10 Rainy Day Activities in Charleston

There is nothing like a rain storm to ruin your weekend or vacation plans. We totally understand that you can’t enjoy being on the beach at Sullivan’s Island or walk the gardens at Middleton Plantation during an afternoon rain shower. I mean, you could, but that wouldn’t be very enjoyable and definitely not the best decision.  Whether you’re on vacation in Charleston and getting a rain day, or you live in the area and are looking for something to do on a rainy Sunday, we are sharing a few of our favorite rainy day activities and things to do in Charleston, South Carolina.

1. The Children’s Museum

We won’t lie, this one is actually pretty fun for adults too! The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry is located in the heart of downtown Charleston and just a short walk (if it stops raining) to nearby restaurants, ice cream shops and coffee cafes. The Children’s Museum won a 2016 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor and is always highly regarded by Charleston parents and visitors alike. You can visit the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry website to get more information about hours, admission, and planning your visit.

2. Art Galleries & Gibbes Museum of Art


The Broad Street area and the surrounding streets of the French Quarter (check out lower East Bay St., State Street, and Queen Street) are home to a number of local art galleries. Wandering through the art gallery district with an umbrella in hand and ducking into the pretty and cozy galleries is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. You’ll get to meet some local Charleston artists, hear about their work and see all their amazing pieces for yourself! Another option if you’re an art-lover is the Gibbes Museum located at 135 Meeting Street. Not only is the building beautiful, but the museum features a number of permanent exhibits and also rotating collections. You can learn more admission fees and the hours of the Gibbes Museum of Art on their website as well as which exhibits are on rotation and classes and events hosted at the museum.

3. The Calhoun Mansion

The Calhoun Mansion is located at 16 Meeting Street in downtown Charleston and was built in 1876. The Calhoun Mansion is often regarded as one of the most “Handsome Homes” in Charleston. The mansion is the largest single family home in downtown Charleston and has been brought back to its original standard. The mansion has also received a 2016 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor. If the rain starts to clear during your visit, visitors are also welcome to wander through the homes gardens. You can get more information about tickets, hours and tour specific on the Calhoun Mansion Website.

4. The USS Yorktown

The USS Yorktown is located at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, about 10-15 minutes from downtown Charleston. The USS Yorktown was the tenth aircraft carrier to serve in the US Navy and is one of the top visited attractions in the area. There are lots of actives and seminars on board, as well as the Medal of Honor museum. Even on a rainy day, the views from the Yorktown are stunning and some of the best of the Ravenel Bridge and the harbor. If you’re looking for a place nearby to grab lunch and catch the great views check out the Charleston Harbor Fish House just minutes from the Yorktown and next to the Charleston Harbor marina. More information about the USS Yorktown can be found on their website.

5. The Dock Street Theatre

The Dock Street Theatre is one of the most historic sites in Charleston, it’s the first American theatre! The theatre is host to several wonderful shows each year produced by the Charleston Stage Company. You can catch matinee shows on the weekend, and evening shows during the show season. The Dock Street Theatre makes a great option for a rainy day in Charleston. Visit the Charleston Stage Company website to see if there are any shows currently at the theatre as well as ticket prices and show times.

6. The South Carolina Aquarium

Ok, we know we said some of the best views were from the USS Yorktown… but, the Aquarium also has some incredible views across the harbor to Mount Pleasant and of the Ravenel Bridge. The aquarium is also located in downtown Charleston and has a parking garage close by. The aquarium has lots of programs for children and great exhibits that the whole family is sure to love on a rainy day. Visit the South Carolina Aquarium website for more information about tickets, hours, exhibits and more.

7. The Alley

The Alley is a great way to spend any rainy (or not rainy) day in Charleston. Located just off of the Upper King Street district, the Alley is your one stop shop for entertainment. There are 8 bowling lanes, 3 bars, a full kitchen to order delicious food from and a retro-style arcade. Your entire group is sure to love the Alley. The Alley is located at 131 Columbus Street in downtown Charleston.

8. In the Kitchen with Chef Bob Waggoner

Taking a cooking class is another great activity for a rainy day, and what better city to do it in than Charleston? Charleston is known for its delicious cuisine and Chef Bob Waggoner has created an amazing fusion of lowcountry cuisine and French-inspired techniques. It doesn’t matter what your experience level is with cooking, you’re sure to have a great time cooking alongside Chef Bob Waggoner. Check out his website for information and pricing on classes.

9. Eat


We know this is vague, but honestly, you can’t go wrong with food in Charleston! If it’s a rainy morning, enjoy a leisurely morning  brunch or breakfast at Hominy Grill, The Palmetto Cafe, or Acme Lowcountry Kitchen. If you’re looking for a place to indulge in a delicious lunch be sure to try SNOB, The Village Bakery, or Butcher and Bee. Your options are endless for dinner too! Some of our favorites are Wild Olive, Poe’s Tavern, or Five Loaves Cafe. And, if you’re looking for a cute little coffee shop to duck into for an afternoon pick-me-up, be sure to visit Vintage Cafe, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit or Sugar Bakeshop.

10. Candlefish

Candlesfish launched at 71 Wentworth Street by the creators of Rewined Candles. The location offers a number of candle making workshops that are sure to be fun for your entire group. Choose exactly what type of workshop you would like to take, there are a number to choose from including holiday themed workshops, essential oils, and scented candle making classes. Check their schedule on their website.

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