Welcome to the oldest, largest city in the state of South Carolina. First known as “Charles Town” in honor of King Charles II of England, Charleston is located at the inlet of the Atlantic Ocean where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers meet. The city is full of rich history, almost acting as a living museum preserved for present-day exploration.
Today, we’re talking all about the diverse cultural and historical activities you definitely need to add to your itinerary as you explore the Lowcountry.
Stroll Through Charleston’s Waterfront Park
One thing you should know about the South is that it is very important to slow down and take a moment to relax when you can — and this prime location overlooking Charleston Harbor and the Cooper River is the perfect place to do just that. With more than 10 acres of space to stretch your legs, this peaceful and picturesque venue is a must-see for all visitors!
Walk the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
No doubt you spotted this incredibly constructed cable-stayed suspension bridge that connects Charleston with nearby Mount Pleasant, but did you know you can actually walk or bike across it? In addition to the eight lanes open for vehicle travel, there’s a 12-foot wide path (nicknamed Wonders’ Way) that is just for pedestrian and bike traffic. Pro tip: Head to the bridge in time to catch the sunset — the views are unmatched!
Shop Around on King Street
When you picture downtown Charleston in your mind, there’s a very good chance iconic King Street will pop up. Known for its juxtaposition of Southern history and eclectic arts and entertainment, King Street is one of the most vibrant areas to explore while visiting the Holy City.
Board a Sightseeing Tour and Cruise Around
One of the very best ways to really see the city of Charlestown is by taking a sightseeing harbor cruise aboard a ship like the Carolina Belle. During these 90-minute tours, you will see more than 75 different landmarks and points of interest, and learn a ton about the history that surrounds the Charleston Harbor.
Check Out the “Guardians of Charleston Harbor”
At the entrance of the Charleston Harbor stand two forts: Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter. In 1776 Patriots inside this palmetto log fort, now known as Fort Moultrie, defeated the Royal Navy. Later, as the Holy City moved towards secession, the new Fort Sumter was built and was later under fire from the Confederacy in 1861 at the opening of the Civil War.
Fort Sumter is located right in the middle of Charleston Harbor, and is only accessible via a ferry ride. Fort Moultrie calls nearby Sullivan Island home, and both are open to explore by the public.
Visit the Gibbes Museum of Art
Explore the city’s only visual arts museum that consists of various art galleries, reception and lecture halls, studios, classrooms, rotating exhibits, and classically landscaped gardens. The first floor is full of activities for its visitors, and is free and open to the public during museum hours — the second and third-floor galleries do require tickets.
Explore the South Carolina Aquarium
Connect with some of the coolest creatures around when you visit the South Carolina Aquarium. Home to thousands of animals across dozens of exhibits, the aquarium offers stunning waterfront views and educational experiences for all ages. Open every day from 9 AM until 5 PM, the last entry time does come at 3:30 PM — so be sure to plan accordingly!
Cheer on the Charleston RiverDogs
Housed in the Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park, this Minor League Baseball team is a Tampa Bay affiliate and offers exciting nights at the ballpark from April through September every year. Be sure to cheer on the Charleston RiverDogs for an unforgettable, family-fun experience when you visit the area!
Stop by to Say Hello to the Angel Oak
If you have the time to drive out to Johns Island, you must visit this Lowcountry treasure. The Angel Oak is a jaw-dropping Southern Live Oak tree and the star of the show east of the Mississippi! She’s estimated to be anywhere from 300 to 400 years old, and stands 65 feet high, shading an area of approximately 17,000 square feet.
Visit the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum
Down in Charleston Harbor, you’ll find the World War II aircraft carrier the USS Yorktown and the nearby Patriots Point Museum, which continues to preserve and educate all generations about America’s history and traditions since 1976. While you’re there, you’ll also find a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships, the Cold War Memorial, and the only Vietnam Experience exhibit in the United States.
Tour Charleston Tea Garden
Tea lovers — this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience because as the only tea garden in North America, you have the opportunity to see hundreds of thousands of tea bushes as far as the eye can see when you visit Charleston Tea Garden. Located a few miles south of Charleston, this experience is located on Wadmalaw Island and offers a unique and educational tea factory tour in addition to access to its expansive gardens.
Wander Around the Charleston City Market
Open daily from 9:30 AM until 5 PM, the Charleston City Market has been known as the cultural heart of the city since 1807. Home to more than 300 different small businesses, creators, and entrepreneurs, there’s something for everyone to see and do and eat when you visit this vibrant public market.
Morningstar Storage is Here to Help
With over 80 locations spread all across the States (four of which happen to be right in the Charleston area!), Morningstar Storage is always here to help you find your next adventure, no matter where that might be. From climate-controlled storage units, conveniently located storage spaces with easy access, to free rental moving trucks, 24/7 unit access, and an experienced team always ready to lend a helping hand, we’re here to help you make the best decision about where you keep your things safe and sound.