Things To Do In Charleston SC With Kids
Charleston YA’LL! I cannot say enough good things about this place! I’m starting our spring/summer vacation series here because this is one of my most favorite places to visit with the girls.
I was a little skeptical when I took them for a “family vacation” because everything you see online is history, history, history and I honestly thought they were going to be bored to death. I was so wrong and pleasantly surprised! We did do a lot of things that showcased “Old Charleston” but the girls enjoyed them as much as I did!
This city is absolutely breath taking, warm and exudes southern charm. Spend just a few minutes in the downtown historic district and you will feel like you have been transported back in time. The original cobblestone streets, horse drawn carriages and ladies weaving baskets from sweet grass all set the tone for a magical vacation.
You’ll have to excuse some of poor photography, I was no photographer back then and many of the images have been pulled from Facebook not at full resolution but they’re sure to inspire.
The Battery and White Point Garden
Our first stop was the downtown area. We arrived in Charleston later in the day so grabbed a quick bite to eat and then took a stroll down to the The Battery. The historic district is kept up so well! There are strict laws in Charleston about what type of updates can be made to the homes in hopes of keeping “Old Charleston” preserved.
The Ashley River is a magnificent back drop to White Point Garden park lined with old oaks and fountains. It’s the perfect place to just stroll and relax and take in the scenery while the littles run. Stop and read the monuments and signs baring historical facts. If you go at sunset, you will catch a gorgeous pink sky reflecting across the water. We timed it just right and it was the best surprise!
Tip: If it’s in the warmer months, put the littles in bathing suits under their clothes and bring a towel so they can play in the fountains!
Horse Drawn Carriage Tours
They are everywhere in downtown Charleston! We used the Old South Carriage Co and so glad we did! Our guide was funny, and attentive and happy to answer all of our questions.
During the one hour tour you leisurely make your way around the historic district while your guide spills all the secrets, legends and ghost stories of years gone past. We got there a little bit early and they let the girls love on our horse before boarding our carriage. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip and the perfect attraction for both parents and littles!
OMG, the food! Welcome to Lowcountry! Growing up in the south I love a home cooked meal but Charleston has a flavor of it’s own. It’s southern meets the spices of Africa and the West Indies. Fresh seafood, spicy rice and grit dishes with savory sauces. There really is no other place on the planet, it is foodie heaven!
I have pretty adventurous littles when it comes to food so we didn’t have a problem eating anywhere but most places have the standard kids fare of chicken tenders and fries if you’re worried about picky eaters.
We visited on Easter weekend and I can’t imagine being in any better city. Nobody does brunch like Charleston. Lowcountry boil, spicy pickled shrimp, she-crab soup, pilau, shrimp n’ grits and mimosas galore. If you like bourbon, this is your chance to drink sweet tea and bourbon with fresh honey with your french toast. Ya’ll!
If you’re brunching, especially on Easter weekend, make reservations, it is packed but worth every second. And don’t let the “fine dining” feel deter you from eating in any of these fab restaurants just because you have the littles with you. Charleston is beaming with family tourists, especially during the spring and summer months and they are all warm and inviting. If you still have reservations about it, opt for brunch or lunch instead of dinner and ask for a table not in the crowd!
Tip: If you’re not from ’round here, order the shrimp n’ grits. You’re welcome!
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
One of the most beautiful places I have ever been in the world! The plantation was originally established in 1676 by Thomas Dreyton and has remained in the family for over 15 generations. The original home was burned during the Civil War and was rebuilt shortly after. In the aftermath of a post war economy, they built up the gardens and opened them to the public for a fee as a means to raise money.
The home is open for tours and definitely worth it, but the Gardens are the main attraction. Acres and acres of dirt paths lined with 100 year old oak trees covered in moss. And the Azaleas. If you ever go you’ll know what I mean. They are everywhere! It is believed that one of the Dreytons began growing the gardens to lure his bride and was one of the first to bring Azaleas to America.
The place is magical! The girls toddled along the paths and took in all the sights of geese and peacocks roaming the property freely. I would highly recommend visiting in the spring! It wasn’t too crowded, even for a holiday weekend and everything was in bloom beautifully.
Do Not Miss This!
Now I know this isn’t in the heart of Charleston, but we really wanted to see the beach while we were there and opted for Folly, only 20 minutes away.
The beach is super long and wide enough for you to throw a ball or a frisbee around. We definitely weren’t alone but it’s not crowded at all.
There is a huge pier over the water where you can get a drink and stroll. The girls and I lounged and played in the sand and then went and grabbed an ice cream cone on the pier. Perfect relaxing end to an action packed vacation.
The town of Folly surrounding the beach is a funky, eclectic mix of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops. We ate our ice creams and explored the area. And when the sun started to set we hit The Folly Beach Crab Shack in proper beach fashion!
We devoured a family style tray of fresh steamed seafood. You can leave your table manners at the door here and just enjoy making a mess!
Tip: Ask for one of the picnic tables out on the sidewalk! It’s away from the bar crowd and you can people watch.
Charleston has so much to offer for families and I know we barely scratched the surface. We cannot wait to visit again soon and learn more about the rich culture and history of this magical city!
As always if you’re planning a visit and have a question or would like to add anything leave it in the comments below! It makes my heart happy to hear from our readers!
Bon Voyage Mama!
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