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Parks in Charleston SC



A guide to the best parks in Charleston SC. Surrounded by Victorian architecture, antebellum mansions, cobblestone streets, and quaint cafes, the real beauty of Charleston lies in its public squares and parks. A visit to this historic southern city is not complete if you don't take time to discover the city's most beautiful outdoor spaces. 


Which of the parks in Charleston SC is the best?

  • Best known park - White Point Gardens and the Battery
  • Best park to visit on a summer evening - Waterfront Park
  • A must see - Angel Oak Park
  • Best park for families - James Island County Park
  • Best wildlife - Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site
  • Best park for a jog or bike ride - Hampton Park
  • Best park for fishing - Brittlebank Park
  • Popular for festivals and markets - Marion Square
  • Best pier - Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park
  • Most popular beach park - Folly Beach County Park
  • Most upscale and family friendly beach park - Isle of Palms Park 
  • Best beach - Kiawah Beachwalker Park

Charleston Battery and White Point Gardens



The Charleston Battery and White Point Gardens are one of the must-see places when visiting Charleston. The park is located at the southeastern point of the city and is bordered by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. The area got its name from the bleached oyster shells and white sand and is the spot where dozens of pirates were hung and left dangling from their nooses to deter other pirates from entering Charleston Harbor. In 1837, the City of Charleston bought part of White Point to create a waterfront park.The park has numerous monuments, a gazebo, and cannons that date back to the Civil and Revolutionary War era. The park is surrounded by beautiful antebellum mansions and massive oak trees draped in Spanish moss. From the Battery, you can see Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.

Highlights of The Battery and White Point Gardens

  • The Charleston Battery and White Point Gardens are one of the must see places when visiting Charleston
  • The park is located at the southeastern point of the city
  • Bordered by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers
  • Area got its name from bleached oyster shells and white sand
  • The park has numerous monuments, a gazebo, and cannons that date back the the Civil and Revolutionary War era
  • Surrounded by beautiful antebellum mansions
  • Offers views of Fort Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were fired

Waterfront Park



Waterfront Park is a very popular park with residents and tourists and is one of the most visited parks in Charleston. The park is located a few blocks from the market and offers fantastic views of the Cooper River Bridge and Charleston Harbor. The park has a pier, and you can sit on family-sized swings and watch large container ships entering and exiting the harbor. The park has two fountains, a splash fountain, and the famous Pineapple Fountain. These fountains are a great place to cool off on a hot summer day and are beautiful to watch when lit up at night. This park is a great place to visit in the evening after dinner. You can sit on one of the swings and enjoy the nighttime breeze while taking in impressive views of the Cooper River Bridge lit up at night.

Highlights of Waterfront Park

  • One of the most visited parks in Charleston
  • Located a few blocks from The Historic Market
  • Offers awesome views of the Cooper River Bridge and Charleston Harbor
  • Has a pier and family sized swings
  • Has a splash fountain and the famous Pineapple Fountain
  • Great place to walk to in the evening after dinner when the Ravenel Bridge and Pineapple Fountain are lit up

Angel Oak Park



The Angel Oak is located on John’s Island about 12 miles from downtown Charleston. It’s about a 20-minute drive, but it is well worth it to see this massive Oak Tree which is believed to be around 400 years old. The tree is not exceptionally tall, but the vast limbs that stretch out produce shade the covers about 17,000 sq ft. The pictures you see online of this massive oak, don’t do it justice. This is one tree you need to see in person. Parking is available at the park, and the admission is Free. The park also has a small gift shop and a picnic area.

Highlights of Angel Oak Park

  • Angel Oak Park is located on John's Island
  • About a 20 minute drive from downtown Charleston
  • The tree is believed to be around 400 years old
  • Pictures don't do it justice - You need to see this tree in person
  • Parking is available at the park and admission is FREE
  • Park has a small gift shop and picnic area

James Island County Park




James Island County Park is a 643-acre park located about 15 minutes from downtown Charleston and about 20 minutes from Folly Beach. The park has so many fun things to do including saltwater fishing, pedal boats, kayak rentals, volleyball courts, campground, climbing wall, miles of paved trails, and an 18 hole disc golf course. The park also has a Splash Zone Water Park for kids and an off-leash park with a large lake for dogs. This park has something for the entire family. Parking is available at the park and admission to the park is $2. General Admission to the Splash Park is $12, and admission for the climbing wall is $14.

