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Things to do near our Historic Charleston Hotel

25 Things to do During Your Next Trip to Charleston

There’s a seemingly endless variety of things to do in Charleston, S.C., including tons of great historic places, exciting exhibits and family-friendly attractions — not to mention some superb shopping and delectable dining.

If you’re looking for what to do in Charleston, S.C., here’s a list of 25 “can’t miss” attractions worth checking out in and around historic Charleston to get you started.

Historic Things to do in Charleston, S.C.

H.L. Hunley

Lost at sea for over a century, the H. L. Hunley was the world’s first successful combat submarine. Raised in 2000, scientists remain at work to conserve the Hunley. Public tours are available on weekends and group tours are available during the week. More details…

The Charleston Museum

America’s first museum showcases a variety of fascinating artifacts that tell the story of Lowcountry cultural and natural history. Visitors will be transported back through time, viewing objects from ancient fossils and an enormous whale skeleton to elegant costumes and Civil War artifacts. More details…

Old Slave Mart Museum

Recounting the story of Charleston’s role in the slave trade, the Old Slave Mart Museum focuses on the history of this particular building and the slave sales that occurred here. Hours are 9 to 5 M-Saturday. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days.  More details…

Fort Sumter Cannon

Fort Moultrie & Fort Sumter

The Charleston area is home to a pair of significant historic military fortifications in Fort Sumter, located on an island in Charleston Harbor, and Fort Moultrie a series of citadels on Sullivan’s Island near Mt. Pleasant:

Fort Moultrie is known as a Revolutionary War locale where the first decisive patriot victory over the British Navy took place on June 28, 1776 at a palmetto log fort.  The Visitor Center houses exhibits on the fort’s history and a 20-minute orientation film. Hours vary according to the season.

America’s most tragic conflict ignited at Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, when a chain reaction of social, economic and political events exploded into civil war. A powerful symbol to both the South and the North, Fort Sumter remains a memorial to all who fought to hold it. The fort may be visited by private boat or by ferry boat. Concessionaire ferries depart from Liberty Square in Charleston and from Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant. The Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.  More details…

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site

The National Park Service preserves a remnant of Founding Father Charles Pinckney’s plantation, Snee Farm. Charles Pinckney was a principal architect and signer of the U.S. Constitution. An 1828 Lowcountry cottage serves as museum and visitor center. 20-minute orientation film & ½ mile walking trail. Free admission. More details…

Homes to Tour in Charleston, S.C.

Historic Charleston

Aiken-Rhett House

The expansive Aiken-Rhett House (c. 1818) stands as the city’s most intact antebellum urban complex. Historic interiors have been conserved and stabilized, having survived virtually unaltered since 1858. Many family objects are still found in the rooms for which they were purchased.  More details…

Edmondston-Alston House

This beautiful home on Charleston’s High Battery affords a glimpse of early 19th century elegance, style and comfort. Built in 1825, the house contains Alston family furniture, silver, books and paintings. Three piazzas offer incredible views of Charleston Harbor. In 1861, General Beauregard watched the bombardment of Ft. Sumter here. More details…

Heyward-Washington House

Built in 1772, “Charleston’s Revolutionary War House” was the town-home of Thomas Heyward, Jr., Revolutionary patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Located in the original walled portion of the city, the house features magnificent Charleston-made furniture and a formal 18th century garden. More details…

Joseph Manigault House

“Charleston’s Huguenot House” was built in 1803 and is a premier example of Adam-style, or Federal, architecture. The garden Gate Temple and outstanding collection of American, English and French furnishings of the period capture the lifestyle of a wealthy, rice-planting family. More details…

Nathaniel Russell House

Visit the grand Federal townhouse of Charleston merchant Nathaniel Russell, completed in 1808. The gracefully restored interior boasts elaborate ornamentation and a magnificent free-flying staircase. Set amid spacious gardens and furnished with period antiques, the house evokes the gracious lifestyle of the city’s elite. More details…

Scenic Things to do in Charleston, S.C.

