Wintertime here in the South is tough to predict. Some days it’s a freezing 20 degrees and, then, two days later it’s 70 degrees and sunny. So if you happen to visit during one of our cold snaps, just take advantage of the great indoor activities, museums and tours around Charleston. Besides, if you stay two more days, it will be warm enough for shorts.
Here are just a few indoor suggestions that allow you to stay warm while learning about all the history, culture and tradition Charleston has to offer.
Bulldog Tours: Tour the Old City Jail, which housed some of Charleston’s most infamous criminals, 19th century pirates and Civil War prisoners. You just might catch a glimpse of a ghost or two. Or, check out the Culinary Tours of Charleston with stops at various restaurants around town to experience Lowcountry food and a side dish of hospitality.
Charleston Cooks: Sure, you can eat your way around Charleston but why not learn to cook a dish or two while you’re at it? Charleston Cooks! has a number of demonstration and participation classes for beginners and experts to learn about everything from Lowcountry cuisine to pasta. The space also has a great retail shop for picking up kitchen tools and gadgets.
Charleston Museum: Regarded as America’s first museum, the Charleston Museum was established in 1773 by the Charleston Library Society. It was opened to the public in 1884 and, since then, has amassed the oldest-acquired and the most comprehensive assemblage of South Carolina materials in the nation. Explore exhibits on the Civil War, natural history and Lowcountry history along with a display specifically for children.
Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry: The littlest tourists can burn off some energy at this kid-friendly attraction. The museum is ideal for ages 3 months to 10 years. Children can go grocery shopping, explore a pirate ship and castle or create a masterpiece in the art room. There’s a separate play area for children 2 and under.
Edmondston-Alston House: This historic home (constructed in 1825) has grand views of the Charleston harbor. From its piazza, Gen. P. T. Beauregard watched the bombardment of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, signaling the start of the Civil War. Guided tours showcase the home’s Federal and Greek revival design and the vast collection of family silver, decorative arts and furniture.
Gibbes Museum of Art: This museum presents seven exhibitions each year, including an ongoing installation of The Charleston Story drawn from the museum’s permanent collection. New exhibits beginning Jan. 17 include “Romantic Spirits: Nineteenth Century Paintings of the South from the Johnson Collection” and “The Great Wave: Japonisme in Charleston.” Guided tours and special events are available.
South Carolina Aquarium: This attraction is appealing to visitors of all ages with its educational and inspiring exhibits that take guests on a journey from the South Carolinas mountains to the sea featuring 60 unique habitats, including the 385,000-gallon Great Ocean Tank.