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Best Things To Do in Charleston

Soaking in the ambiance of the brick-walked, Spanish-mossed downtown is Charleston's to-do. Historic homes are also plentiful: The Nathaniel Russell House, Drayton Hall and Magnolia Plantation & Gardens are just a few examples. And if you want to pick up a few travel souvenirs — perhaps a sweetgrass basket look no further than the Old City Market. There are even a few beaches in close proximity Folly Beach and Isle of Palms, among others ideal for warm-weather swimming and cold-weather strolling. 

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How We Rank Things to Do
#1
The Battery Free attraction
Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Many visitors say you can't leave Charleston without seeing this stretch along the city's southern tip. This row ... read more»

#2
Sullivan's Island Free attraction
Beaches, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Comprising only 3.3 square miles, Sullivan's Island may not seem like a must-see for Charleston visitors. But this ... read more»

#3
Isle of Palms County Park
Beaches, Golf, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: If several days in Charleston proper have you longing for a do-nothing day at the beach, the Isle of Palms ... read more»

#4
Folly Beach
Beaches | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: After a few days exploring Charleston's historic sites, take some time to kick back, relax and enjoy the Southern ... read more»

#5
The Aiken-Rhett House Museum
Historic Homes/Mansions, Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: According to many, there's no better example of antebellum life than here at the Aiken-Rhett House Museum. Originally built ... read more»

#6
Drayton Hall
Historic Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Built in 1738, Drayton Hall is one of the oldest surviving plantations left in the South. Take your time exploring ... read more»

#7
The Nathaniel Russell House Museum
Historic Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: Constructed at the turn of the 19th century by Nathaniel Russell a wealthy Southern merchant this historic home is best ... read more»

#8
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
Historic Homes/Mansions, Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: While Middleton Place's gardens attract those who like trimmed hedges and flower-lined paths, the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is ... read more»

#9
Charleston City Market
Shopping, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: While some may say that the Charleston City Market is a bit of a tourist trap, others call it a ... read more»

#10
H.L. Hunley Submarine
Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Tours | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 3.5

Why go: Originally built in 1864 for the Confederate Army, the H.L. Hunley became the world's first successful submarine. Toward ... read more»

#11
Middleton Place
Historic Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 3.5

Why go: If there were ever a place to stop and smell the roses, this house would be it. Built in 1755 ... read more»

#12
Fort Sumter National Monument
Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 3.5

Why go: You probably remember Fort Sumter as the place where the first shot of the Civil War was fired, back in ... read more»

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