For years, Charleston has been a hotspot for romantic getaways for couples. There are so many amazing things to do in Charleston, SC for couples.
It’s hard to beat the cozy, romantic vibe that the city gives off, along with the beauty of the town itself. There is no scarcity of romantic trips, activities, inns, and beaches to visit, all right in Charleston!
Since the choices seem endless, it can be difficult to pick the perfect romantic activity to do as a couple. We asked our friend Sarah from Explore More NC, to cover this topic more in-depth.
So, in today’s article, we have all the possibilities right here in one list. Stick around, and enjoy!
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- Things to do in Charleston, SC for Couples
- Is Charleston, SC a Romantic City?
- What Should I Do For My Anniversary in Charleston, SC?
- Things to do in Charleston, SC at Night
- Free Things to do in Charleston, SC for Couples
- Driving to Charleston, SC
- Final Thoughts
Things to do in Charleston, SC for Couples
1. Charleston Harbor
The Charleston Harbor has been a hub of the city since the beginning. The water is beautiful, and the cityscape is gorgeous to look at from the water.
There are a few ways you can incorporate a trip to the harbor into your date! Besides walking along the pier, taking a boat tour of Charleston Harbor is often a relaxing, and peaceful activity. Snuggle up, and take a daytime or sunset cruise with your loved one.
If you are looking to do something a little more active, taking a guided kayak tour of the harbor is a great way to spend a couple of hours with your partner!
It’s not only a great team-building exercise, but it is also a great way to explore the Lowcountry, and see a wide variety of birds, turtles, and get up close to the dolphins.
2. Downtown Charleston
Downtown Charleston is where the heart of the entire city lies. The history is rich in this area and is a staple for residents.
This area has almost anything you can think of, and is a very popular place for couples to visit as they look for something fun to do! Here are some options you have for dates in downtown Charleston.
There are plenty of small shops, gift shops, and souvenir stores throughout downtown.
If you are a visitor to the area, taking a trip with your loved one downtown to visit a few of these shops is not only a great way to spend some time together, but it’s also a great way to pick up some souvenirs for the family.
Be sure to visit Shop Historic Charleston, Best Gift Idea Ever, and Old Charleston Trading Company, just to name a few.
Tour Historic Homes
The history of Charleston is extremely important, as the area played a major role in the Civil War. Since the 1600s, people have named Charleston their home, and many of those homes still exist today!
If you’re interested in history or looking to learn a little bit more about life hundreds of years ago, touring some of the historic homes is a great date idea.
The Williams Mansion, Nathaniel Russell House, and the Heyword-Washington House are great places to start.
Considered one of the most romantic areas in all of downtown Charleston, the French Quarter is a beautiful place to take a romantic stroll and explore centuries of history.
The French Quarter is Charleston’s part of the original walled city and is famous for its many markets, and shops.
Inside the French Quarter, today are many museums, art walks, markets, beautiful old architecture, and cobblestone streets, all perfect for viewing and exploring as a date.
For over 300 years, King Street has been one of Charleston’s most beautiful, historically and architecturally significant streets.
After all these years, King Street still has some of the most incredible architecture, delicious restaurants, and city parks. With all the excitement happening along King Street, you will surely find something perfect to do with your loved one!
Charleston City Market
Established in the 1790s, this large market stretches for four city blocks. It is a great place to purchase from local artists, see live music, and try unique pastries and other foods.
The market showcases over 100 local artists, all of which come during the night markets to share their art and goods. The city market has been a hotspot for centuries, and to this day continues to please and delight people with all its charm.
The Spa at Charleston Place
Charleston Place is an iconic, and luxurious hotel in downtown Charleston. With over 400 rooms, amazing dining options, and a full-service spa, this would be the romantic stay of a lifetime.
The spa has been named the best spa in the city of Charleston, complete with facials and massages. If you are looking to completely rewind, relax, and let go, this is the perfect place for you.
3. The Battery & White Point Gardens
At the very tip of the peninsula of Charleston, on 5.7 acres, the Battery and White Point Garden sit as a historical monument for the area.
The gardens have always been a public area, later turning into a fortification for Charleston as the Civil War broke out. Today, anyone who visits can see historical relics, and cannons used during the war.
The gardens are a beautiful area to walk around, stop and have a picnic, visit the gazebo, and learn a little bit more about Charleston’s role in the American Revolution.
Strolling White Point Gardens is one of the most romantic things to do in Charleston!
4. Magnolia Plantation
Dating back to 1676, The Magnolia Plantation is Charleston’s most visited plantation and America’s last large-scale romantic garden.
For years the plantation has been voted America’s most beautiful garden by Travel+Leisure magazine, so you can only imagine how gorgeous it truly is inside.
Magnolia’s goal is to harmonize nature and humanity in the most beautiful way possible. Walking amongst the flowers and large native Southern trees is an extremely romantic and beautiful way to spend an afternoon with your lover.
You can take self-guided tours or walks through the gardens, however, there are also plenty of guided tours of the gardens, the plantation house, the zoo, and more.
