Our 10 Favorite Summer Activities in Charleston

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Charleston is the summer is hot! And we’re not just talking about the temperature. The warm weather takes a backseat to downtown adventures, beach trips and history tours all around the Lowcountry. The beautiful sunshine and smell of saltwater will follow you through every nook and cranny of Charleston while the history and architecture leaves you awestruck.

Wondering where to begin? Here’s our list of 10 top summer activities in Charleston:

10. Sunset Water Cruises

Just as the sun starts to go down, hop on one of Charleston’s many charter boats to catch one of the best sunset views. As the sun meets the water, enjoy a cocktail and live music while observing the entire city of Charleston from the harbor. Make sure your camera or phone is charged and ready to snap a sunset selfie. We recommend Schooner Pride Sailing

9. Farmers Markets

Fresh, local, and fun — Charleston’s array of farmers markets is extensive and convenient. Just about every day of the week you can find a different market packed with fresh produce and local crafts from Charleston vendors. Read about the markets, including times and locations.

8. Baseball with the RiverDogs

Let us take you out to the ballgame! Head to Joe Riley Stadium on the banks of the Ashley River for a game of minor league baseball with the Charleston RiverDogs. Grab some boiled peanuts (a Southern delicacy), a hot dog or a $1 beer on beer night. Tickets are reasonably priced, making this great family friendly option.

7. Weekend Brunch

In Charleston, brunch isn’t just a six-letter word — it’s a way of life. All week locals look forward to bottomless mimosas at one of Charleston’s many brunch hot spots. We love brunch so much, some restaurants are starting to serve it all day … every day! Whether you love shrimp and grits or a fat stack of pancakes, Charleston has it all. Check out our list of favorite brunch destinations around the Holy City.

6. Hit the Beaches

No summertime trip to Charleston is complete without a trip to one of the area’s beautiful beaches. Soak up the laid-back vibe of Folly Beach, the family friendly feel of Isle of Palms or the unspoiled ocean views at Sullivan’s Island. Each beach has its own character and appeal along with varying selections of amenities and restaurants. Dip your toes in the saltwater for an unforgettable experience. Oh, and don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, they love to welcome visitors. Read our Charleston Area Beach Guide.

5. Sightseeing with the Charleston Tour Pass

Charleston TourPass — Vacation is all about being relaxed, having fun, experiencing the local culture and doing something new. TourPass Charleston does exactly this while including full admission to the top 40 tours and attractions. With the pass you can make reservations in advance of arriving and can skip the lines at many places which we love. Choose from a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5-day pass that allows you to visit museums, plantations, and more throughout the city. Passes are purchased on their website only at https://tourpass.com 

4. Downtown Biking

Bike sharing is one of the newest trends in major cities and Charleston is no exception. Download the Holy Spokes app and jump on a bike to explore the city in a fun and healthy way. There are many miles of history and beauty to cover, don’t waste time walking.

3. Brewery Hopping

Charleston’s premier brewery district has earned attention from beer lovers all over the world. The city’s craft beer selection continues to grow and micro breweries are quick to follow. You can make an entire day out of brewery hopping — the perfect way to cool off during a hot summer day. Enjoy small bites, fun games and good company while tasting fresh new brews. Read more about the options in the brewery district to help you decide while seasonal ale sounds best.

2. Walking Tours

Nothing beats walking the historic streets of Charleston on a history, food or ghost tour with a knowledgeable guide. We recommend Bulldog Tours Walking Tours which has been voted the “Best Tour Company” in Charleston many times over and has all sorts of unique and entertaining tours.


1. The View from Above

Charleston is known for her spectacular skyline. From the diamond spans of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge over the Cooper River to sunsets on the water to church steeples dotting the horizon, this city is postcard worthy. Your trip wouldn’t be complete without a bird’s eye look of these breathtaking views. Find one of the Charleston’s most popular rooftop restaurants or bars to enjoy two of our city’s best features -– her good looks and her good food.

Charleston TourPass

TourPass includes all the top tours and attractions & historic sites. Save up to 40% or more on admissions. 

Visiting Charleston Just Got Way Easier!

