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10 Things to Do in Charleston, SC: Romantic & Fun

Charleston, South Carolina, also known as the Holy City, is one of the most romantic cities in the United States. With its cobblestone streets, historic charm, and natural beauty it is the perfect place for a couple's getaway, anniversary celebration, or picture-perfect honeymoon. Here are 10 romantic and fun things to do in Charleston!

1. Discover Historic Charleston City Market

Callie's Hot Little Biscuits in the Historic Charleston City Market

Located in the heart of Charleston, the Historic Charleston City Market is a vibrant hub of activity, open daily from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. From indoor shops in the great hall to open-air sheds, there is so much to see, shop, and eat at this historic market.

Visitors can spend the whole day exploring its offerings, meeting locals, and shopping for great souvenirs. Do not miss the opportunity to indulge in local cuisine and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

From March through December, the market comes alive in the evenings with the Night Market, featuring artists, artisans, music, and food every Friday and Saturday from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm.

It is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Charleston's vibrant arts and culture scene. While at the market, visit Callie's Hot Little Biscuits, founded in 2005, for their tender, buttery, made-by-hand biscuits.

2. Relax at Joe Riley Waterfront Park

Pineapple Fountain at the Joe Riley Waterfront Park in Charleston, SC

Joe Riley Waterfront Park, situated along the Cooper River and Concord Street in Charleston, South Carolina, spans eight acres and offers breathtaking views of the Charleston Harbor.

With over 1,000 feet of coastline, the park features walking paths, benches, swings, a lush lawn, a tranquil fountain, a picturesque pier, and beautifully landscaped gardens. It is the perfect venue to stretch out, soak up the scene, and experience the romance and serenity of this charming Southern city.

At Joe Riley Waterfront Park, visitors can enjoy a relaxing picnic amidst its captivating atmosphere and picture-perfect surroundings. The park enchants and captivates all who visit with its engaging waterfront views and tranquil ambiance.

3. Wander Rainbow Row

Beautiful pastel colored houses in Rainbow Row in Charleston, SC

Rainbow Row, located at 79 - 107 East Bay Street in Charleston's historic district, is a collection of 13 colorful Georgian row houses built between 1740 and 1845. These iconic homes, privately owned yet maintained with their pastel hues intact by city ordinances, stand as a testament to the city's rich history and architectural charm.

Originally built by merchants who operated businesses on the ground floor while residing above, Rainbow Row fell into disrepair after the Civil War. However, the area was revitalized when Dorothy Porcher Legge painted her home a pastel pink, inspiring other residents to follow suit and adorn their homes in vibrant hues.

Today, Rainbow Row is a beloved tourist attraction, drawing visitors with its picturesque facades and historic significance. Strolling along this iconic street offers breathtaking views and ample photo opportunities, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the charm of Charleston.

4. Explore the Pristine Beaches

A beautiful pristine beach in Charleston, SC

Charleston is home to some of the most pristine beaches in South Carolina. Take a stroll along Folly Beach or relax on the shores of Sullivan's Island for a perfect day by the sea. To learn more about beaches near and around Charleston, like Kiawah Island and Isle of Palms, check out my blog post: Exploring Charleston, South Carolina's Barrier Islands.

5. Enjoying the Sunsets in Charleston

A Sail boat in the Charleston Harbor

Set sail aboard the Schooner Pride for an unforgettable sunset sail in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. As the only three-mast tall ship in the harbor offering public sails, this 84-foot replica of an 18th-century tall ship promises a romantic and adventurous experience.

With daily sails available, including sunset cruises, dolphin watching, and special events, the Schooner Pride provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the Charleston coastline. 

A sunset overlooking a lake with a bench in the foreground with some palm trees

For those who prefer to keep their feet on solid ground, a leisurely sunset stroll along the Battery and White Point Gardens offers a charming alternative, allowing you to witness the sun's golden descent over the city's historic seawall and promenade.

Whether on board the Schooner Pride or strolling along the Battery, watching the sunset in Charleston is an experience not to be missed.

6. Enjoy a Romantic Dinner

Cocktails on a silver platter

Indulge in a romantic dinner at a local restaurant in Charleston, where you can savor delicious cuisine amidst a cozy and intimate setting. Whether you are in the mood for fresh seafood, juicy steak, or traditional Southern fare, the city offers plenty of options to satisfy your cravings.

A bakery in Charleston, SC

For a truly memorable dining experience, consider High Cotton, a refined eatery renowned for its Lowcountry fare cooked with the finest local ingredients. With daily live music adding to the ambiance and an inspired beverage program complementing the flavors, High Cotton promises Southern hospitality at its finest.

7. Take a Guided Tour of the City

Beautifully colored houses with a Horse Drawn Carriage on the right

Embark on a guided tour of Charleston to delve into its rich history and vibrant culture. Experience the charm of historic downtown with Historic Charleston Carriage Tours, where you can enjoy a leisurely carriage ride led by friendly guides, exploring the city's iconic landmarks and hearing captivating tales. 

