Explore 5 Free Charleston City Parks

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While Charleston is a busy city it is known for its outdoor escapes! Here is a list of 5 little-known Charleston South Carolina Parks you can visit year-round! They are both free and family-friendly! 

1. Colonial Lake is surrounded by million-dollar homes.

We found a beautiful escape in the Colonial Lake area. It is located on 42 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC 29401. Colonia Lake was founded in 1881. There are million-dollar homes surrounding this man-made lake that is in the middle of the city. And the designer of this area has landscaped a botanical-like garden around this long city block area. It’s about 10 acres. The lake itself is an actual tidal pond with wide walkways. You can bike, rollerblade, walk, fish, or have a picnic in this area! The area is so pretty and well-manicured that you don’t even feel like you are in a busy city area.

The flowers that are planted around the entire colonial lake area are unique, ones you would not even find in a typical garden. Pet waste receptacles are available for people who live in the city and love their dogs! Parking however is difficult to find. There are only a few spots available for parking around the lake, the rest of the area is for residents who have permits. So you may have to walk a couple of blocks to find yourself here. The neighborhood is safe and pretty to enjoy the walk!

5 Little Known Charleston Parks You Can Visit Year-Round

2. Charleston Battery is the most visited site in Charleston

Another great find is the oceanfront area around the Charleston Battery. The Battery is Charleston’s fortified seawall and promenade. It stretches alongside the Charleston Peninsula. It is Trip Advisor’s number one attraction to visit in Charleston! As you can imagine, it gets busy here. But since there are so many things to do in Charleston, parking is still very accessible here. You can park around the waterfront for free which is a rare find in the city! It’s always cooler in this area, so dress snuggly.

5 Little Known Charleston Parks You Can Visit Year-Round

3. White Point Gardens, a Civil War Historical Park

White Point Garden is located across the street. It is a 5.7-acre public park. The park is bounded by east and south battery street. You can see the Charleston Harbor and Fort Sumpter from here. The park has a gazebo in the center. A lot of wedding/graduation/engagement photos get taken here. It is a great place for a picnic or a quiet place to read. And if you are ever here on the 4th of July, this is a great place to watch the fireworks! The cannons displayed below are from the time of the Civil War. They also have some statues and monuments from this time in history. Most of them are confederate monuments and reflect a sad time in our countries history and what people once stood for.

Rainbow Row has 13 pastel-colored homes.

As you continue to walk this path along the Battery, you will run into Rainbow Row. These are also multimillion-dollar homes that are painted in rainbow pastel colors. There is a series of 13 of them. Rainbow Row is a very highly visited area. Below you’ll find a painting of Rainbow Row.

5 Little Known Charleston Parks You Can Visit Year-Round

4. Hazel Parker Playground is an overlooked, great retreat in a busy area.

Just pass Rainbow Row, there is an oceanfront small beach area. This area runs into Charleston’s famous Cobble Streets. Don’t wear heels here, as it’s hard enough to walk in tennis shoes. There are sidewalks of course. As you walk down this serene area, you will run into a quaint park called Hazel Parker Playground. We have visited Charleston hundreds of times, and have never come upon this park, yet it is a public park. They have free public restrooms, which is very helpful to know as there are not many public restrooms available in this area. And it’s manned so everyone can feel safe, and know that it stays clean. Hazel Park has a nice basketball, baseball field, and children’s park. And there’s even a dog park.

5 Little Known Charleston Parks You Can Visit Year-Round

5. Enjoy the views from the Joe Riley Waterfront Park!

Next comes the Joe Riley Waterfront Park. It is one of the nicest waterfront parks you will ever come across. There are two large fountains which light up at night. There are plenty of benches. There are beautiful views of the Charleston Harbor from this park. The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and USS York Town (retired aircraft carrier) can also be seen at a distance from here. The park is very open and welcomes you to the Southern Charm of Charleston. On a hot day, we would highly recommend Belgian Gelato.

Charleston has a lot to offer. It’s fun for the whole family. This post was limited to the waterfront parks here, in the future we will share more adventures in Charleston. So continue to subscribe, and please share! Also, before planning a trip here, check out the local government website.

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4 thoughts on “Explore 5 Free Charleston City Parks”

  1. It sounds so peaceful and beautiful. I like the thought of wandering past the million-dollar homes too. The waterfront parks in Charleston would be somewhere I would love to visit if I was in the area.

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