Things to Do in Charleston, South Carolina

travel guide charleson south carolina

Charleston, South Carolina is one of my favorite places I’ve visited. The weather is beautiful, the food is delicious, and there’s just so much to do. Whether you enjoy shopping, sight-seeing, or just drinking and eating until you can’t anymore, there’s something Charleston can offer for you.

Here’s a list of things to do in Charleston based on our trip a few years back. Keep in mind that this is the itinerary of a 20-something couple with no kids (at the time), visiting during the late summer.

Shopping in Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston City Market – You can spend hours walking through the entire Charleston City Market. Established in 1804, the Charleston City Market house many talented artists and craftspeople (300+) selling authentic Charleston souvenirs and collectibles. The market is open from 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. in three open air sheds, as well as the enclosed Great Hall, and then is open at night on Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays (April – December) from 6:30 – 10:30 p.m. outdoors. There’s really something for everyone — food, clothing, art, and more.

The Spice & Tea Exchange of Charleston – If you like spices or tea (lol), check out this little store. It’s a great spot for gifts for family and friends who like cooking, too!

The Spice & Tea Exchange of Charleston

Moon & Lola – Moon & Lola is a super girly jewelry and accessories shop. They had so many colorful tassel earrings, patterned and personalized totes, and more.

Geo. C. Birlant & Co. Antiques – While it’s hard to buy antiques while on vacation (how would I get them home on a plane?), it was fun to look around at all the items in this store.

Geo. C. Birlant & Co. Antiques


Tourist Attractions in Charleston, South Carolina

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens – Here you can see beautiful gardens and greenery and tons of local animals. There are various tours you can take (guided tours if you want to hear more of the history, for example).

magnolia gardens charleston

alligator charleston sc

huge tree charleston sc

magnolia gardens

peacock magnolia plantation

turtle charleston sc

Rainbow Row – You haven’t truly visited Charleston unless you’ve snapped a photo in front of Rainbow Row. Rainbow Row refers to the row of 13 pastel-colored historic homes located on East Bay Street, just along the Battery waterfront.

rainbow row charleston

rainbow row houses

rainbow row tourist

St. Michael’s Church – St. Michael’s Church is the oldest church edifice in the City of Charleston, standing on the site of the first Anglican Church built south of Virginia.

St. Michael's Church charleston south carolina

St. Michael's Church

Waterfront Park – Waterfront Park is an eight-acre park along one-half mile of the Cooper River. It’s a super serene walk that’s great for getting exercise while also sight-seeing.

waterfront park charleston

waterfront park south carolona

charleston waterfront

walking along charleston waterfront

Joe Riley Waterfront Park

beautiful house charleston

pink house charleston south carolina

Marion Square – Marion Square is a city park that’s home to many monuments, local farmer’s markets, and a spot for sunbathing.

marion square charleston sc

Activities in Charleston, South Carolina

Pounce Cat Cafe – This cat cafe is open to visitors to come play with cats (and even adopt one if interested!) while enjoying a beverage and a snack. Read all about my visit to the cafe here.

Ghost Tours – We booked an adults-only ghost tour through Ghost City Tours. You go with a small group of people (I think around 10?) as the guide takes you on a walking tour of some of Charleston’s most haunted spots. It certainty wasn’t scary, but it was interesting to hear about the history and various notable characters who haunt the city now.

Palmetto Carriage Works – There are many horse carriage rides & tours to choose from, but we went with the Palmetto Carriage Works due to their policies on animal care and welfare. The tour was a great way to hear about Charleston’s history while getting to see all of the gorgeous houses and landmarks.

Palmetto Carriage Works

charleston arcitecture

charleston historical district

Charleston holy city

charleston residential district

houses in charleston to see

Candlefish – Candlefish is a candle store with over 100 unique scents to choose from. We ended up visiting Candlefish just to browse, but if I was here with some girlfriends (instead of my husband), I would love to take one of their candle-making classes.

candlefish candle making classes

candlefish charleston south carolina

candlefish library

candlefish store

produce candles

Where to Stay in Charleston, South Carolina

Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel  – Charleston has a ton of options for visitors to stay at, ranging from boutique hotels to historical bed and breakfasts. I’m more of a hotel girl myself, so we ended up choosing the Renaissance Charleston Historical District Hotel due to it’s location (it’s walking distance to tons of the Charleston attractions). The hotel was super clean and nicely decorated, and we were very happy with our stay.

Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel lounge area

wall art in Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel

Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel reception

Charleston palmetto rose

dum dum lollipop artwork

hunt slonem bunnies

Where to Eat in Charleston, South Carolina

If you Google “best places to eat in Charleston”, you’ll see the competition is tight. You could go through hundreds of pages of search results and still not narrow down your list. If you’re curious as to where we ate, you can visit my previous post here.

eating in charleston, sc


  1. Take me back to Charleston please!! Gosh I love it there! We did a tour the last time I went a little outside of the city which was fun and the first time I had done that!

  2. Charleston is SUCH a charming town! I love all the old buildings and the waterfront. I was there years ago for a work conference and have wanted to go back ever since!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.