Best Things to do in Charleston, S.C.
with lots of photos, including Rainbow Row, Historic District, Downtown,
City Market and more...a blogger's view

Rainbow Row - Patriot's Point - Battery Park-
Fort Sumter - Folly Beach - Charleston History -
Sweet Grass Baskets - The Aquarium of S.C.

Very Best Things to do in Charleston? Restaurants, Plantations,
Horse-drawn Carriage Rides... and don't forget FREE RIDES on DASH. It will take you to most of the attractions you won't want to miss when you visit Charleston!

Christmas in Charleston! Dec. 23, 24, 25, 2017

12/23 - 12/25 - 2017: Over the Christmas holiday we stayed at the Francis Marion Hotel, took the Old South Horse Carriage ride, ate excellent meals at Coast Bar & Grill, Hall's Chophouse, and the Swamp Fox Restaurant & Bar. Our transportation to "all things Charleston" was the FREE DASH Trolley. We hopped on and hopped off many times all over the city, while our car remained at the Francis Marion Hotel. We walked through The Battery, White Point Gardens, and the waterfront, and Charleston City Market. We visited the Apple Store where I bought a new band for my Apple Watch. we also spent time at the Belmond Charleston Place with beautiful inside and out. What a wonderful way to celebrate the Christmas holidays.

Here's our photo gallery from our long Christmas weekend. The photos include the Christmas Lights at Johns Island, something we had talked about doing for a long time. We finally had the opportunity! If you're wondering about a long-weekend getaway, Charleston was the perfect spot for us,

More Best things to do in Charleston:
Best Charleston Restaurants, Plantations, Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides, Folly Beach, Shopping in the Historic District, Patriots Point - Sweet Grass Basket Weaving - Ft. Sumter- South Carolina Aquarium - Charleston History - Charleston Culinary Tours and more historic views of Charleston.

Spoleto Festival, Piccolo Spoleto, Low Country Oyster Festival, MOJA Arts Festival...and don't miss the islands surrounding Charleston where you'll find the Angel Oak on James Island.

All photos and copy by Patricia Blackstock
All photos will enlarge when clicked

Charleston voted #2 of 15 "Cities of the World"
by Readers' Choice Awards Condé Naste Traveler

* Map of the Historic District, Charleston S.C.*

I hope you will enjoy our suggestions for the best things to do in  Charleston, S.C.

Please view the Charleston cam page for webcams, videos and drones in the Holy City.

Best things to do - Visit Ft. Sumter
Best things to do in Charleston
Best Things to do in Charleston
Best of Charleston, things to do
Best things to do in Charleston
 Ft. Sumter canons
That's me in Water Point Gardens
The Cooper River Bridge (above) is also known as the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. It is North America's longest cable stay bridge spans 8 lanes of north-south traffic plus a bicycle /pedestrian lane. This bridge opened on July 16, 2005.

On April 12, 1861, the Confederate artillery opened fire in Ft. Sumter in the Charleston Harbor. Ft. Sumter was the scene of the opening engagement of the Civil War. (Photos above.) After Sherman forced the evacuation of Charleston, the United States once again raised over Ft. Sumter on Apr. 14, 1865 Fort Sumter became a National Monument in 1948. This large grassy area houses the monuments and historic statues. My friend Bonnie shows off a huge Platter Magnolia, and I'm standing near the monument. Charleston City Market / Daughters of the Confederacy Museum. The City Market is a must for anyone visiting Charleston. You will find hundreds of vendors selling baskets and other sweetgrass designs, southern style candies, crafts, food items , local jewelry, painting, photography and much more.

Best of Charleston Shopping - the Historic District

For your best shopping experience in Charleston, be sure to spend some time at the City Market located in the Historic District. This is where you'll find the famous hand-made Sweetgrass Baskets sewn with long leaf pine needles and strips of Palmetto leaves as well as a multitude of crafts souvenirs, jewelry, local candies, wafers and more on display inside the covered Charleston Market.

You'll find the best of Charleston at Belmond Charleston Place. If you like shopping in style, visit the Shops at Charleston Place! Even if you don't purchase anything, you'll love the polished marble floors, columns, grand staircase and the mammoth chandelier.  There is something for everyone, including your discriminating Aunt Tillie!

Be sure to check to save some money in Charleston!harleston!

Guide to Shopping! It is still one of the best things to do in Charleston. After you leave the Historic area, you'll find plenty of great shopping in Charleston!

