Charleston’s Hidden Gems: 10 Must-Do Activities That Will Make Your Visit to South Carolina Unforgettable

things to do in charleston sc

Are you looking for a fun getaway? Whether you’re planning a romantic weekend trip or an exciting family vacation, Charleston, South Carolina has something for everyone. From historic sites to outdoor activities, here are some of the best things to do in Charleston!

1. Joe Riley Waterfront Park

Joe Riley Waterfront Park is an old-fashioned park that has been around since 1990 and offers a great opportunity to enjoy the scenery of Charleston Harbor. Stroll down East Bay Street and admire the shops and restaurants, or visit the distinctive central fountain for a unique and romantic evening stroll. You’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime view of the Battery, USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier, Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge, downtown Charleston skyline, and Waterfront Park on the eastern coast of the peninsula. Experience a daytime horse-drawn carriage sightseeing tour of historic Charleston or watch the ships go by from this expansive waterfront green space. Don’t forget to check out the pineapple fountain, large pier, and family-sized swings for some fun in the sun.

2. Fort Sumter National Monument

Fort Sumter National Monument is a must-see for any visitor to Charleston. Located at the entrance of Charleston Harbor, it is the site of the first shots of the Civil War. Visitors can take the ferry to explore the grounds, learn about Fort Sumter’s role in the War, and take in views of some of Charleston’s most renowned landmarks. The site also offers a variety of educational programs and activities, such as live narration tours and guided tours through its exhibits. In addition to its educational value, Fort Sumter provides a unique experience for outdoor lovers looking to explore the area by boat. With its history and natural beauty, Fort Sumter National Monument is an essential stop on any visit to Charleston.

3. Middleton Place

After enjoying the beautiful Joe Riley Waterfront Park and Fort Sumter National Monument, visitors have a chance to experience history at Middleton Place. This National Historic Landmark District is home to the oldest landscaped gardens in the United States, and visitors can go on guided or self-guided tours of the plantation house museum, view artisans demonstrating the work of enslaved people and enjoy lunch overlooking the gardens. Reservations are required for dinner at the restaurant, and visitors can also take an All-Access Admission & Guided Tour with Lunch from Charleston. 

4. Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge

The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is an impressive sight to behold. It is an eight-lane cable-stayed bridge that crosses the Cooper River, connecting downtown Charleston and Mount Pleasant. The bridge was opened in 2005, replacing the old Grace Memorial Bridge, which scored only a 4 out of 100 on safety measures. This prompted Arthur Ravenel Jr. to run for South Carolina Senate, ultimately leading to the building of this stunning bridge. Visitors can park their cars on the Mount Pleasant side and walk up the middle of the bridge for spectacular views of Charleston Harbor and its surrounding areas. Strolling this picturesque seawall along the city’s southern tip is a must-do while in Charleston; many travelers say it is beautiful and a great way to take in all that the city has to offer after visiting Joe Riley Waterfront Park, Fort Sumter National Monument and Middleton Place.

5. Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

5. Magnolia Plantation & Gardens – Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens has survived the centuries and witnessed the history of our nation unfold before it. With 600 acres (243 hectares) of gardens, lakes, forests and old, flooded rice fields, this plantation offers plenty to explore. Families will love the petting zoo with local animals, peacock cafe and nature train and tram tour around the grounds. Tour historic buildings or take a guided boat tour through the wetlands. You may even spot wild animals such as an alligator or blue heron while on the boat journey!

Michael Johnson is a Business Consultant and Editor in Chief at TheWesternBusiness. He has been involved in the business world for over 10 years and has a wealth of experience in the field. As an Editor in Chief, he is responsible for overseeing the publication of articles, ensuring that they are accurate and up-to-date with the latest industry trends. As a Business Consultant, he provides advice and guidance to businesses on how to best manage their operations and maximize success. He is highly knowledgeable in the areas of finance, marketing, and management and is able to provide valuable insights into the current business climate. Michael Johnson is an invaluable asset to TheWesternBusiness and is committed to helping businesses succeed.

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