Top 5 Sites and Spots in Charleston

Charleston is full of beautiful homes, history filled museums, and amazing local vendors, so where do you begin when exploring this beautiful city? It’s almost overwhelming trying to plan out all the places you want to visit in the second largest historic district in the world. To help, we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 must visit places while you’re in Charleston!

1. The Old Exchange

a large building with a clock on the side of a road

From Patriots being imprisoned in the dungeon, the constitution being ratified on the steps, to George Washington being entertained within the walls, the Old Exchange has seen it all. Completed in 1771 as the New Exchange and Customs House, it is now recognized as one of the most historic buildings in Charleston. The Colonial dressed guides can’t wait to tell you all the history attached to this building and if you’re lucky you might get to talk to one of our past carriage tour guides, Marshall!

2. Edmondston-Alston House

a tree in front of a building

One of the oldest houses along the High Battery, constructed in 1825, the Edmondston-Alston House presents a unique and accurate history of the people who lived within its walls. With an extensive collection of furniture, silver sets and decorations, most belonging to those who owned the house, it truly allows you to step back in time. The historical Greek revival structure survived the American Civil War, the Earthquake of 1886, and numerous hurricanes; allowing us to still be able to explore all the history it has to offer.

3. Slave Mart Museum

a large stone building with Old Slave Mart in the background

One of the most impactful places to visit in Charleston is the Old Slave Mart Museum established in 1938. It is the first museum on the history of slavery in the United States and Charleston’s oldest museum of African American history. It is located on Chalmers Street which is one of our historic cobblestone streets and the museum is housed in a portion of the city’s last major slave market. The Old Slave Mart’s purpose is to share the story of the domestic slave trade and is a must visit.

4. Dock Street Theatre

a group of people standing in front of a brick building

The Dock Street Theatre was the first building in America designed to be used solely for theatrical performances. Today it is open year round to showcase a variety of productions by both local arts groups and touring companies. If seeing a production doesn’t fit your schedule the doors are open daily for you to explore the beautiful history within and take a step back in time.

5. The City Market

a group of people walking down a street next to a building

The City Market is in the heart of the historic downtown allowing you to meet locals, take tours, shop local vendors, and eat some amazing food, all in one stop. If you’re looking for certified authentic Made in Charleston items check for vendors with a plaque! The most unique Charleston souvenir though are sweetgrass baskets, by Gullah artisans who can be found all around the market. The craft began over in West Africa and has been passed down through the generations, making it an amazing piece of history to take home and put on display.