Best Time to Catch the Sunset in CharlestonDepending upon the season or time of the year you visit Charleston, the sunset timings may vary slightly, even though the city doesn’t prominently experience all four seasons.
Sunset in Spring: Spring in Charleston generally lasts between March and May, and the sun sets between 6:20 pm and 7:40, keeping in mind the Daylight Saving Time. The weather is quite pleasant this time of the year and you would find a cool breeze flowing, and there are trees and flowers in bloom. It is an ideal time to head over the beach to witness the sunset.
Sunset in Summer: Given that Charleston has a subtropical climate, the summers, which stretch over June, July and August, are generally on the warmer side. During these months, the sun sets much later in the day, close to 8:30 pm, and it allows for an opportunity to witness the beautiful sight and have a night out in the city afterwards. While rooftops would be excellent to catch the sunset, perhaps make your way over to a beach to enjoy the cool breeze as well.
Sunset in Autumn: Charleston generally experiences autumn between September and November, and the sunset during this time is between 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm. It is one of the best times to visit the Holy City, since the weather is quite agreeable; the evenings cool and the afternoons warm. An excellent way to watch the sun go down is to book a carriage tour! Go on a city tour and get to see the hues of the sky change, or head over to the pier or the beach for a more peaceful experience.
Sunset in Winter: The winter season is an excellent time to visit Charleston since it doesn’t get too cold here, and there is holiday cheer everywhere. December to February are the winter months here, and during this time, the sunsets between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm. The temperatures remain within 40 and 60 degrees fahrenheit and it is pleasurable to go out into the city, and to a beach, park or a rooftop to catch the sunset.
10 Ideal Spots to Catch the Sunset in Charleston
1. Kiawah Island
A barrier island outside of Charleston, Kiawah Island is a popular destination for a day out. Take a car out to the island if you want to catch the sun go down since it has a beach which is an ideal sunset spot. You can drive there earlier in the day and take advantage of the various golf courses, the 10-mile shoreline suitable for biking and walking, and the creeks and Kiawah River known for fishing, boating, canoeing and kayaking. Freshfields Village is an open-air shopping centre which has several stores and restaurants.
Distance from Charleston: 25.5 miles (45 minutes)
Stores and restaurants nearby: Holly & Brooks, Indigo Books, JAYNE, Cantina 76, Fuji Sushi Bar & Grill, Java Java etc.
2. Memorial Waterfront Park
Memorial Waterfront Park is located in Mount Pleasant, below the Arthur Ravenel Bridge, and overlooks the Cooper River. There is a pier over the river that serves as an excellent spot to watch the sunset and walk and fish. Several paved biking trails, a playground for children, picnic tables where you can sit and eat, a cafe and a gift shop on site. Dogs are allowed in the park, but not on the pier, and the area is equipped with restrooms and drinking water.
Address: 99 Harry M. Hallman Jr Blvd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464, United States
Timings: 6:00 am to 11:00 pm
3. Bulls Island
Bulls Island is situated within the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge north of Charleston and is ideal for witnessing the sunset and wildlife watching. A remote location, the Island features pleasant weather, a beach area and also brackish water impoundments. It is only accessible through the Bulls Island Ferry from Garris Landing. It offers gorgeous views of the sunset and has diverse wildlife, flora, and several endangered species, such as red cedar juniper, seagulls, bottlenose dolphins and more.
Address: Bull Island, South Carolina 29429, United StatesDistance from Charleston: 20.8 miles (about 35 minutes)
Ferry timings: Summers- 9:00 am and 11:00 am (departure), 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm (return), Winters- 10:00 am (departure), 3:00 pm (return)
Ferry cost: USD 40 (adults), USD 20 (ages 3-12), Free (2 and under)
4. Isle of Palms
Isle of Palms is a barrier island not too far from Charleston and an ideal location for a day trip accessible through a car. The Boneyard Beach is great for some walking around in the evening as the sun sets in the background, exploring a maritime forest, playing volleyball and also for picking up a plethora of seashells. You can take a stroll through the Isle of Palms Park, take a boat tour of the island, discover the various houses built for veterans or dine at one of the many restaurants.
Address: Isle of Palms, South Carolina 29451, United States
Distance from Charleston: 12 miles (15-20 minutes)
5. Sullivan’s Island
Sullivan’s Island is both a town and an island situated at Charleston Harbor’s entrance. The site of a major battle during the American Revolution, the island has several historic structures. You can not only visit the Sullivan’s Island Beach for a peaceful sunset watching experience but also go to Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse, a historic location offering a view of the beach and the sunset. Moreover, consider exploring Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter National Monument to understand the island’s historical significance.
Address: Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina 294482, United States
Distance from Charleston: 10 miles (24 minutes)
6. Mount Pleasant
Mount Pleasant is an excellent location to catch the sunset if you don’t mind driving slightly outside Charleston. One of the best sunset spots in the Mount Pleasant Pier provides beautiful views of the sky and Cooper River. Visit Shem Creek Park for its boardwalks, trails, creeks and fishing opportunities, the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum for a historical experience, Splash Island Waterpark for some water fun, Palmetto Islands County Park for a nature walk or Red’s Ice House for delicious seafood.
Distance from Charleston: 9.6 miles (22 minutes)
Attractions: Joe Riley Waterfront Park, Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens, Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, Red’s Ice House etc.
7. Charleston Harbor Marina
Charleston Harbor Marina is a great option for sunset watching since it is set on the Cooper River banks and offers excellent water views. If you are looking for a unique experience, set sail on a boat around sunset or stand on the docks. Another great idea would be to take a boat over to the uninhabited historic Morris Island where you can visit the Morris Island Light on the south of Charleston Harbor’s entrance and walk around on the beach.
Address: 24 Patriots Point Rd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464, United States
Timings: Open 24 hours
8. Brittlebank Park
If you want a quiet location to watch the sunset in Charleston, consider going over to Brittlebank Park near Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park and along the Ashley River. It provides an excellent view of the setting sun against the backdrop of the river. Also, it has wide-open spaces, including trails and paved pathways, suitable for walking and biking, a pier for fishing, benches and picnic tables to sit at, and also a playground for children.
Address: 185 Lockwood Dr, Charleston, SC 29403, United States
Timings: 8:00 am to 7:00 pm
9. Ravenel Bridge
Ravenel Bridge is situated over the Cooper River and connects Charleston to Mount Pleasant. It serves as a great spot to witness the sunset, whether you are in a car just driving by or are walking on the pedestrian path. While the former only lets you catch the view for a short period of time, the latter allows you to stand still for a while as the sky changes colour against Charleston’s beautiful skyline and the river.
Opened: 2005Address: Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge, Charleston, SC 29403, United States
10. Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park
If you are a fan of baseball, a visit to Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park, home of the Charleston RiverDogs, is like killing two birds with one stone since you get to enjoy a game and also witness the sunset. The park is set alongside the Ashley River and provides excellent views of the Lowcountry marsh. Buy tickets to a game, take some friends along, and watch the game with some drinks and snacks as the sky changes colour!
Opened: 1997Address: 360 Fishburne St, Charleston, SC 29403, United StatesOne of the best experiences to have while in Charleston is catching the sunset. You will find that the Holy City has various locations perfect for watching the sky change colours as the sun goes down, and you can engage in some fun activities too as you witness these beautiful sights.