Charleston, South Carolina, is a well-known place for tourists in the United States because of its historic buildings, award-winning restaurants, and overall beauty. However, most teens stay in the historic district to discover what makes the Lowcountry special.
It doesn’t take much more work to get out of the city’s main tourist area and learn about the area’s first people, the arrival of colonists and enslaved people, the Gullah people, and how people live there now. After living in the city for many years, she moved to the country, and You’ll find something new to do for what do locals do in Charleston, S.C., whether you’re a budget-conscious tourist or a local looking for something inexpensive. Below, teens might also be interested in our 25 Best Things to Do Locally in Charleston, Sc.
1. Charleston’s Best Local Eats and Drinks
Charleston, South Carolina, is well-known for its restaurants and cuisine scene. So don’t be confused about what do locals do in Charleston, S.C., because there are several spots where teens won’t find any natives, particularly along Market Street. Several restaurants are large chains, such as Bubba Gump’s and Ruth’s Chris. A few restaurants aren’t part of a chain, like Hank’s and Peninsula Grill, but these places were around before the chains.
Many Upper King and Elliott borough residents cross the river to Avondale and Shem Creek for their dining needs. Because it is right on the lake, Shem Creek boasts the most incredible seafood.
2. Left the peninsula to reach the most stunning locations.
The historic homes in downtown Charleston and the neighboring plantations draw many teens, but other places are worth seeing. Since the city was founded in 1670, there are many places to remember.
Magnolia Cemetery in North Charleston is a magnificent marsh front cemetery that contains the remains of renowned Charlestonians and the crews of the Hunley Confederate submarine. One of the less well-known museums is the North Charleston Fire Museum, which has old fire trucks and hands-on displays. At Charles Towne Landing in West Ashley, rebuilt ships, forts, and reenactments show how colonists came to live in the area. In Summerville, across the river from Colonial Dorchester, there are the ruins of an early commercial town.
3. Attend a performance.
People often think of Nashville and New Orleans when they think of live music, but Charleston has entertainment every night of the week. Choose a pub in town, and you’ll most likely locate it. Try the Charleston Music Hall, the Music Farm, or the North Charleston Coliseum for a bigger-name act.
But it isn’t all. “Laugh for a Lincoln” is an improv show at Theatre 99 that costs $5. Chamber music, ballet, musicals, and other performances are held at the College of Charleston. There will be considerably more during the Spoleto Festival USA. The Charleston Gallery Association organizes free public art walks monthly.
4. Experiment with a new and fascinating water sport.
HydroFly Watersports has something for everyone, whether teens want an adrenaline rush or something a little calmer and more soothing. There’s an activity for every price and effort level, from tubing to wakeboarding, and flyboarding, including alcoholic cruises and boat charters.
Whatever teens select, it will be one of the most memorable experiences in Charleston! The best part of any HydroFly trip is the Tiki Hut, a private island where people can relax and drink.
5. Treat yourself to a luxurious dinner aboard a ship.
Every tourist who comes to Charleston should make it a point to go on a dinner cruise in the harbor at least once while they are there. These cruises often have a full bar, live music, and a delectable Southern cuisine menu.
After a freshly cooked three- or four-course dinner, guests can go to the open-air observation deck (or stay in the air-conditioned part) to see the best views of the city’s most famous spots. Charleston cruises are a great way to see the city, especially if you’re searching for a luxurious experience.
6. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the center of town.
Stepping back in time while putting those tired feet on an old-fashioned horse-drawn cart is a great way to explore the city’s busy streets. Every day from dawn to dusk, teens can take a carriage ride through about 30 blocks of some of Charleston’s most lively, historically significant, and tourist-friendly neighborhoods. Take a spooky horse-drawn tour of the city, where the tour guide will gladly tell teens about the city’s most spine-chilling incidents.
7. Visit Battery & White Point Gardens to view the ocean.
This famous landmark is in the middle of Charleston’s historic district. From it, teens can see Fort Sumter and Charleston Harbor, where the Cooper and Ashley rivers empty into the Atlantic. It opened as a public garden in 1837. It was converted into a city fortress when the Civil War broke out. Today, teens may also see a spectacular collection of ancient Civil War mortars and cannons used to shell and protect the city. At the Murray and East Bay intersection, there is a Confederate monument. Stede Bonnet, the infamous “gentleman” pirate, was hanged here with roughly 50 others in the early 1720s.
