Living in one of the top vacation destinations in the world certainly has its perks: you’re forever minutes away from phenomenal food, rich culture, and breathtaking nature. But let’s be honest – how often do you really soak up everything Charleston has to offer? If you’re like us, not often enough! Below, some of our favorite Charleston activities to check off your bucket list this summer. Don’t live here? What are you waiting for? Let this be the summer you make the move.
- Walk the Ravenel Bridge. Reaching spectacularly from downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant, the Ravenel has become one of the Lowcountry’s most iconic spots. Beat the heat and take this one on first thing one summer morning. Get there early enough and you can watch the sun rise over the horizon. The breathtaking views are worth the early rise.
- Splash around in the Pineapple Fountain. Speaking of iconic spots, you can’t miss the Charleston Pineapple Fountain in Waterfront Park, especially if you have kids. Wading in the fountain is not only allowed, it’s encouraged! Why a pineapple, you ask? You’ll find the motif all around the Holy City. It’s said to be a symbol of hospitality and friendship.
- Get spooked on a ghost tour. Haunted jails…ancient graveyards…historic cemeteries…however you want to reach the paranormal, Charleston has it. You can even go on a haunted pub tour, in case you need a little liquid courage for your ghost hunting!
- Learn at the Charleston Aquarium. Explore the native animals and plants of South Carolina up close and personal. The Charleston Aquarium takes you on a journey from the mountains to the sea. Our favorite residents include Liberty, a rescued bald eagle; Caretta, a 220-pound loggerhead sea turtle; and Alabaster, a seriously impressive albino alligator. The sea turtle hospital is also an incredible experience. The real-life rehabilitation of sick an injured sea turtles is visible to every guest! The whole family will love it.
- Marvel at the Angel Oak. The 500-year-old live oak stands almost 70 feet tall and measures 8 meters in circumference. Most impressively, its meandering branches create a canopy covering 17,200 feet. The longest branch is 187 feet in length!
- Paddle Shem Creek. One of Mount Pleasant’s most popular destinations, Shem Creek is renowned for its marsh views and shrimp docks. Take in lunch at one of the waterfront restaurants, where you can watch the shrimp boats coming home and cross your fingers for a dolphin sighting (which is almost guaranteed). If you’re feeling more adventurous, rent a paddle board or kayak and take it all in from the water.
- Explore Botany Bay. Take a step back in time to Botany Bay Plantation Heritage Preserve. Tucked away on Edisto Island, the 4,600-acre preserve is entirely undeveloped. Wander the beachfront “boneyard” of dead, petrifying trees, admiring the wealth of seashells. Take the Spanish-moss draped pathway via car to explore remains of the colonial-period plantation. History and nature abound.
- Visit 5 distinct beach towns. Do you like to share your beach days with an eclectic crowd, popping in and out of an array of restaurants and shops? You’ll like Folly Beach. Prefer a less commercialized spot, with a walk to an Insta-worthy lighthouse? Sullivan’s Island is calling your name. How about secluded and family friendly? Kiawah Island is the ticket. Check out our overview of all of Charleston’s beaches. Then pack your bags for a beach day!
- Study Fort Sumter. The confederacy fired on the US garrison of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, and the Civil War was officially underway. Now a National Park, Fort Sumter hosts tours every day of the year. Spend an hour exploring the grounds, hearing from experts about Fort Sumter’s role in US history.
- Catch a Riverdogs game. The Bill Murray-owned minor league baseball games are a blast whether sports are your thing – or not! Better-than-expected food, cold drinks, and great camaraderie all come together for a fantastic evening in the Lowcountry.
- Shop a Farmers Market. Or get ambitious and plan to hit them all up throughout the summer! The largest takes place in Marion Square each Saturday, complete with food trucks and live music. You can also shop fresh and local in West Ashley every Wednesday evening, in Hanahan on Thursday evenings, John’s Island on Saturdays, and Folly Beach every Monday. Farmers Markets are among the best ways to absorb local culture, food, and lifestyle.
- Visit Charles Towne Landing. The perfect intersection of history and nature, Charles Towne Landing is the original site of the first permanent English settlement in South Carolina. Spanning 664 acres, you’ll find an exhibit hall filled with historical information and artifacts, ongoing archeological excavations, a replica ship, and even a natural habitat zoo. Choose a guided tour or enjoy the sights and sounds on your own.
There’s so much to see, do, and eat in the Charleston region, the list could go on and on. But there’s just one to-do we’d be remiss not to recommend – visiting our model homes! Explore our communities, floorplans, and homes ready for move-in online now, then reach out to schedule a tour. Let’s put own-a-Saussy Burbank home on your bucket list, too!