Free Things to do in Charleston SC


Free things to do in Charleston SC

Whether you love history, architecture, nature, or art, you won’t have trouble finding something to see and do in Charleston on a budget. We’ve compiled a list of the top free things to do in Charleston SC.



Walk or Bike the Arthur Ravenel Bridge
Bridge Connecting Charleston and Patriots Point
Free things to do in Charleston SC

Arthur Ravenel Bridge

Take a walk or bike ride across one of the world’s largest cable-stayed bridges. Stop at the top and watch the sunset over the water or check out the gorgeous views of scenic Charleston Harbor and the Charleston skyline.


Get more details on Arthur Ravenel Bridge


Angel Oak Tree
3688 Angel Oak Road
Charleston SC 29455

Angel Oak Tree

The Angel Oak Tree is estimated to be around 400 years old and stands 65 ft high. This majestic tree provides 17,000 sq ft of shade with many of the limbs resting on the ground due to their size and weight. Angel Oak Park, located on Johns Island, has picnic tables and a small gift shop. 


Get more details on Angel Oak Park


Folly Beach
101 E. Arctic Ave.
Folly Beach SC 29439

Folly Beach

Folly Beach is an eclectic beach community popular with surfers, college students, and vacationers. It is the closest beach to downtown Charleston and boasts about six miles of shoreline. Take a relaxing walk along the beach, hunt for seashells, or watch a beautiful sunset from the fishing pier. 


Get more details on Folly Beach


Riley Waterfront Park and Pineapple Fountain
1 Vendue Range
Charleston SC 29401

Riley Watefront Park and Pineapple Fountain

Riley Waterfront Park, located near the Market, is one of Charleston's most visited parks. The park has old-fashioned park benches and large swings that create a relaxed atmosphere. The park also features tree-lined walkways, spectacular views of the harbor, and the famous Pineapple Fountain.


Get more details on Waterfront Park Charleston


Magnolia Cemetery
70 Cunningham Ave
Charleston SC 29405

Magnolia Cemetery

Magnolia Cemetery, founded in 1849, is the oldest public cemetery in Charleston and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The cemetery is the resting place for South Carolina governor's, hundreds of Confederate soldiers, five Confederate generals, and the crew of the H.L. Hunley.


Get more details on Magnolia Cemetery Charleston


Sullivan's Island
2101 Pettigrew St
Sullivan's Island SC 29482

Sullivans Island

Sullivan’s Island is a 3 mile long barrier island north of the Charleston harbor. The beach on the island is the least commercialized of the area beaches and home to the unique looking Sullivan's Island Lighthouse. Free parking is available along the streets leading up to the bridge. 


Get more details on Sullivan's Island


Citadel Parade
171 Moultrie St
Charleston SC 29409

Citadel Parade

The Citadel features dress parades most Fridays during the school year that are open to the public. These parades are a 200-year old tradition that feature the band, a pipe band, the corp of cadets, and canons fired during the parade. Cadets will welcome visitors and direct them to visitor parking.


Get more details on the Citadel Parade


The Battery
Charleston SC 29401

The Battery Charleston

The Battery is considered to be one of Charleston’s most iconic historic sites. The Battery was once a defensive seawall, but is now a paved public walk along the waterfront. The area is surrounded by antebellum mansions and beautiful live oaks with views of Fort Sumter in the distance.


Get more details on The Battery Charleston


White Point Garden
2 Murray Blvd
Charleston SC 29401

White Point Garden

White Point Garden is one of the must-see places in Charleston. The park, surrounded by beautiful antebellum mansions and massive oak trees draped in Spanish moss, is located at the Southern end of the Battery. 


Get more details on White Point Garden


Morris Island Lighthouse
1750 E Ashley Ave
Charleston SC 29401

Morris Island Lighthouse

The Morris Island Lighthouse was built in 1876 and is unusual because it currently sits 300 yards off-shore. To view the lighthouse, park for free at the north end of Folly Beach and then walk about a quarter of a mile to the beach access. You will then have a stunning view of the lighthouse from the beach.


