The Best of Outdoors Charleston

Every month here at we try to introduce you to cool towns across the country that would fulfill any outdoor lover’s wish list. This month, it’s Charleston, S.C.:

Founded: 1663

Population: 115,000

Size: 97 square miles

Activities: Biking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, fly fishing, hiking, surfing

Why you should go: Charleston is a city rich in both history and good food, but it is also an excellent outdoor destination for lowcountry adventurers, and its optimal location at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers is particularly perfect for water-loving enthusiasts. The outskirt islands offer up plenty of beachfront locals, and, for the wildlife lover, there are plenty of animals to be found. Check out the Angel Oak on Johns Island, thought to be one of the world’s oldest living oak trees at over 1,500 years old.

When you should go: Charleston can get quite hot in the summer months. If you’re weary of the heat, aim for spring and fall for your visit. Spring and summer months are standouts, when all of the azaleas and magnolias are in bloom, but these popular months also draw lots of crowds. So book your trip early to ensure you get access to the best spots.

Must-see/do: Explore Charleston’s many historical homes and architecture by bike—the area offers many guided tours, or you can opt to journey out on your own time. Cycle along the city’s many quiet back roads and cobblestone alleyways, and peddle over the Cooper River Bridge to experience all of the charm—and views—that Charleston has to offer. If biking isn’t your thing, take a leisurely stroll through The Battery, located at the southern tip of the peninsula. Here you can meander by the many historical cannons and statues and top off your visit by taking in a perfect view of Fort Sumter.

Off the beaten path: To cool off—particularly in the hot summer months—go for a dip in Folly Beach, which is not far from the downtown area. It’s an excellent area for surfing—some argue it’s one of the best spots on the east coast when the swells are right.