Charleston, South Carolina is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and there are more Charleston SC attractions than you can “shake a stick at” (a southern phrase you may hear while visiting). Yep, it’s true, there’s more to this amazing city than just grits, sweet tea, and palmettos. Let’s dig into 6 family-friendly Charleston SC attractions to enjoy if you have at least one older kid or teen in tow, shall we?!
Charleston SC Attractions
We lived part-time in this captivating city for about seven months when Superman’s job required it. I was certainly up for the challenge! We fell in love with its Southern charm and out of all of the family travel coverage I write, this is one of my most beloved places. Below are just a few of the many Charleston SC attractions that parents AND older kiddos can enjoy together.
PIRATE & WAR STORIES
You may have heard that there’s a lot of Civil War history in Charleston. Did you know that there’s probably more Revolutionary and pirate history than any other American city?
You’d never know that the serene White Point Gardens (that border “The Battery” seawall right across from the sea fort of Fort Sumter), where many can be spotted strolling through the brick-paved walkways or reading a book under the canopy of Southern oak trees is the same spot of fascinating pirate stories. Teens will be fascianted to know that it’s where Blackbeard blockaded Charleston and gentleman pirate Stede Bonnet was hanged along with 5o others. Find out more Charleston pirate history on a historical carriage ride or Charleston pirate tours.
Charleston’s historic City Market has hundreds of artists and craftspeople selling their wares like sweetgrass baskets and more. Some of our favorite Charleston SC attractions, however, are the sweet shops along one side of the City Market. Savannah’s Candy Kitchen of Charleston and Fudgery Inc will let you sample one of their goodies like fudge or pralines. The Five and Dime and Moon Pie General Store are two other favorites stores that we enjoy.
You know you’re in a shopping mecca of the world when the street names are King, Queen, and George and known as the King Street Fashion District. Boutique stores like Spartina 449 and the shops at Belmond Charleston Place will leave you speechless. My daughter and I found a feminine place that had so much wall-to-wall jewelry and plush pink furnishings that we must have stayed for an hour!
The sometimes Gothic architecture of these churches and cemeteries leave me spellbound with their iron gates, angel statues, and historic graves. We love meandering through and reading the gravestones – some as far back as the 1600s. St. Philip’s Church contains the graves of signers of the Declaration of Independence like Edward Rutledge and Charles Pinckney.
Charleston is called The Holy City due to the religious freedom offered to many diverse houses of worship. St. Michael’s Protestant Episcopal Church, St. Phillip’s, Brith Sholom Beth Israel Synagogue of Charleston, and The French Huguenot Church have some of the most jaw-dropping architecture. Taking a walk around the grounds and hearing their history is pretty fun. Watch the video below to find out why some people had to pay for their church seats:
CHARLESTON WALKING TOUR
One of the most fun Charleston SC attractions we’ve experienced with our older kids is just walking the city on a self-guided tour. My suggestion is to get your hands on the Charleston Walking Tour and Travel Guide right away. This handy dandy guide includes routes, photos, and maps of the best way to experience the best of Charleston on your own timing. There is a mobile guide with this pamphlet purchase as well.
Which of these Charleston SC attractions will you visit first with your teen or older kiddo?