Rain or Shine, There's Plenty To ExploreFrom blossoming gardens and ancient oaks, to waterfront parks and the wonders of sea life, Charleston is the perfect backdrop for exploring the natural world around us (and having fun while you do it)
Angel OakOpen daily 9am - 5pm. Owned and operated by the City of Charleston Department of Parks. The Angel Oak is a Live Oak tree, estimated to be 1,400 years old. Live oaks are not particularly tall, but have wide spreading canopies. Only in the very oldest of specimens do you find massive limbs resting on the ground, as do the limbs of the Angel Oak. It stands 65ft. high and provides a 17,000 square foot area of shade. No admission charge.
Audubon Center at Francis Beidler ForestThe 15,000-acre sanctuary for plant and animal life is located in Four Holes Swamp and contains the largest remaining virgin stand of bald cypress and tupelo trees in the world. A mile-and-3 quarters boardwalk begins at the Visitor's Center and sweeps past portions of majestic swamp, where ancient trees, migrating birds, and colorful wildflowers can be quietly oberserved. 35 miles NW of Charleston, Exit 187-SC 187 off I-26. Open 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Tues.-Sun. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day. Adults/$8.00, 6-18 years/$4.00, Children under 6/free. Audubon members/$7.
Battery Park/Whitepoint GardensThe Battery, which includes a park known as White Point Garden, is a landmark promenade in Charleston. Stretching along the shores of the Charleston peninsula and bordered by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. Fort Sumter is visible from the Cooper River side and the point, as is Castle Pinckney, the World War II aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, Fort Moultrie and Sullivan's Island.
Charles Pinckney National Historic SiteDaily 9:00am to 5:00pm, closed New Year’s, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Free admission. The National Park Service preserves a remnant of Founding Father Charles Pinckney’s plantation, Snee Farm. An 1828 Lowcountry cottage serves as museum and visitor center. 20-minute film & ˝ mile trail.
Charles Towne Landing State Historic SiteBegin your Charleston experience where English settlers established the first permanent European colony in Carolina. This 664-acre historic treasure boasts a replica 17th-century tall ship, functional cannons, a zoo, and an award-winning museum! An exceptional experience at an affordable price.
Folly Beach Fishing PierGreat saltwater fishing, walking, birding, dining, and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean are just some of the possibilities offered at this 1,045 ft landmark pier. Special events and tournaments held seasonally. Visit our website for amenities, fees, and hours of operation.
Francis Marion National ForestA 250-thousand-acre forest located in the Coastal Plains north of Charleston. The forest offers wide variety of recreation activities including picnicking & camping sites, boat ramps, fishing ponds, rifle ranges, hiking, horse & motorcycle trails. For more information write: District Ranger, Witherbee Ranger District, HCR 69, Box 1532, Moncks Corner, SC 29461 or write: District Ranger, Wambaw Ranger District, PO Box 106, McClellanville, SC 29458.
Hampton ParkA historic park with camellias and azaleas in bloom in spring, roses bloom in the summer; 1-mile nature trail; Charleston's mounted horse patrol stables nearby.
Historic Charleston BatteryNo trip to Charleston is complete without a stop at White Point Gardens, known popularly as Battery Park. This peaceful park offers unprecedented views of Charleston Harbor and Fort Sumter, while a look back across the street promises fantastic images of beautiful Charleston mansions. Enormous oak trees provide serene shade to the park, and a display of weapons and cannons used in the Civil War make for a unique play area for children. You'll see a Columbiad used to shell Fort Sumter in 1861, two seacoast mortars, and more - be sure to bring a camera to snap photos of your family clamoring and playing on the cannons! During the early 18th century, the park was used as the home of the gallows, where Stede Bonnet - the "gentleman pirate" - and dozens of others were hanged. By 1837, the land was in use as a public garden. Weddings and other special events are frequently held at the beautiful, massive white gazebo in the center of the park, but on off-days it makes for a beautiful place to sit and take in the beauty and charm of Charleston!
Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront ParkLocated at the foot of the Ravenel Bridge, featuring a visitor center/reception facility, Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Pavilion, a war memorial and nautical-themed playground. Adjacent to the Mount Pleasant Pier.
North Charleston Riverfront ParkSet on the banks of the Cooper River, the park boasts a performance pavilion, expansive lawn, and picnic shelter, as well as 10 acres of walking paths, playground, fishing pier, boardwalk, dog park, and play fountain. Hosts Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial and annual National Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition. Free parking/admission.
Old Santee Canal ParkOld Santee Canal is a 195 acre park located on the first true canal in America. The park's boardwalks and trails wander through Biggin Creek leading to the last one mile section of the old canal. Visitors can canoe or hike through the park and see an abundance of nature.
Shem Creek ParkShem Creek Park in Mount Pleasant is located off Coleman Boulevard in close proximity to the Charleston Harbor. A float dock is available for mooring day trippers, or board a water taxi. Take a leisurely stroll or welcome the shrimp Trawlers along the long boardwalk.
Waterfront ParkThis park is an eight-acre linear park and pier along the Charleston Harbor entry. The park masterfully combines spectacular fountains, spacious lawns, intimate garden "rooms," walking and jogging path and a long pier with picnic tables and wooden swings.