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Things to do in Charleston

From strolling around the city’s quaint streets to sunbathing in one of its beautiful beaches, there are plenty of things to do in Charleston. Check out the impressive stained glass windows at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, which tell the story of Christ. The church is especially stunning when it’s decorated for Christmas. The oldest landscaped gardens in the country are at the Middleton Place, an 18th century rice plantation with carefully manicured lawns, colorful accents of magnolias, roses and camellias, and elegant swans swimming across its lakes.

If you’re traveling with kids, they’ll love the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, where they can pretend to be swashbuckling pirates, try on a fireman uniform, or explore the secret passageways of the Medieval Creativity Castle. Family fun is also guaranteed at Charleston’s beaches. Surfers shouldn’t miss Folly Beach, the home to dolphins, turtles and bald eagles, while couples won’t want to leave the serenity of Seabrook Island’s sand dunes. Explore the city’s historical district, and marvel at the antebellum mansions, the historic churches, gardens and courtyards, and don’t forget to take a photo at Rainbow Row, a series of 13 colorful houses on East Bay Street.

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  • Billy Reid

    The designs of Billy Reid—whose boutique empire stretches from Charleston to Dallas—would have looked just as dashing on your great-grandfather. More
  • B'zar

    Edgy King Street outpost for trendy clothes and gear. More
  • Drayton Hall

    A 1742 plantation on the Ashley River run by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. More
  • Dulles Designs

    Founded by Emilie Dulles, who was inspired by her mother’s appreciation of fine stationery, Dulles Designs sells high quality stationery and paper ... More
  • Edmondston-Alston House

    The Greek Revival Edmondston-Alston House, which is open for public tours throughout the year. More
  • Elizabeth Stuart Design

    For furniture, handmade jewelry, vintage lighting fixtures, and regional cookbooks. More
  • Grady Ervin & Co.

    A classic men's store with its own line of seersucker suits. More
  • Historic Charleston Foundation

    Operates the Nathaniel Russell and Aiken-Rhett houses and sponsors the Festival of Houses & Gardens every spring. Advance tickets available. More
  • Historic Charleston Reproductions Shop

    Shop for distinctive local items such as linens inspired by the houses of Rainbow Row. More
  • Magar Hatworks

    The fantastic creations of couture milliner Leigh Magar have inspired a devoted cult following. More
  • Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

    This 1676 spread has welcomed visitors since shortly after the end of the Civil War. More
  • Middleton Place

    This 1741 historic plantation has an exquisite formal garden. More
  • Moo Roo

    Local designer Mary Norton's scarves, brooches, and handbags have attracted the likes of Sharon Stone and Oprah Winfrey. More
  • Old Slave Mart Museum

    An intelligent museum in a former slave-trade sales room. More

Explore things to do in South Carolina for more options.

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