In the summer, Charleston heats up in more ways than one. And, while beaches and boats are a perfect way to cool down, you’ll need a break from all the sun and saltwater. One of the biggest draws for visitors is the unique architecture and interesting history found throughout the downtown peninsula – from Rainbow Row to the City Market, the King Street shopping district and Charleston’s renowned culinary scene. So where do you find a shady spot that’s the perfect place to beat the heat this summer? Start with a trip to these cool Charleston spots.

Take advantage of the A/C when you pop into the local boutiques and couture shops on King Street, or detour down Market Street, home to the famous Charleston City Market with local vendors and artisans. While much of the market is open air, the enclosed portion is air conditioned and is home to Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit and Caviar & BananasIf you’re at the market, bring some cash and grab a refreshing fresh-squeezed lemonade from the lemonade booth. 

Spend some time exploring Charleston’s Museum Mile, a one-mile stretch of Meeting Street where you’ll find 6 museums (including the Lowcountry Children’s Museum), 5 historic houses, 4 scenic parks, and a Revolutionary War powder magazine. And for animal lovers, get up close and personal with your favorite sea creatures at the South Carolina Aquarium. The kiddos will love learning about the local lowcountry wildlife and the fish and dolphins that can be spotted in the waters surrounding Charleston. For a unique and intimate date night, check out the schedule of After Hours events at the aquarium!

As any beer enthusiast will tell you, a cold beer always tastes more refreshing on a hot summer day. Home to nearly 50 breweries, the Charleston area has no shortage of local brews to help you cool off. With so many breweries, you’re never far from a cold drink no matter where you are. Downtown, sip on a cold one from the rooftop of Revelry Brewing Co and enjoy the view, or in West Ashley, bring the family to Frothy Beard for a frothy beer and a slice of Zombie Bob’s pizza. On Johns Island, discover the perfect beer and food truck pairing at Low Tide Brewing. Even Daniel Island, is represented on the brewery tour, where you can sit back and enjoy live music with a cold drink in your hand at Dockery’s. And should your trip include a swing through Mount Pleasant, with events daily, Ghost Monkey Brewery is a fun hangout near the Wando River.

Whichever way to decide to cool off in Charleston this summer, you can always take a break from site-seeing and chill out in the comfort of a private retreat when you book a stay at any of our luxury vacation rentals.

Photo Credit: Revelry Brewing & Jay Wayne Productions