Charleston, SC is my favorite city in the world! The historical sites to see are numerous, the food is wonderful, and it is near some of the best beaches on the east coast! If you are planning a trip to Charleston, don’t miss out on some great opportunities to teach your child about US history while enjoying your time in America’s favorite tourist destination. There is so much to do in Charleston!
General tips on a Charleston trip with kids:
- Charleston is a very walkable and bike-friendly city. If you stay in or near the historic area, you can walk to most of the sites.
- Public transportation: There is a free shuttle in the historic area called DASH.
- There are numerous parking garages throughout the historic area, along with street parking.
- Food: Charleston is known for its amazing and innovative restaurants, especially those featuring Southern cuisine. Many of these award-winning restaurants are not kid-friendly, so you will want to do some research before you go. Some of my favorite restaurants that are kid-friendly include: Virginia’s on King, Fleet Landing Restaurant, Jestine’s Kitchen, and Poogan’s Porch. Don’t miss the biscuit counter by Callie at the Charleston City Market. While in Charleston, you have to try pimento cheese, she crab soup, and benne wafers.
- Lodging: Depending on your vacation plans, you can stay either in the heart of the historic area or at a neighboring beach. There are plenty of hotels in the historic area that are kid-friendly. Check out the Charleston Visitor Center site for more info. A great option with kids is to stay at the nearby Isle of Palms to enjoy some beach time while seeing the city also. Wild Dunes is an expansive resort on the Isle of Palms and has condos as well as homes to rent. There are also other great beaches nearby on Folly and Kiawah, with houses, condos, and hotels available. I have also heard great things about these cottages as well but I have not had the chance to visit yet!
- Websites to help you plan your trip:
- Charleston Visitor Center
- Charleston Heritage Foundation (where you can purchase the Historic Passport for savings on museum entry)
- Historic Charleston Foundation
Don’t miss attractions with kids: Charleston has many kid-friendly attractions for even the smallest of visitors!
- Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
- South Carolina Aquarium
- Horse and buggy tours – one of my favorite things to do in Charleston! Kids love riding behind a horse and you get to hear historical stories and see beautiful homes! See this page on the Visitor Center’s site to learn more.
- Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum
- Surrounded on three sides by water, Charleston is a great place to take a water cruise or boat tour. You will likely see dolphins swimming along with you!
Historical sites: Check back often for more of these sites to be reviewed by The History Mom! Note that only sites reviewed by The History Mom are marked with *. Other links are external links to the museum’s own web site.
- *Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
- *Charleston Museum
- *South Carolina Historical Society
- *Fort Sumter
- The Powder Magazine
- Charles Towne Landing
- Historic Charleston Battery/Whitepoint Gardens: Your kids will love exploring the cannons that defended Charleston while you can enjoy seeing the beautiful harbor. Walking along the Battery is a great way to see the homes of South Battery and East Bay Streets.
- Historic Homes and Plantations (many have family-friendly tours):
- Historic houses of worship: Check out this list on the Visitor Center’s site. No wonder Charleston is called The Holy City!
Books to Read:
- 10 and up:
- 6 and up:
This page is continually updated.
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