Highlights of James Island County Park

  • 643-acre park located about 15 minutes from downtown Charleston and 20 minutes from Folly Beach
  • Offers saltwater fishing, pedal boats, kayak rental, volleyball courts, climbing wall, miles of paved trails and an 18 hole disc golf course
  • Also has spray/play fountain and Splash Zone Waterpark
  • Off leash park with large lake for dogs
  • Parking is available at the park
  • General Admission is $2
  • Splash Park is $12 and Climbing Wall is $14

Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site



This park is located on the original site where English settlers landed in 1670 and set up the first permanent European settlement in South Carolina. The park boasts a 12-room exhibit hall with interactive exhibits, a replica of a 17th-century sailing ship, and an Animal Forest natural habitat zoo. Visitors can tour the ship, take a peek at otters, bears, bison and more, or take an audio tour on the self-guided history trail. Bicycles can be rented by the hour or by the day for use on the 7 miles of paved and unpaved trails. The park has a small gift shop and offers free WiFi at the Visitors Center. Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-15 and kids under five are admitted for free. 

Highlights of Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site

  • Original site where English settlers landed in 1670
  • The park has a 12-room exhibit hall with interactive exhibits, a replica of a 17th-century sailing ship, and an Animal Forest natural habitat zoo
  • Seven miles of paved and unpaved trails
  • Gift shop and WiFi at the Visitors Center
  • Admission is $10 for adults and $6 for children

Hampton Park


The 60-acre park next to the Citadel is the largest park on the Charleston peninsula. The park is popular with runners, walkers, cyclists, and sunbathers who want to enjoy Charleston's beautiful weather. The park is equipped with public restrooms, a playground, picnic tables, a fitness trail, and free WiFi. Visitors will also enjoy landscaped floral gardens, a pond, and a fountain. The park is open sunrise to sunset and parking is available on-site. 

Highlights of Hampton Park

  • 60-acre park
  • Located next to the Citadel
  • Largest park on the Charleston peninsula
  • Equipped with public restrooms, a playground, picnic tables, a fitness trail, and free WiFi
  • Open sunrise to sunset
  • On-site parking available

Brittlebank Park


The 10-acre park on the edge of the Ashley River is popular with families, fishermen, and attendees of concerts and festivals. The park features trails, paved pathways, a playground, benches, picnic tables, and a fishing pier with a boat dock. The park also has a long narrow stretch of marshlands which is home to birds and hundreds of native wildflower and plant species. An off-leash area for dogs is available at the north end of the park. The park is open sunrise to sunset and free parking is available.

Highlights of Brittlebank Park

  • 10-acre park
  • Popular with families and fishermen
  • A variety of concerts and festivals are held in the park
  • Park features include trails, a playground, benches, picnic table and a fishing pier.
  • An off-leash area for dogs is available
  • The park is open sunrise to sunset
  • Free parking available

Marion Square


Marion Square, one of Charleston's most popular parks, was initially used to defend against local Native Americans. Today the park is home to the Charleston Farmers Market from April until the end of November. Visitors will find over 100 local vendors including farmers, food concessions, artisans and crafters, live music, and fun activities. The park also hosts various festivals throughout the year including the Food and Wine Festival and the Spoleto Arts Festival. 

Highlights of Marion Square

  • 10-acre property was originally used to defend against local Native Americans
  • Home to the Charleston Farmers Market from April to the end of November
  • Hosts various festivals throughout the year
  • Park features several monuments including the John C. Calhoun Statue and the Holocaust memorial

Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park


Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park is a great place to relax and enjoy beautiful views of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge and the Charleston Harbor. The park, located under the Ravenel bridge, has a 1250-foot long pier which stretches out into Charleston Harbor. Guests can sit on bench swings, relax in rocking chairs, or do a little fishing. The park, which honors local war veterans, has a sculpture with the names of local veterans killed in action. Visitors will also find picnic tables, playground, store, and public restrooms. Open 6 am - 11 pm May - September and 8 am - 11 pm October - April. Admission to the park is free, but the park does charge a $5 daily fishing fee. 

