Welcome to the historic, picturesque city of Charleston, where Southern charm meets family-friendly fun. Nestled on the South Carolina coast, Charleston is a city that effortlessly combines its rich history with modern attractions, making it a perfect destination for families. Whether you’re exploring cobblestone streets, enjoying delicious Lowcountry cuisine, or basking in the warm Southern hospitality, Charleston offers an array of activities that will create lasting memories for you and your loved ones.
In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the top things to do in Charleston with your family. From historic sites to beautiful beaches, there’s something here for every age group. Let’s dive in!
Now, let’s embark on this family adventure together!
1. Explore the Historic Charleston City Market
When it comes to top things to do in Charleston, the Historic Charleston City Market is a must-visit attraction for families. This bustling market, dating back to the 18th century, offers a fascinating blend of history, culture, and shopping opportunities.
The Charleston City Market is an iconic landmark in the heart of downtown Charleston. Its historic significance as one of the nation’s oldest public markets is matched only by its vibrant atmosphere and the treasures it holds. Here’s why this market should be on your family’s Charleston itinerary:
Immerse in History
To begin with, walking through the Charleston City Market feels like stepping back in time. The market’s historic buildings and cobblestone pathways harken back to the days of the Old South, providing an educational experience for kids and adults alike.
Shop for Unique Souvenirs
Moving on to shopping, the market is a shopper’s paradise, offering a wide array of goods and souvenirs. You can find everything from local arts and crafts to sweetgrass baskets, jewelry, clothing, and gourmet food products. It’s the perfect place to pick up memorable keepsakes from your family vacation.
Meet Local Artisans
Now, let’s talk about meeting local artisans. One of the market’s highlights is the opportunity to meet and interact with local artisans. Many of the vendors are skilled craftsmen and women who create their products right before your eyes. Kids will be captivated by watching sweetgrass basket weavers and artists at work.
Enjoy Delicious Lowcountry Cuisine
Speaking of cuisine, the Charleston City Market is also a food lover’s delight. You can savor authentic Lowcountry cuisine at various stalls and restaurants within the market. Sample classics like shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, and pralines, all while soaking in the vibrant atmosphere.
Listen to Gullah Culture
Now, let’s tune in to the sounds of Gullah culture. As you explore the market, you might encounter the rhythmic sounds of Gullah culture. Gullah music and storytelling are integral parts of Charleston’s heritage. Kids can listen to captivating tales and music that have been passed down through generations.
Discover Local History
Moving on to historical discoveries, within the market, you’ll find the Old Slave Mart Museum, a somber yet essential stop for families interested in history. This museum provides insights into the history of the domestic slave trade in Charleston, offering educational opportunities for kids to learn about this significant aspect of America’s past.
Stroll the Market’s Four Blocks
As you take a stroll through the market, the Charleston City Market spans four blocks, so be prepared for a leisurely stroll. The beauty of this stroll is that it allows your family to take in the sights, sounds, and aromas of the market at your own pace. You might stumble upon hidden gems and delightful surprises along the way.
Support Local Businesses
Additionally, by supporting local businesses, visiting the Charleston City Market is not just about experiencing history and culture; it’s also about supporting local businesses. Many of the vendors are local entrepreneurs who are passionate about their crafts. Your purchases directly contribute to the local economy.
In conclusion, exploring the Historic Charleston City Market is an enriching and enjoyable family activity that combines history, culture, shopping, and delicious cuisine. It’s a place where your family can create lasting memories while discovering the vibrant spirit of Charleston.
To sum it up, when you’re planning your family adventure in Charleston, make sure to include a visit to this iconic market. It’s a journey through time and a celebration of local culture that your family will cherish. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourselves in the heart and soul of Charleston at the City Market.
2. Stroll Along the Iconic Waterfront Park
Among the many top things to do in Charleston with family, a leisurely stroll along the iconic Waterfront Park is an experience that perfectly combines relaxation and scenic beauty. This picturesque park, nestled along the Charleston Harbor, offers a serene escape and a chance for families to unwind amidst stunning surroundings.
Revel in Breathtaking Views
As you step into Waterfront Park, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of the Charleston Harbor and the famous Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. It’s an excellent spot to introduce your kids to the beauty of nature and the charm of this historic city.
Take a Swing at the Pineapple Fountain
Next, One of the park’s most iconic features is the Pineapple Fountain. Kids can’t resist the allure of this interactive fountain, which invites them to splash and play in its refreshing waters. It’s a great way for the little ones to cool down on a warm Charleston day.
