This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing through them helps support this website. This post may also contain items gifted for consideration.
Heading to the Holy City? These are the best things to do in Charleston SC with kids (that are also fun for grownups)!
We just returned to San Diego from a weeklong trip to South Carolina (my husband's home state) after four long years. This was our longest trip to Charleston, and it was a LOVELY time of year to travel (we have done summer, spring and winter in the city and I have to say, Spring is my favorite).
The weather was mild, which allowed us to do a ton of fun things outdoors and to visit some of the top things on our must do list.
Over the years, we've visited Charleston a number of times (my husband grew up in Columbia, South Carolina but we have friends and family in Charleston). We definitely have some favorite activities that I would put on our list of the best things to do in Charleston SC with kids.
Now, some of these are probably predictable, but some may be a little more off the beaten path. But for our family? These are absolutely the best places to take kids under the age of 10 if you are visiting Charleston.
The Best Things to do in Charleston Sc With Kids
Charleston is a smaller city, and if you have a car you can definitely do multiple areas in a day. Most of what I'm sharing is in the downtown area…….but I'll note where you'll be venturing further out or may need a car.
Charleston with Kids: Carriage Tours and Walking Tours Worth the Money
In fact, we JUST did a tour for the first time on our last trip and I'm so glad we did. Most tour guides have been in the industry in Charleston for YEARS and they're a wealth of knowledge. Our tour guide was celebrating his 25th year and wow did he teach us a ton.
We chose to do a carriage ride through downtown Charleston, we saw all the historic homes, churches, and historic sites, and the whole family had a blast, it was like we saw our history lessons coming alive.
Get Deals on Tours:
Best Places to Go In Charleston with Kids: Don't Miss Museums
Charleston is home to some amazing museums. If you are visiting during more extreme weather months (hello humidity), these are some of the best ways to head inside for a bit of a break from the elements. The children’s museum of low country is a great place if you are still in the imaginative play stages, the north charleston fire museum is SUPER cool, and so is the charleston museum (one of the oldest museums in the country). I also love the gibbes museum of art (they've got some VERY cool rotating exhibits as well as great permanent exhibits).
Top things to Do in Charleston Beyond Downtown
Now, let's venture beyond the historic downtown area. Charleston has a ton of fun islands / neighborhoods that each has it's own unique flavor. On this trip we visited folly beach county park for the first time and absolutely loved it. You can easily park and walk to the sand, and the main drag in town has some fun spots to shop and eat.
I'd plan a half day minimum for the beach here if you can! We've also done the beach on the Isle of Palms, which is a short drive from downtown. For both of these you'll need a car or a ride share.
On this last trip, we also did a day at Bull's Island which was super unique and a ton of fun….in fact, this was one of my favorite things we've done on any trip to Charleston. If you are looking for The Best Things to do in Charleston Sc With Kids, this is a unique activity to add to your agenda.
Bull's Island is a National Wildlife Refuge, and you'll need to take a ferry boat ride to it. There are only a few a day (buy tickets in advance online). It's great for hiking, there is a beach, tons of wildlife (we saw alligators, dolphins, a million birds, hermit crabs), and spending a day.
You can carry food and stop at any point or eat at the picnic tables near the ferry dock. If you're visiting with younger children, I would suggest not hiking the perimeter, it's pretty long. You can easily explore and stay closer to the dock area.
On past trips, one of our favorite unique activities for both young children and older children (and the adults)…… a Charleston Riverdogs game! Their minor league team is a ton of fun to watch, and the games are a total blast (plus a pretty good deal).
Best Places to Go In Charleston with Kids: Must Try Food Spots
Also on my list of the best things to do in Charleston SC with kids? EAT!!!! Charleston has a ton of fancy, grown up restaurants….but there are also some great places for families and kids of all ages.
A few of our favorites:
Queen Street Grocery: founded in 1922, this little cafe is way more than a grocery store. They serve AMAZING crepes, breakfast and sandwiches (yes they have gluten free options), and are a great casual lunch stop in the main city of charleston
Black Magic Cafe: this small cafe on James Island (en route to Folly Beach) has the best ambiance and decor, amazing fun coffee drinks and is SUPER kid friendly.
Poe’s Tavern: Poe's Tavern on Sullivan's Island is a fun gastropub with great food (perfect for lunch or a casual dinner).
Planning a family vacation to Charleston? Or had one recently? I'd love to hear your thoughts on The Best Things to do in Charleston Sc With Kids…..leave your favorites in the comments!