One of the perks of living in Savannah is that we have so many charming neighbors nearby. Charleston is one that always ranks high on the list when friends come for a visit and want to go exploring! Understandably so, since the Holy City is filled with incredible places to eat and a plethora of pretty pink houses to photograph. But because it's often difficult deciding what to do in a city with so much to offer, I created a handy Charleston Bucket List printable and itemized a few popular (plus some less-touristy) options to get you started.
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Charleston Bucket List
- Kayak with the dolphins at Shem Creek
- Fill up on some of the best seafood in town at 167 Raw
- Support Gullah artists by purchasing a sweetgrass basket at Charleston City Market
- Wander down Stoll's Alley to peek into secret courtyard gardens
- Hop on over to nearby Longitude Lane and do the same thing
- Tend to injured sea turtles at the Sea Turtle Care Center
- Adopt a Loggerhead Sea Turtle while you're there!
- Walk (or jog) across the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge
- Take a quick stroll down Rainbow Row
- Bike along The Battery (from Waterfront Park down E. Bay to Murray)
- Don't forget to snap a selfie in front of Pineapple Fountain at Waterfront Park
- Attend a parade at The Citadel
- Consider donating to Cypress Gardens so they can open their beautiful grounds again! (This is where many scenes from The Notebook and The Patriot were filmed.)
- Take the Charleston Sole walking tour | Read the reviews here on Trip Advisor
- Charter a sailboat down the Ashley River and out into the harbour
- Dine at Broad Street's iconic Fast and French Café
- Visit Middleton Place, a historic landmark with beautifully manicured English-style gardens
- Discover the South Carolina Aquarium and meet Alabaster the Alligator (he's albino and very rare!)
- Enjoy fine Southern dining at Husk (hint: make reservations well in advance)
- Visit Magnolia Plantation in late March to early April (aka: peak blooming season)
- Tour the Aiken-Rhett house, with slave quarters that are still intact from the 1850s
- Count your blessings under the stained glass windows at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
- Discover one of the earliest samples of Palladian architecture at Drayton Hall
- Stand in jaw-dropping awe in front of the majestic Angel Oak, which is approximately 500 years old
- Visit America's first theatre, the Historic Dock Street Theater | circa 1809
- Escape to the Isle of Palms for a relaxing and family-friendly beach day
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with a gourmet donut at Glazed
- Learn about enslaved African Americans at the Old Slave Mart Museum
- Down a cocktail at speakeasy-themed Gin Joint
- Cast a line off the Folly Beach Pier
- Tour Charleston's largest home, the Calhoun Mansion (constructed during the Gilded Age)
- Take a boat to Fort Sumter and see where the Civil War started
- Play a round of golf at one of the many courses on Kiawah Island
- Shop your heart out on King Street, named as one of the Top 10 Shopping Streets in the U.S.
- Enjoy a soulful meal at Hall's Chophouse Sunday Gospel Brunch | Currently #1 on Trip Advisor
- Post another selfie at the adorably cute Sugar's Bakeshop
- Tour Boone Hall Plantation, which served as Allie's summer home in the movie The Notebook
When to Visit
The best times of year to visit Charleston are during early spring and fall. Southern winters are very mild, so the weather is comfortable for exploring as early as March. The holiday season is also lovely, especially since many of the homes are decorated quite beautifully.
Where to Stay in Charleston SC
This adorable Fixer Upper-style farmhouse features 2 incredibly comfortable swinging beds and is only minutes from Drayton Hall, Middleton Place, and Magnolia Gardens. Click here to receive a $40 Airbnb credit from me on your rental!!
Prefer something a little fancier? The Dewberry is always a classic choice. Read the reviews on Trip Advisor.
Before You Go
I suggest ordering a copy of this highly detailed map of Charleston's Historic District. It filled with interesting details about Charleston and makes a great souvenir!
I hope these options help. If you'd like a Charleston bucket list printable that comes pre-filled with some (or all) of the above-listed items, please let me know so I can add that option to this post. I want to make sure I'm delivering the content you need! Thanks so much. For more local favorites, you can follow my Charleston board on Pinterest.
Which bucket list item is your favorite? (Mine is #6, because I have such a soft spot in my heart for sea turtles.)
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