Discover Impeccable Landscaping
Moving on, Waterfront Park is renowned for its impeccable landscaping. As you stroll along the well-maintained paths, you’ll encounter lush gardens, colorful flowerbeds, and neatly trimmed lawns. This makes it a superb spot for a family picnic or simply enjoying the outdoors.
Picnic in the Shade
Speaking of picnics, The park provides shaded areas with benches and picnic tables, making it an ideal location for a family picnic. You can pack a basket filled with your favorite treats and enjoy a meal in the midst of nature’s beauty.
Relish the Wharf Area
Now, let’s explore the wharf area, Adjacent to the park, you’ll find a charming wharf area. Here, you can watch sailboats gliding on the harbor, observe pelicans and seagulls, and even catch a glimpse of playful dolphins. It’s a captivating scene that will captivate both children and adults.
Capture Memorable Photos
Furthermore, Waterfront Park offers countless photo opportunities. Whether you’re snapping pictures of your family against the backdrop of the Pineapple Fountain or capturing the harbor’s beauty, you’re sure to leave with cherished memories.
Learn About Charleston’s Maritime History
In addition, Near the park, you’ll also find the South Carolina Aquarium and the USS Yorktown, both of which offer educational experiences. It’s a chance for your family to learn about Charleston’s maritime history and marine life.
Attend Special Events
Lastly, Waterfront Park frequently hosts special events, from outdoor concerts to cultural festivals. Check the events calendar when planning your trip to see if your family can partake in any local festivities.
In conclusion, taking a leisurely stroll along Charleston’s iconic Waterfront Park is an enriching family activity that blends scenic beauty, relaxation, and opportunities for learning. It’s a place where you can bond with your loved ones while immersing yourselves in Charleston’s natural and cultural treasures.
3. Embark on a Carriage Tour Through the Historic District
When it comes to family-friendly activities in Charleston, one that stands out is taking a leisurely carriage tour through the city’s historic district. It’s a delightful way to explore the enchanting streets of Charleston while immersing your family in its rich history and unique charm.
As you board a horse-drawn carriage, you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time. Charleston’s historic district, with its cobblestone streets, pastel-colored antebellum mansions, and fragrant gardens, is a living museum waiting to be explored.
These tours are led by knowledgeable and engaging guides who are well-versed in Charleston’s history. They’ll regale you and your family with fascinating tales of the city’s past, from the colonial era to the Civil War and beyond.
A carriage tour is not only entertaining but also educational. Children, in particular, will benefit from learning about Charleston’s role in American history and its unique architecture. It’s a fun and interactive way to introduce them to the past.
As your carriage clip-clops through the historic district, you’ll be treated to scenic views of iconic landmarks such as Rainbow Row, Waterfront Park, and the historic City Market. These sights are even more enchanting when viewed from a horse-drawn carriage.
One of the great advantages of a carriage tour is the leisurely pace. It’s a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Your family can relax and soak in the sights without the rush of a fast-paced tour.
In conclusion, embarking on a carriage tour through Charleston’s historic district is a fantastic family activity that combines entertainment, education, and a unique perspective on this charming city.
4. Discover Marine Life at the South Carolina Aquarium
When you’re exploring Charleston with your family, a visit to the South Carolina Aquarium is an absolute must. This captivating attraction offers an exciting opportunity to discover marine life from the South Carolina coast and beyond.
The South Carolina Aquarium boasts a wide array of interactive exhibits that will captivate visitors of all ages. As you step inside, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of aquatic wonders.
One of the highlights for both kids and adults is the touch tanks, where you can reach out and feel the textures of creatures like sea stars and horseshoe crabs. It’s a hands-on learning experience that brings you closer to marine life.
Take a mesmerizing stroll through the underwater tunnel. This tunnel offers a unique 360-degree view of a massive aquarium filled with colorful fish, graceful sea turtles, and even sharks. It’s an experience that makes you feel like you’re walking on the ocean floor.
Sea Turtle Care Center
The South Carolina Aquarium is renowned for its Sea Turtle Care Center, where you can learn about the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of these magnificent creatures. It’s both educational and heartwarming to witness these turtles on their journey to recovery.
The aquarium provides various educational programs and presentations throughout the day. These programs are not only informative but also engaging, making them perfect for families. Learn about marine conservation efforts and the importance of protecting our oceans.
After you’ve explored the indoor wonders, step outside to the beautiful gardens overlooking the Charleston Harbor. It’s a tranquil space where you can relax and enjoy the coastal breeze while taking in stunning views.
And don’t forget, the South Carolina Aquarium is designed with families in mind. The exhibits are thoughtfully curated to be both entertaining and educational, ensuring that children and adults alike have an unforgettable experience.
