Things To Do In Charleston, SC
Our Charleston hotel's location near the King Street shopping and antique district means that you never have to traverse very far to enjoy some of the best things to do in the area. Enjoy a leisurely stroll to local favorites, scour the nearby antique shops in search of that perfect item for your collection, or get inspired by the profusion of art galleries. Unlike other antique district hotels in Charleston, SC, we offer luxurious amenities and a level of service that befits our historic heritage. Here are a few of our very favorite local points of interest that you won't want to miss:
Attractions & Cultural Activities
The city’s most intact antebellum urban complex (c. 1820), which has been conserved and stabilized. The Aiken-Rhett house features historic interiors, family objects, and has survived virtually unaltered since 1858.
The Angel Oak is a Live Oak tree, estimated to be 1,400 years old. Live oaks are not particularly tall, but have wide spreading canopies. Only in the very oldest of specimens do you find massive limbs resting on the ground, as do the limbs of the Angel Oak. It stands 65ft. high and provides a 17,000 square foot area of shade.
The Battery and its Historic Homes
There's more to see than just Fort Sumter across the river. There's nothing quite like meandering beneath the oaks when the azaleas are in bloom and admiring the many antebellum mansions that can be seen from White Point Gardens. The Battery, as it's locally known, features a bandstand, several memorial monuments, and artillery from the Civil War.
Boone Hall Plantation
Boone Hall reflects Southern heritage spanning 300 years on one magnificent “still working” plantation. House tours, gardens, slave cabins, plantation coach tours, live performances in season, cafe, plus one of the world’s longest oak-lined avenues.
America’s first museum showcases a variety of fascinating artifacts that tell the story of Lowcountry cultural and natural history. Whether you have an interest in early Southern furniture, historic textiles or the Civil War, the Charleston Museum has something for everyone.
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
The National Park Service preserves a remnant of Founding Father Charles Pinckney’s plantation, Snee Farm. An 1828 Lowcountry cottage serves as museum and visitor center.
Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site
Begin your Charleston experience where English settlers established the first permanent European colony in Carolina. This 664-acre historic treasure boasts a replica 17th-century tall ship, informal gardens, functional cannons, a zoo, and an award-winning museum!
Charleston Tea Plantation
See and hear how tea is grown and made into the world's 2nd most consumed beverage. Free factory tour, great shop, spectacular views and all the tea you'd like to drink!
Children's Museum of the Lowcountry
Explore nine hands-on, interactive exhibits that combine playing and learning! Climb to the top of our Medieval Castle, take the helm of a Lowcountry Pirate Ship or create a masterpiece in our Art Center.
Museum portrays the history of The Military College of South Carolina and Corps of Cadets from 1842 to present. Exhibits feature photographs, uniforms and archival documents.
College of Charleston
Founded in 1770, the first municipal college in America was built in 1724 on land set aside for educational purposes. The present main building was designed by eminent Philadelphia architect William Strickland, built in 1828, and paid for by voluntary subscription by the people of Charleston.
Market Hall was built in 1841. Since 1898, the Daughters of the Confederacy has operated the Confederate Museum, which contains flags, uniforms, swords and other Confederate memorabilia.
Dock Street Theatre
“America’s First Theatre,” located in the heart of downtown Charleston, is home to the City’s finest cultural institutions including Spoleto Festival USA and Moja Arts Festival. Charleston Stage, the theatre company in residence at Dock Street, presents a full season of plays each year.
The oldest unrestored plantation house in America still open to the public. Admission includes guided house tour, Connections Program: From Africa to America, interactive landscape tour, African-American cemetery, nature walks, and museum shop.
Located on Charleston's High Battery, the house affords a glimpse of early 19th century elegance, style and comfort. Built in 1825, it contains Alston family furniture, silver, books and paintings. Three piazzas offer incredible views of the Charleston Harbor.
The first decisive patriot victory over the British Navy on June 28, 1776 at a palmetto log fort on the shores of Charleston Harbor galvanized the patriot’s cause for independence. The National Park Service interprets 171 years of American seacoast defenses from 1776 to 1947.
Fort Sumter National Monument
America’s most tragic conflict ignited at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, when a chain reaction of social, economic and political events exploded into civil war. A powerful symbol to both the South and the North, Fort Sumter remains a memorial to all who fought to hold it.
Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center at Liberty Square
This state-of-the-art facility is the primary departure point for visitors to Fort Sumter, serving as an interpretive education center for the National Park Service to communicate the significance of Fort Sumter and its history. Exhibits provide an overview of events leading up to the Civil War.
