Alright. I live in Charleston.
Here is what I can definitely recommend and the things I can advise you to skip.
1. Tideline Tours is out of Folly Beach (about a 15 minute drive from Downtown) and they take you on a two hour harbor cruise through the intercoastal waterways. It is an AMAZING way to see the city from a perspective that you would NEVER see otherwise. Additionally, he let’s all the passengers off on a secluded island for walking around, taking photos of the Morris Island Lighthouse and seashell/sand dollar collecting. It’s peaceful. It’s actually the MOST amazing thing I’ve done since moving here in four years.
2. Carriage Tour. Many of them are excellent, and it’s a nice break from walking around and being miserably hot. You get to see a lot of the 20 million dollar historic homes, the Battery Park, etc. I would still try and do the Tideline Tour but a carriage tour is decidedly Charleston.
3. The Angel Oak. It’s on Johns Island (maybe 15 minutes from Downtown) and it’s the largest living Oak Tree in the nation, and perhaps most of the world. Now, it sounds stupid…a tree. But, wait until you see it. It is absolutely spectacular and very Charleston. It’s the first thing I take out of town guests to see.
4. Walk the Ravenel Bridge. You can start either on the Downtown side or the Mount Pleasant side and it has incredible views (and breeze, in August which you will need!) of both sides of the city. There are benches at the top, and you can take really great photos of the area from there.
5. Waterfront park. It’s in Downtown and it’s this bike path, walkway, pier area with a really amazing fountain and these charming little benches and landscaped areas to sit and relax and soak up the architecture and view of the water. Grab a cup of coffee and a baked good at Bakehouse on East Bay and then walk from there. It’s a perfect way to start the morning!
The last three things are free. The first thing is maybe $25? But, cannot be missed.
Skip: Jestine’s, Santee’s, Oak Steakhouse, Husk, Cru, Hominy Grill
Go: Coast, Anson, Virginias on King (breakfast only), Bakehouse, Magnolia’s, Red Drum Gastropub
If you need any more ideas or need help in anyway, please PM and I will do my best to help you!