Downtown Charleston Guide to Summer

With so many visitors coming to Charleston for summer vacation, we turned to our favorite local magazine — Charleston Magazine — for the perfect Downtown Charleston summer itinerary.

Here they share all the Downtown hot spots sure to keep you cool…

Trying to stay cool in the sweltering southern summers has a long history here, dating back to the original settlers of Charleston who came from England via Barbados. The design of our iconic single houses, for instance, exemplifies strategic cooling: The shaded piazzas on each floor face south or west to take advantage of prevailing winds. Harness that know-how by sticking to the shady side of the street and claiming a spot under the oak canopy at White Point Garden (less than a mile from The Charleston Chestnut Mansion) for a lazy afternoon.

On the Water

Look north up the Ashley River from Brittlebank Park (along Lockwood Boulevard and next to the Charleston Riverdogs Baseball Team stadium) and you’ll spy a conspicuous tiki hut floating in the water. It’s the home base of Hydrofly Watersports, a locally owned outfit that puts a water-fueled jet pack to your feet and lets you soar through the air like an aquatic rocketeer. It’s a rush well worth the expense, and in July, you won’t mind all the crashing it requires to get your balance. Hydrofly also offers wakeboarding, tubing, parasailing, and Tiki Hut rentals for parties.

You can also join the kids gleefully playing in the Spider Fountain at Waterfront Park (pictured below) less than half a mile from The Charleston Chestnut Mansion.

Explore Nature

Downtown parks are close allies, where you can slip off the sweltering sidewalk and cool down in the shade of a towering oak.

Theodora Park is a tiny Ansonborough Neighborhood haven with benches, tables, and a small reflecting pool. Located at 94 Anson Street, it is also less than a half mile from The Charleston Chestnut Mansion.

Washington Square, just behind City Hall at the Four Corners of Law, has been a respite for nearly two centuries. Located at 80 Broad Street, it is just a little over a half mile away from your stay with us.  

Cool Off Indoors

The peninsula is packed with fascinating museums — The Gibbes, The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Aiken-Rhett House, to name a few — but a most intriguing one lies relatively under the radar: The Mace Brown Museum of Natural History. On the second floor of the College of Charleston’s science and math building, the school’s geology department displays dinosaur bones and fossils of cave bears, ancient mammals, and ocean creatures. There’s even the jaw of a massive Megalodon shark. At 202 Calhoun Street, it is exactly one mile from the mansion.


There’s no American pastime more representative of summer than baseball, and Charleston is lucky to have its own minor league team playing right downtown. The Charleston RiverDogs are known for creative promotions, and summer 2019 is no exception. For a full schedule, check them out online at

Eat & Drink

Stars Rooftop Bar & Grill Room at 495 King Street is the only rooftop bar in Charleston with a 360-degree view of The Historic District, making it the perfect place to see all the sights, while sipping a refreshing cocktail and feasting on local seafood.

Head down to Calhoun Street on Saturday for the Marion Square Farmer’s Market. Enjoy numerous breakfast and lunch options and strolling through the park filled with local farmers, artisans, and other vendors.

A bit further away — and definitely worth the drive — at 1503 King Street is Workshop Charleston. This “exploratory food court” offers something for everyone with indoor and outdoor dining available. Workshop features six rotating kitchens where both emerging and renowned chefs come to experiment.  

Pro Tip

When in town, dress as the natives do. And come summer, this means seersucker. Created with a loose weave that appears slightly wrinkled, the iconic blue-and-white stripe fabric allows air to flow and keeps you cool. For dapper men, a seersucker suit is a must, and longtime local clothier M. Dumas & Sons (pictured below) at 294 King Street is the spot to get a perfect fit.