In conclusion, A visit to the South Carolina Aquarium offers an exciting opportunity for families to connect with marine life and gain a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the ocean. It’s a journey that combines fun, learning, and a sense of wonder that your family will cherish.
5. Relax at Folly Beach: A Family-Friendly Getaway
When you’re looking for a perfect family-friendly escape during your Charleston adventure, look no further than Folly Beach. Located just a short drive from downtown Charleston, Folly Beach offers a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere that’s ideal for families.
Folly Beach boasts miles of sandy shores, making it an ideal spot for your family to soak up the sun. Whether you’re building sandcastles, flying kites, or just lounging, the beach offers endless possibilities for family fun.
If your family enjoys fishing, Folly Beach Pier is a must-visit. You can cast your lines and try your luck at catching various fish species. It’s an excellent opportunity for kids to learn about fishing in a picturesque setting.
Folly Beach is known for its fantastic waves, making it a popular spot for surfers of all levels. You can rent surfboards or even take a lesson as a family. Riding the waves together can create lasting memories.
One of the best things about Folly Beach is its laid-back vibe. It’s a place where you can relax, unwind, and forget about the stresses of everyday life. It’s not uncommon to see families picnicking, playing beach games, or simply enjoying the ocean breeze.
Eateries with Ocean Views
On top of that, Folly Beach offers a variety of dining options with stunning ocean views. Enjoy a family meal at one of the beachfront restaurants, where you can savor fresh seafood and other local delights while watching the waves roll in.
Moreover, Don’t miss the breathtaking sunsets at Folly Beach. As the day comes to a close, gather your family on the beach, and watch as the sky transforms into a canvas of oranges, pinks, and purples. It’s a magical moment you’ll cherish.
For families interested in nature, Folly Beach offers eco-tours that allow you to explore the surrounding marshes and estuaries. These tours provide a unique opportunity to learn about the local wildlife and ecosystems.
In conclusion, Folly Beach is more than just a beach; it’s a family-friendly destination that offers relaxation, adventure, and a chance to connect with the natural beauty of Charleston’s coast. Whether you’re building sandcastles, trying your hand at surfing, or simply enjoying the ocean views, Folly Beach promises a memorable experience for your family.
6. Experience Wildlife at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site
When you’re exploring Charleston with your family, one place that should be on your must-visit list is the Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site. This site offers a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and wildlife encounters that can be both educational and exciting for all ages.
Charles Towne Landing is the very spot where English settlers established the first permanent European settlement in Carolina back in 1670. Your family can step back in time as you explore historical exhibits, a replica 17th-century ship, and even chat with costumed interpreters who bring the past to life.
This site boasts stunning natural beauty. It’s a paradise for nature lovers, with walking and biking trails that wind through gardens, forests, and along the Ashley River. Your family can enjoy a leisurely stroll surrounded by lush greenery.
Animal Forest Zoo
One of the highlights for families at Charles Towne Landing is the Animal Forest Zoo. It’s not your typical zoo experience; instead, it’s a natural habitat where native animals roam freely. Your kids can see animals like bison, black bears, otters, and more in a setting that mimics their natural environment.
Bird enthusiasts in your family will be delighted by the birdwatching opportunities here. The site is home to various bird species, and you can spot them while walking the trails or simply relaxing in the gardens. Don’t forget your binoculars!
The visitor center features interactive exhibits that educate visitors about the history of the settlement and the native people who lived here long before the English arrived. It’s a fantastic opportunity for kids to learn about the past in an engaging way.
The site sits along the Ashley River, providing breathtaking river views. Take a moment to soak in the serene beauty and perhaps even spot some river wildlife.
Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site offers a diverse range of experiences for families. From historical exploration to encounters with native wildlife and the sheer natural beauty of the site, it’s a place where learning and leisure come together seamlessly. Your family will create cherished memories while discovering the rich history and abundant wildlife of Charleston.
7. Take a Boat Tour to See Dolphins and Sea Turtles
When you’re in Charleston with your family, one of the most thrilling and educational experiences you can have is taking a boat tour to encounter dolphins and sea turtles in their natural habitat. It’s a fantastic adventure that combines the excitement of marine wildlife with the beauty of Charleston’s coastal scenery.
Up-Close Dolphin Encounters
Charleston’s waters are home to playful Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, and a boat tour offers you a front-row seat to their aquatic antics. These intelligent creatures are known for their acrobatics, and your family can witness their flips and jumps up close. It’s a magical sight that’s bound to delight kids and adults alike.
