For many folks, Charleston is more than a seaport town with antebellum homes and cobblestone walkways. This charming, picturesque city caters to tourists, walking them through history and satisfying Southern culinary needs. No matter if Charleston is your week-long vacation spot, a stay-over or stay-after when cruising from the Port of Charleston, or just a stopover when traveling through South Carolina, it is a special place where the south remains preserved for all. This is a good starter list of things to do in Charleston, SC.
Charleston Beaches – Savor the Sweet Life
Charleston beaches are different from panhandle beaches in Florida like Destin or Alabama white-sand beaches such as those found in Gulf Shores. Nonetheless, they are fabulous! Five distinctly different beaches are within the boundaries of Charleston, offering various amenities and unique character…truly something for everyone! So, of course, beaches have to be at the top of the list for things to do in Charleston, SC.
Kiawah Island is an unspoiled, 10,000-acre beachside community some 20 miles from downtown Charleston. Hospitality is king in award-winning Kiawah Island as vacationers flock there for its beauty, championship golf, biking, tennis, and relaxation. Some 4,000 folks call this island home thanks to the natural beauty and preservation efforts. And, did I mention there is an amazing resort that beckons guests – Kiawah Island Golf Resort – stunning and full of upscale amenities.
Folly Beach is aptly named for its personality lending a sense of fun and adventure to guests and locals alike. Slow down and enjoy wider beaches, surfing, and amazing coastal cuisine. Put Morris Island Lighthouse on your “must see” list and spend some time meandering around without an agenda. It’s Folly Beach…so relax!
Twelve miles from the downtown area, the Isle of Palms is situated on almost 3,000 acres offering beautiful sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean. Guests here enjoy not only the recreation that comes with beach communities, but also golf, tennis, great restaurants and lively entertainment.
Neighboring Sullivan’s Island packs a lot of punch within its small space. It offers lots of water recreation plus history lessons and great food! Fort Moultrie is the place to learn about the history of the Revolutionary War and other local entities will entertain guests using age-old folklore.
If you are searching for a retreat, then look no more! Seabrook Island is just the ticket with soothing expanses of coastal beaches, protected sand dunes and marshes, as well as a natural habitat for sea turtles. Other amenities on Seabrook Island include shopping, certified children’s clubs, and an equestrian center. Definitely different, this is a great place for families to spend together time!
Other Attractions Not To Miss
No “things to do in Charleston, SC” list would be complete with mentioning Rainbow Row. One of the most photographed places in Charleston is the popular tourist attraction referred to as Rainbow Row, named for the pastel-colored historic houses present in this area. Post Civil War, this area declined and became an unwelcoming slum. After the turn of the century, Dorothy Porcher Legge invested in a few of the houses, renovating them and giving them fresh coats of pink paint resonating with Caribbean hues. Subsequent owners continued the trend of painting the houses in pastel colors, which not only brought about the naming of Rainbow Row, but also helped keep the houses cooler.
Visitors also find Charleston City Market to be a destination within itself. It’s open year round and invites guests and locals to shop with vendors selling their wares. Find treasures to take home as souvenirs amidst the four blocks of open-air buildings or just stroll through enjoying the tastes of Charleston. The most popular item for sale is typical Charleston’s famous sweetgrass baskets…so that is something to look for!
Other Things To Do In Charleston, SC
Charleston is one of South Carolina’s biggest gems known for architecture and antebellum homes bursting with their very own character! Take a walking tour or a carriage ride, preferably one with a guide to gain all the benefits of the local knowledge. This is a place for beach lovers, history fanatics, and those searching for a slower pace. Enjoy Charleston as a couple, as a family or for a gal pal getaway! You’ll soon see why I think Charleston is the south preserved.
Photos courtesy of ExploreCharleston.com.