Charleston is a romantic escape like no other.
With cobblestone streets, lush gardens, and plenty of sunshine to soak up year-round – not to mention a delicious array of Southern cuisine.
It’s easy to see why Charleston has become the ultimate destination for couples looking for an incredible getaway. But what are some activities that make this city all the more special?
Look no further: I’ve rounded up 21 romantic things to do in Charleston, SC guaranteed to make your heart melt.
From watching sunset at Folly Beach or exploring magnolia gardens lit with magical lights, romance is alive and well in The Holy City.
Keep reading and start planning your dreamy date night here.
- 1 21 Romantic Things to Do in Charleston, SC
- 1.1 1. Sunset Stroll at Waterfront Park
- 1.2 2. Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride
- 1.3 3. Rooftop Cocktails at The Vendue
- 1.4 4. Picnic at Hampton Park
- 1.5 5. Romantic Dinner Cruise
- 1.6 6. Explore Rainbow Row
- 1.7 7. Couples Massage at a Luxurious Spa
- 1.8 8. Wine Tasting at Deep Water Vineyard
- 1.9 9. Beach Day at Folly Beach
- 1.10 10. Candlelit Dinner at Circa 1886
- 1.11 11. Moonlit Walk on Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
- 1.12 12. Dance Lessons at Holy City Salsa
- 1.13 13. Visit Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
- 1.14 14. Sail Away on a Private Charter
- 1.15 15. Visit the Angel Oak Tree
- 1.16 16. Enjoy a Romantic Movie Night at Terrace Theater
- 1.17 17. Rowboat at Cypress Gardens
- 1.18 18. Visit Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
- 1.19 19. Kayaking in the marsh
- 1.20 20. Horseback riding on the beach
- 1.21 21. Gibbes Museum of Art Visit
- 2 Conclusion
21 Romantic Things to Do in Charleston, SC
With so many options at hand, it can be hard to narrow down the perfect plan for a romantic day or evening.
That’s why we’ve rounded up 21 of the most romantic things to do in Charleston to help you create a memorable and unforgettable experience with your significant other.
With these ideas, you’re guaranteed to fall even more in love with each other and with this beautiful city.
1. Sunset Stroll at Waterfront Park
Enjoy a quiet stroll with your loved one through Waterfront Park, located directly on the shore of the Charleston harbor.
As you watch the sun go down over the city skyline – don’t forget to take some photos. This is one of those romantic moments not to miss.
As you walk hand in hand with your loved one, you can admire the stunning fountain and its synchronized water display, a popular spot for wedding and engagement photos.
The park’s lush greenery, colorful flower beds, and numerous benches provide a romantic setting for a picnic or to simply sit and watch the boats sail by.
The Waterfront Park is also home to several landmarks that celebrate Charleston’s rich history, including the famous Pineapple Fountain, a symbol of Southern hospitality and welcoming spirit, and the Liberty Tree, where the Sons of Liberty held meetings during the American Revolution.
The park is not just a great spot for a leisurely walk, but also for a variety of activities such as fishing, kayaking, and paddle boarding.
You can rent equipment on-site or book a harbor tour to explore the Charleston Harbor and its scenic beauty.
After a pleasant evening stroll at the Waterfront Park, make your way to one of Charleston’s renowned restaurants for a romantic dinner.
With an impressive variety of culinary options ranging from traditional Southern cuisine to gourmet international dishes, the city offers a diverse dining scene to satisfy every palate.
2. Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride
There’s no better way to experience the charm and beauty of Charleston than with a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride.
Your friendly tour guide will be more than happy to share some interesting historical facts about the city as you take in its fascinating architecture, quaint cobblestone streets, and breathtaking graveyards.
You can also opt for a narrated nighttime tour with a breathtaking view of the illuminated bridge and harbor.
For an even more romantic experience, you can take advantage of carriage ride packages that include dinner at one of Charleston’s highly acclaimed restaurants, such as Bravo! Cucina Italiana.
Enjoy delicious Italian dishes accompanied by delectable wines in the elegant atmosphere of this restaurant while marveling at the city’s picturesque skyline.
