Weekend Trip to Charleston

How to spend the perfect weekend in Charleston

Charleston, one of America’s oldest cities, center of arts and culture and birthplace of the Civil War has a lot to offer for its visitors.  If you are short in time and want to make the best of your visit to the Holy City, here are some suggestions for a great weekend.


9:30am:  Take a walking tour with Free Tours by Foot

Start out and get a first introduction to Charleston by taking a 2-hour guided walking tour with Free Tours by Foot. They offer pay-what-you-want walking tours through the historic center, and you will see the French Quarter, the Four Corners of Law, Rainbow Row, St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church, French Huguenot Church, Dock Street Theater, the Old Exchange Building, the Waterfront Park and the Pineapple Fountain. Reserve your spot today.

12pm:  Stroll through the Charleston Farmer’s Market and have lunch

The Farmer’s Market is open on Saturdays, 8am-2pm, and offers great local produce, arts and crafts from local artisans and live entertainments.  It is located on Marion Square at King Street/Calhoun Street in the middle of the historic center.  Its food vendors offer a wide variety, from Greek food, empanadas, sausages, crepes, sandwiches, smoothies, baked goods and much more.

2:30pm: Take the ferry and visit Fort Sumter

Take the ferry from the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center at Liberty Square (340 Concord Street, Charleston, SC) and visit the site where the first shots of the American Civil War were supposedly fired. The admission to the Fort is free, though unless you have a private boat you will have to pay for the ferry ride to get to the island.  Make sure to check out the ferry departure times online.  The whole trip there and back with time on the island will take about 2.5 hours. You can also buy your ticket online.

8pm: Let your hair down at Charleston’s improv theatre

Charleston is home to a couple of famous comedians, and why shouldn’t you experience some of the humor live at play.  The Theatre 99 offers shows every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  They are centrally located on 280 Meeting Street, above the bicycle shop. For tickets and schedule check out their website.


Morning: Start your day with a walk along The Battery and White Points Gardens

No Charleston trip is complete without walking the Battery and admiring the sumptuous mansions, and enjoying the views of Fort Sumter and Castle Pinckney.  The Battery and the White Point Gardens are a place to relax and to enjoy the constant sea breeze. Sunday mornings are probably best to avoid crowds.

Midday: Visit the Charleston City Market at Meeting Street

Here you can pick up your Charleston souvenirs, see the famous sweet grass baskets being weaved, or you can try the food vendors. The city market is open daily from 8:30-5pm.

Afternoon: Tour the Aiken-Rhett House

The Aiken-Rhett House is a favorite of many visitors.  Take the self-guided audio tour, and learn about many details of African American servant life.  The house is about a 20 minute walk away from the City Market on 48 Elizabeth Street and open on Sundays from 2-5pm.  If you have not seen the Charleston Campus yet, we also recommend to taking a small detour to walk through the university campus on the way to the Aiken-Rhett House.

Enjoy your time in Charleston!