Here are the top 8 tourist attractions to see in Charleston:

1. Folly Beach

Folly Beach

13 km
from city center
1 out of 8
places to visit in Charleston

Rated as one of the best beaches in South Carolina, Folly Beach is a barrier island beach frequented by locals as it is located at a short drive from Downtown Charleston. Despite being so popular, Folly Beach, also known as the Edge of America, has retained its small-town charm. It is a great spot for water sports like surfing, boating and kayaking. Besides its waves, which is a favourite among surfers, Folly beach is a great place to spend time with its restaurant scenes, beach bars, skate park and live music.

2. Sullivans Island Beach

Sullivans Island Beach

9 km
from city center
2 out of 8
places to visit in Charleston

A favourite among Charleston locals, Sullivan’s Island sports a scenic beach which stretches across the horizon. From here, one can get breathtaking views of Fort Sumter, Charleston’s Battery Row and Morris Island Lighthouse. With natural beauty and very little commercial development, this beach has miles of shoreline to sit back and enjoy the sun and sand. During summers, there are a host of beach activities that one can engage in. The beach has a few short term rentals but no hotels to stay at, so it is better to plan a day.

3. Kiawah Island Beach

Kiawah Island Beach

27 km
from city center
3 out of 8
places to visit in Charleston

Regarded as one of the most beautiful barrier islands in Southern Charleston, Kiawah Island Beach has over ten miles of flawless coastline which offers pristine views. It is popular not just for its sand, but also for its underwater beauty, with numerous species like Loggerhead sea turtles and Bottlenose dolphins, which can be spotted at times. Kids can enjoy beach recreations like building sandcastles, bike riding, beach seining, beachcombing, and many more. So whether you decide to bask in the sun or enjoy some water sports, this idyllic beach is an absolute must.

4. Bull Island Beach

Bull Island Beach

0 km
from city center
4 out of 8
places to visit in Charleston

Located just a few miles away from Downtown, in Awendaw, South Carolina, Bull Island is one great outdoor spot for birdwatching, Kayaking and trails along the waterfront. Despite being a picturesque beach, people mostly come here for its wide variety of wildlife including alligators, otters, dolphins and flamingos. To spend a day on Bull’s Island beach, take the Garris Landing Ferry and reach this nature's paradise to soak in all the sun and nature’s creation.

5. Edisto Beach

Edisto Beach

49 km
from city center
5 out of 8
places to visit in Charleston

Edisto beach is a rare find in Charleston, ideal for a beach day with your family or a long camping trip as well. It is a long drive away from Charleston's main parts, but the peace and calm surroundings make it a must-visit family getaway spot. One can enjoy small-town serenity away from the hustle and bustle of the city, at Edisto Beach. Besides being a great spot for sunbathing, it offers a great shelling experience for die-hard collectors. Just head over to Jeremy’s Inlet during low tide and sift through the seashells, fossils as well as shark’s teeth lying ashore.

6. Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms

13 km
from city center
6 out of 8
places to visit in Charleston

Isle of Palms is the first choice when it comes to a nice family day at the beach. Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway, this lovely stretch of sand boasts of a host of recreational activities for all ages. There is a marina, golf and tennis court, shark holes for kids, and many more. It is well-equipped for safety, with beachfront lifeguards, and has other amenities like restrooms and shower areas. You can also spot fishers during the wee hours, waiting for their catch of the day.

7. Seabrook Island Beaches

Seabrook Island Beaches

27 km
from city center
7 out of 8
places to visit in Charleston

Also known as Simmons Island, this is a barrier island located within Charleston County with two serene beaches: the Pelican Beach and North Beach. Both these beaches are wonderful, spanning over seven square miles. The sunsets on Pelican Beach look straight out of a painting and cannot be missed. This beach is appropriate for swimming, floating and building sandcastles. North Beach is mostly known for its vast wildlife, ranging from turtles to dolphins and numerous other exotic birds.

8. Capers Island

Capers Island

80 km
from city center
8 out of 8
places to visit in Charleston

Caper’s Island has narrow stretches of sand, with palm trees lined all along. With very little development and rich history attached to this beach, it remains secluded from Charleston's other popular beaches. Still, if you are someone who wants to visit a quiet and secluded sandy beach but some great sunset views, then this is the one for you. But do keep in mind that this beach is not commercialised yet, so there is literally nothing on the beach.

Top Hotels In Charleston

FAQs on Charleston

How can I commute within Charleston?

The best way to get the complete essence of Charleston is to get around on foot. For faraway spots, you have the options of taking a taxi, bus or trolley. Trolleys are totally free to use; and while taxis can be booked on reasonable rates, buying a 1 or 3 day bus pass would let you hit all the major attractions in a bus. You can also rent a car and drive on your own, if you're okay with paying a lot of bucks for parking.
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What are the top hotels in Charleston?

There are 275 Hotels in Charleston which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Charleston are Live Oaks River House, Waterway, Celtic Carriage House, KING ST DISTRICT - Walk Everywhere!, KING STREET- Historic Renovation w/ Parking+Bikes!, Fiddlers Marsh. You can see all the hotels in Charleston here
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