Updated: October 2021 Originally published: April 2016
From stunning beaches and tranquil parks to mouth-watering dining options and unique attractions that unfold the pet bed, you’ll love spending time with your pet in Charleston!
We had heard for years about Charleston’s hospitality, both for people and for pets. So when we finally got to visit him, Ty and Buster were drooling positively to sniff out the best pet-friendly things to do in Charleston!
The only disappointment with our trip was that we couldn’t stay longer. This historic city has so much to offer that we couldn’t get to everything. And we don’t want the same thing to happen to you! So to help you plan your next pet-friendly vacation, below you’ll find our favorite things to do in Charleston.
Pet Friendly Hotels in Charleston
Of course, the first business is finding accommodation. Fortunately, you will find a large selection of pet-friendly hotels and several nice campsites in Charleston. There are also many restaurants that welcome pets in their patios, so covering the basics will not be a problem.
Then it’s time to have fun! With these suggestions, you and your furry travel friend will enjoy the best of Charleston.
The best things you can do in Charleston, suitable for pets
1. Take a walk on King Street
One of the most interesting aspects of Charleston is its architecture – especially the elegant old houses that stretch through the streets. Many of these residences date back to the days before the Civil War and speak of a more cordial, less hectic life.
Take a look at the large side verandas facing Charleston Harbor, which are built to catch the evening breeze. And take a look at the immaculately maintained side yards as you walk along the sidewalk!
2. White Point Garden
At the bottom of King Street, where the road meets the harbor, you will find a White Point Garden suitable for pets. This lush park overlooks the point where the Ashley and Cooper rivers drain into the Atlantic Ocean.
Historic cannons and mortars are dotted around the periphery, reminiscent of the city’s instrumental place in the history of the Civil War. But now this park is an oasis of calm amid the hustle and bustle.
From dawn to 9 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., this 5.7-acre park is an area for dogs outside the leash. And there are many squirrels who understand dogs to drive your puppy for his money! The park is not fenced, so reliable seizure is extremely important for all dogs that play without a leash.
3. The battery
White Point Garden is just steps from The Battery, a fortified sea wall that protects the top of the peninsula. Originally built as an important defense for early Charleston, the sea wall is now a promenade lined with homes from the front walls. You’ll also get great views of Fort Sumter, Sullivan’s lighthouse and Pinkney Castle.
This is a great place to walk your dog when it is not too hot or crowded. And look over your shoulder for dolphins who love to play right by the shore!
4. Waterfront Park
Heading up to the East Battery will take you to the Hazel Parker site. Here you will find a fenced dog running leash and Waterfront Park.
This 12-acre award-winning park stretches half a mile along the Charles River and serves as Charleston’s front yard. Whether you’re looking for a place to play frisbee, a shady corner to curl up in a book, or a scattering of fountains, Waterfront Park covers you.
5. Get on board the water taxi
From Waterfront Park (and other places in the city) you can take a water taxi. Charleston Water Taxi welcomes dog leashes of all sizes and travels back and forth between Charleston Harbor and Patriot’s Point Harbor in Mt. Pleasant. Dogs ride for free, and people can get an all-day ticket for $ 12.
Along the way, enjoy great views of the USS Yorktown, Ravenal Bridge, Fort Sumter (dogs are not allowed) and many dolphins.
6. Restaurants suitable for dogs in Charleston
From small cafes to fine restaurants, Charleston has many options when you want to dine on a dog-friendly patio. For a fun lunch, the fabulous Fuel Cantina has Caribbean-influenced cuisine and a friendly atmosphere.
7. James Island County Park
When your dog is really ready to let go, take the short trip to James Island Park. His eyes will shine absolutely when he sees the dog park and the four-acre beach!
The $ 2 entry fee is well spent while watching all the adorable puppies tethered in and out of the water, chasing balls and doing slaps with wild abandonment.
James Island County Park also has a pet-friendly campsite and an RV park, as well as a series of paved paths where pets are welcome. This is a fantastic place to stay for anyone traveling with a pet!
8. Beaches suitable for dogs in Charleston
Charleston is located on a peninsula surrounded by islands, and boasts a fantastic selection of pet-friendly beaches. From Sullivan Island and Palms Island in the north, to Foley Beach and Kiava Island Beach Park in the south, there is a perfect stretch of sand for everyone!
Palms Island welcomes dogs on the beach all day, all year round. Dogs can be on leashes from 16:00 to 10:00 in winter (September 15-March 31) and from 5:00 to 9:00 in summer (April 1-September 14). At all other times, dogs must be on a leash, with the owner holding the leash, even when in the water.
Sullivan Island requires all dogs to have a Sullivan Island dog permit – residents ($ 20) and visitors ($ 40) – at City Hall.
In winter (October-April), dogs can enjoy the beach outside the leash from 5 am to noon and the leash from noon to 5 am. In summer (May-September) dogs can be on a leash from 5 to 10 in the morning and on a leash from 18 to 5 in the morning, but are not allowed on the beach from 10 to 18 hours.
9. Angel Oak Park
One of the most breathtaking trees in the country grows in a small park about 12 miles west of Charleston on Jones Island. Angel Oak is considered to be the largest living oak tree east of the Mississippi and is estimated to be 300 to 400 years old.
The tree is 65 feet tall with a circumference of 25.5 feet, shading an area of 17,000 square feet. Some of its huge branches reach the sky, while others extend across the earth.
You and your pet can visit for free six days a week. The park is closed on Wednesdays and holidays and donations to support tree conservation are valued.
Dogs can admire Angel Oak from the picnic area, but are not allowed under the tree canopy.
10. Charleston Tea Plantation
About 20 miles southwest of the city, along Jones Island, is the Charleston tea plantation. This is one of the few places where tea is grown in the United States! If you are curious how tea comes from the field to your cup, this is a stop you will not want to miss.
They have a lovely front porch where your dog is welcome to wait with you while your party alternates, visiting the tea bar and enjoying a video tour of the production facilities. Then take a walk to take a closer look at the plantation.
Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed to ride in carts through the tea plantation and to the greenhouse.
11. Magnolia plantation and gardens
Nestled on 464 acres on the banks of the Ashley River, the Magnolia plantation dates back to 1676. Thomas and Ann Drayton started the mansion as a rice plantation, and the Rev. John Grimke-Drayton developed the famous gardens today after inheriting the property in the 1840s.
Magnolia Plantation welcomes dogs driven 365 days a year to join you in exploring the gardens.
Boarded dogs are also welcome on Drayton Hall and especially enjoy solo walks in nature. The grounds of the much-photographed Boone Hall plantation are also suitable for pets, although pets cannot go on tours.
Bonus Nice places for pets
Fort Multry National Historical Park
Dogs cannot enter the fort, but you can explore together the cannons and interpretation exhibits around Fort Multi and Jasper Battery. The areas also offer excellent views of Fort Sumter (unfortunately not suitable for pets) and downtown Charleston.
Historic site for landing on Charles Town
The landing of Charles Town is located on a swampy point by the Ashley River and is the place where a group of English settlers landed in 1670 to find out what would be the birthplace of the Carolina colony.
Dogs are welcome in most outdoor areas of Charles Towne Landing, as long as they are on a leash no longer than 6 feet. However, pets cannot go to the forest for animals.
Palmeto Islands County Park
This 943-acre park near Boone Hall Plantation is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Built in a tropical setting, with bike lanes, promenades and barbecue picnic areas, the little ones will surely enjoy the fenced dog park.
We hope this gives you a good starting point for a trip to Charleston suitable for your pet. If you know of other great places we missed, please share them in the comments below!
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