7 ways to spend your days when visiting Charleston

Charleston Sara Kendall

The charming town of Charleston continues to endure as a favorite travel destination. This Southern beauty draws many visitors to enjoy its rich history, elegant architecture, and beautiful coastal landscapes. It’s less than four hours from Charlotte, making it an ideal family getaway.

Charleston Carriage Rides
Charleston Carriage Rides Sara Kendall

Clippity-clop on cobblestones streets atop a carriage ride through one of America’s most beautifully preserved towns. Families can learn about Charleston’s history and culture as they make their way passed breathtaking antebellum mansions, historic churches, and enchanting side streets. There are numerous carriage companies to take a tour on. Once a carriage is loaded up with passengers, the driver is given his route. To help ease traffic congestion, routes are alternated, so you never know what tour you will be taken on.

Inside Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
Inside Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon Sara Kendall

Kids can explore the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon where George Washington was entertained and where American patriots and pirates were imprisoned. A period costumed guide leads small groups on a 30-minute tour through the dungeon. This range of time is just the perfect amount to maintain many kids’ attention spans.

Watching inside SC Aquarium
Watching inside SC Aquarium Sara Kendall

Visit the South Carolina Aquarium on historic Charleston Harbor. It’s home to loggerhead sea turtles, alligators, great blue herons, jelly fish, and sharks. The largest exhibit is The Great Ocean Tank, which extends from the first to third floors. A hands-on touch tank is a place where kids can touch horseshoe crabs, stingrays, and starfish. Get a glimpse of Liberty, the resident bald eagle who was permanently injured lives a grand life here and Alabaster, a very rare albino alligator who lives in a dark setting for his protection against bright lights.

Historic Charleston City Market
Historic Charleston City Market Sara Kendall

Stroll through the Historic Charleston City Market spanning four city blocks. Over 200 years old, this historic place is a favorite place for shopping for souvenirs. Individual vendors sell their products in open-aired and air-conditioned buildings. Browse art, clothing, food products, and sweet grass creations.

Charleston Waterfront Park
Charleston Waterfront Park Sara Kendall

Grab a swing and enjoy the waterfront views from Waterfront Park. Walk to the end of the pier to take in the shores of the Cooper River. On hot days, kids play under the streaming water beams at Splash Fountain. Parental supervision is required.

Hazel Parker Playground
Hazel Parker Playground Sara Kendall

A few blocks south of Waterfront Park, families will find Hazel Parker Playground. There is a fenced in area for little ones and an open area for older kids. Never underestimate the power of a playground, kids can run around and burn up some energy while parents can sit and relax.

Cruising Around Charleston
Cruising around Charleston Sara Kendall

Get out on the water via a water taxi, a day tour or a dinner cruise. There is something magically about cruising along the Charleston Harbor and gazing at the historic cityscape.

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Sara Kendall has traveled halfway across the globe with her kids and lived to tell about it. Stay tuned to hear about family destinations around Charlotte and beyond. Check out more of Sara’s travels at her website or email her at