Citadel Mall
Northwoods Mall
Earth Fare - The Healthy Supermarket
Trader Joe's -Mt. Pleasant. Sometimes we drive from Myrtle Beach just to shop at Trader Joes.
Whole Foods - Mt. Pleasant
Freshfields Village Shops and restaurants crossroads of Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns Island
Mr. Pleasant Towne Center - check the link for many happy hours of shopping!
Tanger Outlets Charleston, S.C.

I often tell people that one of the best things to do while visiting Charleston is to check out the Islands of Charleston. Kiawah, Isle of Palms, Seabrook, James Island and Johns Island are all an easy drive - and in many cases just a few minutes from Charleston. Each island has something beautiful and unique to offer visitors and is one of the best things to do in the Charleston area.

The Art of Basket Weaving was introduced to the Carolina Lowcountry in the 17th Century. Today, Sweet Grass basket making is centered in the Mt. Pleasant community area. you'll see basket stands along Hwy 17 North, allowing basket makers to compete with retail markets and establish direct contact between themselves and their patrons. Watching how these baskets are made is one of the most interesting things to do. You can watch baskets as they develop new shapes, such as roses and picture frames. The basket weavers can be found in the historic Ciry Market along Market and Meeting Streets, and even on 17 Bus. heading into Charleston.

Charleston ihas so many things to do!  Stop by the Visitors' Bureau to see the best things to do in Charleston. Orient yourself and learn about the best tours of Charleston that are available to you. Or just start walking. We have learned that one of the best ways to get acquainted with Charleston is on foot! It's not only good for your mind,  it's good for your body. It's one of the the best things to do in Charleston! You can plot your own course on our own feet with a free city map. This is the best way to learn about the Confederate Homes and how the Civil War affected Charleston.

Let your feet be your guide! You can join a guide for the Charleston Walks. Plan on about 3.5 miles to cover the best of Charleston - the historic district. It's not strenuous, and you will be stopping often to view the Charleston monuments, Rainbow Row, historic markers and much more!

Another option for walking is the Free Tours by Foot. They provide a platform for licensed, professional, freelance tour guides to lead you at no up-front cost so you can enjoy a quality sightseeing experience, no matter your budget. Everyone should be able to take a guided tour you feel is worth it -even if it means free!

Charleston's Museum Mile is located along Meeting Street, and runs from the Charleston Visitor Center to the Nathaniel Russell House. This Mile is easy to navigate on foot or with public transportation. You can use the free DASH trolleys and CARTA buses to traverse the downtown area, travel to various popular sites and link with the busses and the free DASH at the Information Center.

Take a Carriage Tour through Historic Charleston and the Battery, or hop on the Gray Line!

Palmetto Carriage Tour - Charleston Guide discount coupon on the website.
Old South Carriage Company - Charleston Guide discount coupons on the website
The Gray Line of Charleston offers a choice of Charleston guided mini-bus tour guides of the historic, charming city of Charleston, designed to give you an informal look at the city and its well-preserved past.

Click here to view my short photo gallery of Folly Beach!

Tour some of the best Historic Homes in Charleston

South Carolina Aquarium at Charleston
Historic Charleston Foundation
Fort Sumter and take a Harbor Tour
Cypress Gardens
HL Hunley (limited dates/times)
Spoleto Festival (dates on website)
Middleton Place Magnolia Plantation

A few of Charleston's Best Restaurants:
You will not run out of excellent restaurants, no matter how often you visit Charleston.
Here are a few restaurants we've enjoyed in Charleston, in no particular order.
Be sure to check the link above for Charleston discounts and Coupons)

Charleston Crab House - Wonderful Southern seafood
Tommy Condon's Restaurant and Pub - Historic Downtown
Peninsula Grill -
Historic Downtown
Bubba Gump
Historic Charleston area
The Crab Shack
Historic Downtown
Wild Olive
Johns Island
Pavilion Bar & Grill
Roof top dining
Circa 1886
149 Wentworth St.
232 Meeting Street, Downtown
Slightly North of Broad
Voted Best of the Year
Hank's Seafood Restaurant
corner Hayne and Church
Cypress Lowcountry Grille
185 E,]. Bay St.
Hominy Grill
207 Rutledge Ave., Charleston
Caviar & Bananas
41 George St.
Cru Cafe
18 Pinkney St., Charleston
Poogan's Porch
2 Queen St., Charleston
Hyman's Seafood
215 Meeting St. Charleston
39-D Charleston, S.C.
01 Palm Blvd. Isle of Palms
422 Kings St.
The Macintosh
479B King St.t
2 Unity Alley
The Ordinary
544 Kings Street
Five Loaves Cafe
43 Cannon St.