Fascinating Sea Turtles
The waters around Charleston are also home to several species of sea turtles, including loggerheads and greens. These gentle giants can be spotted during your boat tour as they come up for air. Learning about these ancient reptiles and their conservation is not only educational but also inspiring.
Most boat tours are led by knowledgeable naturalists who provide valuable insights into the behavior, biology, and conservation efforts related to dolphins and sea turtles. Your family can learn about these marine creatures while observing them in their natural environment, making it an enriching educational experience.
Scenic Coastal Views
While searching for dolphins and sea turtles, you’ll also get to enjoy the stunning coastal views of Charleston. The boat ride itself is a scenic journey that takes you past picturesque landscapes, including marshes, estuaries, and barrier islands. Don’t forget your camera to capture these breathtaking vistas.
Interactive for Kids
Boat tours are interactive experiences that can keep kids engaged and excited throughout. Spotting marine wildlife becomes a thrilling game, and kids can ask questions and interact with the naturalist guide, fostering their curiosity about the marine world.
Taking a boat tour to see dolphins and sea turtles in Charleston is a family-friendly adventure that combines the thrill of wildlife encounters with the beauty of the coastal environment. It’s an educational, fun, and memorable experience that will leave your family with a deeper appreciation for the marine world and the natural wonders of Charleston’s waters.
8. Delight in the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
When you’re exploring Charleston with your family, a visit to the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is an absolute. This enchanting historic site offers a delightful blend of Southern charm, lush gardens, and a glimpse into the past, making it a perfect family-friendly destination.
Explore Stunning Gardens
The Magnolia Plantation boasts some of the most breathtaking gardens in the Lowcountry. As you wander through the beautifully landscaped grounds, you’ll encounter a diverse array of flora and fauna. From vibrant azaleas to ancient camellias and the iconic Spanish moss-draped oak trees, there’s natural beauty at every turn.
Nature Tram Tours
For a more in-depth exploration, consider taking a nature tram tour. Led by knowledgeable guides, these tours provide insights into the history and ecology of the plantation. You’ll learn about the vibrant ecosystems that thrive here, including the Audubon Swamp Garden, which is home to alligators, herons, and turtles.
The Magnolia Plantation offers a range of activities designed with families in mind. Children can participate in the “Explorers Backpack” program, which includes binoculars and a guidebook for bird watching and exploring the gardens. There’s also a petting zoo with friendly animals to interact with.
This plantation has a rich history dating back to the 17th century. Your family can take a guided tour of the historic house, where you’ll learn about the plantation’s role in the region’s history, including its connection to the Civil War.
Picnic and Relaxation
The plantation’s serene surroundings make it an ideal spot for a family picnic. You can relax in the shade of the oak trees, enjoy a meal together, and appreciate the tranquility of this historic estate.
The Magnolia Plantation is a photographer’s dream. From the picturesque bridges and winding pathways to the colorful blooms and resident wildlife, there are endless opportunities to capture beautiful family photos. Visiting this plantation provides your family with a cultural experience that highlights the area’s heritage. It’s a chance to step back in time and appreciate the traditions of the Lowcountry.
9. Marvel at the Angel Oak Tree
When you’re exploring Charleston with your family, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the awe-inspiring Angel Oak Tree. This ancient giant, believed to be one of the oldest living things in the country, is a natural wonder that will leave your family in absolute awe.
Meet a Living Legend
The Angel Oak Tree is a true living legend. Estimated to be around 400-500 years old, it stands as a testament to the power and beauty of nature. Its sprawling canopy provides a cool, shaded retreat, making it a perfect spot for a family outing.
Your family can get up close and personal with the Angel Oak. The massive limbs and gnarled branches are perfect for climbing, and kids will love exploring the tree’s unique features.
The surrounding park features shaded walking trails where you can take a leisurely stroll with your family. These trails are perfect for birdwatching and observing the local wildlife. On top of that, the Angel Oak Tree is a popular spot for photographers. Its ethereal beauty and ancient presence make for stunning family photos that capture the essence of Charleston’s natural wonders.
The park surrounding the Angel Oak offers a serene setting for a family picnic. You can lay out a blanket, enjoy a meal under the tree’s majestic branches, and bask in the tranquility of this historic site.
One of the best things about the Angel Oak Tree is that admission to the park is free. This means you can enjoy this remarkable natural wonder without breaking the bank.
The Angel Oak Tree is a must-visit destination for families exploring Charleston. It’s a chance to witness a living piece of history, connect with nature, and create lasting memories amidst the tranquility of the park. Marveling at this ancient giant is an experience that will leave your family with a deep appreciation for the natural world.