A romantic horse-drawn carriage ride in Charleston is guaranteed to make your time together unforgettable.
As far as romantic activities go, it doesn’t get much better than this.
So if you’re looking for a fun and unique way to explore the city – book a carriage ride. You won’t regret it.
3. Rooftop Cocktails at The Vendue
Take your date night to the next level with a romantic rooftop cocktail at The Vendue, one of Charleston’s most luxurious boutique hotels.
The hotel’s renowned Roof Bar is located on the top floor and offers incredible views of the city skyline and harbor.
The bar’s extensive craft cocktail list is sure to please even the most discerning of palates.
From classic cocktails like the Aviation and Negroni, to original creations such as the Peach Mule or Bourbon Smash – there is something for everyone.
To make things even more special, guests can enjoy live music on certain nights.
For an unforgettable evening, head to The Vendue’s rooftop bar for amazing views and creative cocktails.
Cuddle up in cozy throw blankets and take in the breathtaking sights as you sip on your drinks.
It’s a perfect evening activity that will have you feeling like you’re in a romantic movie.
The Roof Bar is open seven days a week from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm. So, don’t forget to make reservations in advance of your visit.
4. Picnic at Hampton Park
With over 60 acres of lush greenery, flowing fountains and stunning gardens, the park provides a serene, tranquil and idyllic setting for a romantic afternoon with your special someone.
As you enter the park, you’ll immediately be struck by the impressive tree-lined walkways and stunning floral displays.
The park’s centerpiece, a gorgeous lake, is surrounded by beautiful walking paths, dotted with benches and plenty of spots to set up your picnic blanket.
You can expect to have a feast for your senses at Hampton Park, with its endless beauty and stunning wildlife.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to spot different species of birds and other wildlife, ranging from turtles and frogs to majestic swans gracefully gliding across the lake.
As you indulge in your picnic basket, enjoy the serenity of the surroundings and the sound of the fountains, accentuating the ambiance with a tranquil melody.
Whether you choose to dine under the fragrant magnolia blossoms or under the shade of one of the many trees, you and your loved one will create an unforgettable memory.
So, pack a delicious lunch or opt for a charcuterie board and bottle of wine, and spend a romantic afternoon together in the picturesque Hampton Park.
5. Romantic Dinner Cruise
A romantic dinner cruise is the epitome of a picture-perfect evening with your significant other.
As the sun dips below the horizon, the velvet-draped skies above the Charleston Harbor offer a breathtaking backdrop to the gentle lapping of the waves against the boat’s hull.
The delectable gourmet dishes will cater to your taste buds’ every whim- from succulent filet mignon, fresh seafood, or farm-to-table veggies, your cravings will be satisfied.
Aside from the culinary delights, the cruise offers a plethora of entertainment options. The live musical performers will serenade you with slow, sensual melodies that will transport you to another realm.
For an even more private and intimate experience, you can opt for the private-boat charters available which cater to only you and your loved one.
Intimate conversation, the aroma of delicious food, the sound of a gentle breeze- all set against the stunning Charleston skyline.
The dinner cruise will make you feel as though you are on top of the world. It’s an evening of pure magic, sensory indulgence, and unadulterated romance- and one that you and your loved one won’t forget for a long time to come.
6. Explore Rainbow Row
Rainbow Row is a charming and colorful collection of beautifully preserved historic homes situated in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina.
This picturesque row of pastel-colored houses is a must-see for anyone looking for a delightful afternoon stroll or a memorable photo opportunity, especially those enamored with romance.
Dating back to the 18th century, these homes were originally built as warehouses to store goods such as rice, indigo, and spices.
However, over time, they were transformed into residences. The first house on Rainbow Row was painted pink in the 1930s by Dorothy Porcher Legge, who helped to spearhead the beautification of Charleston.
Today, Rainbow Row is a living testament to the city’s rich history and serves as a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
The row boasts 13 colorful houses, each painted a different pastel shade. These lovingly restored homes are a testament to the area’s commitment to heritage conservation.
