Charleston, SC ranks as the number one travel destination in America. It’s even held this impressive title for four years in a row.
It’s a charming and entertaining city with much to see and do. You’ll find no shortage of delicious cuisine, unique shops, and cultural sights.
So, what should be on your itinerary when visiting South Carolina’s Lowcountry? Here’s our list of the best Charleston attractions for your next trip.
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Stroll Down King Street
Iconic King Street is filled with entertaining things to do in Charleston SC. It’s where everyone goes to have fun after dark and dine at a variety of restaurants.
Here you’ll find plenty of clubs, pubs, and high-end wine bars. These Charleston attractions make this city ideal for bachelorette parties. Many of these groups also choose to book a limo service to better experience the nightlife.
Charleston also allows you to dine on every type of cuisine. A few popular places are The Charleston Grill, The Ordinary, and The Darling Oyster Bar. Halls Chophouse, Virginia’s, and O-Ku are other great choices.
For drinks, try The Cocktail Club, Proof, Prohibition, The Belmont, and The Rarebit. The Rec Room is a great local hangout with more of a casual vibe.
You can also explore other dining scenes outside of King Street. Try Husk, FIG, 167 Raw, 82 Queen, and SNOB. Poogan’s Porch is one of the best spots for brunch, but make reservations well in advance.
You’ll find many rooftop bars in Charleston as well. Check out Vendue, Stars, Pavillion Bar, and The Watch. These spots are great for enjoying views of the city skyline and the pleasant weather.
Take a Trip to Rainbow Row
Wondering where to go in Charleston SC for the best photo opportunity? East Bay Street is one of the prettiest and most historic streets to take a stroll down.
The neighborhood is home to Rainbow Row. This top attraction features iconic row houses in pretty pastel colors.
Then you can take a short walk down to the battery along Charleston Harbor. Here there is a waterfront park with the famous pineapple fountain and plenty of shady trees. You’ll also find more beautiful homes sitting along the waterfront.
Tour a Winery or Brewery
There are tons of things to do in Charleston for wine and beer lovers. Deep Water Vineyard is located on Wadmalaw Island.
Here you can try native grape varietals in white and red blends. They offer tours and tastings and wine-down events on the weekends. Sip wine while enjoying food and local music on the vineyard.
The island is also home to Firefly Distillery, makers of the first sweet tea vodka. There are plenty of breweries to visit as well to try local craft beers. Check out Holy City Brewing, Palmetto Brewing, Edmund’s Oast, and Frothy Beard.
Visit a Plantation
Plantation tours are some of the best things to do in Charleston SC to experience the southern charm. Charleston is home to some of the oldest and most iconic southern plantations.
A few options are Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Drayton Hall, and Boone Hall. These venues are also popular spots for many celebrity and socialite weddings.
The Charleston Tea Plantation is also worth a visit. Here you can tour a working tea plantation, greenhouse, and factory.
Shop at the City Market
Charleston City Market offers over 300 different local artisans and vendors. It’s one of the oldest and best of Charleston’s shopping experiences.
Here you’ll find gifts, handmade crafts, artwork, and other unique items. They also offer both day and night markets.
Charleston has tons of outdoor farmer’s markets to visit as well. The city also hosts street fairs every second Sunday of the month. It’s a great way to experience the local food, music, and vendors of the Lowcountry.
Relax on the Beach
The coast of Charleston is home to a few excellent beaches. These spots offer plenty of waterside bars, restaurants, and shops. You can find sushi, fried seafood, tacos, and pizza.
Folley Beach is right outside of Charleston. It’s home to Morris Island Lighthouse located at the edge of America. Great food choices here include the Lost Dog Cafe, St. James Gate, Jack of Cups Saloon, and Surf Bar.
Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms are other popular beaches. These spots are ideal for soaking up the sun and enjoying the nice weather Charleston is known for.
Learn About Charleston’s History
The city is full of historical sites and opportunities to learn about the local culture. The Charleston Museum is one of the oldest museums in America. Its exhibits focus on history, including the Civil War.
The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry features fun interactive exhibits for families. They have an art room, a medieval castle, and a pirate ship.
There are also plenty of historical homes to visit. These include the Nathaniel Russell House Museum and the Heyward-Washington House.
You can even see an actual decommissioned submarine. The Hunley submarine is on view at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center.
Patriot’s Point Museum is on the Charleston Harbor. Here you can view the USS Yorktown naval aircraft.
Charleston also offers tons of ghost tour experiences. This is a popular attraction, and ghost-tour bookings have increased over 79% since 2018. Tours allow you to visit old cemeteries, jails, and dungeons.
You’ll also find the famous Angel Oak Tree in Charleston. The tree is about 500 years old and stands 60 feet tall. It’s another perfect picture opportunity to visit.
Another option is to visit the Time Traveler Escape Rooms. These interactive games teach you all about the hidden history of Charleston. Try to escape from Lavinia Fisher’s Boarding House or an old apothecary.
The Top Charleston Attractions to Experience on Your Next Trip
Charleston is a top travel destination for cuisine, culture, and unique experiences. You won’t want to miss any of these Charleston attractions when visiting the Lowcountry.
Looking for more tips on the best ways to experience your next adventure? Check out the travel section of our blog for all the latest.