14 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 garden, 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 14 of Charleston’s best tourist attractions.

Photo by CHStoday

Rainbow Row
Perhaps the most iconic of all Charleston tourist destinations is this colorful stretch of homes on East Bay Street that embodies the historic charm of the Holy City. We debunked the myths of Rainbow Row here

Joe Riley Waterfront Park
Waterfront Park in downtown Charleston is home to the Pineapple Fountain and beautiful views of the harbor. Did you know that this fruit is a symbol of hospitality? Learn the history of the pineapple in Charleston.

The Pink House
This brightly-colored historic home is one of the oldest residences in Charleston. The house, located at 17 Chalmers St., became famously known as The Pink House. Discover the history.

The Notebook filming locations
Most of feature film “The Notebook” was filmed in the Lowcountry and we rounded up key filming locations around town at the link above. Book a tour with Rebellion Roads to visit “The Notebook” and “Outer Banks” filming locations.

CHStoday Tea Plantation
Charleston Tea Plantation | Photo by @charleston_tea

Charleston Tea Garden®
Sip the full tea-lover flavor at the only tea garden in North America. Explore acres of tea plants, take a trolley ride through the garden + check out the gift shop brimming with delicious samples and tea items.

Old Slave Mart Museum
The Old Slave Mart Museum is possibly the only known existing building once used as a slave auction gallery in the state. The museum tells the story of Charleston’s role in the interstate slave trade. 

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 approximately 65 feet tall and 25 feet in circumference with 17,000 square feet of shade. These boughs are worth the scenic drive to Johns Island. Read the history of the Angel Oak here. 🌳

CHStoday Ravenel Bridge
Ravenel Bridge | Photo by the CHStoday team

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge opened on July 16, 2005, as the longest cable-stayed bridge of its time in North America. With a pedestrian + bike path, the Ravenel delivers beautiful views of the river and peninsula. Learn about the history of the old Cooper River Bridges here.

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

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

Fort Sumter
Pack a lunch, hop on the ferry across the Charleston Harbor, and explore this famous fort. Fort Sumter was fired upon on April 12, 1861 — said to be the first shots of the Civil War.

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 and locals alike. Pro tip: Visit the night market on Fridays and Saturdays for cooler temps and live music. 

First Friday Artwalks
Every month except July and January, the Charleston Gallery Association hosts art walks from 5-8 p.m. Stroll the historic streets of Charleston + take in the local art 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 exceptional retail, exclusive restaurants + rockin’ nightlife. 🛍

Want to make a day of it by visiting as many spots as possible? Snag a Charleston TourPass and choose from 41 popular local attractions.