Battery Park & White Point Gardens

The Battery is a landmark promenade in Charleston. Stretching along the shores of the Charleston peninsula and bordered by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. Enormous oak trees provide serene shade to the park, and a display of weapons and cannons used in the Civil War make for a unique play area for children — be sure to bring a camera to snap photos of your family clamoring and playing on the cannons!

Inside Battery Park is White Point Gardens. This peaceful park offers unprecedented views of Charleston Harbor and Fort Sumter, while a look back across the street promises fantastic images of beautiful Charleston mansions. Weddings and other special events are frequently held at the beautiful, massive white gazebo in the center of the park, but on off-days it makes for a beautiful place to sit and take in the beauty and charm of Charleston! More details…

Charleston Tea Plantation

Experience the beauty and charm of America’s only tea garden…Charleston Tea Plantation. View acres of breathtaking tea plants, learn how tea is made during an informative factory tour, take a trolley ride through the tea fields, and drink fresh brewed American Classic Tea as you browse our unique Shoppe. More details…

Fort Sumter Tours

Take a ferry boat to the Fort Sumter National Monument, where the Civil War began. As you cruise to the island fort you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Charleston and her Harbor. Boats depart from the Visitor Education Facility at Liberty Square downtown and from Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant. More details…

Magnolia Plantation

If you love blooming flowers and farm animals then make a stop at Magnolia Plantation next time you are in Charleston. Admission to the Plantation gives you access to the sprawling gardens full of azaleas and lush trees, the large maze by the plantation house, a petting zoo, the conservatory featuring semi-tropical plants, and the Old African American Cabin. There are also various guided tours you can take for an additional price including the Plantation House Tour, Nature Train and Slavery to Freedom Tour. Kids and adults will enjoy spending the day at Magnolia Plantation walking through the beautiful scenery. More details…

Waterfront Park

This park is an eight-acre linear park and pier along the Charleston Harbor entry. The park masterfully combines spectacular fountains, spacious lawns, intimate garden “rooms,” walking and jogging path and a long pier with picnic tables and wooden swings. More details…

Family-Friendly Things to do in Charleston, S.C.

South Carolina Aquarium

Charleston County Waterparks

Get soaked this summer at your Charleston County Waterparks! Whirlin’ Waters, Splash Zone, and Splash Island are the hottest spots in town during the summer months, and each offers a fun, family adventure at a reasonable price. When the temperature starts rising, visitors of all ages will enjoy these seasonal attractions located in Mt. Pleasant, North Charleston and James Island. More details…

Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry

Navigate eight hands-on exhibits that combine playing and learning! Race boats down rapids, take the helm of the CML Pirate Ship or climb to the top of our Medieval Castle. Unlimited adventures for children and families!  More details…

Gibbes Museum of Art

Experience Charleston’s history through art! Come face to face with stories of the South Carolina Lowcountry as seen through painting, miniature portraiture, sculpture, photographs and more at Charleston’s signature art museum. Complimentary cell phone tour (using your own phone) is offered with paid admission. More details…

South Carolina Aquarium

Children and adults will enjoy spending a few hours looking at all the native marine and animal life that consider Charleston home. The S.C. Aquarium even has a Lemur exhibit if you want to learn about these fun and interesting primates.

Charles Towne Landing

This state historic site is not only full of much to learn but also offers beautiful sights for folks of all ages. It offers a visitor Center, museum, gift shop and history trail, 17th century trade ship replica adventure, native animal zoo, informal gardens, exhibits and more. Learn about and experience South Carolinas original settlement. Open daily 9am-5pm. More details…

Things to do in Charleston, S.C. at Night

Dining out

It’s hard to beat a good a Southern meal and Charleston has plenty of great restaurants to choose from.  Our latest craze here is farm-to-table, dishes featuring fresh and local ingredients at their peak flavor.  Dining options range from seafood, American, Southern, French and much more. There are also a variety of establishments serving fine wines and creative cocktails.

Ghost Tours

Founded in 1670, Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the United States. With such a long and rich history, you can imagine Charleston is scattered with plenty of graveyards, dungeons and haunted buildings. Both locals and tourists have often spoken of seeing ghosts wandering around Charleston. If you like all things haunted and are interesting in seeing a ghost when you stay at our historic Charleston hotels, check out these ghost tours.

