Even on days when it rains in Charleston, it’s still a good day because you’re in Charleston. And while you might have to cancel a trip to the beach or reschedule your walking tour, there’s still plenty to do in and around Charleston on even the rainiest of days.
Here are some good indoor options for those rainy days in the Holy City:
If the kids need a place to burn off some extra energy, this is the spot. The Children’s Museum has hands-on exhibits and activities, including an art room, pint-sized grocery store, pirate ship, a medieval castle and water play area.
(included on TourPass) Located in the heart of downtown, the Gibbes houses more than 10,000 works of fine art, principally American works with a Charleston or Southern connection as well as special exhibitions. Visit the first floor for free and check out the Museum Store and Café Gibbes with sandwiches, soups, and beverages.
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is a non-profit, non-collecting contemporary art institute within the School of the Arts at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. The HICA presents contemporary art exhibitions by emerging or mid-career artists. The exhibits are always free and open to the public.
(included on TourPass) Located in downtown Charleston has several rotating exhibits and permanent displays highlighting various aspects of Lowcountry history. Also, check out Kidstory, a hands-on exhibit specifically for children.
The Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum is a famous Charleston landmark that is mostly covered from the rain and weather except for the top deck of the USS Yorktown, a famous decommissioned aircraft carrier. Great place to take the family, explore and learn about our nation’s history.
(included on TourPass) Walking distance from Tanger Outlets, this museum is great for kids and adults with its one-of-a-kind fire vehicles, antique fire equipment, fire truck simulator and interactive displays.
Catch a Show
A good resource for a schedule of local theater productions is Theatre Charleston. Also, check out The Black Fedora Comedy Mystery Theatre: Three comic mysteries run most evenings with some matinees and morning shows. Shows range from a G-rated pirate mystery to the “Sherlock Holmes and the Charleston History Mystery.” Also check out the shop for mystery-themed books and gifts.
Watch a Movie
There are many movie theaters in almost every area of the city where you can catch the latest blockbuster. Visit Fandango to search for the theater nearest you.
Stop off for some new rain boots at an area mall or shopping center. Nice covered spaces include Northwoods Mall in North Charleston, Citadel Mall in the West Ashley area and Tanger Outlets in North Charleston. The Charleston City Market is also covered from the rain, but beware: when it rains hard, the Market area floods. Also, check out this video of the Charleston City Market.
(included on TourPass) This is a great way to see a lot of history and learn the facts in the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle. They will also transport you out to the plantations and a harbor tour can be added as well. There are two companies that we recommend:
- Edmonston-Alston House – Take a 30-minute guided tour of the home’s public rooms and piazzas with a special focus on its Federal and Greek revival design and collection of family silver, decorative arts and furniture.
- Joseph-Manigault House – (included on TourPass) One of Charleston’s most exquisite antebellum structures, this house, built in 1803, reflects the urban lifestyle of a wealthy, rice-planting family and the enslaved African Americans who lived there.
- Calhoun Mansion – This incredible home is a baronial Italianate manor house, widely acclaimed as one of the great post Civil War homes on the Eastern Seaboard. Although it is a private residence, it is open daily for public tours.
- Aiken-Rhett House – (included on TourPass) This home, built in 1820, remained in the hands of family descendants for 142 years until it opened as a museum house in 1975. The house was built by Charleston merchant John Robinson. When Robinson lost five ships at sea in 1825, he was forced to sell the house. In 1827, it was sold to William Aiken Sr.
More Fun Things To Do
- Sky Zone – Mount Pleasant, indoor trampoline park.
- Velocity Air Sports – North Charleston, indoor trampoline park, arcade, ninja warrior course, and inflatables.
- Charleston Fun Park – (included on TourPass) Mount Pleasant, indoor arcade. Outdoor Go-Karts, two miniature golf courses, jump land, gemstone or fossil mining and a climbing wall.
- Frankie’s Fun Park – North Charleston, indoor arcade, go-karts, batting cages, mini golf, and bumper boats.
- Carolina Ice Palace – North Charleston, indoor skating rink open year round.
- The Alley – Downtown Charleston, eight bowling lanes, three bars, a full kitchen, and retro arcade games.
- Candlefish – Downtown Charleston, make your own candle.
Check out this Charleston online events calendar that’s always being updated
Take Some Indoor Tours
There are a lot of tours that can be enjoyed indoors such as many of the museums and historic homes listed above. We recommend purchasing a TourPass which includes admission to all of the top Charleston tours and attractions. With a TourPass you can also make reservations in advance, skip the lines and save money over paying retail prices. Purchased online only at: https://tourpass.com/charleston
One important note for visitors is to use caution when driving through downtown Charleston. Especially at high tide, many streets (including Market Street) are prone to significant flooding and can make driving dangerous. Don’t drive through high water and check the City of Charleston website for updates on road closures. Sometimes businesses and attractions close early if rain/flooding is particularly bad.
Let us know what you like to do on a rainy day in Charleston!