Walking down Rainbow Row is like stepping back in time. The buildings are adorned with intricate wrought iron balconies, stunning brickwork, and elegantly carved wooden doors.
The houses are also interspersed with lush gardens and fragrant blooms, making for a truly romantic and immersive experience.
Exploring the area around Rainbow Row is also a delight. The row is situated a short distance from Charleston’s bustling City Market, where visitors can peruse local crafts, art, and food stalls.
In the adjacent French Quarter district, visitors can take in captivating art galleries, historic landmarks like the Dock Street Theatre, and charming boutiques.
7. Couples Massage at a Luxurious Spa
Indulging in a couples massage at a luxurious spa is undoubtedly one of the most romantic things to do in Charleston, SC.
This serene and relaxed city offers a wide array of options to pamper yourself and your significant other, but a couples massage stands tall amidst them all.
The soothing fragrance of essential oils and the gentle ambience of relaxation surround you as you snuggle up with your loved one and unwind.
Imagine lounging in a tranquil, dimly-lit room, surrounded by flickering candles and soft music, while skilled massage therapists work their magic on your bodies.
You’ll be deeply relaxed and refreshed by the experience and the therapeutic effects of the massage will leave you feeling rejuvenated in body, mind, and spirit.
Charleston boasts of some of the finest spas that offer couples massages. You can choose from a diverse range of massages such as Swedish, hot stone, deep tissue, aromatherapy, and more.
The massage therapists personalize the experience to meet your specific needs and preferences.
After the massage, couples can extend their relaxing experience by indulging in some of the other spa amenities like saunas, steam rooms, or hot tubs.
Alternatively, head out into Charleston’s historic downtown to enjoy some sightseeing, shopping, and dining.
After all, what could be more romantic than spending the day immersed in luxurious indulgences with your loved one?
8. Wine Tasting at Deep Water Vineyard
Experience the quintessential romantic getaway with a day of wine tasting at Deep Water Vineyard, located in Wadmalaw Island within the Lowcountry region of South Carolina.
The vineyard offers stunning views of lush green grounds, shimmering ponds, and majestic live oaks that will make you feel as if you are in a fairytale.
Serving a selection of award-winning vintages, Deep Water Vineyard offers an unforgettable experience to wine aficionados and novices alike.
The knowledgeable staff will guide you through tastings that allow you to discover the different nuances and flavors of each vintage.
You can also learn all about the different winemaking processes, from harvesting to bottling.
Take in the beautiful views of the vineyard as you indulge in a romantic and private tasting session with your significant other.
Afterwards, head out into the courtyard for lunch or dinner at The Barley Oak gastropub where you can sample exquisite local dishes accompanied by some of Deep Water Vineyard’s finest wines.
End your day with a leisurely walk around the grounds, admiring the beautiful landscape and taking in the tranquility of nature.
9. Beach Day at Folly Beach
As the sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean, casting a golden glow across the shores, Folly Beach awakens to yet another perfect day.
Once known as the “Edge of America” due to its remote location, this quaint coastal town has become a favorite destination for tourists from all over the world.
As you stroll along the beach, the sound of waves crashing on the shore and seagulls cawing in the distance are the only sounds that fill the air.
With its 6-mile long stretch of soft sand, Folly Beach is a perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, and surfing.
As you soak up the sun, don’t forget to savor the local flavors of Folly, like fish tacos, fried oysters, and shrimp po’boys.
And if you want to enjoy a romantic sunset over the ocean, head to the Folly Beach Pier and watch as the sun dips below the horizon.
Beyond the beach, Folly Beach offers plenty of activities to keep you entertained. Take a stroll down Center Street and check out the local shops and restaurants, or rent a bike and explore the island’s neighborhoods.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, take a kayak or paddleboard tour of the nearby marshes and waterways.
As the day comes to a close, Folly Beach transforms into a lively nightlife destination. With live music venues, open-air bars, and oceanfront restaurants, there’s something for everyone.
So, whether you’re looking for a relaxing day on the beach or an exciting night out, Folly Beach has it all.
