The United States has so many cities that attract solo female travelers. One of the most popular Southern cities is Charleston, South Carolina.
This past summer, I did a solo road trip with my dog and traveled to this historical gem.
I’ll be exploring how accommodating the city is for solo travelers and highlighting various activities you can enjoy on your own.
Additionally, I’ve curated a list of 9 things to do alone in Charleston, SC!
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Best Time For A Charleston Solo Trip
Before I get into all the fun things there are to do in Charleston alone, I wanted to talk about the weather and the best time to visit!
If you are visiting in the summer, then be prepared to sweat!
Charleston is HOT, HOT HOT! It is hotter than you might be used to if you aren’t someone who has experienced an East Coast humid summer.
If you love the heat then it’s the perfect place to visit in the summer months.
If I were to visit Charleston again, I would aim to visit in the fall or spring.
The milder temperatures are more enjoyable for me as I loved strolling around this sophisticated historic gem that is Charleston, SC! It is also on my list of US winter destinations.
💰 Solo Traveler Money Saving Tip: A great way to experience everything Charleston has to offer for less is by purchasing the Tour Pass! This pass will get you free or discounted entry to 40+ attractions!
Where is Charleston, SC located?
Charleston, South Carolina is located in the southeastern United States along the Atlantic coast. It is situated in Charleston County just south of the North Carolina border and just north of Savannah, Georgia.
The city lies on an estuary where the Cooper and Ashley Rivers meet to form a harbor that leads out into Charleston Harbor and onto the Atlantic Ocean.
Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the United States, and it has a rich history with ties to the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and antebellum culture.
The city is known for its cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and picturesque coastal views. It remains an important hub of culture and commerce in South Carolina today.
🚗 The best way to explore all that Charleston has to offer is by having a rental car. I find the best rates with Discover Cars!
Is Charleston, SC Safe for Solo Travel?
Charleston, South Carolina is generally considered to be a safe place for solo travelers. The city has an overall low crime rate and it has many attractions that are ideal for exploring alone.
However, as with any destination, it’s important to take the necessary precautions and remain aware of your surroundings while traveling in Charleston.
When I visited Charleston solo I kept my alcohol intake to a minimum and I did not stay out late at the bars.
All in all, with proper caution and preparation, Charleston is an ideal destination for solo travelers looking to explore its rich history and vibrant culture.
Solo Female Travel Safety Gear
Emergency Number in Europe: Dial 112 & Emergency Number in the United States: Dial 911
Best 9 Things To Do Alone in Charleston SC
When I travel alone, I am concerned with a few things such as SAFETY, GREAT FOOD, and ACCESSIBILITY.
As a solo female traveler, those top three are my qualifying factors when choosing a destination.
With all three in mind, I booked a trip to the beautiful city of Charleston!
Some of the best things to do alone in Charleston, SC are as follows:
#1. See Charleston Solo on a Small Group Tour
Taking a guided walking tour through this great city of Southern charm is the perfect way to see Charleston.
Especially if this is your first solo trip!
Walking Tour of Old Town Charleston
When you visit Charleston, you visit a historical landmark. I couldn’t believe all the beauty that surrounded me from King Street to the French Quarter.
There is an incredible amount of history to experience on your trip. The best way to get bang for your buck is by booking a walking tour of Charleston.
This highly rated 2-hour walking tour will take you through the intriguing history of Charleston.
Learn everything from the seven major fires, meanings of the ancient symbols on the tombstones, sieges, and bombardments to the major earthquake that struck the city.
Book a Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour
I found that some of the best things to do alone in Charleston, SC involved a group tour. My favorite part of being a solo female traveler is having the freedom to do things on my own schedule.
But, it can get a little lonely to have no one to talk to all day. So if you visit Charleston alone, join a tour or two!
This Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour is the perfect way to learn all about Charleston and possibly make a friend along the way. The tour is only 1 hour and highlights the city’s mansions, churches, and gardens.
Get Spooked on a 90-Minute Supernatural Walking Tour
Some people visit Charleston, South Carolina, purely for the city’s dark history. If you are a solo female traveler with a spooky side, I highly recommend you check out this 90-minute supernatural walking tour.
It is one of the best things to do alone in Charleston, SC, without actually being alone.
Visit the Old Citadel and College of Charleston and be prepared to be spooked by stories of ghosts and paranormal activity!
Speakeasy Prohibition Cocktail Tour
If you are traveling solo, it isn’t always the greatest idea to drink alone, so I would highly recommend a group tour.
Visit some of the best bars in Charleston on this 2-hour cocktail tour! The price of admission to this tour includes 4 cocktails.
Learn all about prohibition in South Carolina and some of the lesser-known people who made names for themselves during this time in American history.
