Top 15 Free Things to Do in Charleston

Charleston holds a special place in my heart. I love to visit this old city in the south and be transported back in time. That being said, I...

Charleston holds a special place in my heart. I love to visit this old city in the south and be transported back in time. That being said, I love to travel on a budget and find things to do that I can enjoy for free. Here is a list of my top 15 favorite things to do in the Holy City that don't cost a thing (unless you choose to buy anything while shopping, etc).

  1. Farmers Markets Charleston's farmer market runs every Saturday in Marion Square with local farmers, food vendors, artists, crafts, and unique goods. It's a lovely way to spend a lazy Saturday morning perusing the aisles while sipping a fresh smoothie and snacking on your favorite foods.
    Address: 329 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29403 (843) 724-7305
  2. Blue Bicycle Books Follow your stroll through Marion Square and the farmers market with a trip to my favorite Charleston bookstore. Blue Bicycle Books might look small from the front but it goes back 172ft filled with new and used books. You can get lost for hours here reading and searching for just the right book.
    Address: 420 King St, Charleston, SC 29403 (843) 722-2666
  3. Rainbow Row A popular photo opt location for locals and tourists alike. This colorful row of houses was built in the 1700s before becoming the "Rainbow Row" in the 1930's when they were remodeled and painted the colors they are today.
    Address: 83 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29401

  4. King Street Shopping to die for. This historic street is a meeting of our modern love of fashion and home. They have everything from designer labels, H&M, antique shops, boutiques, and local shops you won't find anywhere else. If you want to enjoy it for free you can enjoy some incredible window shopping just for fun. Address: King Street Downtown Charleston
  5. Waterfront Park A 12-acre park with views of the Charleston Harbor and Cooper River Bridge. Stunning fountains, relaxing swings, benches, and pathways along the water make for a great afternoon of strolling and taking it easy. Pack a picnic to have while you sit in front of your favorite fountain overlooking the water.
    Address: 1 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC 29401

  6. Cooper River Bridge This Charleston icon is also known as the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, this cable-stayed bridge over the Cooper River connects downtown to Mount Pleasant.
    Address: Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge, Charleston, SC 29403

  7. Tour Historical Graveyards The Holy City has some incredibly old southern graveyards that are spectacular. You can walk through the gardens and graveyards touring tombstones dating back to the 1600s and 1700s. The Circular Church Graveyard of the Circular Church is possibly one of the oldest English burial grounds still in existence in Charleston. There are a lot of informational signs around that you can read to learn from, or you can usually ask one of the staff around about some of the history of the church and cemetery.
    Address: 150 Meeting Street Charleston, SC 29401
  8. Charleston City Market This small market has everything from local jewelry, food, art, sweetgrass baskets, and a multitude of trinkets and knick-knacks. The market opened over 220 years ago and is surrounded by cobblestone streets.
    Address: 188 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401

  9. Walk Around Historic Downtown I love nothing more than to walk around in historic downtown and time travel to the past with the unique architecture and cobblestone streets. Explore the streets and see all the lovely Georgian and antebellum style homes and courtyards.

  10. Battery Park End your walk around historic downtown at this gorgeous public park and garden along the waterfront. Its paved paths, military statues, canons, and picnic areas a perfect place to have a picnic or take some pictures along the water. 
    Address: 2 Murray Blvd, Charleston, SC 29401

  11. Art Galleries Downtown Charleston is teaming with art galleries of all sorts of styles of art. Whether you'r an art expert or just simply like pretty paintings and photos this is a relaxing way to spend the afternoon. 
    Address: 61 Queen Street, Charleston, SC 29401
  12. Folly Beach The closest beach to downtown Charleston, this is a prime location to layout and relax. Walk along the pier or downtown to see the quaint beach town. 
    Address: Folly Beach, SC 29439

  13. Sullivan's Island A lovely little island with southern beach houses and secluded beaches. You can walk or ride bicycles around the island and visit the Charleston Light lighthouse and Fort Moultrie.
    Address: 1815 Ion Ave, Sullivan's Island, SC 29482
  14. Charles Pinckney House & Historical Site Charles Pinckney signed the United States Constitution-of which he was a principal author. His coastal plantation is now a national historic site and museum that showcases the story of the "forgotten founder," his Snee Farm, and the impact of slave labour on South Carolina Lowcountry plantations and on Charles Pinckney himself.
    Address: 1254 Long Point Rd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464 (843) 881-5516

  15. Angel Oak TreeEstimated to be 1,500 years old the Angel Oak Tree has giant branches that creep and crawl all over the ground. This ginormous old live tree is less than 25 minutes from downtown Charleston on John’s Island.
    Address: 3671 Angel Oak Rd, Johns Island, SC 29455
Have you ever been to Charleston? 
What are you favorite free things to do? 

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  1. One day I'll get to this beauty of a place! Some bloggers that I've read for years and years, now moved here from other places around the USA. Such a gorgeous getaway.

  2. I have never been but it looks so very pretty actually more like beautiful. I can see it through your photos.

  3. I've never been to Charleston, but after reading this I'm definitely intrigued to see what the city has to offer.

  4. Charleston is on the To Be Visited list. Thanks for sharing these sights.

    1. Absolutely! Glad I could share. Hope these help you with planning ideas too whenever you go.