Charleston’s Best Parks and Playgrounds | Netherland parent


For a compact downtown peninsula filled with historic homes, hotels, shops, and restaurants, Charleston thankfully still has plenty of green space. And the parks and playgrounds that dot the Holy City and its surroundings are perfect for kids who need time to run and play, experiencing the wonders of Charleston in a whole new way.

And many of Charleston’s best parks are within walking distance of downtown hotels near the historic district. There’s no better place to start than White Point Garden, a nearly six-acre park at the tip of the peninsula shaded by a canopy of oak trees and in spring brightened by a riot of blooming azaleas. Children love to climb the steps of the gazebo, observe the cannons that line the perimeter of the park or simply play hide and seek among the monuments and trees. The adjacent Battery Drive offers stunning views of Charleston Harbor.

Smaller but no less picturesque, Washington Park, off Broad Street near the Four Corners of Law, offers shaded benches and picnic areas around a miniature version of the Washington Monument found in the nation’s capital. In the heart of Charleston’s commercial district, at the intersection of King and Calhoun streets, is Marion Square, a former parade ground with lots of open space and regularly hosting seasonal festivals and farmers’ markets.

Along the Ashley River, near the RiverDogs baseball stadium, is Brittlebank Park, which has benches, picnic tables, and a playground in addition to scenic river views. Further up the peninsula, Hampton Park, at 60 acres, is the city’s largest park, offering extensive walking paths, expansive green spaces, restrooms and a playground. And then there’s the crown jewel of the city’s park system, Waterfront Park near Easy Bay Street, where kids can splash around in the pineapple fountain, try one of the porch swings, or just enjoy of the salty breeze from the pier.

Looking for playgrounds? Charleston has you covered too. In addition to the playgrounds at Brittlebank and Hampton Parks, the Peninsula has a hidden gem in the Hazel Parker Playground located just steps from the Battery on East Bay Street, where two separate play areas provide fun for toddlers and older children. Near the South Carolina Aquarium on Concord Street is Gadsdenboro Park, a newer (but not shaded) playground where kids can let off steam after seeing sea turtles and sharks. Off Elizabeth Street, Tiedemann Park offers both a playground and a nature center featuring reptiles and amphibians.

Across the Ravenel Bridge in Mount Pleasant, there’s a fun nautical-themed playground at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park, which also offers convenient parking and restrooms. In the quaint old village of Mount Pleasant, the Alhambra Playground is a grand retreat shaded by mossy oaks and offering spectacular views of downtown across the harbor. West of Ashley, Mary Utsey Playground is a large, fenced-in playground with on-site restrooms and plenty of shade. Two county parks, Palmetto Islands in Mount Pleasant and Wannamaker in North Charleston, also have playgrounds.

There’s no shortage of places in Charleston where kids can, well, enjoy being a kid. And all that playing time will create fond memories, making them eager to return.


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