Highlights of Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park

  • Located under the Arthur Ravenel Bridge
  • A 1250-foot long pier with swings and rocking chairs 
  • Park features local war veterans memorial
  • Picnic tables, playground, store, and public restrooms 
  • Open 6 am - 11 pm May - Sept. and 8 am - 11 pm Oct. - April. 
  • Free admission and parking
  • $5 daily fishing fee

Folly Beach County Park


Folly Beach County Park is located on the west end of Folly Island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Folly River. Amenities include outdoor showers, restrooms, picnic tables and a boardwalk. Seasonal amenities include lifeguards, beach chair and umbrella rentals, and snack bar. The park is open Sept. - Apr. 10 am - Sunset and May - Labor Day 9 am - 8 pm. Parking fees for the park are $5 Nov. - Feb., March $5 during the week and $10 on the weekend, Apr. $10 every day, May - Labor Day $10 during the week and $15 on the weekend, September $10 every day, and October $5 during the week and $10 on the weekend. Parking is limited so you will need to arrive early.  

Highlights of Folly Beach County Park

  • Located at the west end of Folly Island
  • Outdoor showers, restrooms, picnic tables and a boardwalk
  • Seasonal amenities include lifeguards, beach chair and umbrella rentals, and a snack bar
  • Open 9 am - sunset May - Labor Day and 10 am - sunset Sept. - April. 
  • Parking fees are $5 every day in the winter, $5 during the week and $10 on the weekends in the spring and fall, and $10 during the week and $15 on the weekend during the summer.
  • Parking is limited so arrive early during the busy summer season

Isle of Palms County Park


Isle of Palms County Park offers a beautiful oceanfront swimming area with seasonal lifeguards on duty.  Other amenities include boardwalks, changing area, playground, restrooms, and a picnic area with grills. Seasonal amenities include beach chair and umbrella rentals, snack bar, outdoor showers and a retail store. The park is open Sept. - Apr. 10 am - Sunset and May - Labor Day 9 am - 8 pm. Parking fees for the park are $5 Nov. - Feb., March $5 during the week and $10 on the weekend, Apr. $10 every day, May - Labor Day $10 during the week and $15 on the weekend, September $10 every day, and October $5 during the week and $10 on the weekend. Parking is limited so you will need to arrive early. 

Highlights of Isle of Palms County Park

  • Located in the center of Isle of Palms
  • Boardwalks, changing area, playground, restrooms, and a picnic area with grills
  • Seasonal amenities include beach chair and umbrella rentals, snack bar and retail store. 
  • Open 9 am - sunset May - Labor Day and 10 am - sunset Sept. - April. 
  • Parking fees are $5 every day in the winter, $5 during the week and $10 on the weekends in the spring and fall, and $10 during the week and $15 on the weekend during the summer.
  • Parking is limited so arrive early during the busy summer season

Kiawah Beachwalker Park


Kiawah Beachwalker Park, located on the west end of Kiawah Island, has the only public beach access on the island. The park offers year-round amenities including a dressing area, picnic tables with grills, boardwalk, and public restrooms. Seasonal amenities include beach chair and umbrella rentals, lifeguards, outdoor showers, and snack bar. The park is open Sept. - Apr. 10 am - Sunset and May - Labor Day 9 am - 8 pm. Parking fees for the park are $5 Nov. - Feb., March $5 during the week and $10 on the weekend, Apr. $10 every day, May - Labor Day $10 during the week and $15 on the weekend, September $10 every day, and October $5 during the week and $10 on the weekend. 

Highlights of Kiawah Beachwalker Park

  • Located at the west end of Kiawah Island
  • The park has the only public access on the island
  • Dressing area, picnic tables with grill, boardwalk and public restrooms
  • Seasonal amenities include lifeguards, beach chair and umbrella rentals and a snack bar
  • Open 9 am - sunset May - Labor Day and 10 am - sunset Sept. - April. 
  • Parking fees are $5 every day in the winter, $5 during the week and $10 on the weekends in the spring and fall, and $10 during the week and $15 on the weekend during the summer.
  • Parking is limited so arrive early during the busy summer season

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