Beautiful Charleston, South Carolina was founded in 1670 as Charles Town, honoring King Charles II of England. Stroll the streets with us on our family’s first visit to America’s Most Friendly City. If a trip to Charleston is something that you might like, take a peek at our adventure.
Points of Interest in and Around Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston City Market
We had a delightful time strolling through the Charleston City Market that was built in 1841. It is large with many, friendly merchants selling beautiful, handmade items, jewelry, books, clothing, and food items, just to mention a few. It is one of the nation’s oldest public markets and the cultural heart of Charleston. Home to more than 300 vibrant entrepreneurs, and open every day of the year except December 25th. No matter what time of day or season you plan to visit, there is something to see, do, taste, and take home as a souvenir from the Charleston City Market.
The Gullah culture is a large part of Charleston and it is fun to watch the weaving of their gorgeous baskets and palmetto roses.
Charleston Self-guided walking tour
Charleston is a great city to explore by foot. Every street you walk down you’re guaranteed to find beautiful buildings, scenery, and historic landmarks.
With kids in tow we set off on a self-guided walking tour along the streets of Charleston. A self-guided tour allowed for stopping and meandering whenever something caught our attention and at a pace that works for children. Defined by its cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages and pastel antebellum houses, we enjoyed many sites along the way.
Cobblestone Streets and some places of interest on our walking tour.
Along cobblestone alley is The Pink House at 17 Chalmers Street. Built around 1712 it is believed to be the second oldest remaining structure in Charleston. Actually, it was never a house but a tavern.
St Phillips Episcopal Church is located at 146 Church Street and is home to the oldest congregation in South Carolina.
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church was built between 1752 and 1761 and is the oldest church in Charleston. Its congregation grew out of St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church a few blocks away. The interior is typical 18th-century English design with native cedar bow pews. Pew number 43 (where the children are sitting) was used by George Washington in 1791, and General Robert E. Lee in 1861.
Don’t miss Rainbow Row, a lovely stretch of houses painted in bright colors located on East Bay Street. They date back to about 1740 and are near the waterfront district of the city.
Next, it is on to a gorgeous walk down the sidewalk that runs along East Battery, just north of Oyster Point. From this beautiful view you can see the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in the background.
Great Family time in Charleston
Our self-guided tour was less than two miles and since we took our time it took about three hours. Even the littlest guy held up well with just a few lifts on his daddy’s shoulders.
Our self-guided walking tour was slightly adapted from Free Tours by Foot. It was well put together and we found it very helpful. Check it out.
Places to eat in Charleston, South Carolina
There certainly isn’t a lack of fabulous restaurants and eateries in Charleston. These two restaurants aren’t fancy but were kid friendly with great food. The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. has eating inside and out. On the deck, a water flow with rubber ducks keeps kids entertained while waiting for seating. Bigger kids and adults will enjoy the Forest Gump movie memorabilia scattered throughout the restaurant. If you go, get a selfie sitting on a bench with your feet in shoes mimicking a scene from the movie.
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. 99 S Market St, Charleston, SC 29401
- Pizzeria Di Giovanni 40 N Market St Charleston SC, 29401 (Giant pizza that feed everyone in our group)
FREE Paleontology Museum in Charleston
Keeping costs down is always a goal especially traveling with a large family. A visit to the Mace Brown Museum of Natural History part of The College of Charleston was both free and interesting. The Museum is open to the public and manned by geology undergraduates who work as student docents.
The Paleontology Museum displays almost 1,000 fossils. The displays includes: dinosaur bones, crinoids, Oligocene mammals of North America, mosasaurs, cave bears, Pleistocene mammals of the Carolinas, ocean life through time and fossil plants.
A favorite exhibit for many is the reconstructed jaw which houses real teeth from the giant extinct shark Megalodon.
If you go:
Location: 202 Calhoun Street (School of Sciences and Mathematics Building) – 2nd floor
Hours: Daily (including weekends) from 11-4 except for Wednesdays
Admission: Free. Donations are welcome!
Contact: 843.953.3967 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the places listed here before planning your trip as there may be changes since this was published.
Springtime in Charleston
From the moss covered trees to the overflowing window boxes, Charleston streets are filled with beauty.
Other posts in this Charleston, South Carolina Travel Series
Charleston & Folly Beach Getaway
Charleston Lowcountry Lentil Soup
Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
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I would love to visit there someday. Thanks for the tips!!
Wow! I am loving this series about your travels in Charleston. Such a charming and beautiful town! I’d love to experience it first – hand some day. (Just not in the summer!)
Thank you for the tour of Charleston. It looks like a wonderful place to visit. Love the look of the cobblestone road. I can imagine it makes for a bumpy ride 🙂