With a handful of well-decorated and stunning locations on site, Magnolia Plantation is also a very popular place for weddings and elopements.
5. Horse-drawn Carriage
What’s more romantic than a horse-drawn carriage ride through the beautiful city? After a romantic dinner, taking a carriage ride is a great way to wind down the evening, and see the city. Here are two companies that offer rides.
Palmetto Carriage Works
Palmetto Carriage Works is the oldest carriage tour company in Charleston! Riding through historic downtown Charleston, you can take 30-60 minute tours during the day or in the evening.
Private carriage rides are offered to see even more of the historic city including churches, and mansions, and to learn more about the architecture of the city. The private rides are the perfect way to spend a romantic evening.
Old South Carriage Co
Old South Carriage Company offers the most comfortable rides through the city with an engaging guide and beautiful horses.
If you are looking for a charming ride with an in-depth look at Charlestons’ rich history, this is the perfect ride for you and your lover. The carriages are authentic and simply beautiful, and a great way to get around the city.
6. Folly Beach
Just south of Charleston, Folly Beach is a quaint beach town. Folly Beach is popular for its beautiful oceanfront, sandy beaches, many restaurants and shops, and the Folly Beach pier that stretches more than 1,000 feet into the Atlantic ocean.
You can easily spend a weekend having a romantic getaway, or come for the evening for dinner and a lovely walk on the beach.
Morris Island Lighthouse is another popular destination near Folly Beach. You can’t drive up to it, but from Ashley Avenue, you can go north to Folly Beach park and see the best views of the lighthouse from the small beach. It is a great place to have a picnic or enjoy the sunset.
7. Middleton Place
Middleton Place is America’s oldest landscape garden and is located directly across from the Ashley River. These beautiful gardens are a rare survivor of the American Revolution, and the house is a National Historic Landmark.
The perfectly manicured lawns and gardens are a gorgeous place for a date night, as you can walk you can visit the livestock, or rest and have a picnic on the lawn.
If you are interested, tours are available of the historic house, and you are also welcome to see live demonstrations of what life was like at the house, including blacksmithing demonstrations.
After enjoying the grounds, stop by the Middleton Place Restaurant for a romantic, and delicious lunch or dinner, made with all fresh local ingredients.
8. Charleston Riverdogs
Alright sports fans! This one’s for you. The Charleston Riverdogs are a favorite minor league baseball team amongst the Charleston residents. Bill Murray is a co-owner of the team!
The 2023 season will go from April through mid-September, and tickets for this season are on sale now. If you and your partner love baseball, there isn’t a better way to spend an afternoon or evening than stopping by a game and enjoying the fun.
The Charleston Riverdogs food truck will be parked on-site at every game for all your snack and dining needs. Make sure to check out the gift shop on your way out for a souvenir!
9. Fort Sumter National Monument
Fort Sumter was built after the War of 1812 right in the middle of Charleston Harbor. For history lovers, or those looking for something different to do for a date, this is the perfect opportunity to get out and explore!
The fort is only accessible by ferry, after you purchase a ferry ticket, the buildings and exhibits are free to enjoy. You can see war relics and learn a little bit more about Charleston’s history, all while enjoying a lovely ferry ride through the harbor.
10. Charleston Tea Plantation
In the heart of the Lowcountry of South Carolina, the Charleston Tea Plantation sits on historic Wadmalaw Island.
Wadmalaw Island is connected to the mainland by only one small bridge and is considered to be one of Charleston’s most unspoiled lands. Since 1666 the tea plantation has been operating the lands providing tea for the community all around.
Today, they offer a few varieties of tours of the land, all perfect for an afternoon date! Trolley tours take you around most of the property, and are a great way to see lots of the beautiful land.
The greenhouse is a stop on the trolley tour, where you can see how the tea is grown. After the trolley tour, stop by the factory for an up-close look at how tea is made!
There is of course a gift shop to purchase the teas and other souvenirs. The island is amazingly picturesque, and something a little out of the ordinary than your regular date.
11. Cypress Gardens
Since 1932, Cypress Gardens have been a beloved 170-acre nature preserve. Not only is the land unique and remarkable, but many visitors come here to see where parts of the major motion picture “The Notebook” and “The Patriot” were filmed.
There are plenty of tours and things to do inside the gardens, including swamp boat tours, a butterfly house, and a small aquarium/reptile center.
Of course, the land is beautiful and can be the perfect place for an afternoon date! Cyprus Gardens also has multiple locations for on-site weddings/rentals.
If you love nature preserves and happen to be in the Charlotte, NC area, make sure to also check out the Latta Nature Preserve in Huntersville, NC, while on-site you can also visit the Carolina Raptor Center.
Take a stroll on the Raptor Trail which is a ¾ mile-walking trail where you’ll be able to see about 30 birds of prey that they help rehabilitate.
Is Charleston, SC a Romantic City?
Charleston, SC, has been voted a top romantic destination by many travel magazines and websites for years.
Between the cozy charm of the city, the cobblestone streets, the museums, beautiful beaches, and hotels, there is just something about the town that has a romantic allure.
