One of the most fascinating cities in the South, Charleston’s streets are filled with history and charm. Spending the day walking around, observing the beauty and taking great Instagram pictures is a favorite past time of many who visit the city, however there are quite a few other free things to do in the city. Charleston doesn’t have to be an expensive place to visit. So if you are planning a trip to Charleston on a budget, this list is for you!
1. The Battery Carriage House Inn
This is known as Charleston’s most haunted Inn and while it does cost money to stay there, you are welcome to walk the grounds and gardens. Read on inn’s website about the gentleman ghost sightings before you go.
2. The Battery
The Battery is an old seawall that once provided protection to the city. It now has a huge walking path for people to walk the length of it as it wraps around the end of the peninsula and provides beautiful views across Charleston harbor and back along Ashley River where you may find little white sails during the summer.
3. Marion Square
On Saturdays, from April through December, head to Madison Square for fruits, veggies and live entertainment. During the summer there will be people with books, dogs, food (and maybe all three of those together), hanging out. During the holiday season there will be tons of beautiful Christmas lights put up by the city for you to enjoy.
4. The Angel Oak Tree
This tree is so popular. Like really popular. It has it’s own hours of operation! This beautiful tree is around 500 years old, and 66 feet tall, but the part that intrigues me is that it’s base is wider than a two car garage! Definitely a must see when visiting Charleston, but just know due to the hours of operation, you won’t be able to get any good sunrise or sunset pictures.
5. Waterfront Park
This park contains a long pier with amazing views of the USS Yorktown and the Author Ravenel, Jr. Bridge. If you visit the pier on just the right day, you will also get to see a massive cruise ship docked no more than a few hundred feet away. Walking along the pebble path through the park you will see the famous pineapple fountain with children playing in it during the hot months, along with another pier that is not as popular, but still offers stunning views.
6. Magnolia Cemetery
Open to the public during the day, this cemetery contains a lake in the center, wrought iron fences and towering monuments. The graves contain the crew of the Hunley submarine and a few notable locals. Picturesque and peaceful this a beautiful place to walk through and make sure you cross over the lake. Trust me.
7. White Point Gardens
The White Point Gardens is a beautiful park that runs about two blocks with everything you could want in a waterfront park. Open grass fields? Check. Cannonballs? Check. Plenty of shade? Yep that too. You can see the water, enjoy the shade, and visit monuments all in one spot.
Bonus: Old City Market
I am counting this as a bonus because it’s free to walk through the market, however if you decide to buy something, that changes the “free” part. For over 200 years this land has been used as a market, and seven days a week local artisans sale their goods to the public. The basket weaving you will find in the market is just unreal. Bowls, baskets, and roses just to name a few can be found, and the weavers are very interesting to watch.