TourPass includes all the top tours and attractions & historic sites. Save up to 40% or more on admissions + skip the lines

Charleston FAQ's

Choosing a hotel and where to stay in Charleston all depends on your budget and goals. Do you want to stay Downtown, at the beach or in the outer areas such as North Charleston where you have to drive to get everywhere? For more help on deciding: https://travelerofcharleston.com/articles/hotels/

Charleston has 3 main public beaches which are: Folly, Isle of Palms and Sullivans. Each beach has it’s own atmosphere. The most common beach that people visit is Folly Beach and then Isle of Palms followed by Sullivans Island. For more info on Charleston’s beaches visit: https://travelerofcharleston.com/guide-charlestons-beaches/

Charleston, SC is full of historical things to do. Everything from museums, to public sites and free landmark sites such as Rainbow Row and the Battery can be seen. For more info on Charleston’s top historical sites visit: https://travelerofcharleston.com/places-to-learn-about-charleston-sc-history/

There are many things that will keep the kids and family entertained and educated in Charleston. There are historic sites such as Fort Sumter, a Children’s Museum, Aquarium and the USS Yorktown…a WWII era aircraft carrier you can tour. For more info visit: https://travelerofcharleston.com/charleston-family-fun-activities/

There’s so many  things you could do in Charleston it can be overwhelming. We recommend that first time visitors, checkout the ultimate first-time visitor guide here: https://travelerofcharleston.com/charleston-first-time-visitors-guide/

Spring in Charleston, SC is an amazing time of year to visit. The flowers are blooming and the weather is mild and sunny. For more info, check-out our spring guide to Charleston here: https://travelerofcharleston.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-springtime-in-charleston/

Summer in Charleston is a great time to visit. There’s plenty of things to keep you busy and visiting the beach will probably….or should be on your short-list. Also water-based activities and tours are popular. Checkout this summer guide to Charleston for more info: 

Our 10 Favorite Summer Activities in Charleston

Fall is one of the best times to visit. The weather cools down a bit and the skies are typically blue and clear. In addition there are many great events, festivals and the large crowds of summer have gone back to school or work. For more info on visiting in the fall, checkout this article: https://travelerofcharleston.com/charleston-12-things-to-do-fall/

There are so many great things to do that it’s difficult to narrow the list down. This article does a great job with figuring out the must do things to do in Charleston

7 Can’t Miss Reasons to Visit Charleston, SC Now

The consensus is a minimum of 3-days is needed to settle in and experience Charleston. For instance, many people take 2 days exploring downtown and another day visiting sites outside of downtown such as the plantations, Angel Oak Tree or beaches. Checkout this page for a list of tours and attractions: 

Charleston’s Top Tours & Attractions | Things to do

Downtown Charleston was made for walking and for sure one of the best way to soak up and experience the history first-hand. This article goes over getting around Charleston with and without a car as well: 

Getting Around Charleston, SC

We’re of course partial to Charleston, but here’s the truth. There are many similarities however there are some differences in our opinion: 

  • Both cities are historic and beautiful. 
  • Both cities are extremely walkable. Savannah, with it’s park-like squares maybe more walkable than Charleston. 
  • Charleston has a more established and food scene with many more options. 
  • Charleston has better hotels and shopping.
  • Both cities have equally good tours.
  • Charleston has better beach options. Savannah has Tybee which is great, however it’s 1 beach vibe versus Charleston which has 3 beaches with different vibes. Checkout this Charleston beach guide article: https://travelerofcharleston.com/guide-charlestons-beaches/
  • In Savannah you can walk with alcoholic beverages on the street. This is not allowed in Charleston. This can be good or bad depending on your stance. 
  • Savannah is more affordable.
  • TourPass offers all-inclusive passes in both cities: https://tourpass.com

There are always great and world-class events happening in Charleston. For a calendar of events and things to do in Charleston, checkout our online calendar of events: https://travelerofcharleston.com/events/

Of course there are free money-saving coupons that you can use. Visit the coupons page for a bunch of ways to save: https://travelerofcharleston.com/coupon/

Charleston has some fantastic can’t miss tours such as Fort Sumter, carriage, ghost, harbor, historic and culinary tours. For a full list with more info visit: https://travelerofcharleston.com/attractions/

Checkout the Charleston Relocation Guide page which will guide you during your move: https://travelerofcharleston.com/charleston-sc-relocation-guide/

Additional Places to Explore