Charleston Summer Bucket List
There are so many ways to fill a perfect summer day in Charleston- even those of us who live here have a hard time fitting it all in! This list is a compilation of some of my favorite local pastimes and summer treats - all perfect ways to round out that travel itinerary while planning a last-minute summer trip to Charleston or thinking of one for the future. Also, we’ll use the term "summer" flexibly here- Charleston’s warm weather means most of these activities can be enjoyed throughout the year ;)
15 Places • 2 Saves • ago
Free

Beach, please.

There are three islands with public beaches within 25-30 minutes from downtown Charleston, but my personal favorite is Sullivan’s Island, known for being the locals beach (no short term rentals here), as well as former home to Edgar Allen Poe. Here are the essential spots for a great summer beach day. 

Sullivan's Island Beach
@TravelFilled
This is my favorite Charleston beach spot! Known as the local's beach, celebrities like Bill Murray and Stephen Colbert have homes on the island, but all the beach stations are public and popular with locals and tourists. There is lots of free street parking, just make sure to read the signs and keep your tires off the actual road. Visible alcohol is banned on all Charleston beaches, so make sure to keep it in a cooler and drink from an opaque tumbler to avoid being fined.
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Poe's Tavern
@TravelFilled
The beer tastes better at Poe’s Tavern after a day on the beach, but their specialty burgers will forever be their signature item, all of which can be subbed with a vegetarian patty. Named after the famously dark poet who spent a few years living on Sullivan's island, Edgar Allen Poe's poetry is written on the stalls of the bathroom. They don't take reservations, so get there early to beat the line.
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The Co-Op Frosé & Eatery
@TravelFilled
This is a place where at any given time of day you will both see vacationers buying bottles of frose and locals sipping $1 hot coffee- stop off to grab a breakfast or lunch sandwich on your way to the beach! Yes, the frose flavors rotate daily, yes everything is pink, and yes you can get it as a flight with penis gummies... best of luck sticking to that breakfast sandwich ;)
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Afternoon on Shem Creek

Historically, Shem Creek was home to the shrimp docks and ice house in the small town of Mt. Pleasant. You can still go there to buy fresh caught Mt. Pleasant Seafood, but most locals go to drink and dine along the water or access the water by boat or paddle board. All great options, and you are bound to spot both dolphins and a few drunken visitors on tiki boats in the process.  

Visit Shem Creek
@TravelFilled
Historically, Shem Creek was home to the shrimp docks and ice house in the small town of Mt. Pleasant. You can still go there to buy fresh caught Mt. Pleasant Seafood or grab a drink on the water. Shem Creek's public park has free parking and you can take the boardwalk pretty far into the water.
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Coastal Expeditions on Shem Creek
@TravelFilled
Likely your best rental option if you opt to kayak or paddle board with Shem Creek as your launch pad. Just make sure you do this BEFORE ordering a rum bucket from the nearby Red's Ice House.
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All the frozen things you need in your life

Order a Paradise Whip from Pineapple Hut

The Pineapple Hut
@TravelFilled
Nothing says summer in Charleston like a Pineapple full of whip, which you can buy at locations on Folly Beach or downtown Charleston. The paradise whip is not only delicious, but incredibly instagram-worthy, as the vegan soft serve comes in a full pineapple. It also melts fast, so share with a friend or opt for a smaller cup topped with sprinkles or Tajin.
Add to
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The Pineapple Hut
@TravelFilled
This is the OG location on Folly Beach, but read longer description in downtown location.
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Details

Order an ice cream flight at Off Track

Off Track Ice Cream
@TravelFilled
Tucked just around the corner from bustling King Street, Off Track offers innovative, made from scratch ice cream flavors with local ingredients, so its hard to choose just one! Luckily you don’t have to when you spring for an ice cream flight, or opt for an ice cream sandwich between their freshly baked snickerdoodle cookies.
Add to
Details

Order a Game Changer at Home Team BBQ

Home Team BBQ
@TravelFilled
It’s all in the name, you’ve been warned! This beloved SC BBQ spot’s frozen drinks are just as well-known as their meats. The frozen Irish coffee is also delicious, but pair with the loaded nachos for sustenance. There are multiple locations around town, but this one is the most central
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Home Team BBQ
@TravelFilled
Just make sure to pair your game changers and/or frozen Irish coffee with some water if you opt for the Sullivan’s Island location- you are likely in need of some serious re-hydration following a fun beach day.
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Details

