Free things to do in Charleston


Are you coming to our beautiful city and have to watch your budget?   Fear not, there are a lot of free things you can do to get a taste of this charming southern city without opening your wallet.

The Historic Charleston City Market

“The Cultural Heart of Charleston since 1804”

This is one of Charleston’s most visited attractions, and it won’t cost you a dime – that is, unless you buy something.

Day Market Hours
Monday – Sunday: 9:30 AM- 6:00 PM *Closed December 25th

Night Market Hours
Friday and Saturday: 6:30 PM – 10:30 PM March – December

 Rainbow Row

Rainbow Row is Charleston’s iconic series of rowhouses near the historic waterfront.  The houses are painted in bright pastels and are located along the west side of East Bay Street, between Tradd Street and Elliot Street.  You can visit these colorful houses by going to 79 to 107 East Bay Street. 

   Waterfront Park

After you’re done looking at the iconic colorful rowhouses, check out Waterfront Park.  Stop for a swing or a rest on a bench and take in the awesome views of the Charleston Harbor.  Kids young and old have fun cooling off in the fountains interspersed in the park.

 King Street

A visit to Charleston isn’t quite complete without taking a stroll down King Street.  It’s known as Charleston’s design, dining, fashion and antique district.  There are many designer brand stores, as well as antique shops in which you can browse.  If you’re hungry, there are plenty of fine eating establishments that will help fill your belly.

Sign of the historic King Street in Charleston, 2008

 Angel Oak Tree

If you’d like to venture out of the city then head to Johns Island to see the huge Angel Oak Tree.  The Angel Oak Tree is estimated to be over 400-500 years old (some estimate it is over 1,500 years old), stands 66.5 feet tall and measures 28 feet in circumference.  While at the park, take some photos of one of the oldest living things in the United States.

 Walk the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge

The Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, also known as the Cooper River Bridge, opened in 2005, replacing two dilapidated bridges.  It spans from Charleston to Mt. Pleasant.  The bridge has a six mile round trip walking path.  To walk the bridge you can park at either end.  On the Mt. Pleasant side you can pay for parking at Waterfront Park.  There is free parking on the downtown Charleston side of the bridge off of East Bay Street.