Headed to Charleston soon with the family and don’t know where to even begin? Not to worry, this city hosts plenty of fun and kid-friendly activities to keep everyone entertained and foster a memorable trip! For the 6th year in a row, Charleston was recently named the #1 U.S. city by Travel + Leisure. And for good reason! Between the rich history, quaint streets, delicious food, exquisite shopping, gorgeous seaside sunsets, and so much more, there truly is something for everyone. Here are our favorite family activities to keep you busy and maximize your stay in Charleston.
There’s no better way to begin your Charleston adventure than with a horse-drawn carriage tour! Your children will love being carried around via horse and buggy and you’ll all enjoy roaming the quaint streets of downtown Charleston led by some of the city’s best historians. The tours last about one hour and give you a great snapshot of the rich history and traditions of the area.
Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum
Give your family an unforgettable experience at Patriots Point, which is home to three museum ships. The USS Yorktown, a WWII era aircraft carrier, is the venue’s most notable point of interest. Visitors will have the chance to tour the entirety of the 872ft long ship, seeing hallmarks from its hay day and experiencing what life on the ship was like during numerous of our nation’s 20th century wars. Your family will also enjoy exploring the USS Laffey destroyer, USS Clamagore submarine, and the abundance of kid-oriented activities and learning opportunities.
Home to more than ten thousand plants and animals as well as the deepest tank in North America, your family will love seeing all of the wildlife at the Charleston Aquarium. You will all enjoy watching the otters, alligators, sharks, owls, and 700 other animals play and interact with one another. Your visit will even be supporting the aquarium’s Sea Turtle Care Center where local debilitated turtles are taken in for rehabilitation and receive the care they need, all due to your generous support.
Give your little beach bums some time to roam Charleston’s gorgeous stretches of sand. One of the local favorites is Folly Beach, where you can surf some waves, try out paddleboarding, fish off the dock, catch a sunset, and even spot some dolphins! The town’s chill vibe welcomes tourists to explore and enjoy the restaurants and souvenir shops lining the streets. If you prefer a more quiet oasis, check out the beaches on Sullivan’s Island or Isle of Palms, where locals showcase their extravagant homes and beachfront properties.
There are lots of family-friendly restaurants in Charleston, so you should have no problem finding something you will all enjoy. Southern influences are showcased at most places, accompanied by fresh seafood. A few of the local favorites are 5Church, Coast Bar & Grill, Fleet Landing, Indaco, and SOL Southwest Kitchen. Give a Charleston classic a try, like shrimp and grits, fried chicken and biscuits, she crab soup and fried green tomatoes. Whether you are looking to treat your family to a dinner of excellence and elegance or keep it casual and fun, there are so many options for you to choose from and keep your little travelers’ stomachs satisfied.
Nothing is better than a sweet treat, especially on a hot South Carolina day. Some of the best ice creams can be found at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, which is known for its creative flavors and high-quality ingredients. Give their famous Supermoon flavor (tastes like marshmallow cereal milk) a try or, heck, try them all! Another great choice is the local chain favorite, Ye Old Fashion Ice Cream and Sandwich Cafe. With large portions and six locations, they truly know how to cater to the ice cream lover in all of us.
If you are planning a family trip to Charleston, seek comfort in knowing you chose the right destination! This city truly has something for everyone and enough fun to keep your kids entertained all day long. No matter their ages or interests, we can guarantee you will all have a great time and enjoy everything that Charleston has to offer. We can guarantee lots of amazing memories that will keep you coming back year after year!