Get more details on The Morris Island Lighthouse


Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center
340 Concord St
Charleston SC 29401

Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center

The Fort Sumter Visitor Center is located in Liberty Square. The Visitor Center includes a free museum with exhibits and information on Fort Sumter and the Civil War. On the back of the building is a large balcony that overlooks the harbor with views of Patriots Point and Fort Sumter in the distance.


Get more details on The Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center



Additional free things to do in Charleston SC




Historic Charleston City Market
188 Meeting St
Charleston SC 29401

Historic Charleston City Market

One of the nation's oldest markets, The Charleston City Market, is over 200 years old. The market consists of the enclosed Great Hall and three open air sheds. Dozens of vendors showcase goods including crafts, artwork, jewelry, local foods, and sweetgrass baskets. 


Get more details on The Historic Charleston City Market


Charleston Tea Plantation
6617 Maybank Hwy
Wadmalaw Island SC 29487

Charleston Tea Plantation

Take a free tour of this beautiful 127-acre tea plantation, the only one of its kind in U.S. Stroll around the grounds that are home to over 300 varieties of tea plants, take a complimentary factory tour, browse through the gift shop, or enjoy lunch in the picnic area.  


Get more details on The Charleston Tea Plantation


Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park
99 Harry M. Hallman Jr Blvd
Mount Pleasant SC 29464

Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park

Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park is located at the base of the Ravenel Bridge. The park has a pier that stretches into the Cooper River, a large lawn area, a cultural arts pavilion, and benches and picnic tables. The best time to visit this park is right before sunset.


Get more details on Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park


Rainbow Row
83 E Bay St
Charleston SC 29401

Rainbow Row

The 13 brightly colored buildings that make up Rainbow Row are some of the most recognizable structures in Charleston. Located on East Bay St., these homes date back to the 1700’s. The once bustling stores fell into disrepair after the Civil War and then were restored in the 1920’s.


Get more details on Rainbow Row Charleston


The Charleston Farmers Market/Marion Square Park
329 Meeting St
Charleston SC 29403

The Charleston Farmers Market/Marion Square Park

The Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square is open every Saturday from April through December. Browse fresh veggies, crafts, and artwork, while enjoying music and entertainment. During the month of December the park is transformed into a holiday market.


Get more details on The Charleston Farmers Market


King Street 
Free things to do in Charleston SC

King Street

King Street, the city’s main drag, is the perfect place to stroll around and window shop. Visitors can choose from clothing boutiques, antique stores, chain stores, furniture stores, and interior design stores.


Get more details on King Street


Mace Brown Museum of Natural History
202 Calhoun St
Charleston SC 29401

Mace Brown Museum of Natural History

The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located on the College of Charleston campus. This free museum has over 3,000 fossil specimens including cave bears, dinosaurs, and plants. Geology students who work at the museum are available to give guided tours.


Get more details on the Mace Brown Museum of Natural History


Postal Museum
77 Meeting St
Charleston SC 29401

Postal Museum

The Postal Museum, located in the historic post office on Broad Street, is a small but interesting museum focusing on the postal service in Charleston. Newspaper clippings, old stamps, and other memorabilia tells the story of the role of the post office through many of the city’s historical moments.


Get more details on the Charleston Postal Museum


Karpeles Manuscript Museum
68 Spring St
Charleston SC 29403

Karpeles Manuscript Museum

The Karpeles Manuscript Museum, housed in a beautiful old church built in 1856, has the largest collection of privately owned documents in the country. The documents are rotated between each of the 14 Karpeles museums three times a year.


Get more details on the Karpeles Manuscript Museum Charleston


The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art
161 Calhoun St
Charleston SC 29424

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is a free gallery located on the College of Charleston campus. The Halsey Institute presents contemporary art exhibitions by emerging or mid-career artists.


Get more details on the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art


Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
1254 Long Point Rd
Mount Pleasant SC 29464

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site is what remains of the plantation which once belonged to Charles Pinckney, the author and signer of the U.S. Constitution. Visitors can view exhibits, watch a short film, and walk along the half-mile trail that runs through the farm.


Get more details on the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site



More things to do in Charleston





Back to the Top

Copyright © 2009-2021 visit-historic-charleston.com