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Top Activities in Charleston

See all 106 things to do in Charleston


Charleston Attractions

Charleston, the oldest city in the state of South Carolina, is a fun destination for everyone from those interested in the city's rich history, to people looking to enjoy some of Charleston's exciting attractions. It can be hard to pick which things to do in Charleston, or Chucktown, simply because of the variety of famous sites which call the city home.

There are, however, a few local spots that you'll not want to miss the next time you head to this charming, historic city.

One of the top tourist attractions in Charleston has to be Charleston tours of various historic homes. Many of these homes, like the must see Aiken-Rhett House, have been transformed into museums that transport visitors back to Charleston's lovely past. If you are interested in learning more about the industries that first put Charleston on the map, you'll want to take Charleston excursions to Drayton Hall, America's oldest plantation, or visit Middleton Place, a former rice plantation. Military history lovers will want to be sure to visit places like The Citadel and those who want to experience what it was like to live in Charleston as an early settler should stop by Charles Towne Landing.

There are many fine Charleston activities for families visiting the area as well. You could head to the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry so your children will have a hands on learning experience. Splash Zone Waterpark is the best place to stop for families with active children staying in Charleston. The South Carolina Aquarium is a great place to visit, if your little ones are interested in learning more about sea creatures. After a busy day of checking out Charleston's many sites, you can head to Charleston Waterfront Park for a relaxing picnic dinner or go to Marion Square to check out one of the area's fine dining establishments.

From the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, one of the sites that helped earn Charleston its nickname of Holy City, to the stunning Morris Island Lighthouse, there are endless delights to be found on your next visit to Charleston, SC.

Things to Do in Charleston with Kids

There are loads of amazing experiences in Charleston that the whole gang will get a buzz out of. These are a few of the best family friendly experiences in the area.

Free Things to Do in Charleston

Taking a break in Charleston on a budget? The following can be experienced for nada.

Gibbes Museum of Art - Stroll the halls and take in the intriguing displays and collections at this popular museum.

East Bay Playground - If you're hoping to turn up the fun factor during your getaway, head straight here.

Marion Square - If you enjoy modern architecture and design, add this attraction to your to-do list.

The Powder Magazine - Soak up some of the historical background of the area through this site.

Charleston City Marina - Discover for yourself why both locals and tourists gravitate toward the character and charm of this place.

Charleston City Market - Speak to a few locals and discover why many sightseers visit this place.

Circular Congregational Church - Do a bit of quiet reflection and learn a few things about this site's spiritual importance.

Sullivan's Island Beach - Toss a ball around with the youngsters or simply sit back and soak up the sun's rays at this coastal spot.

West Ashley Greenway - Bring your camera and let Mother Nature spark a sense of awe in you.

Washington Park - If you like pottering about the garden, this attraction will satisfy your green thumb.

Explore The Neighborhoods of Charleston

Folly Beach

This small oceanfront town a short drive from Charleston is loved for its pristine beaches and laid-back atmosphere.

Beach ViewSeaSurfing

Charleston Historic District

Appreciate the authentic antebellum ambiance as you move between historical homes, museums, markets and waterfront parks on foot or by horse-drawn carriage tours.


Sullivan's Island

Spend long hours on the beach, dine outside, try kiteboarding or learn about Revolutionary War history at Fort Moultrie on this attraction-filled barrier island.

Beach ViewIslandsFamily-Friendly

Downtown Charleston

Enjoy the metro vibe of South Carolina’s oldest city, where historic mansions and cobblestone streets are more abundant than towering skyscrapers.


West Ashley

West Ashley is popular for its abundant dining options, and if you're looking for more to see and do, you might think about a trip to Citadel Mall or Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site.


French Quarter

It’s a joy to explore this romantic quarter of Charleston, with its countless art galleries, sidewalk cafés and abundant historic churches and homes.

Poolside BarsHistoricalDining

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in Charleston on a sunny day?

What to do in Charleston on a rainy day?

A Historic City Tour & Charleston Museum is an awesome indoor activity to sign up for if the weather takes a turn for the worse.

What should I not miss in Charleston?

Impress friends and family back home by snapping a selfie at USS Yorktown.

What can you do in Charleston for free?

You could put your credit card in the hotel safe for the day, because these excellent attractions won't cost you a thing:

  • Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal
  • Charleston City Market
  • College of Charleston
  • Waterfront Park