Is Charleston a Walkable City?

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Key Points

  • Charleston is a very walkable city. Most of the historic neighborhoods on the peninsula are walkable, including Radcliffeborough, Cannonborough-Elliottborough, and Mazyck-Wraggborough.
  • Places to see while walking around Charleston include the City Market, the Battery, and King Street. If you want some great views of the city, walk along the Ravenel Bridge.
  • You can also see Charleston with a walking tour or carriage ride.

Charleston is home to tons of history, beautiful coastlines, and stunning churches. The city is a tourist hotspot, especially during the warmer weather. 

You may be wondering if Charleston is walkable. The short answer is yes! If you’re staying downtown, it’s very easy to explore the city on foot. 

However, since Charleston is a peninsula you’ll need to take a rideshare to get to other places like the beaches and plantations. 

Let’s take a look at some of the places in downtown Charleston that are easy to walk to.

How walkable is the Charleston area?

Downtown Charleston is very walkable. You can easily get around without a car. In fact, walking is much easier. 

The streets in Charleston are narrow, which can make driving around the city a little scary. Parking is also limited, which means you’ll usually have to pay for street parking or pay to park in a garage. 

Walking takes away some of that added stress. In fact, in 2022, Charleston was awarded a score of 99 out of 100 on Walk Score’s walkability meter. So the city itself is fantastic to walk around!

On the other hand, the neighboring areas of Charleston aren’t so walkable. Mount Pleasant scored a 22, James Island an 8, North Charleston a 26, West Ashley a 3, and Daniel Island a 19. So if you plan to stay in these areas or visit any attractions here, you will need to schedule a rideshare ride.

Walkable Neighborhoods

The top walkable neighborhoods in Charleston are Radcliffeborough, Cannonborough-Elliottborough, Mazyck-Wraggborough, Eastside, and Harleston Village. Staying in these areas will guarantee that getting around Charleston on foot will be easy.

Radcliffeborough

Cannonborough-Elliottborough

Mazyck-Wraggborough

Eastside

Harleston Village

Things to see while walking

While you’re walking around and exploring the city, here are some sights that you should include on your list.

Charleston City Market

Take a walk to the Charleston City Market and explore all the local vendors. Spending time at the City Market can be an adventure in itself, or you can continue to explore nearby. It’s not much more of a walk to go to Waterfront Park and see the Pineapple Fountain.

At the park, you’ll see beautiful views of the port and the water. Walk along the pier and rest your feet on the porch swings. Then, when you’re ready, you can walk a bit farther and see Rainbow Row. These brightly colored houses are definitely worth seeing and grabbing a picture!

The Battery

The Battery is located on the tip of Charleston’s peninsula and is a beautiful place to walk! Marvel at the Antebellum mansions on one side of the promenade and the Charleston Harbor on the other. 

The Battery also offers great views of Fort Sumter, the Yorktown, and the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse. Right beside The Battery is White Point Garden, which is another lovely spot to explore. 

The oak trees alone make the park stunning and worth a visit. In the garden, you’ll also see a picturesque gazebo and Civil War and Revolutionary War era cannons.

King Street

Btcsc, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Walk along King Street when the weather is nice and you’re bound to see tons of other people out and about. King Street is the main shopping street in Charleston. You’ll find upscale shops, along with local boutiques. 

If shopping isn’t your vibe, fear not! King Street also has tons of restaurants and bars to satisfy foodies!

Ravenel Bridge

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During the construction of the Ravenel Bridge, the city of Charleston put a greater emphasis on making the bridge pedestrian friendly. The entire bridge has a wide walk and bike lane. You can walk from downtown Charleston all the way to Mount Pleasant if you want to! 

You’ll get stunning aerial views of the river and the city by walking the bridge. It’s a great time even if you only walk part of the bridge!

Other Walking Options

Charleston is easy to explore on your own, but you can also schedule a walking tour. This is an excellent way to really see the city while also learning about its rich history. 

Another option is to go on a carriage ride. With a carriage ride, you can learn about the city’s sights. Then, you can know which areas you’d like to come back and walk through at your own pace. 

One last idea is to take the Charleston Water Taxi over to Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant. Walking from Charleston to Mt. Pleasant is far, but the water taxi makes it easy and enjoyable. 

Once you’ve crossed the river, you can easily walk through Patriots Point, explore the area, and make a visit to the USS Yorktown.

The Bottom Line

Charleston is an extremely walkable city if you are staying in the heart of downtown. It’s easy to explore the city, shop, and eat at a variety of restaurants downtown. You’ll have no trouble finding all the fun the city has to offer, all while safely being able to walk Charleston’s historic streets!



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