7 Essential Charleston, SC Family Vacation Ideas

Looking for great Charleston, SC family vacation ideas to help you get the most out of your trip? There are plenty of opportunities for family fun in The Holy City. Use this list as a guide for creating the perfect vacation for the whole family!

Waterfront Park

Former Charleston mayor Joe Riley once said, “A city should not be judged on its private spaces, but on its public spaces.” If that’s true, then Waterfront Park is the public space to judge all others by. Located at the end of Broad Street, this half-mile park features a great view of the Charleston harbor, fun water works, the iconic pineapple fountain, a pier, plenty of seating and space to stroll or lay around. Make your own fun with a Frisbee, plan a small picnic, or just enjoy the sunshine. Waterfront Park is the perfect place to relax when you find yourself in historic downtown.

Children’s Museum Of The Lowcountry

The Children’s Museum Of The Lowcountry offers a variety of programming for children of all ages and is one of the most popular Charleston, SC family vacation ideas. The museum is self-guided, and admission is good for the entire day—so you are free to explore for hours. Currently, there are nine distinct interactive exhibits at the museum. The museum also offers drop-in classes, which are often free and range from painting to STEM projects.

Harbor Boat Cruise

This is one of the best ways to experience the beautiful Charleston Harbor. Learn a bit of history, and get out on the water in a boat cruise! Charleston harbor cruises often offer nighttime programming but are a bit more tame during the day—though parents can still likely grab a drink. These daytime cruises are ideal for the whole family, often staffed with a guide who can point out key landmarks along the way.

South Carolina Aquarium

Charleston is home to the South Carolina Aquarium, one of the top aquariums along the east coast! The tanks house fauna from The Atlantic and all over the globe. There’s also a unique exhibit: The Sea Turtle Care Center, which opens daily at noon. Here you will meet the beloved sea turtles that are a mainstay on the endangered species list and learn about how they are recovered, rehabilitated, and returned home. Want a preview? Watch this video.

Market Street

Don’t let your Charleston, SC family vacation pass by without a visit to the iconic Market Street. Located in the center of historic Charleston, Market Street has something for the whole family. Visitors can often spend hours in the market itself, combing through wares from local merchants. Likewise, Market Street is a great area for a sweet treat with many storefronts offering fresh scooped ice cream, chocolates, and a local favorite: pralines. Market Street leads right up to the water, so take a stroll down the northside, and back down the southside for a nice loop around one of the most historic areas of the Southeast.

Hop Aboard The U.S.S. Yorktown

Located on Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, just over the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, you’ll likely notice a massive battleship. This is the U.S.S. Yorktown. An iconic World War II era battleship, The Yorktown now serves as an event space, museum, and attraction for those who love history and incredible views. There are educational programs available and food available on-site. Families can even spend the night on the U.S.S. Yorktown, and package deals are available for one or two-night stays.

Book An Incredible Vacation Rental

Of course, not every family wants to stay on a battleship. Whether you’re looking for the perfect one-night rental or an extended stay, consider living like the locals do.

Ready to put these Charleston, SC family vacation ideas into action? Book a luxury vacation rental in Charleston, SC today!