The Holy City is home to quite a few draws. From an excellent culinary scene and walking tour sights to lounging on the beach or strolling through farmers’ markets, there are tons of things to do while visiting. These best things to do in Charleston are our favourites because they capture the spirit of the city.
Best things to do in CharlestonHow do these rankings work?
One of Charleston’s great appeals is its easy access to beautiful, wide white-sand beaches. Escape crowded streets for space in the sand. Folly Island and Sullivan’s Island are both less than half an hour drive from the city.
Other beaches like Kiawah and Seabrook Island are further, about an hour, but worth the extra travel too. Rent a kayak or paddleboard for more action in the water.
Though there are plenty of murals and beautiful works of street art throughout The Holy City, Shepard Fairey often steals the show. If you are not familiar, he created the famous Barack Obama “Hope” poster. Scout the streets to find his instalments.
Though there are more than 10 historic homes worth seeing in Charleston, the three that are best-known are the Nathaniel Russel House, Drayton Hall and The Calhoun Mansion. Book a tour to see the National Historic Landmark built in 1808.
King Street is a shopper’s paradise. It’s easy to find everything from men’s and women’s fashion and trendy self-care stores to antique shops and fitness boutiques. Second Sundays happy every month on the second Sunday when King Street shuts down to become a pedestrian market. Go in the morning before the street fills up.
Though the historical City Market is a must-see, go to the Charleston Farmers Market for something a little more relaxed. It has been held regularly since 1989, but there are quite a few other markets to visit. Away from the Sunday Brunch Farmers Market and the Johns Island Farmers Market are also worth driving for.
The Angel Oak on Johns Island is a must-do while in Charleston. The massive oak is more than 65 feet (20 meters) tall and 28 feet (8.5 meters) in circumference. Estimated to be 400-500 years old, the tree’s branches sweep to the forest floor. Go before 5pm. when the park closes.
Much of the city’s beauty and top sights can be taken in on a walking tour. Rainbow Row, the Waterfront, The Battery, ancient cemeteries, Charleston College, City Hall and the City Market are all usually along the way. For a creepier vantage, book a ghost tour.