Locals packed the gallows area, cheering as the outlaw was hanged. Bonnet was laid to rest in a nearby swamp. His epitaph has been commemorated and can be found in the park today. White Point Gardens, which is in the historic downtown area and runs along the water, is an excellent area for a stroll or a picnic because of the abundance of trees providing shade. Bring your camera because these gardens near the famous seawall and promenade of the city, the Battery, offer the best views of Fort Sumter and the beautiful Charleston Harbor.
8. Take a trip down the Shem Creek Boardwalk.
The first boardwalk connects a parking area off Coleman Boulevard to a marsh hummock island. Teens can walk to the harbor and docks for recreation or take the bridge to the commercial ports, where teens can see shrimp and crab boats at work. Teens can land at one of the boardwalk’s floating docks if teens arrive by boat. Teens driving to Shem Creek can park in a 35-space lot near the public restrooms or a spillover parking area on Shrimp Boat Lane. Get your camera batteries charged because Shem Creek is widely considered the most beautiful stream in the Lowcountry.
While numerous boat tours are available on the water (including kayaking and fishing), walking down the 2,200-foot-long Shem Creek Boardwalk is the simplest and cheapest way to soak in the atmosphere. After you’ve exhausted your legs, the area is crowded with restaurants and bars where teens can unwind for an hour or two.
9. Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park will get your heart pounding.
Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park is the best outdoor experience in Charleston, South Carolina. Wild Blue offers many outdoor group activities, such as exercises on the ground, low components, and 72 high ropes challenges. The highly trained Wild Blue Crew will help teens figure out the best way for your group to reach its specific goals. Our outdoor obstacle course will help teens do many things, like build better teams, improve communication, and become better leaders.
Wild Blue Ropes allows teens to experience their friends, coworkers, and loved ones freshly and thrillingly by transporting teens away from a conventional context. Let Wild Blue Ropes make your group, party, celebration, club, or event spectacular! Our outdoor adventure park is ideal for team building and group activities. For parties of 12 or more individuals, Wild Blue Adventure Park is available any day of the week.
10. See the H.L. Hunley, an actual Confederate submarine.
The Hunley, a unique educational experience that used to be a Confederate submarine, is a must-see for anyone interested in history. Due to its historical importance, Friends of the Hunley has become one of the city’s most popular places for locals and tourists.
The Hunley is credited as being the first submarine to sink an enemy ship while engaged in combat successfully. This event, the larger Civil War, and many interactive exhibits will keep kids and adults busy for at least a few hours.
11. Visit the Aiken Rhett House Museum to immerse yourself in the Antebellum era
The Aiken-Rhett House was built in 1820 by John Robinson and sold to William Aiken Sr. in 1827. The Historic Charleston Foundation purchased the house in 1995. The house’s original style has been mostly kept, one of the few that has not been repaired. There is original wallpaper, original paint colors, and some original furniture.
In the back of the house, the slave quarters, kitchen, and yard are still the same as when the first people lived there. Teens can buy tickets at the Aiken-Rhett House and the Nathaniel Russell House at the door. Spend 1–2 hours touring the mansion, slave quarters, and kitchen. Guests can learn a lot from the property’s guided tours of the main house, where the enslaved people were housed originally, the carriage house, and the yard.
12. Take a look at the Nathaniel Russell House’s staircase.
The Nathaniel Russell House Museum, a National Historic Landmark, was built in 1808 by merchant Nathaniel Russell. The elegant interiors with elaborate plasterwork, geometrically shaped rooms, formal gardens, and collection of 18th-century decorative and fine art speak to the wealth of Charleston’s elite in the early days of the American Republic.
Archaeological artifacts, educational panels, and the ongoing restoration of the enslaved quarters are all important ways to learn about the enslaved and tell their important stories. With a tour of the neoclassical Nathaniel Russell House, which is 200 years old, teens can learn about the world of high-class slave traders in the United States. Guided tours carry teens through the house, highlighting architectural, historical, and cultural value. The three-story staircase is an architectural marvel and a crowd favorite. In the meantime, the lessons learned and stories told are eye-opening.
