3 Places in Charleston Serving Up Waves of Family Fun

For your next family road trip, consider a southern city that serves up plenty of amenities, activities and attractions to keep your family entertained and busy throughout your entire vacation. Learn about these three places in Charleston serving up waves of family fun.

1.Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

History is deeply intwined at this destination, as it was founded in 1676. Living through the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, the gardens are the oldest public tourist site in Lowcountry, as well as the oldest public gardens in our nation. The doors to the gardens opened to the public in 1879 and since that time, numerous guests have enjoyed strolling through the gardens and viewing the beautiful plants and flowers.

courtesy of Magnolia Facebook

For the kids, there are these activities to hold their interest:

  • Nature Tram Tour-Take the whole family on the 45-minute tour. Visit a variety of areas, including wetlands, marshes, forests and lakes. Guides will help point out a wide collection of animals throughout a large portion of the 600 acres. History is brought to life on the tour as well, as guides  will point out a row of slave cabins, rice ponds from the  19th  century and a Native American ceremonial mound. Give your kids’ feet a break and let them ride in style  while taking  in the sights. Tickets are $10 per person,  children five and under are free.
  •  Wildlife Boat Tour– This seasonal outing on the Ashley River provides plenty of wildlife sightings. From marsh-dwellers to birds of prey, there won’t be a shortage of animals spotted. Perhaps your visit will include a glimpse of the bald eagle.     
courtesy of Magnolia Facebook
  • The Wildlife Center-Open daily, this center offers a chance to the kids for up-close viewing of rescued and rehabilitated animals. They can see and learn about several domesticated animals, such as donkeys, pigs, miniature horses and goats. Ducks and chickens are also onsite.                                                                             
  • Audubon Swamp Garden- Open daily, this hike down the boardwalk will make you feel like you are in a different world. Kids will be interested in the trees growing in the water, giant lily pads, as well as all the birds, animals and plants that can be seen in and around the swamp.  Tickets for this swamp walk is $10 per person, with kids 6 and under are free.

2. South Carolina Aquarium

A great place to spend a rainy day or just a fun way to beat the southern heat, kids and adults alike will enjoy a tour of this Charleston aquarium. There are over 5,000 animals on hand to view and learn about. For instance, the Bald Eagle named Liberty only weighs seven pounds. Guests can also learn that American gators have between 74-80 teeth. A fun day on vacation can also be educational (just don’t tell the kids they might learn something!)

There are several exhibits on hand, including the foothills region, mountain forest, coastal plain and the outdoors saltmarsh Aviary. Make sure to stop by the Kids Coast and let them have some interactive play time.

Saltmarsh Aviary
Photo courtesy of South Carolina Aquarium.

3. Beaches

Charleston is home to five distinct and unique beach towns. There is definitely a beach just perfect for your outing. Location options include:

  • Kiawah Island– Great for world-class golfing with unparalleled views. Boasts 10 miles of beaches, as well as sand dunes, marshes (including wildlife such as gators, bobcats, deer and sea turtles reside) and maritime forests.
  • Folly Beach-Considered very family friendly, it boasts a laid back vibe. Some time on Folly Pier is always an option.
Free Folly Pier Charleston photo and picture
  • Sullivans Island– Near the Charleston Harbor,  just a few minutes away from Charleston. This island hosts a variety of local restaurants and beach shops, and prides itself on balancing perfection and peace.
  • Isle of Palms– Live the island lifestyle at the beach that is located about 10 minutes outside of Charleston. Live music, ice cream and pizza for sale will ensure the kiddos stay happy.
  • Seabrook Island-This beach stretches over three miles and offers shoreline horseback riding, kayaking and paddleboarding. A short drive outside the city limits, 30 minutes in the car will be worth spending time on the sandy beach.

While this article highlights three great options for family travel, there is plenty more waiting in Charleston. Head here to learn all the other fun, kid-friendly activities and attractions Charleston offers.

Have you recently traveled to Charleston? Please take a minute and share your favorite place in the South Carolina city.

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