Bar hopping

When the sun goes down there’s plenty of fun to be had at Charleston area sports bars, pubs and taverns, many of which also double as a dinner spot with great reputations for both top food and happening nightlife. You can pop around from bar to lounge or gather with friends, family, and co-workers at one of Charleston’s dance clubs or live music venues. Areas such as historic Market Street, King Street, Broad Street, and East Bay Street all have plenty of drinking establishments and other nighttime haunts if you’re looking for a night out on the town. More suggestions here…

The Music Farm

The Music Farm is one of the area’s best locations for live music. Hosting a variety of genres including Rock, Country, Jam, Reggae, Hardcore, Punk, and Hip Hop, acts range from up-and-coming local and regional groups to top-notch, nationally-touring acts. The venue holds about 800 people and is general admission, standing room only. There is limited seating in the balconies and around the bar.   It also offers a full service bar with beer, wine and liquor.  Unless noted on the website, shows are all ages. More details…

Theatre 99

If you want to see a great comedy performance when you stay in downtown Charleston, check out Theatre 99. Located just around the corner from the Andrew Pinckney Inn, Theatre 99 is Charleston’s very own improv comedy club where the laughter never stops. They have shows every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night and each one is totally different from the last because they are based on audience suggestions. They also offer stand-up comedy, cabaret and other fun entertainment. More details…

Historic Charleston

Historic Charleston occupies a peninsula that juts into Charleston harbor where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers meet to form the Atlantic Ocean.

Charleston is perennially ranked by leading travel media as one of the top U.S. destinations alongside hubs such as New Orleans, San Francisco, and New York City.

It is a regional cultural center with an enviable quality of life created by a blend of great climate, natural beauty, historic architecture, and a sophisticated community.

The area has developed a variety of attractions and amenities to serve both locals and visitors including a vibrant dining scene, shopping districts, and many other lifestyle businesses.

From the Pineapple Fountain in Waterfront Park to the amazing homes of Rainbow Row, the dazzling beauty of the city’s architecture is reason enough to visit. Add to that the importance of historic Charleston in the storied history of the United States and all the amazing things to do in Charleston and this is absolutely a “must-see” destination.

Dining in Charleston

With more James Beard Award-nominated chefs than any U.S. city outside of New York, you can easily find a great meal in this highly epicurean town.

The “farm-to-table” movement has been important in perpetuating and evolving the indigenous culinary traditions that trace their roots back to the original settlers from Western Europe and Northwest Africa as well as some influence from the Caribbean.

Whether you’re looking for upscale cuisine, downhome Lowcountry cookin’ or anything in between there are restaurants to suit every palate in near proximity to this downtown Charleston hotel.

A fine glass of wine, artisanal brews, and creative cocktails flow freely in the lounges, bars, and pubs — and you can have that second or third round without concern as your luxury accommodations at the Andrew Pinckney Inn are just around the corner or just down the street.

Shopping in Charleston

Downtown Charleston hotel the Andrew Pinckney Inn is within walking distance to King Street, recently named one of the country’s ten best shopping streets by US News & World Report.

King Street is home to local merchant families that have done business in the area for well over a century and there’s also an amazing selection of some of today’s most luxurious brands including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Lacoste, and many, many more.

The Charleston City Market

Market Hall — built Circa 1841 — stands facing Meeting Street as the main entrance to The Charleston City Market, four blocks of open-air buildings originally used by the Market Commissioners for meetings, social functions and rental space.

Through the years, the sheds have survived many disasters, including fires, tornados, earthquakes and bombardment. The City Market is one of the oldest in the country and is significant enough part of historic Charleston to be included in a permanent exhibit entitled “Life in Coastal South Carolina c. 1840” at the American History Museum of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.

Since the 1970′s, the original sheds and the areas opposite the Market on both sides have housed many small and unique shops, each with its own flavor, history and character. Some of the products featured include locally crafted sweetgrass baskets, clothing, artwork, jewelry, local souvenirs, perfumes, food, and other gift items.

The City Market saw its most recent renovation in 2011, enclosing the building and providing central heating and air.

Charleston City Market