Cheap Things To Do In Charleston: 5 Places You’ve Got To Experience

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You probably know that I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Charleston and its horse-drawn carriages, Antebellum mansions, cobblestone streets, and wrought iron gates. Want to know the cheap things to do in Charleston so you can fall in love too without breaking the bank? Cool, because it’s the question I get most …”What are cheap or free things to do in Charleston, SC?” So today, I’m going to be your quick Charleston travel guide for all things cheap and fun for families, because of course, these are all things to do in Charleston SC with kids. Let’s go!

view of cheap things to do in Charleston like seeing Rainbow Rob & the waterfront park


I’d heard about Charleston, South Carolina my whole life, and even though I wasn’t too far away in Georgia, I’d never been. Suddenly, my husband had to work a seven-month stint in the Holy City. We lived partly in South Carolina and partly in Georgia. Although it was a lot to keep up with, I was thrilled to get to know this southern charmer of a city.

Whether you are a first-timer or you’ve been to the Holy City before, you’ve got to add these family-friendly Charleston SC attractions to your list that also happen to be cheap things to do in Charleston. They are completely free or at least very cheap!


view of Angel Oak Tree - cheap things to do in Charleston
Located on Johns Island, this Southern live oak called Angel Oak is believed to be over 400-500 years old. Bring a picnic and stay awhile under this beauty that produces over 17,000 square feet of shade


view of Charleston Marina - cheap things to do in Charleston
Enjoy a unique way and inexpensive way to see historic Charleston from the sea aboard the Charleston Water Taxi. You might also see dolphins and manatees as it takes you from the Charleston Harbor to other waterfront parts of the city.


view of Rainbow Homes of Charleston - cheap things to do in Charleston
Take the scenic route and drive around by 1) Charleston Battery and White Point Gardens, to 2) Rainbow Row Houses, 3) King Street Shopping District, and 4) French Huguenot Church


close up view of tea leaves - tea plantation is cheap things to do in Charleston
Visit the only place American classic tea is grown & made in the US: Charleston Tea Plantation


view of Charleston City Market - cheap things to do in Charleston
Located right smack dab in the center of Downtown Charleston on Meeting Street, the Historic Charleston City Market is a must-see, jeremy polanski, cc


  • What is there to do in Charleston at night on the cheap?

Of course one of our favorite parts of visiting any new travel destination is to eat our way through the city. The best places to eat in Charleston are numerous but a couple that I would suggest for families are the Charleston Grill and the Brown Dog Deli. After dinner, stroll through the historic streets on a self-guided walking tour or let one of the five Charleston Carriage companies escort you my moonlight (they are all priced about the same).

  • What is there to do in Downtown Charleston on the cheap?

As mentioned above, the Charleston City Market is a must-see. One of my very favorite things to do in Downtown Charleston is to visit the unique vendors and chat with the super sweet Gullah ladies about their handmade sweetgrass creations and their culture. Visit the Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon that over the last 250 years has been a commercial exchange, custom house, post office, city hall, military headquarters (jail for pirates), and now a museum.


If you are going anywhere near the beach or outdoors, these travel shoe bags keep the dirt, sand, and germs away from your other packed items like clothes. These are waterproof and have a zipper so that the yuck is trapped inside!


I hope these family vacation ideas help you. Feel free to ask your questions in the comments because I’d love to know what you think.


Want to share any cheap things to do in Charleston ideas for families with us? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!


Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, and more, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist with a passion for helping women lose the overwhelm of planning family-friendly trips in the south. She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about Georgia, Florida, & the Carolinas vacations.

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️


1 Comment

  1. Julia Jordan
    June 21, 2017 / 8:36 am

    Charleston is one of my favorite places to visit. I try to make a trip a few times a year. I’ve never used the water taxi – thanks for the information.

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