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Things to do in Charleston

Things to do in  Charleston

Welcome to Charleston

Charleston is a jewel of the South, renowned for its beautiful mansions, magnolia-scented gardens, and heady mix of influences from as far away as France, Africa, and the West Indies.

Top 10 attractions in Charleston

#1
Fort Sumter National Monument

Fort Sumter National Monument

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A top historic attraction in South Carolina, Fort Sumter National Monument is famous for being the site where the Civil War began. Today, the sea fort, accessible only by boat, retains much of its original stone structure—plus a few lodged cannonballs—letting visitors experience a piece of American history firsthand.More
#2
The Battery and White Point Garden

The Battery and White Point Garden

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The Battery wraps around the edge of Charleston’s peninsula, providing an elegant buffer between the city and the Ashley and Cooper rivers. Stroll and sightsee along the wide pedestrian paths, which pass by antebellum homes and historic sights, or perch beneath the live oaks in White Point Garden and watch the world go by.More
#3
Charleston City Market

Charleston City Market

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Smack in the middle of historic Charleston, the Charleston City Market is a central landmark for Holy City visitors. In addition to being one of the most visited historic attractions in town, the City Market—opened in 1807—is also one of the oldest continuously operating public markets in the United States.More
#4
Rainbow Row

Rainbow Row

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This street of brightly colored homes in Charleston is easily the most photographed spot in the city, and it’s easy to see why. The 14 colorful Georgian row houses along East Bay Street date back to 1730, when they were built as merchant stores.More
#5
Aiken-Rhett House

Aiken-Rhett House

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Charleston’s historic Aiken-Rhett House offers a rare glimpse into antebellum plantation life in South Carolina. The only surviving urban plantation, the 1818 townhouse complex remains largely intact, its rooms decorated with original wallpaper, fine art, and antique furnishings purchased by the owners more than 150 years ago.More
#6
Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon

Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon

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The Old Exchange is one of the oldest structures in Charleston, a famous city landmark, and one of the most historically significant buildings in the United States. Once the site of important political events, the building is now open to the public for fascinating tours, including a walk-through of its haunted Provost Dungeon.More
#7
Charleston Waterfront Park

Charleston Waterfront Park

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Waterfront porch swings, a giant pineapple fountain, and grassy areas perfect for lazing the day away make Waterfront Park feel like Charleston’s personal backyard. Watch the boats float by on the river, snap photos, and enjoy the park’s family-friendly amenities—they keep this park a favorite hangout spot for locals and visitors alike.More
#8
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

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As the last large-scale Romantic garden left in the United States, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens seek to provide an escape from the struggles and stresses of everyday life. Unlike a formal garden that seeks to “control” nature, a Romantic garden cooperates with nature to create a peaceful landscape where people and nature exist in harmony. Magnolia’s are also the oldest unrestored gardens in the United States, and the historic house is one of the oldest in the South.More
#9
Joseph Manigault House

Joseph Manigault House

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This historic Charleston home, now part of the Charleston Museum, is a well-preserved example of Federal architecture. Built in 1803 by architect Gabriel Manigault for his brother Joseph, a Charleston rice baron, the 3-story townhouse is now a National Historic Landmark, showcasing the wealthy family’s 19th-century lifestyle.More
#10
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge (Cooper River Bridge)

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge (Cooper River Bridge)

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At 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) long, the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the United States. It connects downtown Charleston to the city of Mount Pleasant and the beaches beyond, plus it provides bike and pedestrian paths that lead to unobstructed views of Charleston Harbor and the city skyline.More