13. Visit the Charleston Museum to learn about the city’s history.
The Charleston Museum was established in 1773 and has been a cultural institution in the city since; the oldest museum in the United States, it has welcomed young people of all ages. In addition to its enthralling exhibits, which range from ancient fossils to modern artifacts and include A Revolutionary War Account of Charleston “City Under Siege,” “Lowcountry History,” and “Kid story,” the Charleston Museum also features an extensive collection of prehistoric and modern fossils.
The Heyward-Washington House and the Joseph Manigault House are connected to the museum. Due to the museum’s convenient location in Wraggborough and its proximity to the Aiken-Rhett House Museum, Teens can easily fit a trip to both places into a single, busy day.
14. Visit the Charleston Tea Garden to sample the tastes.
When teens think of American Classic Tea, what comes to mind is the Charleston Tea Garden, which is grown in the United States. It is situated on the scenic Wadmalaw Island in South Carolina’s Lowcountry. There are 127 Camellia Sinensis tea plants on the grounds; a functioning Tea Factory and a quaint Gift Shop are on the premises. Guests can also take an exciting and educational Trolley Tour of the scenic backdrops that produce American Classic Tea. Throughout the day, teens are served complimentary tea. Take a seat, coffee snobs: this one is for tea lovers!
The Charleston Tea Garden, which used to be called the Charleston Tea Plantation, has 127 acres of Camellia Sinensis plants and claims to be the only tea garden in North America with tea bushes as far as the eye can see. Admission to the park is free to pay a few dollars for the optional trolley tour or some loose-leaf tea from the gift shop.
15. Visit Deep Water Vineyard and sample their blends.
Deep Water Vineyard, the only winery in South Carolina, is a must-see for any wine lover in the area. There are white and red muscadine wines on the wine list; teens can try them. Combine a taste with a cheese platter to add a touch of class to the ideal day trip. Deep water is a name with numerous meanings. In the Lowcountry, the word “deep water” refers to access beyond the pluff muck of the marsh.
But, if teens pressed Jesse or Andrea, they would reply that the moniker “Deep Water” symbolizes their perspective on this brief existence. That is not meant to wade in the shallows but to dive deep, and while teens may feel the weight of water over their head and the depth of water under their feet, you’ll know you’ve tried something bigger than yourself and, if you’re fortunate, float on top of the deep for a while.
16. Explore a tragic past at McLeod Plantation Historic Site.
At McLeod Plantation, people have seen some of the most pivotal moments in American history unfold. McLeod Plantation Historic Site is now a 37-acre cultural and historical landmark. It was named a Gullah/Geechee heritage site and is being carefully protected. The grounds include an outdoor pavilion alongside the river, and an extensive avenue of oak trees, including the historic McLeod Oak, estimated to be over 600 years old.
It is a unique area, not locked in time but full of vibrant, dynamic, and ever-changing oak trees. McLeod Plantation was built on the wealth of sea island cotton and labor, and historically, the Lowcountry was built on the work and culture of enslaved people. It is a living memorial to the men and women and their descendants who fought for freedom, equality, and justice. All their stories, black and white, enslaved and free, are told. At McLeod Plantation Historic Site, teens can learn about the lives of people who, despite being almost erased from history, significantly impacted Charleston’s past and the country’s future.
17. Visit the Old Slave Mart Museum to learn about the past.
This property served as an auction house until November 1863, when the renowned slave trade was still booming in the South. The Old Slave Mart Museum, popular with teens and locals alike, provides a unique and humbling glimpse into the region’s violent past through open accounts of formerly enslaved people – an insight that very few museums around the country can mimic.
Aside from the employees, the building creates an uneasy sense of the past. There is plenty to learn. An interview with a formerly enslaved individual is included—plan on spending at least an hour at this museum to get the most out of it. The inside will look Nothing like it happened. Read the informational signs and take in the atmosphere. This slave museum is usually not entertaining for youngsters because of all of the reading.