10. Candlelit Dinner at Circa 1886
As you enter the restaurant, the dimly lit space and elegant decor will undoubtedly take your breath away. The attentive staff will take you to your table, where you can soak in the intimate ambiance of the restaurant.
The menu at Circa 1886 will delight even the most discerning foodie. Executive Chef Marc Collins has crafted a menu that blends traditional southern cuisine with contemporary flair.
Each dish is beautifully presented, and the flavors will make your taste buds dance with excitement.
The wine list is equally impressive, with an extensive selection of domestic and international wines to complement your meal.
As the night progresses, the flickering flames of the candles will create a romantic and cozy atmosphere that will leave you feeling enchanted.
The soft music playing in the background adds to the intimate ambiance of the restaurant.
At the end of your meal, you’ll be sure to leave Circa 1886 feeling like it was a moment in time that you will never forget.
The impeccable service, delicious food, and intimate ambiance will create a magical evening that you and your partner will cherish forever.
11. Moonlit Walk on Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
Embarking on a moonlit walk across this monumental bridge with your significant other is a must-do for any romantic visiting Charleston.
As you start this enchanting walk, the city’s skyline greets you with a serene and ethereal beauty.
The twinkling lights of the city create a magical atmosphere, perfect for connecting with your loved one.
The gentle and rhythmic sound of the river below adds to the charm of this experience, creating a mood of peaceful contemplation and reflection.
The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is not only a sight to behold but also a marvel of engineering and design.
The bridge boasts a length of 2.5 miles and is the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America.
Furthermore, it is named after Arthur Ravenel Jr., a prominent and highly respected Charlestonian figure who dedicated much of his life to public service.
As you continue across the bridge, the captivating and romantic aura becomes more and more palpable.
The stunning view of the harbor and the refreshing breeze from the river adds to the overall ambiance of this romantic experience.
12. Dance Lessons at Holy City Salsa
Take your romance to the next level and learn how to salsa dance with your special someone at Holy City Salsa in downtown Charleston.
The studio provides classes for all levels, from beginners to advanced dancers. The friendly staff will teach you all the steps needed to become a master of Latin dance.
As you move around the room, you’ll discover that dancing together is a great way to build connection and trust in your relationship.
There is no need to worry if you don’t know how to dance! The instructors will patiently help you learn the steps at your own pace. And once you get the hang of it, a whole world of exhilarating dance moves awaits you.
If you want to take your experience to the next level, you can attend one of Holy City Salsa’s lively social dance parties. Here, you will be able to show off your new skills while dancing with people from all around the world.
So no matter if it is a romantic first date or a night out with friends, head over to Holy City Salsa and have an unforgettable time.
Once the night is done, why not end your evening with a romantic dinner at Bravo! Cucina? Enjoy a bottle of Vineyard’s finest wines and their delicious Italian-inspired cuisine that will make you come back for more.
13. Visit Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is a botanical paradise that delights visitors with its stunning beauty.
Its romantic atmosphere is perfect for couples to enjoy a quiet and blissful time together. The plantation was built in the 17th century, and its striking gardens are home to a plethora of exquisite flora and fauna.
As you stroll through the lush greenery of Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, you’ll be surrounded by the fragrance of blooming flowers and the gentle whispers of the breeze.
Highlights of the garden include the Butterfly Lakes, the Long White Bridge, the Barbados Tropical Garden, and the Camellia Collection. The gardens are not only beautiful but also rich in history.
For an extra romantic touch, couples can take a fiery sunset boat ride along the Ashley River, getting the chance to witness the magical sunset over the water.
Or opt for the evening Garden Tours, which allow you to stroll through the gardens while being serenaded by the sounds of live music.
14. Sail Away on a Private Charter
For couples looking for an intimate and unforgettable experience, a private charter on the waters surrounding Charleston is a must-do.
Enjoy full privacy aboard a luxurious yacht, where the two of you can indulge in each other’s company and take in breathtaking views of the coast.
Snuggle up under a cozy blanket as you sail through calm waters and watch the sun setting over the horizon.