Bike or walk along the Battery seawall

The Battery seawall was used for protection from artillery fire during the Civil War, and now from flooding during hurricane season. Start at White Point Gardens and walk along the water while admiring a row of antebellum mansions facing one of the city’s most historic landmarks. You can also see Fort Sumter from here when looking out at the harbor,

White Point Garden
@TravelFilled
White Point Garden has some of the oldest iconic oak trees on the Charleston peninsula. Start there, then walk a long the Battery, the elevated seawall and sidewalk along the southernmost point of the city and surrounded by historic antebellum mansions.
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Get out on a boat!

Why settle for views of the water when you could be out on it? The Daniel Island Ferry is an easy, affordable option that takes you to and from downtown. For dolphin or sunset tours of full day boat charters, check out Coastal Expeditions or Holy City Boat Tours.

Daniel Island Ferry
@TravelFilled
The Daniel Island Ferry is an easy, affordable way to get out on the water while visiting Charleston. The route takes you to and includes views of the famous Ravenel bridge. Check the daily time tables, but it usually runs through sunset.
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Drink downtown on a rooftop

There aren’t too many tall buildings in downtown Charleston, since historically none could stand higher than the neighborhood church steeple, which later lead to it being nicknamed the Holy City. So while there are less rooftop bars, they have wonderful, unobstructed views. 

Citrus Club
@TravelFilled
My all time favorite Charleston rooftop bar is The Citrus Club, located at the top of The Dewberry. You get views of downtown, church steeples, and Marion Square on one side, plus water views and the Ravenel Bridge along the other. Enter through the main entrance of the Dewberry on Meeting Street and walk to the desk by the elevators - the concierge will give you a pass to access the rooftop. Get there at least an hour before sunset for optimal seating.
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Sunday brunch and beer at Holy City Brewing

Holy City Brewing
@TravelFilled
Charleston is nicknamed the Holy City, and it's also the name of one of its most popular, longtime local breweries. Its located 15 minutes north of downtown in the trendy Park Circle neighborhood, with a huge outdoor bar and patio along Noisette Creek. Sunday brunch is served all day, and there's a monthly Holy City Farmer’s Market. If your dates don’t line up with the market, no worries, there is bound to be another special event happening that weekend.
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Attend a Charleston RiverDogs baseball game

Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park
@TravelFilled
In Charleston, you go to a baseball game for the sunsets. Ok, also the cheap beer and possibly Bill Murray sightings… but mainly the sunsets! The RiverDogs baseball stadium is located on the peninsula, caddy corner to the Ashley River and surrounded by marshland, so MAKE SURE to go out back to watch the sunset while attending a minor league game. Plus, Bill Murray is part owner and self-appointed “Director of Fun” for the Charleston RiverDogs baseball team and often attends the games.
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The Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Ballpark is also featured in: 

Let's become travel planning besties

Need help choosing a place to stay?

For any questions, always feel free to reach out to me via email (emma@travelfilled.com) or DM me on Instagram (@travel.filled) 

* * *
CURATED BY
Bonjour, y'all! I’m Emma, a southerner who moved to Paris and now splits my time between the City of Light and Charleston, SC. After years of planning trips to both spots for friends, family, and the occasional stranger I befriended on a plane, I made things official and launched Travel Filled, my travel blog and planning business. I used to work for the City of Charleston and now travel and work with cities all over the country (aka total local government nerd, proudly nicknamed the Leslie Knope of my grad class). That makes me incredibly enthusiastic about finding and sharing local specialities and hidden gems. I’m constantly seeking out new cultural experiences, running routes, good pescatarian spots, book and coffee nooks, and the perfect cocktail. I plan trips for all sorts of folks, but am especially passionate about connecting with culturally curious women looking to fill up their travel cup through a blend of authentic experiences and treat yoself moments and are just too busy kicking ass in their daily lives to plan it all on their own!
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Charleston Summer Bucket List
There are so many ways to fill a perfect summer day in Charleston- even those of us who live here have a hard time fitting it all in! This list is a compilation of some of my favorite local pastimes and summer treats - all perfect ways to round out that travel itinerary while planning a last-minute summer trip to Charleston or thinking of one for the future. Also, we’ll use the term "summer" flexibly here- Charleston’s warm weather means most of these activities can be enjoyed throughout the year ;)
15 Places • 2 Saves • ago
Free

Beach, please.

