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 The Custom House at 200 East Bay Street is, in my opinion, the premier landmark in historic downtown Charleston. One of our city’s most imposing public buildings, almost everyone is familiar with it, making the Custom House great to use as a reference point.  When meeting someone there, it’s wise not to stipulate “front” or “back,” which can be confusing since both entrances appear identical.  It’s much better to say the “Cooper River side” or the “East Bay side.”

We are pleased to announce the winner of our Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition Facebook Contest! 20 local artists from the 2017 Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition submitted a piece of their collection to our Facebook page, and YOU voted your favorite by liking, commenting, or sharing the featured artist’s work. Now the votes are in, and the winner is….

Charleston is America's favorite city and an internationally renowned gem for many reasons. Few are more important than its respect for its own history. Matter of fact, in 1783 Charleston established itself as a municipal government with the motto: "She guards her customs, buildings, and laws." And we are all the better for it. Are you ready to go back in time?

1. Discover the oldest museum in the United States. Founded in 1773 and a key cog of the city’s unique Museum Mile, the Charleston Museum, “has been discovering, preserving, interpreting, celebrating, and sharing ever since. Our collections, exhibitions, educational programs, and events are designed to inspire curiosity and conversation.”  Don’t miss out!


As an experienced Charleston tourist myself, I’ve come to realize that there are certain essentials everyone should know before diving into such a culturally rich city. While you are more than welcome to go unprepared and simply wander around the blazing sun all day, I would recommend following some of the guidelines I’ve put together for you down below.

Wear Sunscreen and Bring Water
Don’t let them fool you - Charlestonians may play off that the sun only “kisses their skin” or that they are incapable of sweating, but that is simply not true. The Charlestonian knows to apply sunscreen, how to pull off a floppy sun hat, and better yet, when it is time to rest inside an airconditioned area... 

Even though most people believe that Johns Island's famous Angel Oak was named for its heavenly nature, it actually drew its moniker from the early owners of the land on which it sits. Regardless of that interesting fact, visiting it still creates an almost surreal experience. Maybe best of all, it's FREE to enjoy in all its splendor.

1. It's estimated to be well more than 500 years old. That's even longer than the honorable Joseph P. Riley was the mayor of Charleston. According to lore, it has literally captured the rapt attention of locals and visitors for centuries...

A free and “not to be missed” Charleston offering is the historic Dock Street Theatre at 135 Church Street. Many locals simply call it “The Dock Street.” The Dock Street is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. unless an event is being hosted or it’s a holiday. It also provides the perfect respite for the hot and weary tourist, especially near the end of a two-hour walking tour, with its beauty, air conditioning and restrooms.

Early theatrical productions in America were brought to towns by traveling groups of actors and usually performed in taverns...

When we think of Charleston, we think of history, of natural beauty and year-round sunshine. We think of great shops and neat places to discover. We think of incredible food and drink and very friendly people. Well, check the air in your bike tires because with a little planning, you can experience all of that on two wheels.

1. Up and over: As a tourist or a local, you've got to love the Ravenel Bridge, the third-longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere. The shared bike/pedestrian lane was the result of an intense grassroots effort by local groups, including a nearby fifth-grade class. That's as cool as the awe-inspiring views from the bridge itself. What are you waiting for?

Darrell Johnson is a man who, while embracing the present, has a fondness for the past. He remembers a time when grocery stores closed at 9pm. He tells me that you were out of luck if you didn't get what you needed before then. He knows that everyday life can't return to being that way but he feels for those people now have to work throughout the night in a 24hr world.

At 14 years old, Darrell was no different than his 14 yr son today, looking for stuff to do without parents around. At 15, he had a license to drive which only allowed him to drive until 5pm. He teamed up with an older boy who could drive at night, and together they took turns driving. Going to high school games was the thing to do back then.

My dog is named after a plant, so it only made sense that Fern and I would venture to the Outdoor Festival and experience the James Island County Park. 

Fern is just shy of two years old and is a coonhound mix. My little plant dog is afraid of everything: bees, the sound of plastic containers, loud noises, stairs, food scoops, middle aged men.  I can tell that she wants to hang out with other dogs, but she sits and stares at them forlornly, feeling like an outsider.

I only know all of this because I am nosey and read her diary.

If you love food, you’d have to agree there are zero reasons to visit a national restaurant chain here in Charleston. Who’d settle for the same meal you can get in Grand Rapids or Hackensack, when you can take advantage of the offerings of our local eateries? The same holds true for coffee, if not more so. You’re not in Kansas anymore. Nor Seattle. You’re in America’s favorite city, so I’m personally inviting you to check out one of our many coffee spots that help percolate our colorful reputation. You won’t regret it one drop!

The Charleston Market (or just the Market as locals call it) has been integral to Charleston since a public market was planned at this site around 1788. A beef market was originally located at the northeast corner of Broad and Meeting Streets, but later burned. In 1788, the Pinckney family deeded the land on which the Market now exists to the City of Charles Town specifically to be developed as a public market.  The Pinckneys were farsighted about the use and future of this property; the deed even had language that is known today as a reverter clause, i.e. if the City ever chose not to use the land as a market, the land would revert back to the Pinckney family and heirs.

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