For adventure-seeking couples, a yacht charter in Charleston also offers exciting opportunities for swimming and water sports.
While on land, explore the historic city’s charming streets hand in hand with your loved one.
Take a romantic walk through Charleston’s infamous Battery Park, where you can witness stunning views of Fort Sumter and the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.
Meander through the streets of the downtown district and admire the city’s restored colonial and antebellum homes.
Stop by the Pineapple Fountain, a staple of Charleston and a popular spot for taking couple’s selfies.
If you’re looking to enjoy fine dining, Charleston boasts some of the most romantic spots in the country.
Indulge in sumptuous cuisine at restaurants like Circa 1886, Charleston Grill, or Husk, which offer intimate atmospheres and candlelit tables.
15. Visit the Angel Oak Tree
Nothing says romance quite like stopping for a moment beneath the majestic Angel Oak Tree.
Located on Johns Island, this 500-year old live oak tree stands 65 feet tall and is one of the oldest living things in South Carolina.
Its sprawling branches make it an awe-inspiring sight and its presence will have you feeling surrounded by a romantic aura.
As you explore the area, you and your significant other can take some time to pause, admire the beauty of this ancient tree, and make some wonderful memories together.
Taking a stroll around the tree allows couples to bask in the glory of this ancient natural wonder, experiencing the majesty and grandeur of nature at its finest.
Picnicking beneath the tree is also a popular activity for couples who want to enjoy a romantic meal in a serene setting.
Couples who want to extend their romantic experience beyond the Angel Oak Tree can explore the surrounding areas of Charleston.
A sunset cruise along the Charleston harbor is a scenic way to enjoy the city’s breathtaking views while indulging in champagne and hors d’oeuvres.
Other romantic activities to consider include horse-drawn carriage rides through the city’s historic streets and ghost tours that offer a glimpse into Charleston’s haunted past.
16. Enjoy a Romantic Movie Night at Terrace Theater
The Terrace Theater opened its doors in 1938 and has since been restored to offer a modern and sophisticated cinema experience.
The Terrace Theater is not your typical movie theater. It is a unique and intimate space that exudes elegance and luxury.
The theater offers a variety of independent and classic films, making it the perfect spot for a romantic date night.
Each theater at the Terrace is decorated with plush, velvet chairs that offer unmatched comfort. The atmosphere is further elevated by the soft lighting and the tastefully decorated walls adorned with classic movie posters.
The Terrace Theater offers a range of gourmet snack options, including locally sourced popcorn, fine wines, and craft beers.
The theater also has a full bar that serves expertly crafted cocktails. All food and beverages can be enjoyed before, during, or after the film.
The Terrace regularly hosts film festivals, featuring some of the most prestigious independent and foreign productions.
The theater is also actively involved in local charity events and community initiatives.
Attending a movie night at the Terrace is not only an intimate experience but also an opportunity to support local arts and entertainment.
17. Rowboat at Cypress Gardens
For a romantic outdoor activity, consider taking your significant other on a rowboat excursion at Cypress Gardens.
This picturesque attraction is located in Moncks Corner, just 40 minutes away from Charleston. The park spans over 200 acres of lush greenery and tranquil lakes.
It features several natural attractions, such as giant cypress trees that tower over the lake and lush gardens that are teeming with wildlife.
At Cypress Gardens, couples can rent a rowboat for an hour of peaceful rowing. As you cruise through the calming waters, you will be surrounded by nature’s beauty.
Couples can take in breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and observe various species of birds as they fly overhead.
For an extra romantic touch, bring along a picnic and enjoy a relaxing meal nestled in the middle of nature. The tranquil setting is the perfect place to reconnect with your loved one.
Afterward, take a stroll around the park and explore its many attractions, such as the butterfly garden or wildflower trail.
Couples who are looking for a romantic, outdoor adventure will find that Cypress Gardens is the perfect destination.
18. Visit Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, look no further than Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. This historic plantation is located just 30 minutes outside of Charleston.
