4 Must-Do Activities in Charleston, SC

Welcome to Charleston, SC, a city that thrills visitors with its rich history, delicious food, beautiful beaches, and pet-friendly vibe. Are you looking for a great culinary experience? Charleston has it covered. Want to relax by the ocean? Take your pick from several stunning local beaches. History buff? The city’s got you well served. And if you’re staying in a pet-friendly hotel in Charleston, SC, your four-legged friend can join in on the fun, too. So, let’s get to it—here are four must-do activities to make the most of your Charleston visit.

Go on a Charleston Food Tour

If you’re visiting Charleston, don’t miss out on a Charleston food tour—especially if you’re staying at hotels near King Street, Charleston, SC, where many terms either start or have stopped. These tours offer more than just food. They serve as a comprehensive introduction to Charleston’s culinary landscape, history, and neighborhoods.

  • A Variety of Tastings: These tours are a culinary journey featuring multiple stops at restaurants and eateries. You’ll sample a broad spectrum of local dishes—fried green tomatoes, She-Crab soup, and grits. The variety ensures that there’s something for every palate, and you’ll leave with a fuller understanding of Charleston’s culinary richness.
  • Insight into Charleston’s Culinary Landscape: Guides on these tours are not only well-versed in food but also Charleston’s culinary history and current trends. You’ll receive in-depth insights that make the dining experience educational and satisfying.
  • Exploration of the City’s Neighborhoods: As you move between tasting spots, the tours usually lead you through key neighborhoods like the Historic French Quarter and Upper King Street. It’s a great way to get to know the city, admire its architecture, and learn about its unique character.
  • Tips for Future Dining Experiences: These tours are particularly useful if done early in your trip. Guides often recommend other places to eat, helping you navigate Charleston’s extensive food scene for the rest of your stay.
  • Small Group Sizes and City-Certified Guides: Expect a personalized experience due to the generally small group sizes. Guides are city-certified and genuinely passionate about Charleston, enhancing the tour’s informative and enjoyable nature.

Whether you’re a foodie or just someone looking to explore Charleston in a new way, a food tour offers a multi-layered experience that combines the best of the city.


Relax on a Local Beach

Charleston isn’t just about history and food. The city also offers excellent beach options. If you’re staying in boutique hotels in Charleston, SC, a trip to the local beaches like Folly Beach or the Isle of Palms is just a short drive away and provides a different flavor of the Lowcountry experience.

  • Beautiful Scenery: At both Folly Beach and the Isle of Palms, you can expect stunning ocean views and wide, sandy beaches at Folly Beach and the Isle of Palms. The natural beauty extends to surrounding areas such as the Intracoastal Waterway and Breach Inlet. It’s an ideal setting to unwind and take in the sights and sounds of the ocean.
  • Swimming and Watersports: Depending on your preference, these beaches offer different water experiences. The Isle of Palms is known for its calm waters, making it suitable for families and a relaxed swimming experience. Folly Beach is a go-to for surfers thanks to its excellent wave conditions.
  • Family-Friendly Atmosphere: Amenities are readily available at these beaches. The Isle of Palms offers restrooms and changing rooms and even features live entertainment at places like The Windjammer. Folly Beach is also family-friendly but leans toward a younger crowd. Activities like kayaking and paddleboarding are popular here.
  • Unique Character and Laid-Back Vibes: Each beach has its distinctive character. Folly Beach offers a lively atmosphere with local shops and a bustling downtown area. Isle of Palms has a more laid-back feel, enhanced by its resort and local restaurants.

While the beaches are a hit during the warm summer months of June to August, those looking for a quieter experience can opt for the shoulder seasons in spring and fall. The weather is still pleasant, and the crowds are fewer. Overall, spending a day at Charleston’s local beaches is a well-rounded way to enjoy natural beauty, water activities, and a relaxed atmosphere.

Immerse Yourself in Charleston’s History

If you’re keen on history and stay in Charleston hotels with pools, don’t just lounge by the water all day. Charleston offers a variety of activities that make diving into its rich past educational and entertaining.

  • Ghost Tours: A unique way to explore Charleston’s history is through its ghost tours. Visit haunted sites like graveyards and churches, all while listening to local stories that provide a different perspective on the city’s past. Various tour options are available to suit your interests.
  • Horse Carriage Rides: For a more conventional but equally captivating experience, consider a horse carriage ride. The tour guides you through the city’s historical streets, giving you an insight into its architecture and landmarks. Some carriage tours combine historical narration with ghost stories for a multifaceted experience.
  • Walking Tours: For those who prefer to explore on foot, walking tours offer an intimate look at Charleston’s historic district. See mansions, churches, and gardens and get well-versed in the city’s history. Tours like the Charleston Strolls History Walk are highly recommended.
  • Visit Historic Sites and Museums: Beyond tours, some historic sites and museums offer a deeper dive into Charleston’s past. Places like Fort Sumter and the Charleston Museum provide comprehensive educational experiences.
  • Take a Harbor Cruise: Finally, for a broader view, consider a harbor cruise that showcases the city’s historic landmarks while providing educational narration. It’s an engaging way to combine leisure with learning.

With so many options, immersing yourself in Charleston’s history is not only educational but also enjoyable. Whether through guided tours, museums, or even harbor cruises, there’s something for everyone interested in the city’s past.


Go Sightseeing With Your Dog

If you’re staying in a pet-friendly hotel in Charleston, you’re in luck. The city is known for its dog-friendly attitude, offering a range of activities that you can enjoy with your four-legged friend.

  • Stroll Down King Street: One of the city’s architectural gems, King Street is perfect for a leisurely walk with your dog. Admire the historic homes and soak in the local atmosphere.
  • Parks and Gardens: Consider visiting White Point Garden for harbor views or The Battery for a walk along its historic defensive seawall. Both offer ample space for your dog to roam. Magnolia Plantation & Gardens is another dog-friendly spot where you can explore nature trails together.
  • Water Activities: If your dog enjoys the water, James Island County Park offers a 50-acre lake suitable for pedal boating and kayaking. You can also hop on the Charleston Water Taxi, which allows dogs to get a different view of the city. Just make sure you all have life jackets!
  • Specialty Tours: Charleston offers unique sightseeing experiences that welcome pets. You can go on a pet-friendly ghost tour with Old Charleston Ghost Tours or take a sightseeing tour that covers the city’s history or harbor with Adventure Sightseeing.
  • Beach Time: For fun in the sand, head to Folly Beach, a dog-friendly location where your pet can enjoy the ocean.

Charleston makes it easy to explore the city’s sights without leaving your pet behind. From walks along historic streets and parks to special water activities and tours, there’s something to suit every pet owner’s interests.

Wrapping Up: Make the Most of Your Charleston Visit

We’ve outlined various activities to help you get the most out of your visit to Charleston. Whether you’re interested in food, beaches, history, or spending time with your pet, this city has something for everyone. A trip here offers a well-rounded experience that combines natural beauty, rich culture, and warm hospitality. Don’t just take our word for it—come and experience Charleston for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

Chris Appleford is a Nomadic Traveler. He goes to different parts of the country and tries to share his experiences with others. Also, he assists people in selecting hotels to stay in, things to do in selected areas, and expressing arts and culture.

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