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1 Day in Charleston, SC | The Complete Guide & Itinerary

Table of Contents

If you only have 1 day in Charleston, SC to visit then it’s best to be as organized as possible. There’s so much to do in the city that spending 3 days is recommended to get the full Charleston experience. From historic sites to restaurants and more, we’ve got you covered so you can start planning the best Charleston vacation. 

Planning for 24 Hours in Charleston

First things first…let’s start planning what your goals are before we begin. Are you more interested in wandering around and stumbling upon cool things or would you like to hit a few must-see sites? Remember that “all who wander are not lost” – J.R.R. Tolkien 

Top Sites to Visit

There are a number of top sites that most people want to experience when visiting Charleston. Below we’ll highlight our recommended must-do Charleston tours and attractions: 

  • Get a Charleston Tour Pass – Includes 100% full admission to the top tours and attractions. Also includes a mobile pass which will help you stay organized with maps. You can instantly make reservations and skip the lines when you get there.
    • All tours and attractions below are included with a Tour Pass 
  • Fort Sumter Tours
  • Carriage Tour
  • Walking Tour – everything from ghost, haunted to history and more.
  • Harbor Tour
  • Guided Mini-Bus Tour
  • Historic House Museums
  • Plantation Tours
  • History and Art Museums
  • Waterfront Park – where the famous pineapple fountain is located (great for a selfie) and also has a large pier that extends into the Charleston harbor.
shutterstock 576531172
charleston sc carriage tour

Where to Park and Getting Around

If you drove a car then this is vital to figuring out before arriving. There are two areas that we recommend parking.

  • Visitor Center Parking Garage – this is a good spot if you plan on hopping on the Free Trolley Bus since all routes intersect here (we even have a map posted for use).
    • 63 Mary St, Charleston, SC 29403
  • Parking Garages Around the City Market – there are a number of large garages that you can go to. Checkout the parking garage map for more info. Park here:
    • 84 Cumberland St, Charleston, SC 29401
  • Free Historic Trolley – There are 4 routes but you’ll probably just use two of the 4 routes. The Meeting/King route and the Aquarium route are the two main ones.
  • Additional info on Getting Around Charleston
Parking Garage Map
Free Trolley Map

Top Recommend Charleston Restaurants + Breweries

Charleston Restaurants

You’ve gotta eat so it may as well be good! Charleston has some amazing places to eat. We are not in a position to recommend a bunch of great food places but here are a few of our favorites: 

Charleston Restaurant Map
charleston sc breweries

Charleston Breweries

Charleston is home to some amazing breweries. Here’s a sampling of a few…there are 40 or so breweries in the area.

Charleston Brewery Map

Charleston Area Beaches

Maybe you want to just checkout the amazing beaches around Charleston. If so, see what beach is where and what we recommend.

  • Folly Beach – our favorite beach that really has it all. A great pier, restaurants and bars. This is known as the more laid-back beach with a surfer vibe.
  • Sullivans Island – we don’t recommend this beach since there isn’t readily available public parking or restrooms for use. You must find a parking spot on residential streets which is limited…we feel on purpose to keep people away :) There are some good restaurants and bars in this area however.
  • Isle of Palms Beach – family friendly with fairly ample parking. We recommend parking at the Charleston County parks lot. There are a few great restaurants and bars along with public restrooms which is nice.
  • Further reading – The Ultimate Charleston Beach Guide

Charleston Beaches Map

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Children: $85

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Adults: $164 $156
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3 DAY PASS

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St. Augustine Saving Examples

Pro Tip #1: Hop On Hop Off Trolleys

  • If you plan on riding the Hop On Hop Off Trolley you can park for free at the Trolley bus station. If staying in the historic district they will also provide hotel pick-up (call them to schedule). 
  • If you want to ride the Hop On Hop Off Trolley for more than 1-day, you can use an additional Featured Tour or we recommend upgrading your 1-day ticket to multiple days when you get there. You’ll have to pay out-of-pocket to upgrade.

Pro Tip #2: Use Maps on Mobile Pass

  • Utilize the maps on the Mobile Pass you’ll receive after purchasing Tour Pass (interactive maps, attraction map, Trolley map and parking garage & restroom map). You can use the Mobile Pass for planning to see what’s near attractions of interest.

Day #1 Example Itinerary

  • Choose a total of 2 Featured Tours + Visit as Many Standard Attractions as You Wish for 1-Day.
  • The selections below are an example. You can choose whatever you want from the available tours.