There are three islands with public beaches within 25-30 minutes from downtown Charleston, but my personal favorite is Sullivan’s Island, known for being the locals beach (no short term rentals here), as well as former home to Edgar Allen Poe. Here are the essential spots for a great summer beach day. 

Sullivan's Island Beach
@TravelFilled
This is my favorite Charleston beach spot! Known as the local's beach, celebrities like Bill Murray and Stephen Colbert have homes on the island, but all the beach stations are public and popular with locals and tourists. There is lots of free street parking, just make sure to read the signs and keep your tires off the actual road. Visible alcohol is banned on all Charleston beaches, so make sure to keep it in a cooler and drink from an opaque tumbler to avoid being fined.
Add to
Details
Poe's Tavern
@TravelFilled
The beer tastes better at Poe’s Tavern after a day on the beach, but their specialty burgers will forever be their signature item, all of which can be subbed with a vegetarian patty. Named after the famously dark poet who spent a few years living on Sullivan's island, Edgar Allen Poe's poetry is written on the stalls of the bathroom. They don't take reservations, so get there early to beat the line.
Add to
Details
The Co-Op Frosé & Eatery
@TravelFilled
This is a place where at any given time of day you will both see vacationers buying bottles of frose and locals sipping $1 hot coffee- stop off to grab a breakfast or lunch sandwich on your way to the beach! Yes, the frose flavors rotate daily, yes everything is pink, and yes you can get it as a flight with penis gummies... best of luck sticking to that breakfast sandwich ;)
Add to
Details

Afternoon on Shem Creek

Historically, Shem Creek was home to the shrimp docks and ice house in the small town of Mt. Pleasant. You can still go there to buy fresh caught Mt. Pleasant Seafood, but most locals go to drink and dine along the water or access the water by boat or paddle board. All great options, and you are bound to spot both dolphins and a few drunken visitors on tiki boats in the process.  

Visit Shem Creek
@TravelFilled
Historically, Shem Creek was home to the shrimp docks and ice house in the small town of Mt. Pleasant. You can still go there to buy fresh caught Mt. Pleasant Seafood or grab a drink on the water. Shem Creek's public park has free parking and you can take the boardwalk pretty far into the water.
Add to
Details
Coastal Expeditions on Shem Creek
@TravelFilled
Likely your best rental option if you opt to kayak or paddle board with Shem Creek as your launch pad. Just make sure you do this BEFORE ordering a rum bucket from the nearby Red's Ice House.
Add to
Details

All the frozen things you need in your life

Order a Paradise Whip from Pineapple Hut

The Pineapple Hut
@TravelFilled
Nothing says summer in Charleston like a Pineapple full of whip, which you can buy at locations on Folly Beach or downtown Charleston. The paradise whip is not only delicious, but incredibly instagram-worthy, as the vegan soft serve comes in a full pineapple. It also melts fast, so share with a friend or opt for a smaller cup topped with sprinkles or Tajin.
Add to
Details
The Pineapple Hut
@TravelFilled
This is the OG location on Folly Beach, but read longer description in downtown location.
Add to
Details

Order an ice cream flight at Off Track

Off Track Ice Cream
@TravelFilled
Tucked just around the corner from bustling King Street, Off Track offers innovative, made from scratch ice cream flavors with local ingredients, so its hard to choose just one! Luckily you don’t have to when you spring for an ice cream flight, or opt for an ice cream sandwich between their freshly baked snickerdoodle cookies.
Add to
Details

Order a Game Changer at Home Team BBQ

Home Team BBQ
@TravelFilled
It’s all in the name, you’ve been warned! This beloved SC BBQ spot’s frozen drinks are just as well-known as their meats. The frozen Irish coffee is also delicious, but pair with the loaded nachos for sustenance. There are multiple locations around town, but this one is the most central
Add to
Details
Home Team BBQ
@TravelFilled
Just make sure to pair your game changers and/or frozen Irish coffee with some water if you opt for the Sullivan’s Island location- you are likely in need of some serious re-hydration following a fun beach day.
Add to
Details