#2. Explore City Market
One of the best things to do alone in Charleston, SC is visit the city market! Plan to spend at least a few hours exploring what this market has to offer.
Support the local vendors of this historic market located in the French Quarter!
The city market is within walking distance from King Street in Charleston’s French Quarter.
It opens daily at 9:30 am and closes at 5 pm. Come hungry and ready to marvel at the crafts of these local vendors.
#3. Try The Local Seafood
South Carolina has some delicious restaurants and some of America’s best seafood! I would highly recommend a couple of places to try some clams and oysters.
Charleston is well known as a foodie town, so it is very wise to arrange for a reservation. I visited 167 Raw, located on King Street, and I can’t say enough good things about my experience.
It was busy my entire time there, so getting a reservation is key. I prefer to sit at the bar when I am traveling.
It makes it feel more like a social experience.
Also highly recommend as one of the best things to do alone in Charleston, SC is checking out Leon’s.
Leon’s is located outside the French Quarter and is not necessarily within walking distance from downtown Charleston.
Leon’s is a 30-minute walk or 9-minute taxi ride away from King Street.
It is one of South Carolina’s finest, so if you have the time, I would highly recommend it.
#4. Check Out Joe Riley Waterfront Park
If you are looking for a little break from the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter, make your way down to the Waterfront Park & Pier.
Here you can enjoy the beautiful foundations and gardens along the waterfront.
Bring a book or your camera and just let yourself enjoy the sites of this historical city.
You will find some of Charleston’s most beautiful homes along the perimeter of this park.
I arrived at this park in the early morning and took pictures at the famous Pineapple Fountain. It was fairly empty at 7 am, making it easy for me to set up my tripod and snap a few photos.
Looking for the best camera gear for your solo trip? Here are my essentials for every solo female traveler.
#5. Spend a day at the Beach
If you are a solo traveler who loves beautiful beaches, you are in luck! There are numerous beaches located within a short drive of Charleston, South Carolina. Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, and Sullivan’s Island are all popular beach destinations located just outside of the city.
Edisto Beach is located about an hour south of Charleston, while Myrtle Beach lies two hours to the north.
All of these beaches offer stunning views, plenty of activities, and a great chance to soak up some sun.
Whether you’re looking for a peaceful day of relaxation or an exciting beach vacation, there are plenty of beaches right at your fingertips near Charleston.
#6. Take a Tour of Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
This plantation and its gardens are some of the most stunning in the area.
Take a self-guided tour to explore all that this property has to offer, including beautiful gardens, a petting zoo, an incredible house museum, and more.
There is no public transport that will take you to the plantation, so if you would like to visit you will need to rent a car.
#7. Go Shopping
When I travel alone, I always take myself on a little shopping spree!
And, Charleston happens to be a great destination for shopping, offering something for everyone from luxury items to unique local souvenirs.
The historic district of the city is home to plenty of boutiques, galleries, and specialty shops, as well as larger department stores.
King Street is one of the most popular shopping hubs in the city, with dozens of shops and cafes lining the street.
This area is home to upscale boutiques such as Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant and Rag and Bone, as well as plenty of antique shops.
Other popular shopping districts include Market Street and the College of Charleston.
#8. Take a Spa Day
The Salt Spa & Yoga in Charleston is one of the best places to relax on your solo trip to Charleston! Spend the day pampering yourself and get one of the many treatments offered!
I personally book a facial well in advance of my trip so I don’t run the risk of missing out. Vacations are meant to treat yourself!
#9. Do a Day Trip to Savannah
Just 2 hours south of Charleston is the enchanting city of Savannah, GA! A magical place I would highly encourage you to visit if you have the time. If you feel comfortable renting a car, I can tell you it is an easy drive from Charleston to Savannah.
If taking the train sounds more appealing, just be advised in both cities, you will need to take transportation to the Amtrak stations.
In both cities, the train does not arrive within walking distance from the old town.
If you plan to make it only a day trip, be sure to maximize your time and join a trolley tour!
Where to Stay Solo in Charleston
When I travel solo, I like to stay central and in a boutique hotel. I feel like paying just a little bit more to be in accommodations that truly make you happy can go a long way.
Sure some people would argue that when traveling, the point is to stay out of the room as much as possible.
So then why stay at an expensive place? I don’t disagree with that, but if you have the means, I would encourage you just to spend it on the hotel.
In all my years traveling, the nicer the place I stayed, the fonder the memory I had of the city. When I stayed in cheap and not-so-nice places, it was cheaper the whole experience.
Best Hotels in Charleston
Final Thoughts on a solo trip to Charleston, SC
Visiting Charleston, SC alone is a great spot to go for a long weekend. There are lots of historic sites and places to explore you don’t need to worry about getting bored.
Best of all, Charleston has small-town vibes which makes solo travel feel more relaxing!
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