Fort Sumter Tours
Stops at Fort Sumter National Monument, where the Civil War began. Cruise to the island fort while you enjoy breathtaking views of Charleston and her Harbor. Depart from the Visitor Education Facility at Liberty Square downtown and from Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant.
Gibbes Museum of Art
Experience Charleston’s history through art! Come face to face with stories of the South Carolina Lowcountry as seen through painting, miniature portraiture, sculpture, photographs, and more.
Built in 1772, “Charleston’s Revolutionary War House” was the town-home of Thomas Heyward, Jr. Features magnificent Charleston-made furniture and a formal 18th century garden.
Charleston’s only winery. Visitors can taste authentic wine, visit the vineyards and stroll through the property.
Joseph Manigault House
“Charleston’s Huguenot House” was built in 1803. The Garden Gate Temple and outstanding collection of American, English and French furnishings of the period capture the lifestyle of a wealthy, rice-planting family.
King Street Shopping and Antique District
Recognized by US News & World Report as one of the top ten shopping streets in the country, the claim-to-fame of King Street is its myriad antique shops, offering everything from 17th century jewelry to furniture and art. One need only wander along both sides of this street to find just about anything to complete even the most uncommon collection. If you have something newer in mind, the upscale shopping that's found on King Street is unparalleled and retailers like Louis Vuitton, Ben Silver, Gucci and Bob Ellis never fail to impress.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
This 17th century estate, acquired in 1676 by the Drayton family, features America’s oldest gardens (c.1680), which bloom year-round. Estate includes pre-revolutionary war plantation house, biblical garden, antebellum cabin, and nature train and boat rides.
A carefully preserved 18th century plantation, National Historic Landmark and home of America's oldest landscaped Gardens. The House Museum highlights family collections and the Middletons' role in American history and costumed interpreters demonstrate the skills once performed by enslaved Africans. Enjoy beautiful gardens, gift shop, live animals, and carriage rides.
Middleton Place House Museum
The House Museum (1755) interprets generations of the Middleton family through an extraordinary collection of portraits, furniture, silver, china and documents. Guided tours introduce the people who made Middleton Place their home and the slaves and freedmen who served them.
Morris Island Lighthouse
Morris Island is located off of Folly Beach and is an ecologically and historically sensitive barrier island. One of Charleston's best known and most beloved landmarks is recognized as one of the top 100 cultural sites in the state of South Carolina by the Heritage Trust Program Board.
Nathaniel Russell House
Grand Federal townhouse completed in 1808, restored interior w/ elaborate ornamentation and a magnificent free-flying staircase. Set amid spacious gardens and furnished with period antiques, the house evokes the gracious lifestyle of the city's elite.
Old City Market
One of the nation's oldest public markets (circa 1804), this beloved attraction completed a three-year, $5.5 million renovation in June 2011. Shop for authentic Lowcountry souvenirs and hear the lilting dialect of Gullah ladies as the weave and sell handmade sweetgrass baskets. One of the most sought-after items that truly exemplifies Charleston culture are the sweet grass baskets that are made at the Old City Market. You'll find more than 100 vendors selling artisanal items, art, delectable treats, quilts and many other treasures that are unique to this area.
Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
Built by the British in 1771, American Patriots were held prisoner in the Provost during the War of Americas' Independence. One of the three most historically significant buildings of colonial America. Educational tours/evening events.
Old Slave Mart Museum
Recounting the story of Charleston's role in this inter-state slave trade by focusing on the history of this particular building and site and the slave sales that occurred here.
Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum
At Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, tour the USS Yorktown, USS Clamagore, Medal of Honor Museum, Cold War Submarine Memorial and the only Vietnam Support Base Camp in the U.S. Its history you can touch.
South Carolina Aquarium
With more to explore every day, share in the wonders of South Carolina’s backyard. Marvel at turtles, stingrays, sharks, otters, jellyfish, alligators and more. Daily dive shows and interactive programs. Coming Spring 2012, travel through the new Madagascar Journey exhibit featuring ring-tailed lemurs.
South Carolina Historical Society
Founded in 1855. The state's oldest historical society maintaining a vast research library and archives in the historic Robert Mills Fireproof Building. Researchers are invited to explore our collections. Members conduct research for free and receive the Society's publications.
Thomas Elfe House and Garden
This pre-revolutionary War Georgian style house was home to Thomas Elfe, one of Charleston’s most acclaimed cabinetmakers. Largely in its original state, finely paneled rooms, authentic furnishings.