Charleston, South Carolina is a gorgeous seaside city known for its plantations, parks, and historic buildings. It's filled with outdoor activities that are fun for travelers of any age. While in Charleston before your cruise begins, be sure to take advantage of all the beauty and fun in the city. With cruise line volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 80% versus the brochure price! Book your Charleston cruise today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted cruise headquarters.Charleston Travel Guide
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Charleston Travel Guide
Charleston Cruises Highlights
- Go and support locals at the Charleston Farmers Market.
- Check out King Street, a 300-year-old historic boulevard.
- Learn more about tea history at the Charleston Tea Plantation.
- Walk along the Battery for some great views.
- Explore Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
- Take photos at the picturesque buildings on Rainbow Row.
- Grab a bite to eat at Poe's Tavern, named after Edgar Allen Poe.
- Visit Sullivan's Island in Charleston county.
- Take in the sights at the Waterfront Park.
- Experience culture at the Charleston Music Hall.
Charleston Cruises Travel Tips
- Sweetgrass baskets are the top souvenir to purchase here. It's best to buy one in Mount Pleasant.
- Downtown Charleston is not easy to explore in a car since it's a rather historical city. Opt to walk or utilize public transportation instead. However, if you do choose to drive, there are lots of free parking spots available.
- Charleston is known for its amazing bridges, so try to visit at least a few of them.
- If you can, try to avoid visiting during the weekend of an event. Prices skyrocket!
- Charleston is exceptionally casual. Don't be scared to dress in comfortable and relaxed clothing.
- Though most of Charleston's tourist attractions are downtown, don't forget to explore the rest of the city.
- The people of Charleston are known to be extremely friendly, so be kind back!
- Many of the beaches here get very busy later in the day, so try to visit earlier in the morning or visit less touristy beaches if you can.
Charleston Cruises Things To Do
- Walk along The Battery
The Battery is a famous seawall with a breathtaking promenade in Charleston. It's one of the city's most popular historical landmarks. The seawall was used as a defensive unit during the American Revolution. This area was also later used during the War of 1812 and the American Civil War. The Battery is lined by beautiful Antebellum houses, which is what it's most well-known for. Some of the most popular homes here include the Charles Drayton House, the William Ravenel House, and the Villa Margherita.
You Should KnowMany locals refer to The Battery simply as "Battery Park." Wear comfortable walking shoes to walk The Battery. It's not that long, but you'll feel a lot better with sturdy shoes!
- Visit Sullivan’s Island
Sullivan's Island is an island located in Charleston county, and it's a popular place to visit from Charleston city. It's only 6 miles from Charleston and has a population of about 2,000 people, so it's quaint. However, it's not short of beautiful views. The most popular places to visit on Sullivan's Island include Fort Moultrie, Sullivan's Island Beach, and the Battery Jasper. There's also a beautiful place to hike and walk along the Sullivan's Island Nature Trail.
You Should KnowThere is no public transportation between Charleston and Sullivan's Island. The easiest way to get there is by driving or taking a taxi. Plan on spending at least a half-day at Sullivan's Island. It's so close to Charleston that it feels like it's part of the city.
- Go to the Charleston Farmers Market
Charleston has some of the best farmers markets in South Carolina. They are seasonally open between April and November. This is the perfect way to meet up with locals and support those who live in the town by purchasing their products and goods. The most popular farmers market is located in Marion Square. Another popular place to go is to Mount Pleasant, which hosts farmers' markets on Tuesdays. This is the best place to purchase sweetgrass. Vendors sell everything from art to produce at every farmer's market!
You Should KnowThere is a special holiday market opened in December in Charleston's Marion Square. If you're not interested in seeing a farmers market but want to go to a town event, be sure to check out the Charleston city calendar.
- Experience culture at the Charleston Music Hall
The Charleston Music Hall is a beautiful live music venue inside a 19th-century building. The building has a capacity of just under 1,000 and hosts a wide variety of performers from different genres. There's sure to be something you'd be interested in hearing when visiting Charleston. This building is one of the oldest in Charleston. Many locals may even refer to it as the Tower Depot, which is what it was historically called. It was initially constructed to look like an old medieval castle.
You Should KnowIf you wish to see a show at the Charleston Music Hall, try to purchase your tickets in advance. This way, you can ensure admittance!
- Take photos at Rainbow Row
Rainbow Row is a picturesque group of historic residences. It's the largest bunch of Georgian houses in a row in all of the United States, which is what it's most well-known for. These pastel-covered buildings were constructed back in 1740 when merchants used to live inside them. This area was a slum right after the Civil War though it was revamped in the early 20th century by a woman named Dorothy Porcher Legge. Each house here is unique, and a lot of them are privately owned.
You Should KnowSome people do still live in these homes. Try to be respectful if you take photos here in order not to disturb those who live here.
- Learn about tea at the Charleston Tea Plantation
The Charleston Tea Plantation is a tea manufacturer that offers excellent tours of their facilities. This tea plantation dates back to the 19th century when Dr. Charles Shepard owned it. Later, William Barclay Hall purchased the land and created the first-ever tea fully grown in the United States called American Classic. Today, visitors come to explore the tea plantation and learn about its history. There are trolley and factory tours of the plantation available to guests. It's genuinely one of the great experiences to have while in Charleston.