The grounds are brimming with lush greenery, exotic plants, and picturesque gardens. Explore the various trails on foot or take a leisurely boat ride through the property’s tranquil canals.
The highlight of the plantation is its famous garden, which features over 500 varieties of flowers in all shapes and sizes. The breathtaking display creates a romantic oasis for couples to explore hand-in-hand.
Magnolia Plantation also offers a variety of attractions such as a petting zoo, nature center, and historic house.
The plantation also offers a range of special events, such as music performances or guided tours that allow couples to uncover the history behind the grounds.
For a more adventurous outing, take a boat ride on the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens Nature Boat Tour.
This tour takes you through the scenic waterways of Magnolia and gives you a chance to see local wildlife such as alligators, herons, and turtles.
The boat tour is a unique and exciting way to experience the beauty of the plantation.
From the romantic tranquil gardens to the exciting boat tour, there is something here for everyone.
19. Kayaking in the marsh
Kayaking through the marshland of Charleston is an incredible experience. The marshes stretch to over 350,000 acres, making it one of the most extensive eco-systems in the U.S.
As you navigate through the vast marshes, you can witness a diverse range of wildlife, including dolphins, otters, and a wide variety of bird species such as the Great Egret and the Bald Eagle.
The clear waterways allow for easy navigation, which makes it perfect for both experienced and novice kayakers.
One of the most romantic elements of kayaking through the marshland is the serene and peaceful atmosphere that surrounds it.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the marshes provide a tranquil location for couples to enjoy each other’s company.
The picturesque landscapes and views of the Southern sunset in the distance offer a perfect backdrop for a romantic evening.
For an even more romantic experience, consider taking a stand-up paddleboard, which allows you to take in the views from a higher vantage point.
Whether you choose to kayak or take a paddleboard, exploring the marshland of Charleston is sure to be an unforgettable experience for couples.
20. Horseback riding on the beach
There is nothing more romantic than horseback riding on the beach.
This activity offers a unique combination of adventure and romance, making it perfect for couples looking for something special.
The beach at Folly Beach provides the ideal setting, with its serene white sand and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
If you are new to horse riding, don’t worry. The experienced staff at Folly Beach will provide everything you need, including safety helmets and a brief tutorial on how to ride.
You can explore the beach together, from the rolling dunes to the vast sea of blue waves. Whether you choose to go fast or slow, the experience is sure to be an unforgettable one.
After your ride, the beach provides plenty of opportunities for romance. Relax on a blanket and watch the sunset as you enjoy each other’s company.
Horseback riding on the beach is an exciting activity that will provide memories to last a lifetime. It truly is a romantic experience like no other.
21. Gibbes Museum of Art Visit
Take your special someone on a romantic outing to the Gibbes Museum of Art in downtown Charleston.
The museum features an extensive collection of artwork from well-known American artists, including John Singleton Copley and Thomas Sully.
During a visit, you can explore the gallery’s many paintings and sculptures while learning more about the fascinating history behind each piece.
The museum also offers several interactive activities, such as guided tours and art workshops, that couples can enjoy together.
Afterward, relax in the rooftop garden while admiring the breathtaking views of the city skyline.
For an even more romantic experience, take advantage of one of the Gibbes’ special events, such as concerts in the courtyard or wine tastings.
These events allow couples to share a unique experience while enjoying the beauty of the museum.
When it comes to romance, there’s no better place than the Gibbes Museum of Art.
Plan an outing with your special someone and take in all the culture and beauty that this incredible museum has to offer.
Spending quality time together in the romantic city of Charleston, South Carolina, reaffirms the value of relationships and creates lasting memories that will never be forgotten.
Whether it’s exploring the plantations, getting lost in the charming side streets, checking out the many museums or simply watching a beautiful sunset from one of its world-renowned beaches, Charleston can provide a magical journey for any couple.
With such an abundance of romantic experiences to be shared in this city, it’s easy to see why so many people consider Charleston to be one of the most unique and romantic destinations around.
So take the plunge and plan your own unique adventure today; after all, there’s no better way to create unforgettable moments than with 21 ofthe most romantic things to do in Charleston.