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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Charleston Waterfront Park

Stroll the city’s waterfront esplanades at sunset, when the afternoon sun begins to dip and the harbor is lit with soft colors.

Charleston Waterfront Park reflects the character and history of the city’s architecture and gardens. At the southernmost point of the eight-acre (three-hectare) park, a wooden pier juts out over the Charleston Harbor.

Sit on one of the old-fashion benches and take in views of the esplanade, which curls along the waterline, through salt marshes and palmetto trees to a central grassy lawn. Bring a picnic and relax while watching boats in the harbor. There are swings for children and paths for strolling or jogging.

Before 1990 the waterfront was an unattractive, fire-damaged area, which was historically used for shipping. It was restored with the help of local architects and artists into a beautiful and vibrant gathering place.

In the center of the park is Charleston’s iconic Pineapple Fountain, a charming subject for photos. The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality dating back to early colonial days.

The City Gallery sits beside the fountain and showcases local, national and international artists, with rotating exhibits throughout the year.  

Take a detour down Exchange Street to visit the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon. Tour the exchange for a history of the American Revolution and Civil War, and stories of prisoners kept here during the revolution.

At the north end of Concord Street, oak trees and landscaped gardens create inviting shade. If you’re hungry, stop in at one of the restaurants that serve Southern delicacies such as pimento cheese rib eye and fried green tomatoes with blue crab. There are many choices for eating a meal with views of the harbor.

The South Carolina Aquarium at the north end of the park has creatures from local and international habitats.

Water taxi tours cruise around the harbor and across to Patriot’s Point Maritime Museum.  

The Charleston Waterfront Park, in downtown, is accessible at any time of the day or night. Attraction opening hours vary. Navigate the park by foot, or on a bicycle rented from stores around Charleston. The free DASH shuttle stops at the park, as well as other downtown attractions.


Guide to Exploring around Waterfront Park


Top Waterfront Park Flight + Hotel Deals

Best Lodging Options Near Waterfront Park

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Emeline $195
Emeline

Emeline

181 Church St, Charleston, SC
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Charleston Historic District, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Charleston Legends and Lore Ghost Theater and Charleston City Market. Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal and Waterfront Park are also within 10 minutes.

    The Francis Marion Hotel $119
    The Francis Marion Hotel

    The Francis Marion Hotel

    387 King St, Charleston, SC
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Charleston Historic District, this spa hotel is steps from Marion Square and College of Charleston. Charleston Music Hall and Charleston Museum are also within 10 minutes.

      The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel $152
      The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

      The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

      115 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Charleston Historic District, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Gibbes Museum of Art and Charleston City Market. Waterfront Park and Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal are also within 10 minutes.

        The Vendue $144
        The Vendue

        The Vendue

        19 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Charleston Historic District, this romantic hotel is steps from Waterfront Park and Charleston Waterfront Park. Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal and Charleston City Market are also within 10 minutes.

          Belmond Charleston Place $319
          Belmond Charleston Place

          Belmond Charleston Place

          205 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Charleston Historic District, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Charleston City Market and Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal. Waterfront Park and College of Charleston are also within 15 minutes.

            Days Inn by Wyndham Charleston Historic District $76
            Days Inn by Wyndham Charleston Historic District

            Days Inn by Wyndham Charleston Historic District

            155 Meeting St, Charleston, SC
               
              2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Charleston Historic District, this motel is steps from Gibbes Museum of Art and Charleston City Market. Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal and Waterfront Park are also within 10 minutes.

              HarbourView Inn $209
              HarbourView Inn

              HarbourView Inn

              2 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Charleston Historic District, this romantic hotel is steps from Waterfront Park, Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal, and Charleston Waterfront Park. Charleston City Market and College of Charleston are also within 1 mi (2 km).

                Hyatt Place Charleston/Historic District $87
                Hyatt Place Charleston/Historic District

                Hyatt Place Charleston/Historic District

                560 King Street, Charleston, SC
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown Charleston, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of PURE Theatre and Charleston Music Hall. College of Charleston and Medical University of South Carolina are also within 15 minutes.