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Charleston Waterfront Park

Stroll the city’s waterfront esplanades at sunset, when the afternoon sun begins to dip and the harbor is lit with soft colors.

Charleston Waterfront Park reflects the character and history of the city’s architecture and gardens. At the southernmost point of the eight-acre (three-hectare) park, a wooden pier juts out over the Charleston Harbor.

Sit on one of the old-fashion benches and take in views of the esplanade, which curls along the waterline, through salt marshes and palmetto trees to a central grassy lawn. Bring a picnic and relax while watching boats in the harbor. There are swings for children and paths for strolling or jogging.

Before 1990 the waterfront was an unattractive, fire-damaged area, which was historically used for shipping. It was restored with the help of local architects and artists into a beautiful and vibrant gathering place.

In the center of the park is Charleston’s iconic Pineapple Fountain, a charming subject for photos. The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality dating back to early colonial days.

The City Gallery sits beside the fountain and showcases local, national and international artists, with rotating exhibits throughout the year.  

Take a detour down Exchange Street to visit the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon. Tour the exchange for a history of the American Revolution and Civil War, and stories of prisoners kept here during the revolution.

At the north end of Concord Street, oak trees and landscaped gardens create inviting shade. If you’re hungry, stop in at one of the restaurants that serve Southern delicacies such as pimento cheese rib eye and fried green tomatoes with blue crab. There are many choices for eating a meal with views of the harbor.

The South Carolina Aquarium at the north end of the park has creatures from local and international habitats.

Water taxi tours cruise around the harbor and across to Patriot’s Point Maritime Museum.  

The Charleston Waterfront Park, in downtown, is accessible at any time of the day or night. Attraction opening hours vary. Navigate the park by foot, or on a bicycle rented from stores around Charleston. The free DASH shuttle stops at the park, as well as other downtown attractions.


Guide to Exploring Waterfront Park


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Top Hotel Deals

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The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel £158
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel

115 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Historic Charleston, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Gibbes Museum of Art and Charleston City Market. Waterfront Park and Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal are also within 10 minutes.

    The Vendue £139
    The Vendue

    The Vendue

    19 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Historic Charleston, this romantic hotel is steps away from City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Waterfront Park and Charleston Waterfront Park. Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal and Charleston City Market are also within 10 minutes.

      Cambria Hotel Charleston Riverview £92
      Cambria Hotel Charleston Riverview

      Cambria Hotel Charleston Riverview

      84 Ripley Point Dr, Charleston, SC
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated on the waterfront, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, Cannon Park and American Theater. PURE Theatre and Music Farm are also within 3 miles (5 km).

        French Quarter Inn £226
        French Quarter Inn

        French Quarter Inn

        166 Church St, Charleston, SC
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Historic Charleston, this romantic hotel is steps away from Confederate Museum and Charleston City Market. Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal and Waterfront Park are also within 10 minutes.

          HarbourView Inn £213
          HarbourView Inn

          HarbourView Inn

          2 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Historic Charleston, this romantic hotel is steps away from City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal and Waterfront Park. Charleston City Market and Charleston Waterfront Park are also within 10 minutes.

            The Restoration £218
            The Restoration

            The Restoration

            75 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Historic Charleston, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church and Charleston City Market. College of Charleston and Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal are also within 15 minutes.

              The Francis Marion Hotel £111
              The Francis Marion Hotel

              The Francis Marion Hotel

              387 King St, Charleston, SC
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Historic Charleston, this spa hotel is steps away from Marion Square and College of Charleston. Charleston Music Hall and Charleston Museum are also within 10 minutes.

                Days Inn by Wyndham Charleston Historic District £87
                Days Inn by Wyndham Charleston Historic District

                Days Inn by Wyndham Charleston Historic District

                155 Meeting St, Charleston, SC
                   
                  2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Historic Charleston, this motel is steps away from Confederate Museum and Charleston City Market. Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal and Waterfront Park are also within 10 minutes.