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Visit Charleston, South Carolina

Cultural history meets southern charm in this harbor city. Join us as we explore the fun things to do in Charleston, South Carolina!

Visiting Charleston has been on our bucket list for a very long time. And, after spending a week there, we know that we will definitely be returning in the future. There is so much to do in the Charleston area! In our opinion, this city is absolutely bucketlist worthy!

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Watch Our Visit to Charleston


Things to Do in Charleston, South Carolina

Iconic Charleston
Iconic Charleston
City Market
Charleston City Market

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Free Things to Do in Charleston, South Carolina

Wander through the amazing, historic Charleston City Market, a centerpiece of Charleston commerce since 1807.

Get around town using the free Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH).

Walk around downtown to experience the feel of Charleston: the architecture, gardens and colors. To see a surprising amount of color, make your way over to Rainbow Row, a stretch of waterfront historic homes (mostly from the 1700s) which have been painted in pastel colors since the 1930s.

For a great selection of fresh food in a fun atmosphere with live music, cross the bridge and head to the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market. This market is held weekly from April through September. You'll find free parking across the street at the shopping center.

Step further back in time at Mace Brown Museum of Natural History hosted by the College of Charleston.

Enjoy a relaxing day at one of the local beaches! Nearby choices include Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island, Folly Beach, and Kiawah Island.

Get close to nature at the nearby Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge which includes the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center.

Go on a bit of a scavenger hunt searching for unique Charleston icons like a piece of the original wall that once surrounded Charleston and the unique Pineapple Fountain. In fact, you'll find odes to the pineapple all over Charleston. To this city, the pineapple represents hospitality.

Enjoy views of the harbor and the iconic Ravenel Bridge from Charleston's Waterfront Park or near the aquarium.

And speaking of the Ravenel Bridge, you can walk over it! There is a protected walking path that allows folks to walk across the entire 2.5 mile span of this bridge (5 miles round trip).The Ravenel Bridge is said to be the 3rd longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere!

Beautiful Walking Trails
Beautiful Places to Walk
Memorial at Patriots Point
Memorial at Patriots Point

Places to Eat in Charleston, South Carolina


Tips for Visiting Charleston, South Carolina

Just as we did in our recent visits to St Augustine, Florida and Savannah, Georgia, we used TourPass to tour Charleston. There is a LOT to choose from in Charleston... so many interesting things to do that it can be overwhelming. Having the TourPass made it easier for us to narrow down our list of things to see and do on our first visit, and allowed us to experience a wide variety of Charleston must-dos without having to worry about the individual pricing of each attraction. As we did with St Augustine and Savannah, we've included more details about the TourPass program further down in this post.

We recommend spending at least 3-4 days in Charleston. We spent a week and didn't even come close to seeing and doing everything on our list.

Don't limit yourself to just exploring Downtown Charleston. We LOVED the historic district, but there are a lot of interesting things to see and do all around the Charleston area. Be sure to take the time to explore outside of downtown.

Charleston is another very walkable city. After parking for the day, we were able to get around to everything else we visited in downtown by foot. The walk from City Market to the marina to pick up the Harbor Tour did take us on a sidewalk right along a busy street for a while... not the most pleasant of walks for that stretch. On the walk back, we used the walking directions on Google Maps to direct us through the neighborhoods. That was a much more enjoyable walk.

As we mentioned in the Free Things to Do section above, Charleston offers a free downtown shuttle bus that travels to several of the major visitor areas. So when you are tired of walking, jump on the DASH! This would also be a good way to see more of the city quickly.

Paid parking is available on surface lots and in parking garages around Downtown Charleston. Every time we went into town, we parked in the surface lot on North Market Street between Anson and Church Streets. This lot was easy to get to in the Jeep, and put us right in the heart of historic Charleston (across from City Market). We paid using a parking app that we downloaded from a QR code posted on signs around the lot. It was pricey (around $30 per day), but instead of paying in advance for the time we thought we would use, the app calculated our time parked and charged us for the time we actually used when we checked out. It worked great and was very convenient. Just be sure to remember to check out when you leave (especially if you are not staying long enough to reach the max daily charge).

Charleston is a beautiful old city with narrow roads. We do NOT recommend driving your RV into town.


Farmers Market
Mount Pleasant Farmers Market
Ravenel Bridge
Ravenel Bridge

More on TourPass

We have personally used TourPass to help us explore St Augustine FL, SSavannah GA and now, Charleston SC! Since our first purchase of a TourPass package back in 2021, the experience has always been fantastic.

So why do we love TourPass and how does it work?

We want to see as much as we can during our visit to a city or destination. With TourPass we pay one fee depending on the number of days that we want to explore. This price includes discounted rates on many of the most popular attractions. Saving money is always great, but there are a few other reasons why we really enjoy the TourPass experience...

