Historic Charleston, South Carolina is undoubtedly one of Americaís most beautiful cities. There is so much to see and do and learn while visiting this darling little sliver of the Palmetto State. And while this charming city has a dizzying array of available activities to help lighten the weight of your wallet, there are also plenty of things to do that cost nothing but are just as exciting.
1. Stroll through the historic open-air Charleston City Market. The Market is home to hundreds of vendors peddling an eclectic assortment of wares. The stroll is free, and if you want to keep it that way you might want to keep your purse or wallet back in your RV. Itís too tempting not to buy anything.
2. Play in the fountains at Waterfront Park. There are two fountains located in this gorgeous park located off East Bay Street that are just screaming for you splash around in them. Once youíre happily soaked, lie on a beach towel in the grass and dry off, and then relax at one of the many quaint seating areas, aka "intimate garden rooms" located in the shade.
3. Take a picnic to the popular Angel Oak tree. The tree, located on Johnís Island, is believed to be more than 300 years old. Angel Oakís wide canopy provides a great backdrop for photos. Plus, there are plenty of picnic tables also located in the shade. The dainty gift shop has a nice variety of souvenirs and books filled with all kinds Lowcountry lore. Do note that restroom facilities are rather primitive--there is only a porta potty. And the parking area is small, so take your toad out on this excursion.
4. Visit Folly Beach. When you visit Charleston, if you only get a chance to visit one beach, make it Folly Beach. Itís one of my favorite beaches on the planet, ranked up there with Waikiki. Itís laid-back, itís hippie-ish, totally non-pretentious, has enough restaurants and shops to satisfy the whole clan and has several great surfing spots along with shops to rent surfboards from. And, of course, it also features a fabulous, wide beach with ahh-inducing warm waters in the summertime. Folly Beach just has an all-around ďI never want to leave this placeĒ feel to it.
5. Take a walk around The Battery. You will oooh, you will ahhh, you will fall head over heels in love with The Battery, its great views of the Charleston harbor, and all of the stunning historic mansions in the area. Not to mention the lovely White Point Garden park located at the tip of the peninsula.
6. Hike across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. If you really want an adventure, take a walk across this magnificent structure that connects Charleston to Mount Pleasant. While walking across it might not be ideal for those with a fear of heights, those who are looking for some good exercise and one of the best views in the city will be in for a treat. Make sure to slather on plenty of sunscreen before you go.
7. Take a stroll down King Street. Window shop at several great boutique shops like Bijuju, a colorful accessory boutique shop; Robot Candy Co. toy and candy store; Scout and Mollyís clothing store filled with laid-back, yet classy styles; Urban Outfitters; American Apparel; and Bartonís unique toy, chocolate and candy store, to name just a few.
8. Head to the Saturday morning Farmerís Market in Marion Square. This lively event is one of the most darling Farmerís Markets Iíve seen. It happens every Saturday and is filled with local farmers selling fresh, seasonal fruits and produce along with other food items like honey and eggs. But thatís not all. There are plenty of other vendors selling their products too, from soaps to sweetgrass baskets and everything in between, all with a special Lowcountry flair.
9. Drive to the Charleston Tea Plantation. Head out to Wadmalaw Island and get a chance to walk through tea fields, get a factory tour, sample fresh teas, and visit the Plantation gift shop. For a fee, visitors can also take a trolley ride through the tea fields.
10. Visit Isle of Palms. This popular island resort town has a fresh, upscale yet relaxed feeling to it. Take a drive around and check out all the magnificently large beachfront homes. And be sure to take a stroll along the expansive beaches.
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