18. Visit Palmetto Brewery for a beer or two.
Palmetto Brewery’s founders are overjoyed to proclaim themselves South Carolina’s first craft brewery, and the crowds of thirsty consumers are happy to drink there too! There’s something for everyone with seasonal and regular brews like mouthwatering IPAs, lagers, fruity ales, and even cookie-flavored stouts.
Palmetto Brewing Company in downtown Charleston is embracing nostalgia! It’s bringing back its “Peanut Butter and Jelly Time” beer. Raspberry, strawberry rhubarb, Carolina jam, and marionberry flavor the seasonal brew. Because the light brown ale is made from natural ingredients, it is only accessible for a short period. It’s one of the most popular sandwiches among children and adults in the United States. Adults can now enjoy it in the shape of a beer.
19. Visit the Charleston City Market to meet local artisans.
The Charleston City Market is a historical landmark and the cultural center of Charleston. Since the early 1800s, locals, and tourists have been walking through its old doors. Over 300 colorful pop-up stores with innumerable arts and crafts merchants are nestled inside the 200-year-old brick structures, making for the perfect unique keepsake. The waterfront and many eateries are only a 10-minute walk away after exploring one of the country’s oldest public marketplaces.
For more than two centuries, the three open-air structures known as sheds at the Charleston City Market have bore witness to history. These one-of-a-kind sheds withstood fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, and cannonball bombardments during the Civil War. Today, the Charleston City Market is a hub of activity, with hundreds of entrepreneurs running small shops in the busy marketplace, which is Charleston’s most popular public attraction.
20. Take a sunset sailing cruise on the Schooner Pride.
As the sun sets, Unwinding on the decks of a classic tall ship is the pinnacle of relaxation, with unsurpassed panoramic views of the city’s harbor. Take your camera; the 84-foot-tall ship sails past iconic locations; Nothing beats watching the sunset from the decks of a classic tall ship and pods of friendly bottlenose dolphins.
The Schooner Pride is an exact recreation of the 18th-century tall ships that used to ply Charleston Harbor, transporting goods and traveling to and from plantations. She is certified by the USCG to carry up to 49 people, and she is the only three-masted tall ship that sails in public in Charleston Harbor. Teens can sit back and enjoy the views, and a light breeze from the ocean, or teens can help the crew adjust the sails.
21. Raise a glass to Firefly Distillery.
Stop what you’re doing, vodka connoisseurs, and Make sure to put a visit to the Firefly Distillery on your list of things to do in Charleston. As the city’s oldest operating distillery, Firefly has been in business for a while, so it has perfected its craft. Try to experience the well-known, handcrafted, sweet tea-flavored vodka made from Louisiana sugar cane and local tea leaves.
If your schedule allows, try to visit the distillery during the weekend – with funky live music, the atmosphere is amplified! As teens can see, the public adores Firefly Distillery, a not-so-hidden gem in Charleston, South Carolina. The reasons are numerous, but we’ll start with the top eight: A family-friendly establishment, a pet-friendly establishment (at least outside the distillery), admission is cheap, and there are some exciting events all year, an incredible Firefly Distillery concert series, and wine and spirits.
22. Dine at Halls Chophouse, Charleston’s top-rated restaurant.
Halls Chophouse is an American-Fine Dining establishment that serves excellent steaks, Lowcountry, and fresh seafood delicacies in a vibrant, visually appealing setting. Halls Chophouse, the latest restaurant offering in the center of Charleston’s Upper King Street design and dining district, is complemented with distinctive desserts, an extensive wine list, a bustling bar, and imaginative, rich decor faithful to old-world steakhouses.
There are two private dining rooms with audio-visual capability that accommodate groups of up to 32 people. At the Charleston Farmers Market, peruse the fresh products. The Charleston Farmers Market, widely regarded as one of the city’s top shopping destinations, is brimming with fresh fruits and veggies, baked products and locally-made jams, and quirky arts and crafts merchants. Due to its central location in Marion Square, a trip to the Farmers Market is a beautiful way to spend a Saturday morning.
