This post covers the best things to do in Charleston in July and has been updated for 2023.
It includes a top 10 list, nighttime activities, and free and family-friendly things to do. Be sure to check out our master post, Things to Do in Charleston for even more ideas.
- Top 10 Things to Do in July
- Things to Do at Night
- Free Things to Do
- Family-Friendly Things to Do
- Charleston Walking Tours
This section features our top 10 activities to enjoy in Charleston throughout July. Whenever possible, we will make note of attractions and events that are free, family-friendly, or great after dark.
Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.
1. July 4th Festival
Celebrate the 4th of July in Charleston with the July 4th Festival happening at the Riverfront Park from 3 pm - 9:45 pm.
Drop in anytime for an afternoon of music, children's activities, food trucks, and craft vendors.
We especially encourage you to stay for the largest 4th of July fireworks show in Lowcountry.
Attendance, children's activities, and parking are free and meant to be enjoyed by the entire family.
For more information on performers and a list of attending food trucks, click here.
2. See a Concert
July brings plenty of concerts to Charleston. Below is a list of performers passing through the city:
Although there aren't currently any other live music performances planned for this month, that could change rather quickly, so make sure to check this list of concerts in Charleston for more great shows to attend.
For other things to do at night in Charleston, check out our night section below.
3. Take a Tour!
Our guided walks are free to join and operate on a pay-what-you-like basis, which means you decide what a tour was worth or what you could afford (even free) when the tour is over.
4. Margarita Festival
Note: The event is not happening in 2023.
Do we really need a reason for margaritas? In case you do, the Margarita Festival is just that.
Come out to try over 20 types of margaritas at one of the most popular cocktail events in Charleston.
There will be food as well, and the event takes place in the waterfront setting at downtown Brittlebank Park. Here's a view from the previous year:
For tickets and more information click here.
5. Charleston Caribbean Jerk Festival
July 15, 2023
Celebrate the best of Caribbean food and culture at the Caribean Jerk Festival. This event is catered towards the whole family and takes place from 6 pm - 11 pm.
There will also be music and great island vibes! Don't miss out, get your ticket here.
6. Patriot Point 4th of July Bash
We can't get enough fireworks on the Fourth of July!
The Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum has a fireworks bash on July 4th.
Children's activities start at 4 pm, and you can bring chairs and a cooler and stay for the fireworks starting around 9 pm. .
For tickets and information click here.
7. Take a Harbor Tour
Enjoy the warm ocean air and the beautiful views on a Charleston Harbor History Tour.
This 90-minute narrated cruise will take you past some of the city’s most famous landmarks like the Ravenel Bridge, the Battery, Fort Sumter, and more!
For other family-friendly events to do in Charleston in July, check out the kids' section below.
8. Stars and Guitars Concert
Note: The event is not scheduled for 2023.
Take a trip to the Boone Hall Plantation for the Stars and Guitars concert featuring Brett Young.
Gates open at 4:30 for the 6 pm show. You can purchase tickets here.
Be sure to come early and bring lawn chairs and blankets to get a good spot.
If you can't make it out that day, you can still visit the beautiful plantation during another time in your visit.
Learn about the history and enjoy the beautiful views on a tour. You can learn more about the plantation here.
9. Watch a Game
Soccer fan or not, watching the Charleston Battery is a fun evening activity for people of all ages!
With a variety of games in the month of July, the team’s stadium on Daniel Island will be full of energy and excitement.
Check the website for a full schedule and tickets.
10. Tourist Discount Pass
Do more for less by planning ahead with the Tourist Discount Pass. With this pass, you can get several tickets to attractions or tours each day for free.
Tourist discount passes work by bundling multiple tickets into one price, usually between 20%-50% of the retail price.
Read our post comparing the different Charleston tourist discount passes.
Several bus tour companies, including hop-on-hop-off buses, also offer discounts and deals.
For more ideas for any time of year, be sure to read our master post on Things to do in Charleston.
Below is just a short sampling of the many things to do at night in July.
Here are a few more ideas for things to do in the evening.
For suggestions on other nighttime activities, see our post Things to do at Night in Charleston.