Price w/o Tour Pass

Totals

1-Day per Person Savings = $47.69

Save 30% Off of Retail Ticket Prices

Day #3 Example Itinerary

  • Choose a total of 4 Featured Tours + Visit as Many Standard Attractions as You Wish for 3-Days.
  • The selections below are an example. You can choose whatever you want from the available tours.

Ticket Price w/o Tour Pass

Totals

3-Day per Person Savings = $139.14

Save 42% Off of Retail Ticket Prices

Savannah 

Saving Examples

Pro Tip #1: Hop On Hop Off Trolleys

  • If you plan on riding the Hop On Hop Off Trolley, ride it for 1-day to get familiarized with Savannah, then ride the free DOT Hop On Hop Off Trolley for additional days.
  • If you want to ride the narrated or paid Hop On Hop Off Trolley for more than 1-day, you can upgrade your 1-day ticket to multiple days when you get there. You’ll have to pay out-of-pocket to upgrade.
  • Park at the Visitor Center: 301 Martin Luther King Blvd.

Pro Tip #2: Use Maps on Mobile Pass

  • Utilize the maps on the Mobile Pass you’ll receive after purchasing Tour Pass (interactive maps, attraction map, Trolley map and parking garage & restroom map). You can use the Mobile Pass for planning to see what’s near attractions of interest.
  • Trolley maps are also available on the Mobile Pass.

Day #1 Example Itinerary

  • Choose a total of 2 Featured Tours + Visit as Many Standard Attractions as You Wish for 1-Day.
  • The selections below are an example. You can choose whatever you want from the available tours.

Price w/o Tour Pass

Totals

1-Day per Person Savings = $38.68

Save 25% Off of Retail Ticket Prices

Charleston Saving Examples

  • Pro Tip #1: Charleston has a free trolley (DASH) that you can ride for downtown transportation. There are 3 routes. All routes intersect at the Visitor’s Center (375 Meeting Street). To switch buses, get off at the Visitor Center and wait for the appropriate bus. We recommend parking here if you intend on riding the trolley.
  • Pro Tip #2: Utilize the maps on the Mobile Pass you’ll receive after purchasing Tour Pass (interactive maps, attraction map, Trolley map and parking garage & restroom map). You can use the Mobile Pass for planning to see what’s near attractions of interest.
  • Trolley maps are also available on the Mobile Pass.

Day #1 Example Itinerary

  • Choose a total of 2 Featured Tours + Visit as Many Standard Attractions as You Wish for 1-Day.
  • The selections below are an example. You can choose whatever you want from the available tours.

Price w/o Tour Pass

Totals

1-Day per Person Savings = $37

Save 25% Off of Retail Ticket Price

Day #2 Example Itinerary

  • Choose a total of 3 Featured Tours + Visit as Many Standard Attractions as You Wish for 2-Days.
  • The selections below are an example. You can choose whatever you want from the available tours.

Price w/o Tour Pass

Totals

2-Day per Person Savings = $91

Save 37% Off of Retail Ticket Prices

Day #3 Example Itinerary

  • Choose a total of 4 Featured Tours + Visit as Many Standard Attractions as You Wish for 3-Days.
  • The selections below are an example. You can choose whatever you want from the available tours.

Price w/o Tour Pass

Totals

3-Day per Person Savings = $127

Save 38% Off of Retail Ticket Prices

risk free gurantee

Pass purchases can be refunded (minus 3% credit card processing fees) if requested within thirty-days of purchase date (for unused passes). Optional Trip Protection (5% of total amount) can be purchased at checkout which extends the refund period up to one-year from purchase date. Conditions apply. View full refund policy by clicking button below.

Charleston Saving Examples

Save $111.40 per person which is 44% off of retail rates with a 3-day pass!

(Examples below are suggestions. You can choose whatever you’d like to do from the available tours/attractions.)


1-Day Pass Savings Example

Retail Price

1-Day Pass Includes: 2 featured tours + visit unlimited walk-in attractions for 1-day
Boone Hall Plantation (featured tour #1)$27
Carriage Tour (featured tour #2)$35
Nathaniel Russell House (walk-in)$12
Aiken Rhett House Museum (walk-in)$12
Charleston Fun Park (walk-in)$20
1-Day Without Pass$106
Cost of 1-Day Tour Pass($72)
Save 5%: Enter Email$3.60
Save per Person: 35% Off Retail=$37.60

1-Day Tour Pass Cost: $72

SAVE $37.60 PER PERSON, 35% OFF OF TICKET PRICES!


