Tips from a local for visiting Charleston with your kids!
Charleston, South Carolina is known for its rich national history and exquisite natural beauty. Living in Charleston we love to show off our city when friends and family come to visit. Charleston with kids is lots of fun! There’s so many fun things to do in Charleston with kids.
Here’s my family’s list of #nottobemissed local Charleston favorites:
Jump on a carriage ride.
I highly recommend a carriage ride through the city. It’s a fun way to tour the city and soak up Charleston’s culture and history. Select either a private or group tour. There are several different companies available down by the Market to choose from.
Once you get back from the carriage ride you can wander through the old Charleston City Market which is full of shops and vendors selling items from all over.
On Saturdays, the Farmer’s Market in Marion Square is wonderful way to start your day in Charleston. It’s open Spring through Fall and located right in the heart of the city. This market is home to unbelievable food trucks, local produce, art vendors, live music, jump castles and pony rides for the kids. After you spend some time eating your way through the market you can take a stroll down King Street which is home to the majority of fine shopping boutiques in the city.
End the afternoon with a splash in the famous Pineapple Fountain down by Waterfront Park. This is a must for kids of all ages! Bring your bathing suits or jump in with your clothes on!
Hit the beach.
The Beaches around Charleston are beautiful! We have 3 main beach areas to choose from. Sullivans Island, Isle of Palms, and Folly Beach. Isle of Palms is home to the family friendly Dunes West Resort. There is also a county park with bathroom facilities on Isle of Palms. Sullivan’s Island is my family’s favorite! Many locals and tourists enjoy these beaches.
Several great restaurants are within walking distance to the beach. For a great burger venture over to Poe’s Tavern, if you are in the mood for great southern BBQ then you will want to eat at Home Team BBQ, Taco Mamacita is another good family spot that we enjoy after a day at the beach. My absolute favorite spot on Sullivan’s Island is the Obstinate Daughter. Be sure to make a reservation because the OD has amazing food and ambiance that you won’t want to miss!
Play at the Children’s Museum.
The Children’s Museum of Charleston is fantastic! My girls have spent too many hours to count exploring the various rooms of the museum. It’s great for toddlers and well as older children. In my opinion, there is something for all kids up to the age of about 10.
See the fishies.
The South Carolina Aquarium is a family favorite and a wonderful place to spend the morning or afternoon. There is always a special exhibit going on and numerous shows throughout the day. Explore Shark Shallows a 20,000 gallon touch tank! While you are there don’t miss a visit to the Sea Turtle hospital.
Explore a historic old city.
A visit to Charleston will transport you to a time long ago. From the aquarium you can take a ferry over to tour Ft. Sumter where the 1st shots of the Civil War were taken.
Be sure to check out Charles Towne Landing which introduces visitors to the earliest colonial history of Charleston. Families will love touring the Adventure, Charleston’s only 17th-century replica sailing ship. If you can schedule your visit to see cannons fired (3rd Saturdays and select special events) your kids will love it. While you are there, have the family take a peek at otters, bears, bison and more at the Animal Forest natural habitat zoo.
Next, head over to Wadmalaw Island to checkout The Charleston Tea Plantation the home of American Classic Tea grown in America. Tour the grounds on an educational Trolley Tour that explores the scenic grounds that produce American Classic Tea.
Be sure and pick up some American Tea from the Plantation Gift Shoppe before you head home.
No trip to Charleston is complete without a visit to Middleton Place. This National Historic Landmark is home to America’s oldest landscaped gardens. The Garden Club of America has called the 65 acres “the most important and most interesting garden in America”. Our family loves to stroll the grounds year-round to see what’s blooming in the historic gardens.