In the Garden and on the Water: Charleston's Best Outdoor Activities

Charleston, South Carolina is known for its exciting culinary scene, friendly people, and of course, its many historic sites. It's not just one part of Charleston's culture and environment that makes this coast city great, but rather, the whole picture, including its beaches, parks, gardens and outdoor venues. Thankfully, Charleston's climate is warm and temperate year-round, allowing both locals and visitors to enjoy all of the area's outdoor activities and attractions in any season.

What's more, there's an outdoor activity (or two) for everyone who finds themselves here. Family-friendly outdoor activities abound, including James Island County Park, complete with water park and rock climbing wall, and the Charleston River Dogs, a minor league baseball team managed in part by its Director of Fun, Bill Murray.

Explore the natural side of Charleston's history with a visit to Charles Towne Landing across the Ashley River, a picnic at White Point Gardens and the Battery, or a boat tour to Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began.

Beaches are naturally a crowd favorite among Charleston's outdoor activities, with Sullivan's Island and Folly Beach located just a short drive off the downtown peninsula. Get active outside with a run or walk across the Ravenel Bridge, a paddle through the tranquil Cypress Gardens swamp, or a kayak trip down Shem Creek with Nature Adventures Outfitters in Mount Pleasant.



This magnificent cable-stayed bridge carries U.S. Highway 17 North and South across the Cooper River, connecting downtown Charleston with the city of Mount Pleasant. The bridge, which is host to an annual spring 10K road race called The Cooper...  Read More

North Downtown


From April through September, Charleston and its visitors can treat themselves to minor league baseball at its best with a visit to "The Joe," the home ballpark of the Charleston Riverdogs. Opened in April of 1997, the ballpark is named for...  Read More

Folly Beach County Park


Folly is without question one of the most iconic spots in Charleston, and often referred to as "The Edge of America" by locals that live there. The Folly Beach park, located on the West end of the island, boasts over 2,500 feet of ocean...  Read More



Enjoy Charleston's wild side by kayak or stand-up paddleboard with a Nature Adventures Outfitters boat rental or guided tour! Visit Nature Adventures Outfitters on Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant to rent kayaks, canoes and paddleboards for a...  Read More



This 643-acre park offers a full-service campground as well as 10 modern vacation cabins overlooking the Stono River marsh. For additional fees, you can enjoy other activities, including Splash Zone water park and a 50-foot rock climbing wall...  Read More



Plainly seen across the harbor from Waterfront Park and the Whitepoint Gardens at the Battery, Fort Sumter is the infamous site where the first shots of the U.S. Civil War were fired. Ft. Sumter was taken by the Confederate Army in 1861, and...  Read More

Sullivan's Island


Head North out of downtown Charleston on US 17/US 1-26 N, keep to the right when crossing the Ravenel Bridge. Follow the signs to Sullivan's Island, passing expansive marsh and wetlands during a 15 - 20 minute drive from the peninsula....  Read More

Moncks Corner
Cypress Gardens


Want to feel like you're in that swan-filled paddleboat scene from the movie, The Notebook? Make the short drive to the Cypress Gardens in Monck's Corner. Situated just outside of Charleston, the beautiful Cypress Gardens are nestled within an...  Read More



In 1670, the first English colonists landed on this spot, just across the Ashley River from downtown Charleston, and promptly named their new town for King Charles II. Charles Towne Landing's exhibits expertly re-create what life was like for...  Read More



Battery Park is the quintessential image of Charleston for most Holy City locals. Walking along East Bay Street, with the famous Battery mansions to one side, the Charleston harbor to the other, you'll be able to spot Ft. Sumter in the distance,...  Read More


Meet Clare Sweeney

A South Carolina native and avid locavore, Clare also ventured abroad to Spain and north to Boston before returning to Charleston and her beloved Lowcountry. 

Clare works and plays in downtown...  More About Clare