Free Things To Do In Charleston Sc

If you’re looking for a place where you can enjoy yourself on a very low budget without having to spend money for sightseeing or visiting, you should pay Charleston, SC a visit. Located on the Atlantic coast of South Carolina the city offers a great variety of free attractions and activities to both its residents as well as its visitors. It doesn’t make a difference if you are attracted to those amazing Atlantic beaches or the intriguing history of the city, there will be at least a few things that you will want to do when in the Holy City.

Visiting the city of Charleston, SC can be expensive, or extremely affordable. Your wallet doesn’t have to suffer too hard of a blow for you and your family to enjoy some amazing attractions. So in order to make sure that you will enjoy your stay in this historic city without too much of an expense on your bank account, we came up with this list of some of the best attractions available in Charleston, SC that are free of charge. Like that you’ll be able to indulge in some Lowcountry cuisine and some historic places to lay your head. If you’re looking, however, for a place to lay your head for a longer period of time and want to enjoy everything that the city has to offer then get in touch with real estate agents in Charleston, SC and find a great home for your family.

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge

For a perfect run, walk or scenic view in Charleston, SC you will find an engineering masterpiece. The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge has been standing since 2005, having replaced the former Pearman Bridge as a way to connect the downtown area of Charleston, SC to Mount Pleasant. Having a length of 2.5 miles, the cable-stayed suspension bridge is sustained by two towers that are shaped like two large diamonds through which the bridge runs. As we mentioned runs or walks, you can imagine that this isn’t a bridge that was only meant for cars, although over 80,000 cars go over it every single day across its eight lanes. For pedestrians there’s a 12 foot wide path available that honors a victim of bicycle-vehicle collision, Garrett Wonders. The bike and pedestrian lane named Wonders’ Way is safely separated from the road and offers some amazing views of the Copper River, Charleston Peninsula, Mount Pleasant marina and Charleston harbor.

Traveling tips: take a walk or run in the morning or at dusk as it is less crowded and for more excitement join the annual Cooper River Bridge Run.

Folly Beach

The small coastal beach town of Folly Beach is a great opportunity to spend some time in the waves for free. As it is only 20 minutes away from downtown Charleston, many residents of the big city come here to enjoy the water activities. This destination is particularly popular with students, surfers or tourists all year long as, besides the waves, there are plenty of bars and restaurants just by the beach. A main attraction on Folly Beach is located in the center and busiest area of the island, the Folly Beach Pier is the second longest pier available on the east coast at precisely 1,045 ft. You will find many people fishing or simply enjoying the great views of the beach. On the western edge of the island is the Folly Beach County Park where you can find amenities such as showers, changing rooms and picnic areas where most surfers go to be able to enjoy the waves. In the other part of the island you’ll find the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve with a great view of the Lighthouse on Morris Island.

Traveling tips: alcohol is prohibited while pets aren’t allowed during the summer season ( May 1st - September 30th)

Angel Oak

Located on Johns Island and as only a third of the Island has been annexed by Charleston, SC in 1991, the Angel Oak can be found in Angel Oak Park on the property of the city, around 12 miles away from downtown Charleston. A tree of this magnitude will surely leave a lasting impact as its branches provide shade for around 17,000 square feet. Yes, we checked and we double checked. That one oak is just that large. With a circumference of 28 feet at its base and the largest branch distance from tip to tip being 187 feet, not to mention the height of 66.5 feet, this one Angel Oak is presumed to be, one of the oldest things in the country. Presumed because while some say that it’s 400-500 years old, it is also said to be 1,500 years old. The sheer size of this oak makes people come only to visit it from all over the country and it’s a must-see for anyone who ventures around Charleston, SC. 

Traveling tips: Do not touch or climb on the branches that are either lower or on the ground.

Charleston Tea Plantation

This plantation had started out as a potato farm of around 127-acre, while the tea plants were grown in Summerville, SC on the Pinehurst Tea Plantation. The first tea plants brought to America were brought from China in the 1700’s and it was the Camellia Sinensis plant. For the next 150 years many have tried to successfully inaugurate a tea plantation on US soil but only in 1888 it was finally managed to do so on the Pinehurst Tea Plantation. After the owner died in 1915 the teas were abandoned and grew wild for 48 years. Only in 1963 were the trees transplanted to their current location in the Charleston Tea Plantation. Now, all those 127 acres are covered with tea plants and the plantation itself is part of America’s living history. The plantation can be visited free of charge and visitors are encouraged to stroll among the amazing smells of the 300 varieties of tree plants that make up rows upon rows of green lanes.

Traveling tips: for $5 to $10 you can take a Trolly Tour through the farm.

Battery Park & White Point Gardens

This fortified seawall also works as a great promenade that stretches between the Charleston peninsula and the Atlantic Ocean. The Battery offers unique sights of  the historic antebellum mansion as well as Fort Sumter in the White Point Gardens, the USS Yorktown, Castle Pickney (for history buffs), Fort Moultrie and Sullivan’s Island. Many visitors or joggers frequent this spot for a casual afternoon spent outdoors. In White Point Gardens there are many historical sites as the downtown area of Charleston played quite a significant role in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. You can spend an afternoon having a stroll on the elevated Battery path that meets the ocean after which, descend to the White Point Gardens and enjoy a nice picnic lunch.

Traveling tip: Walking around White Point Gardens you will see several statues and the whole area is very close to the historical area of Charleston.

Sullivan’s Island

Charleston is known for small barrier islands among other things and another charming little beach town that is located on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean is Sullivan’s Island. You will find it 10 miles away from downtown Charleston, SC, a short 20 minute drive and you’ll be there right after you cross the Ben Sawyer Bridge. While the island only has 3.3 square miles both tourists and residents of Charleston find themselves taking family-day trips on this island or one week long vacations. As the island is under a strict preservation plan there aren’t any major hotels or motels available on the island so the only options for accommodations are rental homes that can be rented for periods of one week at a time. In contradiction to the limitations for lodging facilities on the island there are a wide variety of family owned restaurants, bars and fine dining restaurants with both indoor and outdoor seating and great relaxing atmosphere.

Traveling tip: If you find any Sand Dollars on the shore make sure that you do NOT take any that are still alive. The live ones are dark brown or purple and fuzzy. The dead ones are white and smooth. The fine for killing a Sand Dollar is $500.


The city of Charleston, SC will make you feel like you’re on holiday with its mild tropical climate and location on the Atlantic Ocean’s coast. The Atlantic beaches attract visitors of all ages from both outside the metropolitan area and locals, young students, romantic couples or active seniors. The Folly Beach is perfect for surfers or jet ski enthusiasts while Sullivan’s Island is family-friendly with children appropriate surroundings.

Let us know what you think of this largest and oldest town of South Carolina and whether you’d be interested in paying it a visit. Like & Share this with friends and family as the city has been voted time and time again as the best city in the U.S. for good reason.