You Should KnowThe easiest way to visit the plantation is by driving. It's recommended that you don't take a taxi, Lyft, or Uber because it can be hard to get a ride back to the city once you make it to the plantation.
- Take in the sights at Waterfront Park
Waterfront Park, also sometimes referred to as the Joe Wiley Waterfront Park is a 12-acre stretch near the Cooper River that opened back in 1990. The park is exceptionally scenic and is filled with benches, walkways, and beautiful areas to sit and relax. The main attraction of the park is the breathtaking pineapple fountain! This illustrious structure helps bring the park to life. The fountain helped the park win the Landmark Award in 2007.
Best Time To VisitThe park, though significant, gets quite busy during the day because of its prime location and great spots to relax. To avoid the crowds, opt to visit earlier in the morning.
- Check out King Street
King Street is a 300-year-old street in Charleston that was named after King Charles II of England. Historically, it served as the road to get into the older part of the city back in the 18th century. Soon enough, the street was bustling, and it became one of the city's main commercial and entertainment centers. Today, King Street is the place to go for all of the best restaurants, galleries, hotels, and more. It's repeatedly been named one of America's best shopping streets, and it keeps true to its title.
You Should KnowThe street is made up of three different districts, each with its own flair. It consists of the Upper King Street Design and Dining District, the Middle King Street Fashion District, and the Lower King Street Antiques District. Wear comfortable walking shoes!
- Explore Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens covers 390 acres and dates back to 1676. This historic plantation and garden is one of America's oldest plantations. It was historically owned by Ann and Thomas Drayton. The main crop grown here was rice. Today, the plantation is the city's most-visited. It's a beautiful place to come and explore the area's history. The Romantic garden is also one of the most famous gardens in all of South Carolina.
You Should KnowIt's easiest to get to the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens by car. Plan to spend at least a few hours here to explore the area thoroughly. Children under the age of 5 receive free entry into the plantation.
- Eat at Poe’s Tavern
Poe's Tavern is a restaurant named after Edgar Allan Poe, who was stationed on Sullivan's Island in the early 19th century. The area inspired his stories, including "The Gold Bug," and so a restaurant was created in his honor. This restaurant is one of the best places to eat in the Charleston area. They serve everything from burgers to fish tacos. The restaurant has a very casual and laid back vibe that is perfect for families.
You Should KnowPoe's Tavern is on Sullivan's Island, which you should also take the time to explore. The bestseller here is burgers, but they also have a great beverage selection.
Charleston Cruises When To Visit
Like most cities in the United States, there is no best time to visit! Charleston has so many fun events and activities, no matter the time of year. However, some parts of the year are a lot less busy, such as the shoulder and low seasons. The spring and fall are the shoulder seasons for Charleston. Prices are alright during this time, though they can get high around holidays like Easter.
- Summer - June to August - High Season
Charleston's springtime temperature averages around 73°F, while the fall is around the same. This is the perfect time to visit for the weather if you're not a big fan of the heat. It cools off the second the sun goes down.
- Spring and Fall - September to November and March to May - Shoulder Season
The summer months in Charleston average 86°F. Tourists flock here during the summer months because the days are long, and everyone is on summer vacation or school break. Prices are highest during this time.
- Winter - December to February - Low Season
If you want to visit during the least busy time of year in Charleston, then try to go during the winter months. The temperature averages a cool 58°F, and prices are at their lowest. Most must-see locations are open year-round but might have limited hours during the low season.
Charleston Cruises Frequently Asked Questions
Charleston cruises are the best way to go on vacation, travel, and relax all at the same time. Each cruise stops at different port cities for guests to hop off and explore the surrounding area. These cruises are perfect for any type of traveler, including couples, families, and solo travelers.
Each Charleston cruise is different but will include accommodation and dining. There are many other fun activities on every ship, including shopping, golfing, swimming, working out, and more. Most cruise ships also have a club, casino, bar, beauty salon, movie theater, and spa! You'll feel completely pampered during your Charleston cruise with 24-hour room service. Each cabin also comes with a hairdryer, television, and telephone. Youth programs are available on each ship and other fun activities for younger children.
No Charleston cruise is better than the other! It all depends entirely on your needs and budget. If there's a specific end destination that you have in mind, then try to find a cruise that will take you there with other fun stops along the way. Of course, our cruise specialists are always available to talk with you and help you find the cruise that is best suited for your needs and interests. You can call an expert at 1-800-627-3753 to receive help with choosing the best cruise today!
Charleston cruises vary in price depending on the length and amount of stops that each ship makes. They start at around $52 per day and go up in price. However, just because a cruise is listed at a specific amount doesn't mean that's what you'll pay. Affordable Tours often has discounts and other promotions to help save you up to 80% off the advertised price! This can be either taken off right at the beginning or could be in the form of credit on the ship during your cruise.
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