Everyone who visits the Lowcountry always remembers the cobblestone streets, horse and carriages, colorful homes, and the pineapple fountain at the waterfront that make Charleston so special. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family trip, or an adventure with friends, here’s how to spend a day in downtown Charleston.
When you’re ready to start planning your trip, request our free Isle of Palms Vacation Guide. This planning tool is filled with local insight into the best places to visit, dine, stay, and more during your trip!
Planning a Day Trip to Downtown Charleston, SC
Explore Broad Street and the French Quarter
Start your day off by taking a stroll down the narrow streets south of Broad and the neighboring French Quarter to see the beautiful, historic homes filled with bright bursts of color and stories to tell. The South of Broad neighborhood is home to Colonial Lake, the William Gibbes House, and First Scots Presbyterian Church. As you transition to the French Quarter, enjoy breakfast or brunch at Millers All Day or Gaulart & Maliclet Fast and French.
Waterfront Park and Rainbow Row
Next, head over to Joe Riley Waterfront Park to take a picture at the iconic pineapple fountain and walk the Waterfront Park Pier. The pier is located off of E Bay Street which can take you to a great restaurant for lunch or dinner or to the Charleston City Market. The City Market is open day and night with each variation offering different vendors that serve homemade goods, foods, and artwork. Back on E Bay Street, take a trip past the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon and visit the iconic Rainbow Row. The row is a cluster of 13 pastel colored homes dating as far back as 1748 in the Georgian-style.
Enjoy Dinner or the Nightlife
Hopefully you made sure to bring some good walking shoes! Downtown Charleston has a very vibrant evening, nightlife culture with a wide variety of events from baseball games at The Joe, to plays at Dock Street Theatre, or a night of dancing at a bar on Upper King Street. Here are a few of our favorite suggestions for when you are downtown in the evening.
- Root for the Charleston RiverDogs at Joe P. Riley stadium.
- Catch a play at one of the country’s oldest performing arts theaters at the Dock Street Theatre.
- Eat a meal and savor a cocktail inside a former church at Church and Union.
- Go on a ghost or pirate walking tour.
- Meet a celebrity and drink a PBR at iconic dive bar Recovery Room Tavern (rec).
Stay on the Gorgeous Isle of Palms
No matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for in downtown Charleston, there’s something here for everyone! From exploring historic sites to enjoying delicious cuisine and nightlife – there is a reason people love coming back year after year! If you want to enjoy Charleston, but enjoy retiring somewhere quiet for the night, you should stay on the Isle of Palms!
East Islands Rentals offers an exclusive selection of Isle of Palms rental homes for all styles and budgets. Plus, our homes on the island are within driving distance of all the most popular historic sites in the city and on the islands, so it’s easy to check each item off your itinerary!
Browse a full catalog of our Isle of Palms rental homes to start planning your trip!