10 of Charleston’s best tourist attractions

Photo by: charleston_tea

You’ve probably heard an accolade, or 800, about Charleston’s tourist + leisure scene. But have you ever experienced it for yourself?

From the sounds of the waves crashing along Folly Beach to being home to the nation’s only tea plantation, the 843 has so much to explore– whether you’re just hitting the highlights or living the Lowcountry lifestyle.

So grab your walking shoes and stay hydrated, folks. We’re supplying ten of CHS’ best tourist attractions.

CHStoday Tea Plantation
Charleston Tea Plantation | Photo by @charleston_tea

Charleston Tea Plantation
Sip the full tea lover flavor at the only tea plantation in North America. Explore acres of tea plants, take a tea factory tour or trolley ride, + check out the gift shop brimming with delicious samples + tea-related items.

Old Slave Mart Museum

The Old Slave Mart Museum is the only known existing building once used as a slave auction gallery in the state. It now stands as a powerful, informational site of African American history. (This is often confused with Market Street– which was not a slave mart, but a market where slaves would sell their goods). 

CHStoday Angel Oak
Angel Oak Tree | Photo by @pjbrick7

Angel Oak Tree
Thought to be over 400 or 500 years old, our beloved Angel Oak measures 66.5 feet tall, 28 feet in circumference, + offers 17,200 square feet of shade. These boughs are worth the scenic drive to Johns Island. 🌳

CHStoday Ravenel Bridge
Ravenel Bridge | Photo by the CHStoday team

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
Known as the Cooper River Bridge or the Ravenel to locals, the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge opened on July 16, 2005, as the longest cable-stayed bridge of its time. With a pedestrian + bike path on the northbound highway, the Ravenel delivers beautiful views of the Cooper River, the peninsula, + beyond.

CHStoday Nathaniel Russell House
Nathaniel Russell House | Photo by @lizcsf

Nathaniel Russell House
The free-flying staircase, formal gardens, + lavish interiors of this 1808 home are a stunning display of Charleston’s old-world elite. Explore this National Historic Landmark with tours running daily from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Fort Sumter
We’re not trying to start a war– except we kind of already did. Pack a lunch, hop on the ferry across the Charleston Harbor, and explore the brick + mortar where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.

Charleston City Market
From sweetgrass baskets to Lowcountry cuisine, the great hall + open-air sheds of the City Market offer a whole day’s worth of activities for tourists + locals alike.

French Quarter Art Walks
In March, May, October, + December, the Charleston Gallery Association hosts four official Art Walks from 5-8 p.m. Stroll the historic streets of Charleston + take in the local talent at any of the 40+ participating galleries.🎨

CHStoday Folly Beach
Folly Beach | Photo by @billy_ellison

Folly Beach
Relax + slow down is the mantra of Folly Beach locals. But with activities like paddleboarding, surf lessons, + fishing, there are plenty of opportunities for newcomers to fully experience the island life. 🏖

CHStoday King Street
King Street | Photo by @juliadentphoto

King Street
Named one of the country’s “Top 10 Shopping Streets” by the U.S. News + World Report, 300-year old King Street is the place to be (day or night) for seriously exceptional retail, exclusive restaurants, + rockin’ nightlife. 🛍

Want to make a day of it– visiting as many spots as possible? Snag a Charleston Tour Pass and enjoy one-time access to up to 19 popular area attractions, tours, + more.