Take a Water Taxi (see Fireworks)
If you want to try something unique, catch a water taxi to see the fireworks from the Charleston Harbor.
It keeps you out of the crows and gives you a more intimate experience. Prices are $25 for adults and $20 for children ages 4-11.
Watch Firework from the Rooftop
Another great place to watch fireworks from is a rooftop bar. Keep clear of the bigger crowds by snagging a spot and a cocktail at one of these bars:
- The Pavilion Bar overlooks the Charleston harbor
- The Vendue rooftop bar is Charleston's art bar and offers a great view of Charleston Harbor and the French Quarter
- Pour Taproom offers a panoramic view of downtown Charleston
- Revelry Brewery for the beer lover, and live music plays every Friday-Sunday
For more nighttime ideas, be sure to take a look at our post Things to do at Night in Charleston.
Visit the Pineapple Water Fountain
Enjoy an evening walk through Waterfront Park.
This half-mile park is located at water’s edge in the heart of the city and features an esplanade that is lined with palmetto trees.
A focal point is a large pineapple-shaped water fountain that lights up at night casting a soft glow in the park. Great for an after dinner stroll!
As a city, Charleston offers a lot of free activities like watching the fireworks for 4th of July, as listed in our top ten section above.
Just strolling up and down the cobblestone streets and soaking in the historic and unique architecture is free and enjoyable. Here are a few more free things to do in Charleston.
For even more free activities, see our Guide to Free Things to Do in Charleston.
Visit the College of Charleston
Established in 1770, the College of Charleston is the oldest college in South Carolina and the 13th oldest place of higher education in all of the US.
Take a stroll along the tree-lined sidewalks that intersect campus and enjoy some of the beautiful historic buildings.
Street Fishing Pier in Folly Beach
Break away from the busy beach and take a leisurely stroll on the Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier.
The pier stretches over 1000 feet into the ocean and offers excellent views and birdwatching.
Depending on the time of day you might even catch some fisherman at work!
Have a Picnic in the Park
One of the city’s largest parks, Hampton Park is a beautiful place to picnic, walk the trails, and enjoy the beautiful floral displays.
A great time to visit is on Saturday between 8am-12pm or Tuesdays and Thursday from 6pm-8pm when all roads are closed to traffic.
Another place to have a picnic is Marion Square, conveniently located downtown.
The park dates back to 1758 and is a landmark rich with Charleston history. Take a stroll, soak it all in from a park bench, or enjoy a picnic in the sun!
TIP: Our Guide to Free Things to do in Charleston lists a number of activities and events that won’t cost you a dime!
Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry
Inspire adventure and creativity for children from ages 0-10 at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry.
Kids can climb aboard a pirate ship, send golf balls down a rollercoaster, and spend time in the art space among other activities. More information is available on the website.
The Holy City is one for all ages!
Some of the things we’ve mentioned in this article like enjoying an evening watching the fireworks or attending the Children's Museum are activities the whole family can enjoy!
Here are a few more ideas that are family-friendly.
Stroll the Charleston City Market
A lovely place to see local handicrafts, art pieces, goods and to shop for souvenirs and treasures, the historic Charleston City Market is a place one could easily spend a day.
Tip: Don’t miss the sweetgrass baskets.
Originally crafted to winnow rice on plantations, the baskets are now excellent locally made gifts.
Check out Sullivan's Island
Take the family to Sullivan’s Island for a day of fun in the sand–beautiful ocean views await!
Make sure to also see Fort Moultrie, one of the oldest forts along the eastern seaboard that’s still standing and the Sullivan’s Island lighthouse, one of the most modern lighthouses in the US.
Isle of Palms County Park
This beautiful county park has a lot to offer families!
Alongside beachfront access with a swimming area, there is also a playground, picnicking areas, and sand volleyball courts.
Get the family together and make a day of it!
For more family-friendly things to do in Charleston, see our post Things to do in Charleston with Kids.
See Charleston's Art Galleries
The Holy City is known for its artistic edge and there are plenty of art galleries to choose from.
From fine art to contemporary, abstract modern pieces there’s a lot to take in. Enjoy the galleries along King Street and elsewhere in the city!