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Waterfront Park

Vacation Travel Guide
Charleston Waterfront Park featuring autumn colours, a coastal town and landscape views

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.

Top things to do in Waterfront Park

Top Hotels Close to Waterfront Park

Days Inn by Wyndham Charleston Historic District
Days Inn by Wyndham Charleston Historic District
2 out of 5
155 Meeting St, Charleston, SC
The price is CA $168 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 1
Located in Charleston Historic District, this motel is steps from Gibbes Museum of Art and Charleston City Market. Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal and Waterfront ...
3.3/5 (1,352 reviews)
"Fabulous location and priced appropriately. The room was clean and comfortable. It is what I expected for the star rating, e.g. noisy box air conditioner, vs. central air. We had a palmetto bug in the room, which was quite scary, but relatively common in the south and not likely to recur. Check in ..."

Reviewed on Jul. 26, 2021

Days Inn by Wyndham Charleston Historic District
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
4 out of 5
115 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $271 per night from Aug 15 to Aug 15
Located in Charleston Historic District, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Gibbes Museum of Art and Charleston City Market. Waterfront Park and ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,344 reviews)
"Pleasant and quiet. Convenient to all attractions. The rooms are not maintained as well as the public areas. The age of the hotel is more evident."

Reviewed on Jul. 26, 2021

The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Emeline
Emeline
4 out of 5
181 Church St, Charleston, SC
The price is CA $337 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Located in Charleston Historic District, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Charleston Legends and Lore Ghost Theater and Charleston City Market. Port of ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (378 reviews)
"Great stay at Ameline! Friendly staff. Excellent service. Great location. Room was well appointed and loved listening to the vinyl records. What an unexpected surprise!"

Reviewed on Jul. 26, 2021

Emeline
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Waterfront Park

Days Inn by Wyndham Charleston Historic District
Days Inn by Wyndham Charleston Historic District
2 out of 5
155 Meeting St, Charleston, SC
The price is CA $168 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 1
Days Inn by Wyndham Charleston Historic District
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
4 out of 5
115 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
The price is CA $271 per night from Aug 15 to Aug 15
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Emeline
Emeline
4 out of 5
181 Church St, Charleston, SC
The price is CA $337 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Emeline
The Ryder Hotel
The Ryder Hotel
3.5 out of 5
237 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
The price is CA $314 per night from Aug 23 to Aug 23
The Ryder Hotel
The Vendue
The Vendue
4 out of 5
19 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC
The price is CA $409 per night from Aug 23 to Aug 23
The Vendue
Charleston Place, A Belmond Hotel, Charleston
Charleston Place, A Belmond Hotel, Charleston
5 out of 5
205 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
The price is CA $501 per night from Aug 23 to Aug 23
Charleston Place, A Belmond Hotel, Charleston
The Meeting Street Inn
The Meeting Street Inn
3 out of 5
173 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC
The price is CA $242 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
The Meeting Street Inn
The Francis Marion Hotel
The Francis Marion Hotel
4 out of 5
387 King St, Charleston, SC
The price is CA $200 per night from Aug 15 to Aug 15
The Francis Marion Hotel
HarbourView Inn
HarbourView Inn
4 out of 5
2 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC
The price is CA $449 per night from Aug 3 to Aug 3
HarbourView Inn
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.