10. Paddle Through the Francis Marion National Forest
If your family has a sense of adventure and a love for the outdoors, exploring the Francis Marion National Forest through a paddling adventure should be high on your list of things to do in Charleston.
Nature at Its Best
Francis Marion National Forest is a sprawling natural playground. Its waterways wind through cypress swamps and lush forests, providing a unique opportunity for your family to immerse itself in nature.
Choose Your Adventure
Whether your family prefers kayaking, canoeing, or paddleboarding, there’s an adventure for everyone here. The forest offers a variety of water trails suitable for different skill levels, making it accessible for both beginners and experienced paddlers.
As you paddle through the forest, keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife that calls this area home. You might spot turtles sunning themselves on logs, colorful birds darting through the trees, or even an alligator lazily gliding through the water.
One of the most rewarding aspects of paddling through the forest is the sense of peace and serenity you’ll experience. The quiet solitude of nature is a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of city life, providing a tranquil escape for your family.
Many paddling spots in the Francis Marion National Forest offer picturesque spots for a family picnic. Pack a lunch, bring along some snacks, and enjoy a meal in the heart of the forest.
If your family is new to paddling or simply prefers the guidance of an expert, consider booking a guided tour. Knowledgeable guides can enhance your experience by sharing insights about the forest’s history and ecology.
Paddling through the Francis Marion National Forest is an adventure that combines the beauty of the outdoors with opportunities for relaxation and education. It’s a chance to unplug, connect with nature, and create lasting memories as a family. So, grab your paddles and embark on an unforgettable journey through the pristine waterways of Charleston’s natural gem.
11. Explore Fort Sumter National Monument
When it comes to family-friendly historical adventures in Charleston, exploring Fort Sumter National Monument is an absolute must. This iconic site holds a significant place in American history, and it offers an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
Step into History
Fort Sumter is not just a place; it’s a time machine. As you step onto the ferry and approach the island, you can almost feel the weight of history in the air. It was here, on April 12, 1861, that the first shots of the American Civil War were fired. This historic site allows your family to walk in the footsteps of the past.
Upon arrival, your family can explore the Visitor Education Center, which features interactive exhibits that bring history to life. These displays include artifacts from the Civil War era, informative videos, and engaging narratives that make history accessible and engaging for children and adults alike.
The National Park Service rangers at Fort Sumter offer informative and entertaining programs throughout the day. These rangers are passionate about history and are skilled at making it come alive. Kids can participate in Jr. Ranger programs, which involve fun, age-appropriate activities designed to educate and entertain.
Scenic Ferry Ride
Getting to Fort Sumter is part of the adventure. The ferry ride offers stunning views of Charleston Harbor, and there’s a good chance you’ll spot dolphins swimming alongside the boat. It’s an enjoyable journey that adds to the overall experience.
Picnic with a View
The fort’s grounds provide a great spot for a family picnic. Imagine enjoying lunch with a backdrop of historic cannons, the sea breeze in your hair, and the harbor stretching out before you. It’s a picnic spot unlike any other.
History in Action
Throughout the year, Fort Sumter hosts special events that allow families to see history in action. Reenactments, musket firings, and living history demonstrations transport you back to the 1860s. These events provide a vivid and memorable experience for children and adults alike.
Reflect and Learn
A visit to Fort Sumter isn’t just about learning history; it’s also an opportunity for reflection. Discuss with your family the significance of the Civil War and its impact on our nation. It’s a chance to engage in meaningful conversations with your children about the past.
In conclusion, exploring Fort Sumter National Monument is an enriching and enjoyable experience for families. It combines history, education, and scenic beauty into a single, unforgettable adventure. It’s a place where your family can connect with the past while creating lasting memories for the future.
12. Savor a Sweetgrass Basket-Making Class
While Charleston is rich in history and natural beauty, it’s also a place where you can immerse yourself in unique, hands-on experiences. One such experience is taking a Sweetgrass basket-making class, a tradition deeply rooted in the culture of the Gullah Geechee people of the Lowcountry. This activity not only allows you to create something beautiful but also provides insight into the rich heritage of Charleston.
Connect with Gullah Geechee Culture
Sweetgrass basketry is a cultural tradition that has been passed down through generations in the Gullah Geechee community. By taking a basket-making class, your family can connect with this vibrant and essential aspect of Charleston’s cultural tapestry.
These classes are typically led by skilled Gullah Geechee artisans who are not only experts in their craft but also passionate about sharing their heritage. They provide step-by-step guidance, ensuring that every family member can participate and create their own unique basket.
