What to do in Charleston, South Carolina with your kids!

Every time vacation planning comes up in my house, Charleston, SC makes the list of places to consider! There is so much history in this town that your kids will learn without even realizing it! Don’t worry though, we will point you in the right direction to find all of the fun as well!

Folly Pier - Things to do with kids in Charleston SC

Places to Stay in Charleston South Carolina:

Charleston is made up of lots of beautiful historic buildings and the hotels are no exception. That being said, if your kids are anything like mine (rough and tumble boys) sometimes the hotels that are really awesome and unique are better saved for a getaway that doesn’t include the kids.

Holiday Inn Riverview

This hotel has all of the perks of a traditional Holiday Inn, but has an outward appearance that your kids will love. It is a round (cylinder?) hotel! This hotel also offers a complimentary shuttle to and from the historic district.

Charleston Marriott

The Charleston Marriott is a great choice for your family’s stay! With the right blend of Southern charm and simple luxury, you will feel right at home. Your kids will love the beautiful pool and you will love the rooftop bar. We dig the bright colors in the guest rooms!

Embassy Suites Charleston

If you think the Embassy Suites Charleston looks a bit unique and unlike the Embassy Suites that you are used to seeing, you would be correct! This hotel is housed in the former Citadel Military College, I personally think it kind of resembles a college.

Tides Folly Beach Hotel

Look, I am going to cut to the chase here, this hotel is on the beach. Which for my family is a win – win. The hotel is a short drive from the historic downtown area, so you get the best of both worlds!

Wild Dunes Resort

If your idea of a great vacation is not getting in the car again until it is time to pack up and head home, then the Wild Dunes Resort needs to be on your list. With on property restaurants, brightly colored accommodations in a wide variety of configurations from condos to traditional hotels and of course fantastic pools, Wild Dunes is a one stop resort!

Things to do in Charleston South Carolina: 

Fort Sumpter - things to do with kids in Charleston South Carolina

Fort Sumter

Grab a boat ride from Fort Sumter Tours and go visit the historic fort! The ride lasts about 30 minutes, all while being educated on the history of the fort. You and your family then have an hour to explore the museum and the grounds of the fort. Then it’s time to head back to the mainland via the boat.

Fire Museum

Given the fact that my husband is a career firefighter and my boys are fire truck fans by default, a trip to the North Charleston & American LaFrance Fire Museum & Educational Center tops our list. You and your crew can get an up close and personal look at one of a kind fire apparatus pieces and some of the exhibits date back to the 1700s!

Folly Beach Fishing Pier

Hang out at the Folly Beach Fishing Pier for a little bit!  Even if you aren’t into fishing, just taking in the beauty of the ocean is enough for most visitors!

South Carolina Aquarium

There are so many aquariums throughout the United States that it seems we often end up talking about visiting them. However, there always seems to be something unique at each location and the South Carolina Aquarium is no exception. They have a Sea Turtle Hospital where you can check in on the sea turtles that are being nursed back to health. Just as a note, tours of the sea turtle hospital are available at an additional charge and they are known to fill up quickly. Be sure to make your plans to get them ahead of time!

Kiawah Beach Park

In our very humble opinion if you are near a beach, you need to visit it! That is just what you can do at Kiawah Beach Park; in 2013 it was named one of the top 10 beaches. Relax, breath deeply, listen to the waves and perhaps build a sandcastle or two!

Go on a carriage ride

When little (or big) legs get tired, hitch a ride on a horse drawn carriage, for a tour of historic Charleston! Classic Carriage Works offers a very scenic and beautiful tour of the town!

Hiking, biking and kayaking oh my!

For the travelers in your family that can’t sit still, check out Nature Adventure Outfitters. They offer hiking tours, kayak and canoe trips, these sorts of tours will offer a totally different perspective on the area.

Go on a Dolphin Cruise

If you haven’t had the privilege of experiencing a dolphin cruise we highly recommend it! There is nothing quite like seeing the graceful dolphins swim up beside the boat! There are several different places in Charleston that offer dolphin cruises. Adventure Harbor tours offers sunset cruises, it would be the perfect way to end your day!

Morris Island Lighthouse Tour - Things to do in Charleston SC with kids

Morris Island Lighthouse.

The Morris Island Lighthouse is a beautiful historic lighthouse. Here’s the catch. You have to take a boat to reach it. Which sounds like a win – win to us. Chances are you will get to see some dolphins on the way to the lighthouse. Here’s more about the Morris Island Lighthouse Tour. 

5 Can’t Miss Restaurants in Charleston South Carolina

Boxcar Betty’s

Looking for a fried chicken sandwich? Then Boxcar Betty’s is the place to head. With several different combinations of ways to enjoy your chicken sandwich, you will find something for everyone on your list.

The Glass Onion

The Glass Onion focuses on keeping things as local (and as fresh) as possible using local ingredients from area farmers. The vintage plates that everything is served on reminds me of having lunch with at my grandmothers house. We think of the Glass Onion as serving fresh locally made comfort food.

Swig and Swine

If you are looking for fantastic BBQ while you are in town, then you need to make a stop at Swig and Swine. The BBQ is all wood smoked and they smoke the meat for a long time, trust us the effort put into the food shines through.

The Washout

The Washout is a converted old gas station. You’ll find fresh beach type food, in a casual setting with the chance to take in great live music.

The Alley

Part bowling alley, part restaurant The Alley is a unique place to grab a burger with your family and get in a few frames of bowling. This isn’t your average bowling alley food, its pretty darn good food that happens to be served in a bowling alley.

Have you been to Charleston? If so what is your family’s favorite activity? Planning a trip? What do you think will top the list?

Headed to Charleston South Carolina with your kids? We have the scoop on what to do, eat and where to stay while you are in Charleston. Read more about this classic Southern town!

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