Sightseeing

Spending a few days in Charleston? Here are a few must-sees you can’t miss.

The number one tourist destination in the nation, Charleston is bursting with top attractions and places to visit, including parks, landmarks, beaches, museums, art galleries and historic homes and gardens. Get the most of your time in the area with these itinerary suggestions.

Day 1

The quickest way to get acquainted with all that Charleston has to offer is through a walking tour of the city. Start your day with Bulldog Tours, which offers visitors a number of fascinating adventures that reveal Charleston’s rich and colorful history.
After lunch, channel your artsy side. The French Quarter is home to more than 30 art galleries, all within walking distance of one another. The works of well over 500 visual artists, representing a diverse variety of styles and mediums, can be found in what has become the center of the visual arts community in Charleston.
There’s nothing quite like watching the sun set while you’re on the water, and the Afternoon Dolphin Sail aboard the 84-foot Schooner Pride has long offered just this kind of getaway for visitors. There are no set courses for the leisurely, two-hour cruise. Sailing with the wind and tides, each cruise is unique. Day 2 No trip to Charleston is complete until you set foot on the grounds where the Civil War — America’s deadliest war — began: Fort Sumter National Monument sits prominently at the mouth of Charleston Harbor. A national park ranger brings each feature of the island fort to life, evoking images of mortar shells and cannon fire. Fort Sumter Tours provides the only commercial boat access to the historic American monument.
Once you’ve explored a little history, make your way to King Street for some retail therapy. The city’s main retail corridor since the 1800s, the nearly 20-block-long street is lined with palmetto trees, charming architecture, inns, cafés and a variety of extraordinary stores. Shopping opportunities include a collection of fine art galleries, a famous antiques district and a variety of clothing boutiques that rival those found in New York, London and Paris. Charleston is surrounded by historical sites. If you are looking to explore them on a weekend, Hunley Weekend Tours offers an in-depth view of the H.L. Hunley. During the Civil War, the Hunley became the first submarine in history to sink an enemy ship. After completing the mission, it mysteriously vanished. Lost at sea for over a century, the Hunley was raised from the ocean floor in 2000.

Day 2

No trip to Charleston is complete until you set foot on the grounds where the Civil War — America’s deadliest war — began: Fort Sumter National Monument sits prominently at the mouth of Charleston Harbor. A national park ranger brings each feature of the island fort to life, evoking images of mortar shells and cannon fire. Fort Sumter Tours provides the only commercial boat access to the historic American monument.

No trip to Charleston is complete until you set foot on the grounds where the Civil War — America’s deadliest war — began: Fort Sumter National Monument sits prominently at the mouth of Charleston Harbor. A national park ranger brings each feature of the island fort to life, evoking images of mortar shells and cannon fire. Fort Sumter Tours provides the only commercial boat access to the historic American monument.
Once you’ve explored a little history, make your way to King Street for some retail therapy. The city’s main retail corridor since the 1800s, the nearly 20-block-long street is lined with palmetto trees, charming architecture, inns, cafés and a variety of extraordinary stores. Shopping opportunities include a collection of fine art galleries, a famous antiques district and a variety of clothing boutiques that rival those found in New York, London and Paris. Charleston is surrounded by historical sites. If you are looking to explore them on a weekend, Hunley Weekend Tours offers an in-depth view of the H.L. Hunley. During the Civil War, the Hunley became the first submarine in history to sink an enemy ship. After completing the mission, it mysteriously vanished. Lost at sea for over a century, the Hunley was raised from the ocean floor in 2000.

Day 3

Proclaimed one of the city’s most splendid dwellings, the Edmondston-Alston House was built in 1825 by Charles Edmondston. This neoclassic house was one of the first constructed in the developing waterfront location that became known as South of Broad, and it is great for exploring first thing in the morning. In 1837, Charles Alston, a member of a well-established Lowcountry rice-planting dynasty, purchased the home. He modified its appearance in the fashionable Greek Revival style, and the house remains in the family to this day. Though it may seem a bit unorthodox, visitors looking for a ghostly adventure should visit Magnolia Cemetery. First opened in 1850 on the land of a former rice plantation, the property was designed during a new rural cemetery movement that crossed from Europe to America in the mid-19th century. With lovingly landscaped walking paths and ponds, trees and green space, generations of Charlestonians have visited Magnolia to picnic and play, as well as visit lost loved ones. It’s a picturesque spot to have a pleasant lunch. Today, Magnolia Cemetery continues to be one of the best and most beautiful examples of rural and Victorian cemetery design in the U.S. If gardens are what you’re after, Charleston has just what you seek. Middleton Place is home to America’s oldest landscaped gardens. This 18th-century rice plantation also features the House Museum, which presents four generations of the Middleton family; and the newly refurbished 18th- and 19th-century Plantation Stableyards, as well as African-American focus tours, nature walks and carriage tours. The plantation also includes a restaurant, museum shop, garden market and nursery.

 

Friends Of The Hunley

Described as a remarkable experience, a weekend tour of the Hunley is a must for visitors. Tours include viewing the

Middleton Place

On land first granted in 1675, this National Historic Landmark offers history, drama and educational discoveries at every turn. Experience

Boone Hall Plantation

Unlike Any Other! Boone Hall -Plantation is touted as “a must-see stop on any trip to Charleston, S.C.” by NBC

Bulldog Tours

As featured on The Travel Channel, Food Network and Southern Living, Bulldog Tours is Charleston’s premier walking tour company, offering

Charleston Tea Plantation

Experience the beauty and charm of America’s ONLY tea garden. Tour the factory, take a trolley ride through the tea

Culinary Tours Of Charleston

Join us as we walk, talk and taste our way through Charleston. As featured in Southern Living and Bon Appétit,

Schooner Pride

She sails with the wind and tides, so every cruise is unique. Daily Afternoon Dolphin Sails and -evening Sunset Sails,

Town Of Mount Pleasant

Offering an escape from your everyday life, the taste you crave and the relaxation you desire, Mount Pleasant won’t disappoint.