A Hands-On Experience
Basket-making is a hands-on experience that engages both young and old. Children can learn about the different types of grasses used, the intricate weaving techniques, and the historical significance of these baskets in Gullah Geechee culture. It’s an opportunity for kids to not only create something beautiful but also gain an appreciation for a traditional art form.
Create Lasting Memories
As you work on your baskets, you’re not just crafting an object; you’re creating lasting memories with your family. These classes often involve storytelling and conversations about the history and cultural significance of the craft. It’s a chance for your family to bond while learning something new.
Take Home a Unique Souvenir
At the end of the class, each family member will have their own Sweetgrass basket to take home. These baskets are not only beautiful but also serve as a tangible reminder of your visit to Charleston and your connection to its cultural heritage.
Support Local Artisans
By participating in a Sweetgrass basket-making class, you’re also supporting local artisans and preserving a centuries-old tradition. Your contribution helps ensure that this vital part of Charleston’s culture continues to thrive.
A Beautiful and Functional Keepsake
Sweetgrass baskets are not just decorative; they are also functional and durable. You can use them to hold fruit, display flowers, or as a unique piece of decor in your home. Every time you see the basket, you’ll be reminded of your family’s creative adventure in Charleston.
In conclusion, a Sweetgrass basket-making class in Charleston offers your family a chance to connect with the city’s rich cultural heritage in a fun and creative way. It’s an experience that combines education, artistry, and the creation of beautiful keepsakes, making it a top family-friendly activity in Charleston.
13. Experience the Gibbes Museum of Art
Charleston’s rich cultural heritage is on full display at the Gibbes Museum of Art, making it a must-visit destination for families exploring the city. Nestled in the historic district, this museum boasts a stunning collection of American art and provides engaging exhibitions and programs that cater to visitors of all ages.
A Cultural Treasure Trove
As you step into the Gibbes Museum, you’re immediately surrounded by a diverse and captivating collection of art. The museum’s permanent collection includes pieces that span centuries and styles, from colonial portraiture to contemporary works. It’s a visual journey through American history and artistic expression.
One of the museum’s standout features is its commitment to providing family-friendly experiences. They offer programs designed specifically for children and families, making art accessible and enjoyable for all. These programs often include hands-on activities, interactive exhibits, and even special family days where you can create art together.
For families with budding artists, the Gibbes offers art workshops that encourage creativity and self-expression. These workshops are a fantastic way for children to explore their artistic talents and for parents to join in the fun.
The museum frequently hosts special exhibitions that bring new and exciting art to Charleston. These exhibitions often feature a range of styles and media, so there’s always something to pique your family’s interest. It’s a chance to see fresh, thought-provoking art while exploring the city.
The Gibbes Museum Store
Don’t forget to visit the museum store, which is filled with unique gifts, books, and art-related items. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs or find a special memento for your visit.
Art in the Garden
The museum’s lush garden, located at the rear of the building, is a peaceful oasis where you can relax and appreciate outdoor sculptures and beautiful greenery. It’s a serene spot to take a break and discuss the art you’ve seen inside.
Consider taking a guided tour of the museum. Knowledgeable docents can provide insights into the collection and offer engaging stories about the artists and their work. It’s an educational experience that can enhance your understanding and appreciation of the art.
The Gibbes Museum is conveniently located in Charleston’s historic district, so it’s easy to incorporate into your family’s day of exploration. After your visit, you can stroll through the charming streets, enjoy nearby parks, or savor a meal at one of the city’s renowned restaurants.
In conclusion, the Gibbes Museum of Art is a cultural gem that adds depth and beauty to any family visit to Charleston. With its diverse collection, family-friendly programs, and commitment to fostering creativity and appreciation for art, it’s a top destination for families looking to immerse themselves in the city’s vibrant culture. Be sure to check the museum’s schedule for special exhibitions and programs during your visit for an even more enriching experience.
14. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at the Old Slave Mart Museum
When visiting Charleston with your family, exploring its rich history is a must, and the Old Slave Mart Museum provides an essential and thought-provoking experience. This museum, housed in a historic building that once served as a slave auction gallery, sheds light on a dark chapter of American history while offering important lessons for the present.
A Lesson in History
The Old Slave Mart Museum stands as a poignant reminder of Charleston’s role in the transatlantic slave trade. It was one of the last surviving slave auction galleries in South Carolina. Visiting this museum provides an opportunity for families to engage in conversations about slavery, its impact on the nation, and the ongoing struggle for civil rights.
