The Charleston area has a multitude of parks and recreational areas to enjoy, on land and by the sea. Check your community’s parks and recreation listings to see more of what your local area has to offer.
4800 Park Circle
North Charleston, SC 29405
The Park Circle Butterfly Garden is next to the Felix C. Davis Community Center in the middle of historic Park Circle. This hidden gem in the middle of the city offers a special place to enjoy a picnic or to just kick back and relax. See the most butterflies during spring and fall visits, but don’t miss the nearby farmers market during the summer months.
Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge
5801 N. Highway 17
Awendaw, SC 29429
Cape Romain’s beautiful beaches, salt marshes and maritime forest draw nearly 300 species of migratory birds. There are hiking trails, beachcombing, fishing and hunting, interpretive tours, including the historic lighthouse tour, and more. The refuge is accessible only by personal boat or ferry, which can be arranged through Coastal Expeditions. Visit their website at www.coastalexpeditions.com.
Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site
1500 Old Towne Road
Charleston, SC 29407
This 664-acre site off the Ashley River introduces visitors to the earliest colonial history of Charleston. The site is home to hands-on exhibits, a natural habitat zoo, 80 acres of gardens, 7 miles of trails, a replica 17-century sailing ship, six fireable cannons and more.
21 Center St.
Folly Beach, SC 29439
The closest beach to the city of Charleston, Folly Beach is a 12-square-mile barrier island with a fishing pier and lighthouse. Enjoy a walk on the beach or try the waves — Folly Beach is famed as one of the best surfing destinations on the East Coast.
Fort Sumter National Monument
1214 Middle St.
Sullivan’s Island, SC 29482
Situated on an island in Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter National Monument is where the Civil War began. The Visitor Education Center at Liberty Square is the main ferry departure point for the fort, with transportation available daily. The center itself has exhibits on the events leading up to the Civil War, and National Park rangers are on hand to answer questions. Fort Sumter can only be reached by a tour boat or private boat; visit the website for more details.
Givhans Ferry State Park
746 Givhans Ferry Road
Ridgeville, SC 29472
Givhans Ferry State Park is the perfect place to take a float down the serene Edisto River, the longest free-flowing blackwater stream in North America. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the Great Depression, the park is part of the 62-mile-long Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Trail, and is at the end of a popular 23-mile downstream paddle from Colleton State Park.
1001 Everglades Ave.
North Charleston, SC 29405
Riverfront is open to the public year-round and is a favorite destination for residents and visitors. On the banks of the Cooper River, the park is adjacent to the historic homes once occupied by naval officers stationed on the Charleston Naval Base. It is surrounded by grand oak trees and river vistas. Bordered by Noisette Creek, the park also boasts a contemporary performance pavilion and meadow.
Wannamaker County Park
8888 University Blvd.
North Charleston, SC 29406
A nature-oriented park with more than 1,000 acres of woodlands and wetlands, this is a great family getaway. There are miles of paved trails, a nine-hole disc golf course, an off-leash dog park, picnic sites and the nearby Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark, with its seasonal, island-style water play on more than 15 acres.