Sunset in Charleston, SC

City Guide / Charleston

Moving to Charleston? 8 Things to See and Do

By Bri Hand | Jun 11, 2021

Charleston oozes charm, from its southern hospitality and rich history to its eclectic art and buzzing dining scene. If you are planning on moving to Charleston, you’ll have plenty to see as you explore downtown attractions, eat your way through local restaurants, and escape to the many beaches this city has to offer. 

Here are eight experiences you simply can’t miss if you’re moving to the Holy City:

1. Go on a walking tour through downtown Charleston

Downtown Charleston One of the best ways to become acquainted with a new city is by exploring it on foot, so start your life in Charleston by setting off on a walking tour through this city’s historic district. You can hire a tour guide from one of the many companies in town offering unique walking tours, or embark on a self-guided tour. 

Start at Waterfront Park, and walk along the promenades in The Battery, past grand Southern mansions, pastel-colored, historic homes, and plaques from the Civil War era. Marvel over views of Fort Sumter, walk beneath the white oak trees at White Point Gardens, and finish with a picnic at Washington Square.

2. Spend an afternoon at the beach

The coast surrounding Charleston offers no shortage of beaches. When you’re ready for a break from city life, head to Sullivan’s Island, which is a suburb at the entrance to Charleston Harbor. Take a peaceful stroll along the long stretches of sandy beach, bring a picnic lunch, and take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean.

3. Do a tasting at High Wire Distillery

If you’re a liquor enthusiast, stop by one of Charleston’s distilleries for a beverage or two. High Wire is Charleston’s first distillery since Prohibition and continues to draw people in today with its distinct, small-batch spirits. Learn more about the distilling process by taking a tour, or simply partake in a tasting of their handcrafted liquors, including whiskey, gin, and rum.

4. Shop in style

There is no shortage of shopping in Charleston. Look past the chain shops on King Street and check out local boutiques such as Ibu Movement, which showcases luxurious, artisanal goods from around the world, and Hampden Clothing, which sells curated collections of designer clothes. 

Next, wind your way through the stalls at the historic Charleston City Market, where you’ll find dozens of local artisans selling handicrafts and souvenirs.

5. Dig into a seafood feast

Seafood in Charleston

Charleston is a foodie heaven, full of restaurants inspired by Southern and Lowcountry concepts. With its proximity to the water, much of Charleston’s premium cuisine revolves around seafood. Your time in this coastal city would be incomplete without a fresh seafood feast.

The elegant, bright design of Darling Oyster Bar makes it one of Charleston’s favorites. Beyond the East Coast oysters, dig into favorites like shrimp and grits, King Crab leg, and Old Bay spiced shrimp. Top it off with a glass of wine or a cocktail from their impressive drink menu. 

The Ordinary is another must-visit for seafood lovers, serving dishes such as oysters on the half shell, lobster rolls, and crispy oyster sliders. This restaurant is located in a converted 1920s bank, with high ceilings and white tile accents to admire. Reservations are recommended to ensure you get a table. 

6. Explore the churches

Charleston didn’t earn the name “Holy City” without reason. This town is a spiritual mecca in North America, with over 400 churches dotting the skyline. These churches are a testament to Charleston’s history, so they’re worth a visit. 

Stop by St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, which was built in the 1750s and is the oldest standing church in Charleston. The majestic bricks, steeples, and historic graveyard of St. Philip’s Church, built in the early 19th century, are also worth checking out.

7. Brush up on history

History in CharlestonFounded in 1670, this port city has stories spanning centuries, from the Revolutionary War and Civil War eras to the Civil Rights Movement. The Charleston Museum, North America’s oldest museum, is a must-see, with exhibits and galleries throughout many eras of U.S. history. 

The Gibbes Museum of Art houses impressive galleries of American Art in a historic and grand building. Other historical sites where you can dig deeper into South Carolina’s history include Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, the Old Slave Mart Museum, and Mcleod Plantation Historic Site, a former plantation on James Island.

8. Take a cruise in Charleston Harbor

Charleston HarborAfter you’ve completed Charleston by land, head to Charleston Harbor, where the Cooper River meets the Ashley River, and book yourself a cruise. Choose from an hour tour, or longer, to experience Charleston from the water and gain a unique perspective on the city’s unique geography, military history, and landmarks.

Whether you’re planning on moving to Charleston for good, or just want an extended stay, there’s plenty to do and see in this historic city to keep you occupied. Interested in making a move to Charleston? Landing offers furnished apartments in Charleston with flexible lease terms that make it possible to stay for as long as you want in this southern spot. Browse Landing’s available apartments in Charleston, or contact us to learn more about how Landing works.

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About the author

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Landing's Content Marketing Manager. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her partner and dog, Arlo, but relishes any opportunity she can to travel so she can try new foods, see gorgeous sights, and daydream about living somewhere new after visiting there for less than 24 hours.