The museum’s exhibits are designed to be engaging and educational for visitors of all ages. Through multimedia displays, historical artifacts, and informative panels, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of enslaved Africans and their contributions to American culture.
Consider taking a guided tour led by knowledgeable docents who can provide context and insights into the exhibits. They often share personal stories and historical narratives that bring the past to life.
Reflection and Discussion
Visiting the Old Slave Mart Museum can be a powerful experience for families. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the history of slavery in the United States and discuss its legacy. These conversations can help children develop empathy and a greater appreciation for the importance of equality and justice.
Explore Nearby Historic Sites
The museum is conveniently located in Charleston’s historic district, making it easy to explore other nearby historic sites, such as the Aiken-Rhett House Museum and the Nathaniel Russell House. These homes provide additional insights into Charleston’s history and architecture.
While this museum deals with difficult subject matter, it can also emphasize the importance of empathy and understanding in our society. It encourages families to consider the experiences of others and how we can work toward a more just and inclusive future.
For families homeschooling or interested in supplementing their children’s education, a visit to the Old Slave Mart Museum can serve as an educational opportunity to learn about an essential part of American history that is often not adequately covered in textbooks.
By visiting and supporting the Old Slave Mart Museum, your family contributes to the preservation of this important historic site. It ensures that the stories of those who suffered under slavery are remembered and honored.
In conclusion, while a visit to the Old Slave Mart Museum may be emotionally challenging, it offers valuable lessons about history, empathy, and the ongoing struggle for justice and equality. It’s an essential stop for families exploring Charleston, providing an opportunity to learn, reflect, and engage in important conversations about America’s past and future.
15. Catch a RiverDogs Baseball Game at The Joe Riley Stadium
For a classic American family outing in Charleston, look no further than attending a Charleston RiverDogs baseball game at The Joe Riley Stadium. This beloved minor league baseball team offers an entertaining and affordable experience that families of all ages can enjoy. Here’s why a visit to The Joe should be on your Charleston itinerary:
America’s Pastime for All Ages
Baseball is often called “America’s pastime,” and there’s a reason for that. It’s a sport that transcends generations, making it an ideal family activity. Whether you have little ones who are experiencing their first game or teens who are die-hard fans, a RiverDogs game is sure to bring smiles to everyone’s faces.
Attending a major league sporting event can be costly, but minor league games offer a more budget-friendly option for families. Tickets, concessions, and merchandise at The Joe are all reasonably priced, allowing you to enjoy an exciting game without breaking the bank.
Stunning Stadium Views
The Joe Riley Stadium, nestled along the banks of the Ashley River, provides a picturesque backdrop for baseball. You’ll have the chance to watch the game with views of the river and the downtown Charleston skyline, creating a unique and visually pleasing setting.
Minor league games are known for their family-friendly atmosphere, and The Joe is no exception. The stadium often hosts themed nights, giveaways, and interactive activities for kids, ensuring that young ones are entertained throughout the game.
Meet Mason, the RiverDogs’ Mascot
Mason, the lovable RiverDogs mascot, is a hit with fans of all ages. He’s known for his playful antics and interactions with the crowd. Meeting Mason is a highlight for kids attending the game, and he’s always up for a photo op.
Delicious Ballpark Food
No baseball game is complete without ballpark food. The Joe offers a range of delicious options, from classic hot dogs and popcorn to more gourmet choices. Don’t forget to try a local favorite – boiled peanuts!
Fireworks and Themed Nights
Throughout the season, The Joe hosts fireworks shows and themed nights that add an extra layer of excitement to the game. From post-game fireworks displays to special events like “Bark in the Park” (where you can bring your dog), there’s always something fun happening.
The Joe Riley Stadium is conveniently located near downtown Charleston, making it easily accessible for visitors. Whether you’re staying in the city or just exploring for the day, attending a game is a breeze.
Create Lasting Memories
Attending a RiverDogs game at The Joe is more than just a sporting event; it’s an opportunity to create lasting memories with your family. From cheering on the home team to sharing traditional baseball snacks, you’ll leave with a sense of togetherness and nostalgia.
In conclusion, a RiverDogs baseball game at The Joe Riley Stadium is a fantastic family-friendly activity that combines sports, entertainment, affordability, and a dash of Charleston charm. It’s a winning way to spend an afternoon or evening together while experiencing one of America’s favorite pastimes.
Best Places to enjoy food in Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina, is a culinary paradise known for its rich and diverse food scene. With a plethora of options ranging from traditional Southern comfort food to innovative, globally-inspired dishes, the city offers something to satisfy every palate. Here are some of the best places to eat in Charleston:
- Husk: Located in a historic building, Husk is celebrated for its commitment to using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. The menu reflects the flavors of the South with dishes like shrimp and grits and fried chicken.
