Things To Do in Charleston - Attractions

Overview | Attractions | Restaurants | Lodging | Events | History

South Carolina Aquarium - From coastal saltmarshes, Piedmont rivers, and rushing mountain streams to the still depths of the Atlantic Ocean, explore South Carolina's fascinatingly diverse aquatic habitats and get to know the five thousand magical creatures--from colorful song birds to mysterious sharks; graceful rays to playful otters--that live in them.

Boone Hall Plantation - Visitors can catch a glimpse of a way of life that is only a memory of a time when the South lived by agriculture alone, and the great plantations were the back-bone of the agrarian economy. Today the plantation thrives, producing commercial crops, serving as the backdrop for major motion pictures, and sponsoring events that entertain and benefit visitors and residents of the area.

Charleston Stage at the Dock - South Carolina's largest professional theatre company and resides at The Historic Dock Street Theatre. Charleston Stage offers popular Broadway musicals, award winning dramas and world premiere original works.

Bohicket Boat: Adventure & Tour Co. - Offers dolphin-watching tours, sunset cruises, ACE Basin adventures, shelling shuttles to remote barrier islands, sailing charters and kayak tours & rentals.

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens - Features the country's oldest garden and a reconstruction era plantation house. The garden features the Barbados Tropical Garden, a nature train tour, a petting zoo, wildlife observation tower, nature trails, wildlife art gallery, rental bikes, canoes, an 18th century herb garden, a Biblical garden, topiary garden, horticultural maze and antebellum cabin.

Charleston Museum - America's first museum, The Charleston Museum was founded in 1773. The Museum preserves and interprets the cultural and natural history of Charleston and the South Carolina coastal region. Objects of historic, archaeological, scientific and ethnological interest illustrate the importance of this area.

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum - Located on historic Charleston Harbor, Patriots Point is home to USS YORKTOWN (CV-10), the Fighting Lady. The first USS YORKTOWN (CV-5) sank at the battle of Midway on June 7, 1942. On board the decks of this famous World War II aircraft carrier, you can relive a momentous time in America's history.

Splash Island Waterpark - Visitors will find Splash Island Waterpark tucked deep within the tropical vegetation of Mount Pleasant Palmetto Islands County Park. This seasonal family water attraction provides hours of fun and recreation.

The Old Slave Mart Museum - Recounts the story of Charleston's role in this inter-state slave trade by focusing on the history of this particular building and site and the slave sales that occurred here.

Carolina Ice Palace - South Carolina's Ultimate Family Entertainment Complex, the Carolina Ice Palace was designed to be a year-round family playground for recreational skating, league hockey, figure skating, extreme sports, virtual reality and video games. Inside you will find 100,000 square feet of excitement packed into every inch of the state-of-the-art facility!

Rainbow Row - Named for 14 private homes which mirror the colors of the rainbow, this section dates from 1740 and was Charleston's waterfront district during the 18th century.

Blackbeard's Cove Family Fun Park - Summer Rocks at Blackbeard's Cove. Enjoy Go Karts, a Climbing wall, Lazer Tag, and Jump Land just to name a few. When the heat gets to you, get over to Blackbeard's Cove for a game of Water Wars. The ultimate water balloon fight!

Charleston's Pirates & Buccaneers Tour - Join us for one of the most intriguing walking tours you will ever experience! Hear about the antics and exploits of these nefarious characters, as well as the ingenious tactics they employed to commandeer ships, evade capture, and strike fear in the hearts of their victims.

Splash Zone Waterpark - When the temperatures start rising, visitors of all ages will enjoy this favorite summer playground located within James Island County Park. This seasonal family water attraction provides hours of fun and recreation for the entire family.

The American Military Museum - Located in Aquarium Wharf adjacent to the debarkation point for tours to historic Fort Sumter, the Museum is filled with authentic artifacts from 14 American conflicts from the Revolutionary War through the recent war in Iraq.

Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon - Completed in 1771 during Charles Town's Golden Age. The building quickly became the commercial, political and social center of the most prosperous of Britain's thirteen American colonies. The Provost Dungeon was used as a prison by the British during the Revolution.

Avery Research Center - Located on the site of the former Avery Normal Institute. Founded in 1865, the Avery Normal Institute was a nationally-recognized African-American educational institution that trained young adults in professional careers and leaderships roles for nearly 100 years.

Gibbes Museum of Art - Built in 1905, the Gibbes Museum of Art represents a long and impressive tradition of cultural leadership in historic Charleston, providing residents and visitors access to a distinguished collection and an active, year-round schedule of exciting exhibitions, programs and events.

Drayton Hall - Completed in 1742, the historic plantation house stands majestically on a 630-acre site and is one of the finest examples or Georgian-Palladian architecture in America. Through seven generations of Drayton family ownership, the plantation house has remained in nearly original condition and offers an opportunity to experience history.

Fort Sumter Tours - An authorized National Park Service concessioner. They provide the only commercial boat transportation to Fort Sumter, the island fort where the Civil War began.

Nathaniel Russell House Museum - Completed in 1808, the townhouse of Nathaniel and Sarah Russell is recognized as one of America's most important neoclassical dwellings. Set amid spacious gardens, the house contains graceful interiors with elaborate plasterwork ornamentation, geometrically shaped rooms and a magnificent free-flying staircase. Furnished with period antiques and works of art.

Middleton Place - A National Historic Landmark and a carefully preserved 18th-century plantation that has survived revolution, Civil War, and earthquake. It was the home of many generations of Middletons. Middleton Place encompasses the Gardens, the House Museum, and the Plantation Stableyards.

Frankie's Fun Park - A 14-acre family oriented amusement center. Attractions include three go-cart tracks, bumper boats, batting cages, three 18-hole mini-golf courses, laser tag, an arcade and a pizza restaurant!

Irvin House Vineyards - Nestled in between the majestic live oaks on Charleston's back porch of Wadmalaw Island, this 48 acre winery and vineyard has something for everyone. Irvin-House Vineyards is the only domestic winery in Charleston.

Morris Island Lighthouse - Stands all alone about 300 yards off shore from the island of Folly Beach. It can be viewed from the northeast end of Folly Island and from the bridge coming on to Folly Beach.

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.

Calhoun Mansion - Boasting a striking Italianate design, the Calhoun Mansion has 35 rooms, a grand ballroom, Japanese water gardens, 35 fireplaces, 75 foot high domed stairhall ceiling, koi ponds, private elevator, three levels of piazzas, ornate chandeliers, a 90 foot cupola, and many more wonderful surprises that make up the house's more than 24,000 square feet.

Children's Museum of the Lowcountry - Kids can race boats down rapids, climb aboard a Lowcountry pirate ship, make it rain indoors, or grow vegetables in our all-organic kids garden. They can race golf balls down a roller coaster to see physics in action, shop for "real" groceries while learning healthy eating habits, and create inspired masterpieces every day in our dedicated art center.

Taylored Tours of Charleston - Our Taylored Tours gate logo represents the many beautiful iron gates and fences you'll see in historic Charleston, and the pineapple finial is said to be the symbol for hospitality. Let Taylored Tours of Charleston show you true “Southern hospitality” on one of our historic tours of Charleston, its plantations, or a day trip to Savannah.

Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark - Gallons of fun for all ages, Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark is located within North Charleston Wannamaker County Park and offers seasonal, island-style water play packed into over 15-acres.