Things To Do In Charleston Top 10 Best!
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The biggest question out there is "what are the best things to do in the Lowcountry?" Well here are the top answers as surveyed by both locals and tourists. Keep in mind, there are tons of great experiences in Charleston. If you don't see a favorite here, then vote for YOUR Charleston bests at the end of this page! Peruse the site index to the left for a more in-depth look at all the opportunities available throughout the city.
Keep reading to uncover some of the best of Charleston!
Things To Do In Charleston Top 10 Best:
1. South Carolina Aquarium
The Aquarium boasts they are Charleston's most visited attraction. And why not?! Kids and adults alike will be amazed at all the animals and history throughout. It's a great place to view the harbor too. Check out their new Albino Alligator Exhibit or even pet the stingrays! Too much to share here, you need to check it out yourself.
100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, SC 29401
2. The Battery/ White Point Gardens
The Battery is located at the southern most tip of the Charleston Peninsula, where Murray Blvd. and East Battery (East Bay) Street meet. Part of The Battery is White Point Gardens and collectively they are the landmark that helps to define Charleston. If you don't have time to walk it, I highly recommend a leisurely drive-by to view the impressive mansion architecture and glorious oak trees! My first recommendation though would be to walk the park to indulge in the 18th century cannons, historical statues, picturesque gazebo and a perfect view of Fort Sumter in the harbor. In my book, your visit to Charleston is not complete without heading down to the Battery! Catch Rainbow Row on East Bay st. on your way there.
At Murray Blvd and East Battery (continuation of East Bay St.)
3. Old City Market
The Market is consistently on our Things To Do In Charleston Top 10 Best list! A must see!
Dating back to 1841, Market Street features independent merchants selling their wares in an open air setting, including Gullah ladies weaving the ever famous sweetgrass baskets. The street is also lined with specialty shops and restaurants.
Market Street between Meeting and East Bay Streets
Charleston, SC 29401
Open M-Su, times vary by season and merchant
4. SpiritLine Dinner Cruise
Nothing beats a three hour evening cruise on the water! Especially when it comes with a multi-course dinner, live music and exceptional views of the Charleston Harbor!
360 Concord St # 201
Charleston, SC 29401-6305
5. Middleton Place
Dating back to c. 1741, Middleton is a National Historic Landmark with an Inn, restaurant, America's oldest landscaped Gardens and Stableyard demonstrations of life in the 18th century. The magnitude of this plantation is awe-inspiring!
4300 Ashley River Road
Charleston, SC 29414
843-556-6020 or 800-782-3608
Open daily 9am – 5pm except Christmas. Adults $25, children 7-15 $5, under 7 yrs free.
6. Rainbow Row
This section on East Bay Street, built between the 1720's-1790's, was considered the 'slum' area of Charleston after the Civil War. It was renovated in the early 1900's and given Caribbean colors that are still seen today. This stretch of East Bay Street has been dubbed 'Rainbow Row' and has become a familiar 'face' of Charleston.
99-101 East Bay Street
7. Children's Museum
A great place for toddlers and kids of all ages! With eight interactive exhibits, children get hands on experience in the arts and sciences along with exploring creative thinking and problem solving.
25 Ann Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Open Tues-Sat 10am - 5pm, Sun 1pm - 5pm. Adults and Children $7, under 1 yr free, members free.
8. King Street Shopping District
The most famous shopping area of Charleston is located between Broad and Spring Streets. Sprinkled throughout are great bars & restaurants in case you need a little 'sit down' between your sprees! This vibrant area is divided into three known sections:
Lower King Street District
Located between Broad and Market Streets, this well-known King Street Antique District, was voted "best antique shopping in the US" by readers of Travel & Leisure Magazine.
Middle King Street District
Located between Market and Calhoun Streets, and otherwise known as the King Street Fashion District, you'll find the trendiest stores and updated fashions in the area.
Upper King Street District
Located between Francis Marion Square (on Calhoun Street) and Spring Street, this King Street Design District houses some of the best interior design decor and home furnishing shopping in the country.
9. Waterfront Park
Bring a change of clothes for the kids on the hot summer days! They'll want to join others running through the fountain at the end of Vendue Range. In fact, one of these days I'm going to do it myself! Then enjoy a leisurely swing on the pier while looking for dolphins in the Harbor with the USS Yorktown as the backdrop. The Pineapple fountain of Charleston can also be found here with other intimate gardens and jogging paths along the water's edge.
Vendue Range and Concord Street and runs along the Charleston Harbor
10. Folly Beach
15 minutes from Downtown Charleston
Folly Beach, or "the Edge of America," has been on occasion dubbed the 'eccentric' beach of all the Charleston beaches. Probably because it's managed to stay true to the old way of beach life as it was back in the day. However it hasn't been without its own challenges of upcoming developments of condos and obsessive beach houses.
