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Charleston Budget Conscious Activities
Let’s be honest. Charleston isn’t exactly known for being an inexpensive place to visit or live. But there are ways to spend an afternoon without spending a mint. Whether you’re new to the area or have been here for years, there are tons of interesting budget friendly things to do in the Charleston area that won't break the bank, and many of them are free!
Walk the boardwalk in Shem Creek. This waterfront area has a new park and boardwalk offering panoramic views of the marsh and Charleston Harbor.
Visit Summerville’s historic Downtown area. Especially beautiful this time of year Summerville’s motto is the Flower Town in the Pines. Since the early 1900’s tourists have flocked to the town to enjoy millions of spring blossoms especially azaleas. The picturesque Downtown area is home to dozens of boutiques, galleries and cafés. Don’t skip the ice cream float at Guerin’s Pharmacy, the oldest pharmacy in South Carolina.
This is obvious but should be included nevertheless. The Battery is a great starting point for a walk of the historic area, or for an afternoon picnic in White Point Garden or Battery Park. Originally a defensive sea wall and promenade, it stretches along the lower shores of the Charleston peninsula bordered by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers which meet here to form the Charleston Harbor.
Walk, run, or bike the Ravenel Bridge. Park on either end and enjoy the views from atop this iconic edifice. It’s a different journey each time with various ships and sailboats coming and going, dolphins playing below, and weather and clouds blowing in.
Visit Charleston’s Tea Plantation and explore one of the area’s most unspoiled islands, Wadmalaw. Producing the only tea grown completely in America, The Charleston Tea Plantation has a very interesting history dating back to 1888. Bring a picnic, enjoy the island and drink all the iced tea you want!
While you’re on Wadmalaw check out Deep Water Vineyard and Firelfly Distillery. Deep Water Vineyard makes wine from muscadine grapes. Muscadines are native to the Southeast and have very high levels of polyphenols (antioxidants) making them a “super fruit”. Enjoy their self-guided tour of the vineyards Tuesday through Saturday. Firefly Distillery is South Carolina’s first and largest distillery and is home to the Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka. Tour the 48-acre vineyard and distillery or take advantage of the walking trails, seasonal gardens and petting zoo!
The Angel Oak is an absolute must see for anyone visiting the Charleston area. Estimated to be between 400 and 500 years old this ancient tree stand 66.5 feet tall, measures 28 feet in circumference and covers 17,200 feet with shade. The angel oak is thought to be one of the oldest living things in the country. The land it stands on is on John’s Island and was part of the original Abraham Waight’s 1717 land grant.
Explore the Charleston City Market, a historic market complex in Downtown Charleston. Established in the 1790’s it runs for four city blocks from Meeting to East Bay and was designated a National Historic Landmark. Throughout the 19th century the market provided a place for area farmers to sell beef and produce, and to gather for socializing. Today the vendors sell souvenirs from t-shirts to jewelry and one of a kind artwork, including famous Low country Gullah Sweetgrass Baskets.
Visitors are welcome at The Palmetto Carriage Works at 8 Guignard St, Stop and see the horses, mules and other animals inside the Red Barn. This family owned company is the oldest carriage tour company in Charleston!
Just a few steps away from The Palmetto Carriage works, visit the Charleston Waterfront Park. Sit in the swings and watch boats come and go in the harbor, dip your toes in the Pineapple Fountain or settle down for a picnic and an afternoon of people watching.
Step inside the Mace Brown Museum of Natural History for a guided tour by one of the College of Charleston’s geology students. Over 1000 fossils are on display here including dinosaur bones, cave bears, Pleistocene mammals of the Carolina’s, and even a reconstructed jaw housing the teeth from the giant extinct shark Megalodon.
The Circular Congregational Church has what is probably the oldest English burial ground still in existence. Many gravestones have disappeared but approx. 500 still remain with the earliest dating to 1695 and more than 150 from before 1776.
The Palmetto Trail is South Carolina’s longest pedestrian and bicycle trail, 500 continuous miles! Connecting to multiple state and county parks, national forests, nature preserves and Revolutionary War battlefields as well as Native American paths, the entire trail is open to hiking and backpacking with designated areas available for mountain biking, horseback riding and camping.
About Dan Lorentz, ABR, CRS, Founder & Team Leader of Greater Charleston Properties: Founder and Team Leader of the Greater Charleston Properties Team, Dan Lorentz, has lived in the Charleston, SC ....
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