A Family Vacation Guide: Charleston, SC

A couple weeks ago we made our second trip to Charleston, SC for a fun family vacation! We absolutely fell in love with the city of Charleston our first trip, and how family friendly everything was, so we decided to book a second trip. Last time we went, we stayed on Daniels Island, but this time we rented a home on the Isle of Palms. I can’t wait to show you the home we rented, but I’ve decided to give it a post of it’s own because it’s that amazing.

I have received many messages asking questions about Charleston and what we recommend of things to do, where to eat, what to make sure to see, etc. I’ve compiled a list of our favorite family friendly choices that we found on our second vacation to Charleston!

You can also find my other post on Charleston from last summer here!


There is charm and beauty on every corner in Charleston but there are definitely some “must-see’s” when you go!

Waterfront Park – An eight-acre park that is linear to the Charleston Harbor is a great after dinner activity as it is just a walking distance from many restaurants downtown Charleston. The pineapple water fountain is fun as well as watching the boats come in and out from the harbor.

Rainbow Row – You can’t visit Charleston without seeing these famous brightly-colored homes.

Boone Hall Plantation – One of the days we were in Charleston had cool weather so instead of hitting the beach or pool we decided to go to a plantation. We chose Boone Hall because it was the closest to where we were staying but Charleston is full of other beautiful plantations as well. The girls had fun exploring the butterfly gardens, getting ice cream, and visiting the kittens and horses at the farm. The plantation is gorgeous and so full of history. There are many tours to do while visiting– we signed up as soon as we arrived to do the house tour and the property tour. The home tour was cut short as Emery was just about to loose it so I left with the girls to go get an ice cream cone. My husband enjoyed the tour though! We also did the property tour on a tractor-pulled-wagon that Adelyn LOVED and thankfully put Emery to sleep.

(classic fam photo- a tired, shoeless Emery)

To see next time:

Angel Oak Tree – The spectacular tree is on our list for next time as we would love to pack a picnic and go sit under it’s large, shady limbs. Believe to be over 1500 years old, it definitely is a wonder to see.

Middleton Place/Gardens: Middleton Place is an 18th century rice plantation of 65 acres of America’s oldest landscaped gardens, the Middleton Place House Museum and the plantation stable yards. I know the girls would enjoy seeing all the flowers and cute farm animals here!

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens – the most popular plantation in Charleston and selected as “Americas Most Beautiful Gardens”


Isle of Palms Beach – We have visited other beaches that you can read about in my post from last summer, but this trip we only went to the Isle of Palms beach. It is our absolute favorite beach because it is very family friendly. Close restaurants to grab lunch, you can call ahead to have them set up chairs with umbrellas here, and decent public restrooms with showers to rinse off.

Isle of Palms Marina – The highlight of our trip was renting a boat from this marina and taking it out for a day. We were able to go see different parts of Charleston including the Ravenel bridge and Fort Sumter. We then docked our boat at shrimp row and ate outside at the Water’s Edge restaurant. After hopping back on the boat in the afternoon, we took it to a little island that you can only boat to and found some of the best shells we have ever found. We also saw lots of dolphins which was so neat!

King Street –  lots of shopping and boutiques

Charleston City Market – vendors selling locally made items

To do next time:

Horse Carriage ride around the historic parts of Charleston

Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum – something that is on the hubby’s list

South Carolina Aquarium – a great activity if it rains


 There is one thing that Charleston does not lack in and that is food. Hands down some of the best food. Here are my recommendation. All are kid-friendly unless noted!

Long Island Cafe  – the fried shrimp was a hit at our table. They have great breakfast too.

The Refuge – good food, service was a bit slow

Page’s Okra Grill – if you want Southern food, you will find it here. Lots of food and very inexpensive.

Husk – This is my favorite restaurant in Charleston and is one of the highest rated ones. The menu is based upon what the chef is making for the day and most ingredients are sourced locally. Our first visit we ate here at lunch-time as it seems to be more family friendly during the day and at night turns into more of a nicer restaurant. They do not have a kid’s menu but at lunch there were items such as cornbread, grill cheese, cheeseburger etc.  Garth and I had fun sneaking away while my mother-in-law watched the girls on this trip so we could go here for a date night. I highly recommend Husk!

Poogan’s Porch – This is a nicer restaurant as well, but it does have a children’s menu and accommodates children well. The food and atmosphere is great with a fun Charleston feel.

5 Church – a restaurant in an actual old church, with beautiful stain glass windows and hand painted ceilings. Everyone loved their meal in our group and even some said it was their favorite in Charleston. There is not a kids menu here but we went for an early dinner while it was not busy so they were able to accommodate the girls and make them what they wanted. (Mac and cheese & grilled cheese– their meal may have been even better than mine)

Charleston Crabhouse  – a good place to take the family, it’s more loud inside than most places we ate at which can be a plus while dining with kiddos.

Jeni’s Ice Cream – a must if you are in Charleston. The most unique, and delicious flavors of ice cream.

Kaminskys – another must for dessert. It is a dessert bar that contains about 20 different desserts in glass display case to choose from. Once the dessert is gone, the chef brings out an entirely new dessert. And let me add, some of the best dessert I have ever had. We went three different times on our last trip!

other amazing restaurants include:

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

Five Loaves

Island Joe’s (on Isle of Palms, great for a beach lunch)

Poogan’s Smokehouse

Water’s Edge

I will share the rest of our trip next week but I hope you can find some of these recommendations helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to message me! I know you will love Charleston, SC as much as we do! We plan to go back in July so I will continue to update you with more recommendations!

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