For those intrigued by the supernatural, they also offer ghost tours in the twilight hours, discovering the haunted past of Charleston's streets. Alternatively, if you prefer to go on a walking tour, Bulldog Tours offers great tours with insights into the city's architecture, art, and history as you meander through vibrant neighborhoods. 

Some kayaks in the water

If adventure beckons, Charleston Outdoor Adventures offers eco-tours, kayak tours, and boat tours, allowing you to explore the area's marshes, creeks, and barrier islands and witness majestic wildlife. For a budget-friendly option, opt for a self-guided tour of Charleston, easily accessible online, for an unforgettable exploration of this historic city.

8. Visit Cypress Gardens

Cypress Gardens near Charleston, SC

Discover the natural beauty of Cypress Gardens, a 170-acre preserve in Moncks Corner, just 30 miles north of Charleston, South Carolina. Explore the serene landscape with miles of trails and guided or self-guided swamp boat tours, offering a unique perspective of the stunning blackwater bald cypress and tupelo swamp.

Glide along the dark, black water, marveling at the reflections of towering trees and keeping an eye out for alligators, birds, turtles, and other swamp life. In addition to swamp boat rides, Cypress Gardens boasts an aquarium and reptile center, showcasing native fish, amphibians, and reptiles - including venomous snakes.

Visitors can also immerse themselves in nature at the greenhouse, a local favorite, filled with flowering plants, live butterflies, birds, and a pond. Witness the different stages of the butterfly's life cycle and observe these majestic creatures actively feeding and laying eggs, providing an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts.

9. Explore King Street

Intersection of King Street and Calhoun Street

King Street, steeped in history dating back to the 18th century, was once known as the "Great Street" and served as the bustling commercial hub of Charleston. Today, it is still a vibrant and dynamic thoroughfare, offering an eclectic mix of unique shops, art galleries, and top-notch restaurants.

A church / historical landmark in Chalreston, SC

Whether you are exploring its historic landmarks or immersing yourself in its bustling nightlife scene, King Street promises an unforgettable experience for couples seeking to discover the heart and soul of Charleston.

10. Discover Fort Sumter

A cannon in Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter is a historic sea fortification built in 1829 to safeguard American harbors from naval invasion. Accessible only by ferry rides through Fort Sumter Tours, this three-tiered, five-sided island fort offers a glimpse into the nation's past. 

For those preferring to stay on land, the Fort Sumter Visitor Center at Liberty Square provides an informative experience with no admission fees, allowing visitors to explore exhibits and learn about the fort's significance in American history. It is a perfect outing for couples who love delving into the rich tapestry of American history together. 

Where to Stay in Charleston, SC?

Whether you are a local looking for a luxurious staycation or a tourist planning a romantic getaway, splurging on one of Charleston's most romantic hotels is always worth it. From boutique gems to historic landmarks, each offers its own unique blend of sophistication, charm, and Southern hospitality.

Hotel Bennett

Address: 404 King St, Charleston, SC 29403

Hotel Bennett in Charleston, SC

Nestled on King Street, Hotel Bennett exudes luxury with impeccable dining, bold design, and lavish rooftop views. Indulge in a bottle of champagne as you enjoy a sunset aperitif from the rooftop, overlooking the cityscape.

Charleston Place

Address: 205 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401

Experience sumptuous accommodations, delicious food and drink, and warm hospitality at Charleston Place. This iconic hotel stirs the senses and leaves a lasting impression on all who gather within its walls.

Zero George

Address: Right Side, 0 George Street, Charleston, SC 29401

Wentworth Mansion

Address: 149 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC 29401

For an unforgettable romantic escape, consider Wentworth Mansion. With elegant guest rooms, complimentary wine receptions, complimentary breakfast, and a romance package available, it is a great choice for a couple's getaway.

Some trees and a light post

Immerse yourself in Charleston's allure at Zero George, where immaculately restored buildings and a private courtyard offer a charming home-away-from-home. Enjoy unique experiences like a cooking class or wine tasting, and savor a romantic dinner at The Restaurant at Zero George, known for its bold flavors and dazzling dishes.

John Rutledge House Inn

Address: 116 Broad Street, Charleston, SC 29401

Step into history at the John Rutledge House Inn, the only home of a signer of the United States Constitution that now serves as a living national historic landmark and an inn. With charming original features, incredible amenities, and a timeless sense of Charleston's heart and soul - it is the perfect destination for a romantic escape. Enjoy complimentary deluxe breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening port, sherry, or brandy during your stay.

It's Time to Book the Trip!

Historic colorful homes in Charleston, SC

Whether celebrating an anniversary, planning a couple's getaway, or simply looking for a romantic escape, Charleston offers something for everyone. With its historic streets, stunning scenery, and world-class cuisine, it is no wonder it is one of the most romantic cities in the United States. So why wait? Start planning your unforgettable Charleston experience today!
Have you visited any of these places in Charleston? Let me know in the comments below! Share this article with the person or people you want to go on your next adventure with! Also, be sure to SUBSCRIBE below to learn about other places you should add to your "To Visit" List! Ready? Okay, vamos. Time to have fun!

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