23. Be treated like a king or queen at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
There’s a lot more to do and see here besides playing golf. The Kiawah Island Golf Resort is known for its oceanfront hotel with 5-Star rooms, world-class amenities, and five excellently designed golf courses. This barrier island on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, 21 miles south of Charleston, is a popular place for people who like to be close to nature. Kiawah Island has ten miles of sandy beaches, 123 acres of parkland, a network of trails that spans 30 miles, and world-class golf courses at every turn.
To get a complete feeling of Kiawah Island’s magnificence, visit Marsh Island Park, where you’ll be rewarded with spectacular picturesque views of the Kiawah River, saltwater marshes, and island hammocks from the Marsh Island Lookout Tower. Take advantage of the Heron Park Environmental Center, where teens may participate in nature excursions and activities, as well as birding walks, butterfly walks, and alligator walks.
24. Go on a shopping spree on King Street!
If you’re a Charleston, South Carolina, shopper, teens should check this out. With a developing reputation as one of the top ten shopping districts in the United States (as determined by high-profile magazines such as Forbes), King Street is a shopper’s paradise that embodies Southern charm. This strip has everything from high-end multinational brands to vintage shops and one-of-a-kind businesses like Blue Bicycle Books and Croghan’s Jewel Box.
Lower King Street, Charleston’s oldest yet newest neighborhood and cultural center, was the final three King Street areas to be beautified. The Antique District, which runs from Broad to Market, was awarded the “Best Antique Shopping in the United States” by Travel + Leisure magazine readers. Teens can find antiques from every period and from all over the world. Regarding antique shops in the southeast, George C. Birlant & Co. is right up there with the best of them.
25. Teens can be in the spotlight at the Black Fedora Comedy Mystery Theater and Shoppe.
The last idea for what do locals do in Charleston, S.C., is The Black Fedora, located in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, hosts virtually nightly comedy-mystery plays in which the audience plays a leading role. Before the performance begins, one of the professional actors comes out and asks for volunteers after you’ve settled into your allotted seat and had a couple of drinks and nibbles. The actor allocates roles and distributes scripts with highlighted lines.
It’s great for families with older school-aged children and teenagers. But not all plays are suitable for families with kids, and toddlers and preschoolers aren’t likely to be able to sit through the whole show, which is necessary because of how funny it is. When making reservations, inquire about which plays are best for families.
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Where do locals hang out in Charleston?
Here is a list of places where locals hang out in Charleston: Folly Beach, The Folly Boat, Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, Charleston SUP Safaris, Charleston Sup Safaris, Gullah Tours, David McSpadden, Palmetto Brewing Co., Palmetto Brewing Co., Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park, Streeter Lecka/Getty Images The Macintosh, The Macintosh, Market Pavilion Hotel, The World’s Leading Hotels, so that’s all the what do locals do in Charleston, S.C.,
What should I avoid in Charleston, South Carolina?
Without being unsafe places where tourists would endanger their lives, here are the Charleston neighborhoods that web analytics rank as the least safe: North Charleston, Hanahan, West Ashley, Harleston-Village, Summerville, James Island, and Goose Creek are all nearby neighborhoods.
What should I avoid in Charleston, SC?
Here are some lists to be aware of before visiting Charleston, SC: Before teens use the Airbnb app, make a reservation and familiarize yourself with the restrictions. Allow the calendar to determine dinner. Bowens Island Restaurant’s Low Country Boil, Take a history class for millennia and raise the United States flag at Fort Sumter National Monument.
What should I know before I go to Charleston, South Carolina?
You should know several things before going to Charleston, such as: Visiting the historic McLeod Plantation and Eat Gullah food; parking is expensive. Take precautions when riding on two wheels. Accept the boiled peanut, Take a nightcap and a taxi, and Understand the alcohol laws. Make reservations and get on the water. ‘Cue,’ wait in line. Make the Brewery District justice, Purchase from King.
Is it safe to walk at night in Charleston?
Charleston features a lively downtown with many high-end dive bars and restaurants to explore. Going about taking in all the history and imagining life on those same streets many years ago is even more enjoyable—excellent locations near Market, King, Meeting St, E Bay, and the Battery. Teens can always go through it and never think twice about it.
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