Charlestons Most Treasured Parks
Our city and its surrounding towns are blessed with several gorgeous and historic parks. They are all popular for different reasons, but they all have one thing in common. They are a place for friends and family in the low country to congregate and enjoy the natural beauty our parks possess. Here is a look at the area's top 10 parks. I'm basing this list on popularity for locals, tourist as well as my own selfish, but correct opinion.
10) Mount Pleasant Memorial Water-Front Park
This park is not as popular as many of the others on this list but it seems to be growing in popularity with both the locals and tourists. One of the Charleston visitor centers is located right near this park which is of course underneath the Ravenel Bridge. This park features outstanding views of downtown Charleston, the Cooper River and especially the bridge itself. Many folks congregate there to picnic, fish, check out the memorials and listen to the occasional live music.
9)Marion Square Park
This park is located in the heart of downtown Charleston and is home to a very forgotten but important piece of history of the city. A piece of the wall that used to divide the south part of Calhoun and north of part of Calhoun still stands today which is reminds us of how divided we once were but how united we remain today. This park is surrounded by some of the area's finest bars, restaurants and hotels and is home to the famous Farmers market on Saturdays as well as copious special events such as Spoleto, Fashion Week, and the ending of the Charleston bridge run. This park probably has more traffic than any other park on this list.
This park features astonishing views of the Ashley river and is home to the Beer festival, Dog show and many other events annually. This park is in close proximity to the River Dogs stadium and like most of the other parks...this park is free. This park has a dock for fishing which is open to the public and is a great place to take our furry friends on a walk.
7)Folly Beach County Park
This park to me is one of the most underused and underrated parks in the area. Located on the most northern part of Folly beach this park shows you the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean, Ashley River and has gorgeous marsh views as well. This park is open to the public, has plenty of parking and is a great way to see what the city looks from the north. With great views of Morris island and downtown this park is a real treat to anyone. This park is also one of the best places in the area to dolphin watch. I mean who doesn't adore dolphins?
6)James Island County Park
This park, located in the heart of James island is probably the area's most versatile park. It has the best dog park in the world, camping grounds, a water park, fishing area, biking walking trails, disc golf course, the South East's tallest climbing wall and countless other activities. This gem is also home to reggae Fridays, Thursday Yappy hour, and the annual Christmas light show that goes on from Thanksgiving to January 5th. If anything at all please make sure to check out the amazing light show that only costs $2 per person during the holidays. The lights and attention to detail will blow your mind. The possibility at this park are endless.
Hampton Park doesn't get too much attention from those who live south of the connector, but this park in right in the middle of the up and coming uptown section of Charleston. This park is a great place to have a picnic, take a walk, hang out or go biking. There is also a gazebo in this park in which people can reserve for weddings. This park is attached to numerous different ball fields and is very close to many sought after restaurants in the area. Many people who have lived here for years have heard of it but have not fully explored it. Don't miss out!
4)Pitt Street Bridge Park
This park...in my opinion has the best all around views our county has to offer. You have breathtaking views of Charleston's church ridden skyline, the west end of Sullivan's Island, the Charleston Harbor and the Ravenel Bridge. This is another park that many people might not know about. I didn't even know it existed until I moved to the Old Village. This park is great for picnics, sightseeing, fishing, kayaking and much much more. Many people also don't know that this used to be the only way to get to Sullivan's Island before 1958. If you’ve been avoiding this park… now is the perfect time to check it out...but don't spread the word too much now!
3)Charles Towne Landing
Located in West Ashley...this park is a great place to spend a few hours or thew whole day. The history of this park is incredibly interesting and there are tours you can take to learn all about it. It has an information center where you must check in after parking. This park features incredible walking trails, a mini zoo that features animals native to Charleston including my favorite...river otters. There are also amazing views of the Ashley river and marsh areas surrounding it. This place is very popular for field trips and also gains a lot of attention to tourist visiting the area. This is definitely a place where locals can learn a lot about our history and have some fun while you are at it.
Probably my favorite park to visit at night after a bite to eat at one of my favorite restaurants in the city. This park is gorgeous and is an incredible place to take a date. I myself have seen someone propose to their future wife here 4 times! This place is not only romantic, but an excellent place to enjoy the beauty that the marsh/waterfront have to offer. There's a pier here with plenty of seating including 3 swings. This place also has 2 famous fountains...but be careful, there's no lifeguard on duty and they have a sign to prove it. The waterfront park is located off of Vendue range and stretches for another 2 blocks south. In close proximity to many of the best restaurants in the city this waterfront park is a must see even if it's just taking a stroll there with your significant other or best friend. Oh yeah and there's a gelato place right next to it if you are into that sorta thing.
1)The Battery Park
Last but certainly not least is this park which is no doubt the most historically valued park on the east coast. This park was the training base for the Confederate army and many cannon shots were fired from this location during the civil war. This park has completely preserved its natural beauty and has stayed almost exactly how it was from back in the 1860’s. Nearly every house around the battery is over 150 years old and is an incredible sight to see. The homes located in this area are some, if not thee most valuable homes in the state and of which are open to tours. This park has gorgeous magnolias, a gazebo for wedding venues, a boulevard great for sight seeing and not to mention the best free place to park in the city. This park is full of beauty and history, has great views of the Ashley river and will forever be known as Charleston's most famous park!