Charleston has been one of the fastest growing cities in the US. Whether it’s due to the great beer scene, the amazing historic downtown, or the Citadel Military College, there are plenty of aspects of the city appealing to a wide variety of people.
Due to the city’s popularity and long history, it can be a bit daunting when it comes to making the move to Charleston. There’s so much information and a lot to consider. We wanted to help you out with just the top 7 things to do when you move to Charleston, SC.
1. Take a Walking Tour
Everything in downtown Charleston is just a short walk away. Tour operators offer dozens of choices to visitors, so it’s best to consider your options in terms of what you’d like to see and learn about. We mentioned a few great options earlier but there are many other tours to choose from.
Some walking tours are dedicated to the city’s fascinating Civil War history, while others highlight its architectural gems. Other possibilities include church tours that dive deep into its religious history. There really is something for everyone!
Plus, this is a great way to get to know the area, the streets and what different pockets of town best suit your living.
2. Stroll Along The Battery
Ask a Charleston local, and chances are they’ll tell you to visit The Battery. Once the center of the city’s maritime economy, The Battery is now lined with a stunning collection of charming and colorful Southern mansions. As you make your way through this picturesque and unique neighborhood, it’s worth making a stop in White Point Gardens, which is located close by and contains several interesting Civil War artifacts and memorials.
A visit to The Battery is a perfect companion activity to Waterfront Park, as the park doubles as an entry point to the neighborhood.
3. Lose Yourself in Beautiful Gardens
Now that you have seen the history and all the colors the city has to offer. Charleston and the surrounding areas are home to some of the best-preserved plantations and gardens in the South. Middleton Place, constructed in 1755, remains one of the city’s most enduring attractions, but there are several others that are definitely not to be missed.
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens has spectacular, postcard-worthy scenery, and charming Drayton Hall, which dates to 1738, is one of the oldest intact plantations still standing in the United States.
There is so much history in the area that it is recommended to spread out your visits and let all the knowledge soak in. Or you can take all your family and friends when they come to visit you
4. Cruise to Sullivan’s Island
You should also make room in your itinerary for Sullivan’s Island. A relatively compact 3.3 square miles, Sullivan’s Island is one of those often-overlooked hidden gems that mostly locals know about.
The island is home to a charming and welcoming town, which is brimming with beachfront eateries and one-of-a-kind boutiques. A popular option is to plan your day around having lunch on Sullivan’s Island and giving yourself an hour to explore the shops before heading back to the mainland.
It’s great for a Sunday outing or just a mid-week get away.
5. Check out Charleston City Market
While Charleston City Market is characterized by some as a touristy cliché, it’s one of the best places in the city to experience the contemporary character of traditional Old South life. Formerly known as the Slave Market, as slaves would be sent here by their masters to buy food for their households in centuries past, Charleston City Market is an ideal place to go people-watching and find some authentic handicrafts.
One recommended option is to seek out the market’s so-called basket ladies, who perform a time-honored type of traditional basket weaving that was originally practiced in West Africa. Practitioners hand-make beautiful baskets from materials like palmetto leaves and sweetgrass, with the craft’s secrets being carefully passed down from generation to generation.
6. Explore the French Quarter
Art galleries, boutiques, historic churches, and several of the city’s architectural landmarks are clustered in the French Quarter, which is bounded by Market Street to the north, Meeting Street to the west, Broad Street to the south, and Waterfront Park to the east.
While many architectural and history walking tours will highlight this part of the city. It’s well worth exploring in more detail, particularly if you have a strong interest in Charleston’s rich and storied heritage. Plus the more you immerse yourself into the history the more you will feel right at home.
7. Go On A Culinary Walking Food Tour
Why waste time researching where to eat when you can hit all the hottest spots on the Downtown Charleston culinary walking food tour! This culinary walking tour will give you a taste of some of Charleston’s best locally run restaurants.
As a bonus, you’ll get to learn about the history of the city along the way. Be sure to skip your lunch because these food samples are going to fill you up!