Charleston, SC- Things to Do

So we haven’t been camping in Charleston (yet!) but it’s one of our favorite areas. There is so much to do in and outside of the city of Charleston. We fell in love with Isle of Palms and have rented a condo on the beach there (twice!) We haven’t done everything there is to do by any means, but here are some of our favorites!

Fort Moultrie National Monument/ Sullivan’s Island

History and beautiful Sunsets? Count me in! This is a cool place to wander around and explore the inspiration behind the States nickname of the Palmetto State (the fort was originally built with Palmetto logs). It’s also one of the best sunset spots in the area. Located in Sullivan’s island.

A gorgeous sunset

Sullivan’s Island is a great beach town and would also make a convenient place to stay for a Charleston vacation. A stop at Republic Ice Cream is a must! Mex 1 is another great restaurant choice.

Isle of Palms

I may be partial because we always stay in Isle of Palms, but it’s my favorite beach town in the area. We stay near the entrance to the island at sea cabins on the ocean. My brother likes to shark fish from the shore in the higher numbered streets which is always a delight for the kids!

Shark caught from the beach
Fishing pier near our condo
Great variety of shells!

One of my favorite things about Isle of Palms is you can ride bikes on the beach! We rented bikes through Isle of Palms bike rental shop and had a blast riding around Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island and of course the beach! We did a 24 hour rental but you can rent for the week or longer!

Beach riding!
The kids loved cruising the beach!

If you are looking for breakfast at Isle of Palms, highly reccomend Acme Low country Kitchen.

City of Charleston

Charleston is a beautiful, safe, walkable city. Lots of beautiful mansions especially near the water. No trip to Charleston is complete without a visit to the Pineapple Fountain at Ravenel Waterfront Park. The park also has a pier on the water with swings and a beautiful waterfront path to walk.

Pineapple Fountain
Waterfront path Ravenel park

Charleston is full of beautiful parks, beautiful houses and lots of flowers!

Washington Square Park
Beautiful window boxes

Make sure to walk along Rainbow Row for a view of the colorful houses, along the Battery.

Rainbow Row

Charleston has a ton of history, especially related to the slave trade. We have done a walking tour through Free Tours on Foot (pay what you wish) and it was amazing. Highly reccomend! It’s a two hour tour showing you unique places about the settling and history of Charleston.

French Huguenot Church
Dock Street Theatre

In addition, Charleston is full of churches and cemeteries that make a great backdrop for ghost stories! We did the Pleasing Terrors Ghost Tour that is run by real ghost hunter Mike Brown. Lots of fun stories about the haunted old jail, library, and many other spooky tales.

One of the many churches
A common ghost sighting site

The Battery is another cool place to visit in Charleston. It’s a landmark defensive seawall used in the civil war and is right on the water.

The Battery
Cannons at The Battery

Another must visit in Charleston is the Historic Charleston city market. This spans 4 city blocks and is full of unique goods from local artisans and crafters as well as food stalls.

Folly Beach

Folly Beach is another beach town nearby with a chill vibe. It has a fun pier to walk out on, as well as some restaurants located at the beginning of the pier. Its also a great spot to look for shark teeth!

Beach in front of Folly Beach Pier

Breach Inlet

Breach Inlet is located under the bridge between Isle of Palms and Sullivans Island. Its a great place to go shelling as well as see the sunset against the backdrop of the city of Charleston!

Great shell finds
Sunset with backdrop of Ravenel Bridge

Shem Creek

Another cool town near Charleston is Shem Creek. Its where a lot of the Outer Banks TV show was filmed and has lots of cool restaurants along the creek. Dolphins frequent the area due to the fishing boats coming in and out. There is a boardwalk that winds along the Creek where you can spot wildlife.

Shem Creek
The restaurants along the creek
Reds Ice House- a great choice at Shem Creek with water views from the outdoor deck

Eating and Drinking

We are by no means experts in the restaurants around Charleston, as COVID has led to a lot of take out meals. Charleston is however definitely a town for a foodie! So many good choices. We really enjoyed Rappahannock Oyster Bar for good oysters and easy parking right in Charleston.


My favorite BBQ place ever- Hometeam BBQ.

Hometeam BBQ

Revelry Brewing (walking distance to Hometeam BBQ) has a great rooftop deck and easy parking near a park.

Revelry Brewing

Holy City Brewing is a great choice with a large outdoor area and plenty of parking outside of the city of Charleston. They have great food as well. There are over 15 breweries in the area, and we havent been to most so pick one and give it a try!

Sushi Taro in Mount Pleasant was a great find for a sushi lover. Honestly we havent found a meal in Charleston we haven’t liked!

There are lots of things to do still on our list so we cant wait to go back!

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