes fill up quickly, especially during peak tourist season.

Structuring Your Charleston Adventure: A 7-Day Itinerary

Now that we've explored the best things to do in Charleston, let's put it all together into a week-long itinerary. This plan is designed to give you a comprehensive Charleston experience, balancing history, culture, food, and outdoor activities. Remember, this is just a suggestion - feel free to adjust based on your interests and energy levels!

Day 1-2: Historic Charleston Immersion

  • Start with a walking tour of the Historic District to orient yourself
  • Visit the Charleston Museum for an overview of the city's history
  • Explore the Charleston City Market
  • Tour the Nathaniel Russell House
  • Take an evening ghost tour

Day 3: Harbor and Fort Sumter

  • Take a morning harbor cruise
  • Visit Fort Sumter National Monument
  • Afternoon at the South Carolina Aquarium
  • Evening stroll along The Battery and dinner in the Historic District

Day 4: Plantation Day

  • Spend the day at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
  • Evening cooking class at Zero George

Day 5: Beach Day

  • Day trip to Folly Beach
  • Sunset sail in Charleston Harbor

Day 6: Arts and Culture

  • Morning at the Gibbes Museum of Art
  • Afternoon shopping on King Street
  • Evening performance at the Charleston Gaillard Center

Day 7: Lowcountry Adventures

  • Morning kayaking on Shem Creek
  • Afternoon visit to the Charleston Tea Garden
  • Farewell dinner at a top Lowcountry cuisine restaurant

This itinerary covers many of Charleston's highlights, but remember, part of the joy of visiting Charleston is stumbling upon hidden courtyards, charming cafes, and unexpected views. Don't be afraid to wander and discover your own favorite spots in this enchanting city.

Why Visit Charleston?

Charleston is a city that reveals itself slowly, layer by layer. From its cobblestone streets to its salt-tinged breezes, from its antebellum mansions to its innovative restaurants, Charleston offers a sensory feast that will linger in your memory long after you've returned home. Whether you're a history buff, a foodie, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply someone in search of Southern charm, Charleston has something to offer. So pack your walking shoes, bring your appetite, and prepare to fall in love with the Holy City. Y'all come back now, you hear?

West Parker
West Parker
Article updated:
July 18, 2024 9:05 AM

West Parker, a Cornell University School of Hotel Administration graduate, has spent two decades as the secret weapon of the jet-set elite, crafting bespoke adventures that redefine luxury travel. Now a resident writer for Town & Tourist, this 45-year-old "Architect of Extraordinary Journeys" combines razor-sharp insights with unparalleled industry connections to deliver experiences that even the most discerning globetrotters can't help but rave about. West's expertise spans from exclusive real estate to fine dining, making him the go-to strategist for those who demand nothing but the extraordinary in their travels.

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