North Charleston in South Carolina is a vibrant and dynamic part of the United States which has long been famed for its warm hospitality. There are a vast array of things to do if you visit North Charleston, and just some of these gems include parks, gardens, and historically significant sites.
In addition to these, North Charleston has a reputation as something of a cultural hub in the region and some of the finest and most exciting cultural events in the United States are held in the city. This means that you will find art galleries, theatres, and museums galore on a visit here.
Lets explore the best things to do in North Charleston:
1. Fire Museum
Opened in 2007, the Fire Museum aims to explain the history of the fire service in Charleston as well as provide students with an interactive experience that teaches them about fire safety. The museum is set up to resemble a real fire station and there are amazing touches here such as the fire prevention theater which also features live smoke. There are 20 preserved antique fire vehicles at the museum as well as period firefighting equipment that will take you on a journey through the history of fire fighting. What makes this such a unique facility is the hands-on approach to many of the exhibits such as the play area with a functional fireman’s pole, and this is a fascinating place to come while you are in North Charleston.
2. Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial
The Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial was set up to honor the veterans of the city of North Charleston who have served their country over the years. The naval base was in operation for 95 years before finally closing in 1996 and as such this area is steeped in tradition. The walls of the memorial are covered in stories of the history that was made here, and there is a delightful stream that passes through the memorial and is said to represent sailors walking across a gangplank. Things to look out for here include the signature statue of the “Lone Sailor” which is 7 feet tall and which faces the water as a constant tribute. There are also bronze pieces that represent a submarine, a landing craft, and a destroyer.
3. Riverfront Park
Riverfront Park is known for being a favorite outdoor destination for both visitors and locals alike in the North Charleston area. The park is nestled on the banks of the Cooper River and is also located next to a historic area that still features some of the homes of the former naval officers of the Charleston Naval Base. The park is filled with majestic oak trees and there are glorious vistas of the river in the distance. You will also find rambling meadows here as well as a Performance Pavilion where live music shows and other events take place. It is also the location where the art and sculpture competition in North Charleston is displayed annually and as you walk along the river front you will also see a range of art installations that are part of the project.
4. City Gallery
For some art in North Charleston, head to the North Charleston City Gallery where you will find pieces by local, national, and even international artists. The exhibits here work on rotation and are changed on a monthly basis, so the collections are always fresh. As well as paintings you can expect prints, photographs, and even things like jewelry, and some of these items are also for sale in the gallery on-site store so that you can take home a piece of the art work here as a memento of your trip.
5. North Charleston Coliseum
The North Charleston Museum is the place to come for some live entertainment in the city and this events venue can seat an impressive 13,000 spectators at one time. Popular events here include musical concerts comedy nights, family shows, and even sporting events that take in performers from all of the greater North Charleston area. If you like hockey then the North Charleston Coliseum is also the home of the South Carolina Stingrays who play here regularly, so try and check out a fast-paced and exciting game if you are in town.
6. Down South Fishing
Down South Fishing offers you the chance to get out on the water in North Charleston and take in the best of the aquatic life in South Carolina. The company offers boat trips that either includes fishing expeditions or sightseeing opportunities, and you can also come for cruises. There are night trips available to try and spot some of the sharks in the area as well as dolphin watching trips to see these majestic animals in their natural habitat. Also available are eco tours that will teach you about the underwater environment here as well as photography excursions.
7. North Charleston Farmers Market
The North Charleston Farmers Market from May to October and sets up at the Felix C Davis Community Center. The market is dedicated to selling fresh produce from the region and you will find delicious fruits and vegetables here as well as other food items like local baked goods. There are also arts and crafts items sold here that were made in the region and the farmers market has also teamed up with the Cultural Arts Department so that there are featured musical performances every week to enjoy as part of the experience.
8. Monkey Joe’s
If you are visiting North Charleston with younger guests then head Monkey Joe’s for some indoor fun. Here you will find a huge play area that includes trampoline equipment, a bounce house, obstacle courses, and games areas that are perfect for both younger and older children. There is even a special area dedicated to toddlers who also want to get in on the fun. You can just walk-in without making an appointment, so this is also a great venue if the weather suddenly turns and you are looking for some indoor entertainment.
9. Wescott Golf Club
Located in the low country in North Charleston, the Wescott Golf Club is set among leafy gardens, historically significant plantations, and is close to idyllic beaches in the area. There is a 27 hole course here that sits among oak trees and the natural wetlands of Wescott. The courses here are covered in Bermuda grass and as such are perfect to play on all year round, so no matter when you come you will always be able to fit in a game.
10. Noisette Creek
Noisette Creek is located next to Riverfront Park in North Charleston and is a great place to come if you want to take in the waters of the Cooper River as well as enjoy this peaceful residential neighborhood. Noisette Creek sits near the former naval yard in North Charleston and for years the waters here were heavily polluted by this industry before experiencing a revival in recent years thanks to a community cleanup project. Nowadays therefore you can come here and experience a new version of Noisette Creek Preserve.
11. Denmark Vesey Monument
The Denmark Vesey Monument is a uniquely important historical and cultural relic in the city, and sits in the center of Hampton Park. The bronze sculpture is dedicated to the abolitionist Denmark Vesey, a former slave who bought his freedom and campaigned tirelessly for the abolition of slavery in the United States. Vesey was finally executed for insurrection and this life-sized sculpture now stands in his honor as a permanent reminder of this period of history.
12. Fort Sumter
One of the most historically significant forts during the Civil War, Fort Sumter is an important national landmark in the North Charleston area. Built in the 19th century, but left incomplete, Fort Sumter is actually a sea fort and as such you will have to take a boat or ferry to the island on which the fort sits. The ferry ride departs from the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center and takes about 30 minutes, although is closed if the weather and seas are too rough. At the fort you can expect to learn all about the Civil War and the role of this strategic location and the daily activities of Sumter Fort.
13. H.L. Hunley Submarine
North Charleston is the place where you can visit the H.L. Hunley Submarine, a Confederate vessel that played a role in the American Civil War. The remains of the submarine are said to be those of one of the oldest surviving submarines in the entire world, so don’t miss the chance to come and visit the H.L. Hunley if you are in the area. The submarine was first launched in 1863, so is steeped in history and is one of the most historically significant naval craft in the United States.
14. Indian Mound Trail
Indian Mound Trail is found in Edisto Island and there is an interpretive center here that is free for the public to use to learn about the flora and fauna of this part of the United States. You can bike or walk around the trail to take in the graceful vistas here across the water, and there are also community events regularly held here, so make sure to ask what’s on when you visit.
15. Wannamaker County Park
Sprawling across an impressive 1,000 acres, Wannamaker County Park is covered in woodland and wetland and is known for its waterways which also allow boating. There are picnic areas as well as two miles of trails all over the park, and you will also find pretty open meadows here. There is even a water play area where you can splash around and cool off in the summer heat.