2-Day Pass Savings Example

Retail Price

2-Day Pass Includes: 3 featured tours + visit unlimited walk-in attractions for 2-days
Harbor Tour (featured tour #3)$30
Charleston Museum (walk-in)$12
McLeod Plantation (walk-in)$15
Charleston Tea Plantation (walk-in)$12
Deep Water Vineyards 9 wine tasting (walk-in)$7
2-Days Without Pass$182
Cost of 2-Day Tour Pass($117)
Save 5%. Enter Email$5.85
Save per Person: 39% Off Retail=$70.85

2-Day Tour Pass Cost: $117

SAVE $70.85 PER PERSON, 39% OFF OF TICKET PRICES!


3-Day Pass Savings Example

Retail Price

3-Day Pass Includes: 4 featured tours + visit unlimited walk-in attractions for 3-days
Ghost or History Walking Tour (featured tour #4)$30
Slave Mart Museum (walk-in)$8
Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon (walk-in)$10
Gibbes Museum of Art (walk-in)$12
Palmetto Brewing free flight (walk-in)$10
3-Days Without Pass$252
Cost of 3-Day Tour Pass ($148)
Save 5%. Enter Email$7.40
Save per Person: 44% Off Retail=$106.40

3-Day Tour Pass Cost: $148

SAVE $111.40 PER PERSON, 44% OFF OF TICKET PRICES!

There’s no denying the saving and convenience that Tour Pass offers! Plus you can book your tours in advance with our amazing Mobile Pass that includes maps and detailed attraction information. The more you do the more you save. Imagine how much more you could save with a 4 or 5-day pass!

Savannah Tour Pass Grid
Tour Pass Attraction Grid
tour pass charleston tour grid

Charleston Saving Examples

Save $111.40 per person which is 44% off of retail rates with a 3-day pass!

(Examples below are suggestions. You can choose whatever you’d like to do from the available tours/attractions.)


1-Day Pass Savings Example

Retail Price

1-Day Pass Includes: 2 featured tours + visit unlimited walk-in attractions for 1-day
Boone Hall Plantation (featured tour #1)$27
Carriage Tour (featured tour #2)$35
Nathaniel Russell House (walk-in)$12
Aiken Rhett House Museum (walk-in)$12
Charleston Fun Park (walk-in)$20
1-Day Without Pass$106
Cost of 1-Day Tour Pass($72)
Save 5%: Enter Email$3.60
Save per Person: 35% Off Retail=$37.60

1-Day Tour Pass Cost: $72

SAVE $37.60 PER PERSON, 35% OFF OF TICKET PRICES!


2-Day Pass Savings Example

Retail Price

2-Day Pass Includes: 3 featured tours + visit unlimited walk-in attractions for 2-days
Harbor Tour (featured tour #3)$30
Charleston Museum (walk-in)$12
McLeod Plantation (walk-in)$15
Charleston Tea Plantation (walk-in)$12
Deep Water Vineyards 9 wine tasting (walk-in)$7
2-Days Without Pass$182
Cost of 2-Day Tour Pass($117)
Save 5%. Enter Email$5.85
Save per Person: 39% Off Retail=$70.85

2-Day Tour Pass Cost: $117

SAVE $70.85 PER PERSON, 39% OFF OF TICKET PRICES!


3-Day Pass Savings Example

Retail Price

3-Day Pass Includes: 4 featured tours + visit unlimited walk-in attractions for 3-days
Ghost or History Walking Tour (featured tour #4)$30
Slave Mart Museum (walk-in)$8
Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon (walk-in)$10
Gibbes Museum of Art (walk-in)$12
Palmetto Brewing free flight (walk-in)$10
3-Days Without Pass$252
Cost of 3-Day Tour Pass ($148)
Save 5%. Enter Email$7.40
Save per Person: 44% Off Retail=$106.40

3-Day Tour Pass Cost: $148

SAVE $111.40 PER PERSON, 44% OFF OF TICKET PRICES!

There’s no denying the saving and convenience that Tour Pass offers! Plus you can book your tours in advance with our amazing Mobile Pass that includes maps and detailed attraction information. The more you do the more you save. Imagine how much more you could save with a 4 or 5-day pass!

risk free guarantee

Pass purchases can be refunded (minus 3% credit card processing fees) if requested within thirty-days of purchase date (for unused passes). Optional Trip Insurance can be purchased for a nominal fee at checkout which extends the refund period up to one-year from purchase date. Conditions apply. View full refund policy by clicking button below.