Bike or walk along the Battery seawall

The Battery seawall was used for protection from artillery fire during the Civil War, and now from flooding during hurricane season. Start at White Point Gardens and walk along the water while admiring a row of antebellum mansions facing one of the city’s most historic landmarks. You can also see Fort Sumter from here when looking out at the harbor,

White Point Garden
@TravelFilled
White Point Garden has some of the oldest iconic oak trees on the Charleston peninsula. Start there, then walk a long the Battery, the elevated seawall and sidewalk along the southernmost point of the city and surrounded by historic antebellum mansions.
Add to
Details

Get out on a boat!

Why settle for views of the water when you could be out on it? The Daniel Island Ferry is an easy, affordable option that takes you to and from downtown. For dolphin or sunset tours of full day boat charters, check out Coastal Expeditions or Holy City Boat Tours.

Daniel Island Ferry
@TravelFilled
The Daniel Island Ferry is an easy, affordable way to get out on the water while visiting Charleston. The route takes you to and includes views of the famous Ravenel bridge. Check the daily time tables, but it usually runs through sunset.
Add to
Details

Drink downtown on a rooftop

There aren’t too many tall buildings in downtown Charleston, since historically none could stand higher than the neighborhood church steeple, which later lead to it being nicknamed the Holy City. So while there are less rooftop bars, they have wonderful, unobstructed views. 

Citrus Club
@TravelFilled
My all time favorite Charleston rooftop bar is The Citrus Club, located at the top of The Dewberry. You get views of downtown, church steeples, and Marion Square on one side, plus water views and the Ravenel Bridge along the other. Enter through the main entrance of the Dewberry on Meeting Street and walk to the desk by the elevators - the concierge will give you a pass to access the rooftop. Get there at least an hour before sunset for optimal seating.
Add to
Details

Sunday brunch and beer at Holy City Brewing

Holy City Brewing
@TravelFilled
Charleston is nicknamed the Holy City, and it's also the name of one of its most popular, longtime local breweries. Its located 15 minutes north of downtown in the trendy Park Circle neighborhood, with a huge outdoor bar and patio along Noisette Creek. Sunday brunch is served all day, and there's a monthly Holy City Farmer’s Market. If your dates don’t line up with the market, no worries, there is bound to be another special event happening that weekend.
Add to
Details

Attend a Charleston RiverDogs baseball game

Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park
@TravelFilled
In Charleston, you go to a baseball game for the sunsets. Ok, also the cheap beer and possibly Bill Murray sightings… but mainly the sunsets! The RiverDogs baseball stadium is located on the peninsula, caddy corner to the Ashley River and surrounded by marshland, so MAKE SURE to go out back to watch the sunset while attending a minor league game. Plus, Bill Murray is part owner and self-appointed “Director of Fun” for the Charleston RiverDogs baseball team and often attends the games.
Add to
Details

The Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Ballpark is also featured in: 

Let's become travel planning besties

Need help choosing a place to stay?

For any questions, always feel free to reach out to me via email (emma@travelfilled.com) or DM me on Instagram (@travel.filled) 

* * *
CURATED BY
Bonjour, y'all! I’m Emma, a southerner who moved to Paris and now splits my time between the City of Light and Charleston, SC. After years of planning trips to both spots for friends, family, and the occasional stranger I befriended on a plane, I made things official and launched Travel Filled, my travel blog and planning business. I used to work for the City of Charleston and now travel and work with cities all over the country (aka total local government nerd, proudly nicknamed the Leslie Knope of my grad class). That makes me incredibly enthusiastic about finding and sharing local specialities and hidden gems. I’m constantly seeking out new cultural experiences, running routes, good pescatarian spots, book and coffee nooks, and the perfect cocktail. I plan trips for all sorts of folks, but am especially passionate about connecting with culturally curious women looking to fill up their travel cup through a blend of authentic experiences and treat yoself moments and are just too busy kicking ass in their daily lives to plan it all on their own!
Send A Tip
Support Emma Cregg’s work.
Select your tip amount
$5
$10
$20
$50
Or type in other amount
Powered by Thatch
The home for unique & authentic travel
Powered by Thatch: Where great trips are made.
© Emma Cregg Privacy Terms