Many visitors and residents will recommend Charleston as the perfect romantic getaway because of the number of fun things to do as a couple.
What Should I Do For My Anniversary in Charleston, SC?
Anniversaries are a beautiful day dedicated to you and your partner to share your love and bask in the beauty of a life spent together.
Besides touring parts of the city, and visiting the gardens, etc. there are a few other things that would make your anniversary a very special day!
Circa 1886 Restaurant
Dining at a restaurant is a classic anniversary date. Circa 1886 will provide you with a charming romantic dinner, in a beautiful atmosphere.
The restaurant is nestled in the original carriage house of the Wentworth Mansion. The decor is extremely sophisticated and flourishing with Southern charm.
Beyond that, it’s one of the finest restaurants in Charleston, and the menu will not disappoint. The meals are extraordinary, Southern-style meals done with the utmost elegance.
Be sure to see their specially curated wine list, and house-made cocktails during your visit.
Located in the French Quarter, Magnolias has been a staple to the town for over 30 years. Their focus is on providing the most comfortable, romantic environment while serving the most upscale Southern-style foods.
You can visit Magnolias for breakfast, lunch, or dinner to celebrate your anniversary any time of the day. It is a great opportunity to have wonderful food, and dress up (there is a dressy casual/dressy business style dress code).
The Gaillard Center is one of Charleston’s grandest performing arts centers. This non-profit theater has been delighting the community with fabulous operas, plays, and musicals since 2015. The theater is divine, and breathtaking, the perfect place for a special anniversary.
Wine Tasting at Wine & Company
Wine tasting is an excellent way to let loose, and spend some time with your loved one. Wine and Company is Charlestons’ newest wine shop, and it is quickly becoming many visitors’ favorites!
Wine and Company offer private wine tastings for the most memorable evenings. Sit back and relax as you are served 5 hand-picked wines, paired with delicious cheeses and charcuterie.
Things to do in Charleston, SC at Night
Nighttime is usually when most couples have the chance to get out and enjoy the evening with romantic drinks, dinner options, sunset walks, and much more. Here are a couple of great night date ideas to do in Charleston.
Charleston has a wide variety of rooftop bars scattered all across the city. All are highly rated, and great places to relax and spend the evening.
Whether you are looking for dinner and drinks well into the evening, or just looking to see the sunset and have a glass of wine, you have many choices in Charleston.
Élevé Rooftop Restaurant and Lounge, The Vendue, and Stars Rooftop & Grill Room are just a few of Charleston’s most romantic rooftop bars.
Sailing through the harbor is a great unique date idea, and it’s even better during sunset! There are a handful of companies that offer sunset cruises and tours around the Charleston harbor.
If you are looking for a group setting or private tours, you can have it all! Look into Harborview Charters, Schooner Pride Charleston Tours & Events, or Sandlapper Pride the next time you want to take a sunset cruise date.
Free Things to do in Charleston, SC for Couples
Nothing beats a free date day! Spending less money, and being able to still enjoy time well spent together is the best way to go. If you are looking for some free date options, here they are.
Pickett Bridge at Sunset
Pickett Bridge is the site of an old trolley bridge that once ran between Mt. Sullivan and Sullivan’s Island.
It is now a pleasant park to visit, enjoy the bike or jogging trails, or utilize the boat launch. Pickett Bridge has some of the most spectacular sunset views overlooking the harbor and can be a really romantic way to spend the evening.
Mace Brown Museum of Natural History
The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History is located on the College of Charleston campus and is a free public museum for all.
The museum has over 15,000 fossils from around the world and has a world-renowned exhibit on whales and their evolution. During a rainy day or a cold winter day, this is the perfect place to come explore!
Angel Oak Tree
Everyone locally knows and loves the Angel Oak Tree. This magnificent tree stretches over 60 feet tall and has the wildest and most beautiful branches that form a large canopy.
Located on Johns Island, the tree is known as a “Lowcountry treasure” and is estimated to be 300-400 years old. It is free to visit, however, there is a small donation box to donate money to help maintain the area.
While you can’t sit directly under the tree, there are picnic areas nearby. You’ve never seen anything like it!
Driving to Charleston, SC
It’s just under a 2 hr drive from Savannah GA to Charleston SC. From Asheville NC to Charleston SC it’s about a 4 hr drive. It’s an easy drive from many locations on the east coast thanks to I-26 leading right into the city.
If you were feeling stumped thinking of date ideas, hopefully now you have an entire list of ways you can spend a romantic day or evening with your partner!
From luxurious spas, or fine dining options, to carriage rides, to simple walks through the city or parks, there are so many things to do in Charleston, SC for couples that will make your date feel special.
About the Author: Sarah Murphy is a wife and mother to two amazing teenagers. Formally a professional portrait photographer, she has transferred her passion to capture the beautiful world that surrounds us.
Sarah is local to North Carolina and loves to share her passion for travel, exploring, and food through her site at exploremoreNC.com. She encourages everyone to get out, live more and have fun. Life is all about experiences!