St. Philip's Episcopal Church is an Historical Episcopal church. It is a National Historic Landmark, built in 1836. One shell exploded inside the church during during Sunday service.

St. Michael's Church was built in 1751 and is the oldest church in Charleston today. It towers above other historic scenes in Charleston. George Washington once worshiped in this church and General Robert E. Lee worshiped in the same chair. The two churches are the best landmarks in Charleston.

The two black bolts pictured on the house to the left are earthquake bolts. Charleston suffered two major hurricanes in 1885 and an earthquake in 1886. During repairs, workmen inserted long iron rods through the houses and tightened them with bolts against the outside surfaces to bring the buildings back into alignment. The homes are part of Charleston's Rainbow Row. Rainbow Row is the name given for a series of colorful historic houses in Charleston, S.C. The houses are located north of Trade St. and south of Elliot St. on East Bay Street. It is referred to as Rainbow Row for the pastel colors used to paint all of the houses. It is a well-known tourist attraction and one of the most photographed parts of Charleston.

Don't miss: Sweetgrass Baskets at the Charleston Market! Arthur Ravenel Bridge, inside and outside of the Charleston City Market, our brunch at the Palmetto Cafe, tours of Charleston carriage rides, churches and cemeteries, cobblestone streets, fountains, historic homes, and more! Charleston is known as The Holy City, due to the prominence of churches and steeples which dot the city's skyline. I've added some new photos of both churches and cemeteries.

I've recently discovered one of Charleston's best kept secrets. Consignment Shops! I could spend days in these consignment stores which offer amazing offer low-priced items for the savvy shopper!
Butterfly Consignment Shop
Consign Charleston
Low Country Consignments
Second Hand Love
Yoogi's Closet

Below, left to right row 1: Marble staircase: Charleston Daughters of the Confederacy, St. Philip's Episcopal Church, Bubba Gump's for lunch with my sister-in-law, Granddaughter.
Below, left to right row 2: Charleston's public fountains are open all summer long. Cobblestone Street, HistoricCharleston Harbor, Paula and Wally look at the bark of a Crepe Myrtle
Below, left to right row 3: Be sure to visit some of charleston's historic cemeteries. Wally at the Charleston "Aquarium of South Carolina" ancient moss-covered oaks at the Battery

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Myrtle Beach

Marble steps Charleston Guide St. Philip's Episcopal Church photo
playing in the free fountain near historic Charleston playing in the free fountain near historic Charleston Old cobblestone street Charleston Guide View of Charleston Harbor- Charleston Guide Crepe Myrtle tree trunk
Old Charleston Cemetery Charleston Guide Old Charleston Cemetery Charleston Guide Charleston Guide Old Charleston Cemetery Wally at the Aquarium of South Carolina Ancient moss-covered oaks near Charleston Battery
Charleston Guide sweet grass basket weaving
Rainbow Row
Charleston Rainbow Row houses
Best Things to do in Charleston
The Aquarium  of S.C.

Click on the Sea Turtle to view my photos of The Aquarium of SC

Best things to do in Charleston
Best things to do in Charleston
Sweetgrass baskets and flowers
Charleston Guide to Wine Shop Charleston, SC
Charleston Sweetgrass and flowers
Browse Local Wine Shops
Earthquake Bolts in house (photo above)
Be sure to take a walk on Rainbow Row
Best things to do in Charleston
Charleston's Best Web Cams and
Boone Plantation & Gardens Review
We often stop at Seewee before returning home to Myrtle Beach. Great prices and good seafood! Click the link above to learn more.
Blessing of the Fleet 2016
Blessing of the Fleet!
Blessing of the Fleet! 4/20/2014
Blessing of the Fleet! 4/2012
Blessing of the Creek Shem Creek
Best of
Charleston!  Photo Gallery

Don't miss the Sweetgrass baskets being woven at the Charleston Market!
Plate-sized Magnolia Blossom
Best things to do in Charleston
Bonnie with a
Platter Magnolia
Carriage Tours
If you love history, you will fall in love with Charleston. Time and time again it has won many awards over the years including Southern City in the U.S.
SeeWee Restaurant