Still, there is a wondrous air about Folly that you can only experience first hand while visiting there. There is great surfing, fishing on the pier, kid friendly currents, water sports near the only ocean front hotel of Charleston, The Holiday Inn, and great shopping and dining along Center Street. A stroll along some of the side streets allows an up close look at some of the old time conventional beach houses.
CCPRC runs the Folly Beach Park at the West end of the island. It's a $7 entrance fee per car, $10 per camper and $20 per bus. Normal hours are 10:00am - 6:00pm, with extended hours in the summer. Bicycles and walk-ins are free.
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Things To Do In Charleston Top 10 Best:
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Top 10 Best of Charleston:
What Others Have to Say
Click on the links below to see contributions from other visitors...
Bonnie's Top 10 - from 25 years of visiting Charleston
1. Stay in one of the wonderful Bed and Breakfasts. So charming and they usually have great prices.
2. Start with a carriage ride to get some history …
Pat's top 10 things to do in Charleston, SC
1. Dine at one of Charleston's fine restaurants
2. Walk the beach on Isle of Palms
3. Take a walk on the battery
4. Take a horse and carriage tour of …
Steve's Top Ten from Lake Lure ,NC
1: Park at Battery, White Point Gardens and stroll with my dog around historic downtown to Waterfront Park, Meeting, Bay, King and any side streets looking …
Grandma's Top 10
1. Visiting my grandchildren!
2. Seeing my daughter and son-in-law
3. Watching the kids play at the Children's Museum
4. Taking the kids to the Aquarium …
Cathy's Charleston Top 10
1. Folly Beach
2. The Angel Oak
3. Walk on the Battery
4. Drayton Hall Plantation
5. See a play at the Dock Street Theater
6. Fort Moultrie …
My Top 10 for Toddlers
1. SC Aquarium - it's air conditioned in the summer!
2. DT Charleston Library - again, air conditioned
3. Children's Museum - so much to interact with …
I'm a History Buff: My Top 10
1. Walk, walk, walk the Historic District to take in the architecture.
2. Carriage ride
3. Ferry to Fort Sumter
4. Old Exchange Building
5. Walk down …
Larry's TOP 10 things to do in Charleston. Not rated yet
1.WALK around downtown. The Battery, Market area, King Street, Water front park.. .all over.
2.Folly beach..getting more and more like Key West.
Dave's top 10 things to do after 20 years of visiting Charleston Not rated yet
1. Isle of palms beach.
2. Play golf.
3. Get out and eat some fresh fish.
4. Watch the dolphins from the cruise ship pier.
5. Watch the tourists …
Mom to 3 Boys Not rated yet
My husband and I have stayed at a beach house on Folly Beach four times in the last five yrs - our boys think it is ours! Here's our top ten - everything …
Farmer Steve's Top 10 Not rated yet
You simply can't go wrong in Charleston. You can walk around downtown and go into just about any
restaurant and be guaranteed a great meal!!
My favorite …
A Trip w/ Teenage Boys Not rated yet
1. Beach house at Folly Beach....surfing, skim boards, fishing on the pier, gullies full of crabs, starfish, etc., bodysurfing, paddle boards, dolphins, …
Tom's Local Top Ten Not rated yet
1.) Golf at Muni ($25 all you can golf twilight special comes with a beer and hotdog)
2.) Crab legs and Fireflys at Reds on Mondays
3.) Sundays at the …
Susan's TOP TEN!! Not rated yet
1. Eat at Jestine's (best fried chicken, cornbread, and pie!!!)
2. Gyro's at the Farmer's Market in Marion Square on Saturday's...
3. Walking historic …
Family time Not rated yet
1. I like doing lunch outside at the battery, my children run and play and the ocean wind feels great.
2. A dinner cruise is very nice, we've been on …
The BEST Not rated yet
1. Giovanni's Pizza- $3 slices of 1 FOOT slices of pizza!
2. Walk Downtown District and see the history
3. Dixie Cafe Tomato Pie (located by the market …
Tedd's TOP TEN Not rated yet
1. Friday night $7 Riverdogs game with FIREWORKS!
2. Folly Beach
3. Moped ride on Rainbow Row
4. Market Street and the Market downtown
5. Saturday …
Dave's Top 10 Not rated yet
1. Stingrays Game
2. Billiards at Back Nine
3. OAR concert at Family Circle Cup
4. Spoleto Finale at Middleton Place
5. Riverdogs Game
6. Concerts …
Mandy's Funtime Top 10! Not rated yet
1. Get Married!! Had the best wedding here!
2. Dinner Cruise
3. Go to the beach. Who cares which one, it's the BEACH!
4. Party on the Point in the summer …
Charleston Christmas Top 10 List Not rated yet
1. Parade of Boats
2. Festival of Lights at JI County Park
3. DT Tree Lighting Ceremony at Marion Square
4. LowCountry Singing Christmas Tree at Summerville …
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