For the ultimate southern charm, look no further than Charleston, South Carolina. There are plenty of things for kids here and a number of reasons to make this your next family vacation spot.
Beaches! Sullivan’s Island is a quick drive outside Charleston, maybe only 15 minutes. You’ll find some gorgeous southern homes with wrap-around porches facing the ocean – total house eye candy! The downside is there are no public restrooms. We did see some dolphins here and the girls really liked that, and there is a small strip with casual dining restaurants and a playground.
Isle of Palms is another great beach to visit. Beach parking is easy to find and there are plenty of restrooms/showers. There are a few beach shops and quick service restaurants to choose from. Try the mango smoothie from Island Joe’s!
Playgrounds. Downtown Charleston doesn’t have many, but we found one near The Battery area called East Bay Playground. It’s small and fenced in, the swings are shaded, and there are restrooms here.
For a playground with some views, go to the Mt. Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park under the Ravenel Bridge. This playground is pretty big and entirely fenced in, and it’s also shaded by the bridge above. There is a pier to walk out on for a better view of the harbor. We brought lunch here and ate at one of the tables before the girls played.
Sullivan’s Island has a playground near the restaurants. There is a cute playhouse here and plenty of swings for all ages.
The Battery. This is not to be missed! The trees in this park are dreamy and make for the best background to your pictures by the harbor or by those huge antebellum-style, historic Charleston homes. Be sure to also take a walk along the Promenade here for views of surrounding areas such as Fort Sumter and Sullivan’s Island.
Dining. What’s a trip to Charleston without some Shrimp & Grits? The list of restaurants to try is endless, and it seems like you simply can’t go wrong. Our favorite meal was at Blossom on E Bay Street, mostly due to the great food & service, and because the girls were wonderful. We also had great meals from Fuel, Basil, Hominy Grill, and Five Loaves Café. Any of them are worth trying! For dessert, don’t miss Jeni’s Ice Cream or Cupcake Down South.
Attractions. Still looking for something else to do in Charleston? There are lots of attractions and ways to spend the day here. We visited the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier at Patriot’s Point and loved it! Kids under 6 are free and adult tickets are $20 and valid all day long. You can get up close to old helicopters and fighter jets, and even sit in one! Or you can visit the USS Clamagore submarine and Vietnam Experience Exhibit.
Other things to do in Charleston include the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, Waterfront Park (shown above), Charleston Aquarium, Ravenel Bridge Walk, and visiting a plantation such as Boone Hall. My childhood best friend got married here in 2014 (and so did Blake Lively & Ryan Reynolds!) and it is simply gorgeous! Kids will love it!
What are some of your favorite things to do in Charleston? We know we’re coming back for another visit and we’d love to try some new things too!