Trip ideas

A Spooky City Guide to Charleston

A Spooky City Guide to Charleston

Top activities in Charleston

Charleston Harbor History Day-Time or Sunset Boat Cruise
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Charleston Marsh Eco Boat Cruise with stop at Morris Island Lighthouse
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Middleton Place All-Access Admission & Guided Tour with Lunch from Charleston
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Evening Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour of Downtown Charleston
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Recent reviews from experiences in Charleston

star-5
touring Charleston by...
kateandbud82, Dec 2021
Charleston’s Old South Carriage Historic Horse & Carriage Tour
We were in a lottery so didn't get to see what we were hoping to see but our guide made what we saw most enjoyable.
star-4
Charleston Bus Tour
Theresa_A, Dec 2021
Charleston See-It-All Sightseeing Bus Tour
This tour gives you a good idea of what you would like to see and do in Charleston on your own.
star-5
A must see and do! Great hosts!!
Susan_S, Dec 2021
Boone Hall Plantation Admission & Tour with Transportation from Charleston
Loved to see it decorated.
star-5
Wonderful way to see...
Mary_D, Dec 2021
Charleston's Alleys & Hidden Passages Guided Small-Group Walking Tour
Wonderful way to see Charleston!
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Funtime!
KarenM_L, Nov 2021
Charleston Harbor History Day-Time or Sunset Boat Cruise
Traveled to Charleston to visit grandson in Navy.
star-5
Fun walking tour, small group
Jessica_L, Nov 2021
Charleston's Alleys & Hidden Passages Guided Small-Group Walking Tour
Great way to see the city and hear the history of the area.
star-5
Extremely enjoyable
Matt_S, Nov 2021
Haunted Evening Horse and Carriage Tour of Charleston
This is the perfect way to see the city, and learn about some of the more interesting history.
star-5
Amazing guide! So...
Laurie_S, Nov 2021
2-Hour Historic Charleston Guided Sightseeing Walking Tour
A great way to see Old Town in Charleston!
star-5
Excellent tour of Charleston
Mary_M, Nov 2021
2-Hour Historic Charleston Guided Sightseeing Walking Tour
We got to see more of Charleston than I ever expected.
star-5
A very nice relaxing way...
Barbara_S, Nov 2021
Charleston’s Old South Carriage Historic Horse & Carriage Tour
A very nice relaxing way to see parts of Charleston.
star-5
Great history tour
Kath_P, Nov 2021
Highlights of Charleston Guided Walking Tour
Nice way to see parts of Charleston
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Nice tour…a lot of Charleston in a short time
Joseph_K, Oct 2021
Sightseeing Tour of Charleston by Bus
Great way to see a lot of the city in a short time.
star-5
Amazing water taxi experience
Myriam_R, Oct 2021
Charleston Water Taxi Cruise with Dolphin Sighting
We also got to see dolphins, our driver was super nice and even stop a few minutes for us to take pictures.
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Fabulous tour
Amy_V, Oct 2021
Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More
She was very knowledgeable and showed us a ton of sites and suggestions of other places to visit in Charleston!
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The tour guide was very...
Larry_B, Oct 2021
Charleston City Bus Tour with Charleston Museum Admission
Got to see parts of historic Charleston we've never seen before.
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Great Tour
Heather, Oct 2021
Historic Charleston Walking Tour: Rainbow Row, Churches, and More
We were able to see parts of the city we wouldn’t have been able to on our own.
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Great kick off to Charleston
CONNIE_A, Oct 2021
Charleston See-It-All Sightseeing Bus Tour
Would tour this again, and recommend it to visitors.
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Touring Charleston in a buggy!!
Kim_B, Oct 2021
Daytime Horse-Drawn Carriage Sightseeing Tour of Historic Charleston
The only thing I would suggest would be to add 30 minutes longer to see more of downtown.
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Great Experience!
Megan_D, Sep 2021
Charleston Ghost & Graveyard Night-Time Guided Walking Tour
It was a fun way to see Charleston and hear some of the stories of the city.
star-5
Summer was a very...
Bethany_h, Sep 2021
Downtown Charleston Culinary Walking Food Tour of French Quarter & City Market
Summer was a very knowledgeable and attentive guide of both Charleston history and culinary history!
Frequently Asked Questions
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