TourPass makes touring EASY... You pay the set fee up front based upon the city that you are visiting and how many days you want to use the pass. And that's it. There are no other fees. So, travel budgeting is super simple. You know exactly what the attractions will cost you up front.

You don't have to worry about dynamic price changes of individual attractions or being nickeled and dimed by admission add-ons.

You choose your activation day and that is the day your pass will become active, no matter when you purchase it. So you can plan your adventures in advance and then just focus on having fun when you arrive.

You can put everyone in your party on one pass... no need for each person to have their own. So when we set up our Charleston TourPass, we entered 3 people. Each time we arrived at an attraction, I would show the admission attendant the TourPass on my phone and that one virtual pass provided admission for all three of us. It literally took a few seconds. So it saves time on entering attractions because admission is already paid. We're simply showing proof of payment as we enter.

TourPass includes a very easy to read listing of all of the Featured and Standard Attractions that are included in each city. Each listing includes the attraction's hours of operation, description, and location. It also tells you how far you are from each of the attractions at any given time.

When we use TourPass, we don't have to worry about finding things to do. We don't have to worry about how much we are spending on the attractions. Our biggest worry is how many can we possibly squeeze into the time that we have. And since there are so many options, that can be a real challenge!

Using the TourPass since 2021, we have experienced ZERO issues! Not once have we encountered an admission attendant who is unfamilar with it. It has worked perfectly and flawlessly everywhere we've used it. We have not had a single hassle or delayed entry because we are using it.

On our visit to Charleston, we appreciate the folks at TourPass providing us with a 1-day pass. But just like St Augustine and Savannah, a one-day pass is never enough... there is so much to do in Charleston! So just like in the other 2 cities, we paid to upgrade to a 2-Day pass. The process was very simple using the TourPass app.

The final thing we really appreciate about the TourPass experience... Multi-Day Passes do not have to be used on consecutive days (unless otherwise stated by specific attractions that you are visiting for more than one day).

We highly recommend using TourPass for your adventures in St Augustine, Florida, Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina. We believe in the product 100% based on our personal experience. We like it so much, we reached out to them and joined their affiliate program. If you purchase a TourPass through one of our links, it will not cost you any more money, but we will receive a commission toward supporting this website and our content. Thank you and enjoy your tours!


Charleston is Also Known As...

The Holy City

This is a nickname we heard often during our visit to Charleston. It was explained to us that this name had roots in the number of historic churches that are present in Charleston. But as we researched the origins of the nickname, we found a library post from a local historian who disagrees.

The Palmetto City

The same local historian, Dr Nic Butler, has performed years of research on the history of Charleston. He has found documents dating back as far back as the 1830s that refer to Charleston as the Palmetto City. This makes sense when you visit places like Fort Moultrie where Palmetto logs were used as an integral part of the protection of the fort and the harbor. Palmetto trees have grown here in abundance since the earliest known records were kept. And after all, South Carolina is the Palmetto State and Charleston is the oldest city in South Carolina.


Where is Charleston, South Carolina?

You'll find Charleston on the East Coast of South Carolina, where the Ashley River, Cooper River and Wando River flow into Charleston Harbor. US Highway 17 runs through Charleston.

Our Basecamp for This Visit

πŸ“ We stayed at the Mount Pleasant / Charleston KOA Holiday.

For More Information on Visiting Charleston, South Carolina

Check out the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau Website. Another great resource for anyone visiting Charleston is Charleston.com.


Charleston SC Fun Facts

Approximate Population

153,700

Elevation

19.69'

Year Founded

1670

Average Summer Temperatures

74Β° - 88Β°

Average Winter Temperatures

43Β° - 61Β°

Geographic Area

156.6 square miles

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A Few Photos from Our Visit to Charleston

Museum Above Market
Don't Miss the Museum Above City Market
Boat Tour
Exploring Charleston by Boat
Fort Moultrie
View from Fort Moultrie
Fort Sumter
Inside Fort Sumter
Water Taxi
Water Taxi in the Harbor
Carolina Belle
Boarding the Carolina Belle
Historic Homes
Beautiful Historic Homes
Historic Marker
Many Have Historic Markers
Our Campsite
Our Campsite in Mount Pleasant
Wagon Ride
Wagon Ride in the Rain Was Still Fun!
Wings Mural
Another Wings Photo Opp for Stacie
Exploring Charleston by Foot
Exploring Charleston by Foot

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Charleston SC Pin

Tom and Stacie

Tom and Stacie Langland
"RV America Y'all"

Hey y'all! We are Native Texans and (since 2018) Full-Time RVers sharing the adventures, challenges, and joys of RV life as we travel. We love camping and hiking in State and National Parks, discovering history, visiting interesting and quirky places, and exploring small towns. We're on a mission to experience life, not just live it with our dog, Star, and our cat, Astro. You can learn more about us on by visiting our About Us page. Thanks for joining us as we RV America Y'all!

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