Here is a list of places we’ve actually been to as a family and recommend. There are some known places that are left out because they are probably already on your list or we’ve actually never been there as a family (yet).
Wild Blue Ropes – We are always looking for adventure while on vacation. Especially adventures that will empower our kids to overcome their fears and get some exercise while they’re at it. Wild Blue Ropes definitely met and exceeded our expectations. Wild features 70+ challenges that put you a soaring 35 feet in the air.
And they don’t exclude anyone. While we were there climbing with our kids and nieces (ages 4-9) we noticed that kids of all abilities were celebrated and encouraged on the course. Our daughter, who is blind, rocked the course and was met with high-fives when she landed on the ground. We watched a boy diagnosed with CP gather his courage and exceed everyone’s expectations. We’ve also heard many testimonies of how beneficial the course is for children diagnosed with sensory processing disorder or autism. What makes this possible is not just the tenacity of our children, but the encouragement of an amazing set of owners and staff.
They truly celebrate all abilities and encourage kids and adults to push and exceed their limits. And don’t start thinking this course is for kids… it’s a challenge for even the most fit adults. There is something for everyone at Wild Blue Ropes.
If you’re in the Charleston or Folly Beach area Wild Blue Ropes is a must for a warm Summer evening adventure.
Charleston Fun Park – With young children, family fun parks are always a hit for our family! The Charleston Fun Park in Mt. Pleasant is located in a nice area surrounded by tons of places to eat an afternoon of games and arcades. Make sure to check out their specials for combined pricing options. My kids especially loved the gem stone mining and mini-bowling that were pretty unique compared to other fun parks we’ve been to.
South Carolina Aquarium – This is our second visit to the South Carolina Aquarium. We love that there is something new to see each time we visit. The highlight of this visit was the new Shark Shallows exhibit. The kids loved reaching into the tank to “pet” the sharks. Yes, you read that right… you get to pet the sharks.
This aquarium is one of our favorites because it’s not overwhelming. The sections are nicely divided and there are areas designated for imaginative play. Overall, it’s one of the more interactive aquariums we’ve visited. And the view of the Charleston harbor cannot be beat. In true Charleston fashion there are great balcony areas to relax and take in the coastal scenes.
Tip for Families: Let your kids bring recyclable items to trade for cool shells at the Trading Post.
Charleston City Market – Familiar and unique shops line every inch of King Street. From the Savannah Bee Company to King Street Cookies you’ll find an expertly curated shopping experience brimming with Southern charm. If you love shopping as much as I do, make sure you hit North Market St. and visit the City Market, Charleston’s #1 most visited attraction.
The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry – We visited this spot for the first time in 2015 and the kids are still at an age where they all enjoy it. The museum was also very aware and accommodating of children with special needs. You can read the full review here.
Folly Beach – Some would argue but our preferred Charleston beach is Folly Beach due to the laid-back local flavor.
Francis Marion Hotel – The location, on King and directly across from the Spoleto Festival, absolutely cannot be beat. The Waterfront and Battery, Rainbow Row, the South Carolina Aquarium and street after street of delicious eateries are walkable from the doors of the Francis Marion.
We love the Francis Marion because they have chosen to preserve the era in which the hotel was built. The grand lobby boasts chandeliers and soaring ceilings. When you walk into the Francis Marion you walk back in time. The Ballrooms are just as grand and perfect for the many weddings that take place there each year.
The guest rooms also reflect the era in which the Francis Marion was built. Blue and Gold furnishings and paint colors make the rooms feel rich and inviting. It just feels like Charleston. And that is exactly what you want to feel when visiting a city full of history and southern charm. A stay at the Francis Marion completes the Charleston experience.
Despite the fancy environment, the hotel is super family friendly. In addition, the staff was helpful and patient when asking about local attractions.
Tip for Families: Be sure to ask for the kids pack when you check in! All junior guests receive a draw string backpack with a few treasures (ours included some Charleston Chew Candy!) inside.
You can see special offers here.
Boxcar Betty’s – This place is a must if you love fried chicken between two buns! Boxcar Betty’s received recognition for Best of Charleston’s best fried chicken for the second year in a row (2016).
CO (Banh Mi & Noodles Bar) – Get your Vietnamese food fix on King St.
Coast Bar and Grill – Great seafood spot with lots of seating right in downtown but in a location that can easily be missed. Happy hour pricing for oysters, peel and eat shrimp and a few other items.
Taco Boy – A Folly Beach must. After a morning of swim and sun, get the family some tacos of course. Afterwards, you can rent a couple of bikes nearby to cruise around the Island.