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10 Fun Things To Do On A Budget In Charleston

Charleston has once again been voted the #1 City in the U.S. and was the only U.S. city included among the 25 Best Cities in the World by the readers of Travel + Leisure. So, not only is Charleston a popular tourism destination, but it can also be pricey. The cost of gas, food, and activities can add up quickly, but there are plenty of ways to save cash in the Holy City. 

If you happen to stay at Fulton Lane Inn or Kings Courtyard Inn in downtown Charleston, you will be within walking distance of so much of what Charleston has to offer. Check out these budget-friendly activities all less than 2 miles away from the hotels!

Waterfront Park

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Waterfront Park is free and open to the public. It is home to the famous Pineapple Fountain. With views of the Charleston Harbor and the Cooper River, the park is essentially one of the most romantic and scenic destinations in all of downtown. It has the power to make any newcomer fall in love with our historic city. 

Charleston Wine Company

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As the first urban winery in the city, Charleston Wine Co. dedicates itself to providing some of the most affordable and locally-made wine options in town. After exploring some of Charleston’s finest sights during the day, head over and enjoy two free wine tastings before purchasing a glass or bottle to take home.

Charleston City Market

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Visit one of the most historic places the city has to offer. Located in the heart of downtown, the Charleston City Market has a design structure unlike anything in the city. Purchase or just window shop from local vendors offering items from sweet treats to jewelry to sweetgrass baskets.

Gibbes Museum of Art

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The Gibbes Museum of Art offers some of Charleston’s finest art pieces. This museum is home to the foremost collection of American art that incorporates the story of our city. The museum connects everyone to the city and region’s artistic past to a vibrant contemporary art scene. The best part is that you can purchase a ticket for as little as $1!

Off Track Ice Cream

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The summer season in Charleston can get pretty hot, and what better way to beat the heat than spending a few dollars on ice cream? Off Track Ice Cream is a local ice cream shop that serves both traditional and vegan flavors that are guaranteed to make anyone smile.

Charleston Visitors Center

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Recently renovated in 2020, the Charleston Visitors Center offers various services to any guests to help make their stay in Charleston more relaxed and enjoyable. Located in the old Deans Warehouse, its location falls in the heart of downtown and is central to various activities surrounding the area. 

Rainbow Row

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It is essential for any visitor to Charleston to check out the iconic Rainbow Row. Located along the Battery on East Bay Street, Rainbow Row is home to some of the most colorful buildings in the city. You will find couples taking engagement photos or tourist groups snapping photos on a daily basis. It’s the perfect backdrop for your own selfie!

White Point Garden

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This prominent landmark has some of Charleston’s finest views. Located on the bottom of the peninsula, White Point Garden is home to 5.7 acres of oak trees and greenery. Views can stretch as far as the Cooper and Ashley Rivers meeting the Atlantic Ocean. Take a pause from exploring the holy city and relax on some of the benches that line the pathways throughout the park.

First Friday Art Walks

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First Friday Artwalks are self-guided art tours and are one of Charleston’s secret gems! Free and open to the public, these tours celebrate local artists and feature dozens of art galleries. The Charleston Gallery Association has the honor of hosting this event almost year round, so there’s always time to appreciate the local artists. 

Circa 1886 Restaurant Happy Hour

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After a long day of exploring downtown Charleston, nothing beats a good happy hour. Circa 1886 Restaurant is located on the grounds of the Wentworth Mansion® and offers a daily Happy Hour celebration. Choose from a select list of wines and specialty cocktails all $7 from Monday-Tuesday, Thursday-Saturday in the bar area from 5 pm to 7 pm. 

As you can see, there are many fun and budget-friendly activities to enjoy while you are in Charleston!