Charleston is a charming and historic Southern city to explore! We visited Charleston on our Southeast road trip to Savannah, Atlanta, Helen, Greenville, and Pigeon Forge. For us, two days exploring Charleston was plenty of time. Here are the top things to do for when visiting Charleston with kids.
Kid – Friendly Activities in Charleston SC
1. Charleston Market
This city was the heart of the South for many years. There is a great deal of history everywhere you turn, so we decided to start our tour by parking near the Old City Market. The Charleston Market is a covered “open-air” market with local shops and restaurants. As touristy as this sounds, it was a great place to visit. You can see the architecture of the colonial houses as you walk by, and see people taking carriage rides down King Street as well. This is definitely a top thing to do when visiting Charleston with kids.
2. Take a City Tour, Carriage Tour or Ghost Tour
3. Walk the Charleston Waterfront
We continued our walk down to the Battery (which is a nice waterfront area with a park). On a clear day you can see Fort Sumter in the distance.
4. Take a Ferry to Fort Sumter
This was a highlight for me (since I have taught American History for many years). To be standing in the place where the first shots of the Civil War were fired was a great history nerd moment!
In order to get to Fort Sumter, you need to take a ferry (it is located on an island). Once you are there, the views of Charleston are pretty nice. The fort itself is in good shape and there are many artifacts from the time (including cannons and artillery). The rangers here are very helpful and explained how the war started in a very kid friendly manner. It was a great learning experience for the kids and an educational thing to do in Charleston with kids.
6. Visit a Plantation nearby
The city of Charleston gained its wealth due to its location as a port city and the acres of cotton plantations nearby. There are still many plantations in operation today (Boone Hall, Magnolia, Middleton, and McLeod are all
Click here to see other cultural and fun activities to do in Charleston.
7. Visit the South Carolina Aquarium
The South Carolina
Visiting during the holiday season? Check out this guide – Charleston at Christmas. Did you know that Charleston is considered one of the top 10 dog friendly cities in the US? Check out – Most Dog Friendly Cities US.
Best Restaurants in Charleston
Charleston has become a food mecca in the South. There were no shortages of “foodie” restaurants here. Below is a list of places we went:
- HIGH COTTON (great all around)
- HOMINY GRILL (highly recommend shrimp and grits)
Best Places to Stay in Charleston
Staying near the Historic District is a great idea if you can. Charleston is a walkable city and staying nearby can be quite convenient, especially if you are visiting Charleston with kids. Staying at a local Airbnb might be worth a shot as neighborhood stays are always unique as is having a full kitchen.
Check out the rates to popular Charleston hotels by clicking the picture below.
Heather from Trimm Travels recommends:
The Embassy Suites Charleston Historic District is the perfect place for families. For starters, every room is a suite giving that extra space a family needs. It’s conveniently located right in the heart of Charleston and is within walking distance to so many area attractions. Throw in a complimentary made-to-order breakfast and nightly cocktail/hors d’oeuvres receptions and it’s perfect! Oh, and kids will love its castle-like exterior. It was once the location of the original Citadel Military College!
We stayed at a Hampton Inn across the river in Point Pleasant because we had rewards points I wanted to redeem. I am always trying to save money when we travel and even though it would have been nicer to have stayed in the downtown area, I chose free! Click to see how to use credit cards to save on family travel and how we get free hotel stays.
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