- FIG (Food Is Good): A local favorite, FIG is a farm-to-table restaurant that emphasizes simplicity and seasonal ingredients. The menu changes frequently, ensuring that every visit is a unique dining experience.
- Hominy Grill: This iconic Charleston eatery is famous for its classic Southern dishes. Don’t miss the Charleston Nasty Biscuit, a delicious concoction of fried chicken, cheddar cheese, and sausage gravy.
- Poogan’s Porch: Housed in a charming Victorian home, Poogan’s Porch is known for its traditional Southern fare and warm hospitality. Their shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes are must-try dishes.
- Halls Chophouse: For those craving a classic steakhouse experience, Halls Chophouse delivers top-quality cuts of meat in a sophisticated atmosphere. The live jazz music adds to the ambiance.
- Bertha’s Kitchen: If you want to experience authentic soul food, Bertha’s Kitchen is a hidden gem. This no-frills restaurant serves up classics like fried chicken, collard greens, and mac ‘n’ cheese.
Charleston’s culinary landscape is not just about food; it’s an exploration of culture and history through flavor. Whether you’re savoring Lowcountry classics or embracing innovative culinary creations, dining in Charleston is an unforgettable experience. Be sure to make reservations in advance, as these restaurants are often in high demand.
Best Places to Stay in Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina, offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s preferences. From historic boutique inns to luxury waterfront resorts, here are some of the best places to stay in Charleston:
- The Spectator Hotel: This boutique hotel, located in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, offers personalized service and luxurious amenities. The elegant rooms feature vintage decor, and the hotel’s bar, known for its craft cocktails, is a popular spot.
- Wentworth Mansion: Housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century mansion, this five-star luxury hotel exudes Southern charm. Guests can enjoy opulent rooms, a spa, and gourmet dining in a romantic setting.
- Zero George Street: For a quintessential Charleston experience, stay at Zero George Street. This boutique hotel comprises a collection of historic homes, and its rooms and suites are beautifully designed. The on-site cooking school and wine-tasting events are a plus.
- The Restoration Hotel: This boutique hotel provides a unique blend of modern design and historic charm. Guests can enjoy spacious suites with full kitchens and access to the rooftop terrace.
- The Vendue: Known as Charleston’s Art Hotel, The Vendue features rotating art exhibitions throughout the property. The rooftop bar offers stunning views of the harbor.
- Francis Marion Hotel: Located on Marion Square, this historic hotel offers a central location and classic Southern hospitality. The rooms are comfortable, and the Swamp Fox Restaurant & Bar serves Southern cuisine.
- HarbourView Inn: Situated on the waterfront, HarbourView Inn provides breathtaking views of Charleston Harbor. Guests can relax on the rooftop terrace and enjoy evening wine and cheese receptions.
- The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort: Just a short drive from Charleston, Kiawah Island offers a serene retreat. The Sanctuary is a luxurious oceanfront hotel with a spa, golf courses, and dining options.
These are just a few of the exceptional places to stay in Charleston. Whether you’re seeking historic charm, modern luxury, or a beachfront escape, Charleston has accommodations that cater to your needs. Be sure to book in advance, especially during the busy tourist season.
Charleston, with its warm hospitality and welcoming atmosphere, has a unique ability to bring families closer together. Whether you’ve marveled at the grandeur of historic plantations, enjoyed the simple pleasures of a beach day, or discovered the hidden gems within its museums and parks, this city provides a backdrop for family bonding and creating cherished moments.
As you depart, you may find yourselves yearning to return to Charleston, to rediscover its hidden corners, and to make new memories in a city that effortlessly combines tradition with modernity. Charleston will forever hold a special place in your family’s heart, a place where history comes alive, laughter fills the air, and the spirit of adventure thrives.
So, whether you’ve explored the enchanting streets, experienced wildlife encounters, or savored the flavors of the Lowcountry, Charleston has undoubtedly woven its unique charm into your family’s story. As you bid farewell to this captivating city, you carry with you not only souvenirs and photographs but also the warmth and memories of an unforgettable family getaway in Charleston, South Carolina.
Well, last but not least, If you are an explorer by heart and love to travel, you can check out our budget traveling hacks post. Or if you love to travel solo, you must check out our post on how to stay safe while traveling solo.
You can also explore the city of Savannah if you happen to be around.
Feel free to share your comments and feedback if you find this post helpful or let us know if you are looking for any additional details.