Where to Stay in Charleston with Family? In this post, I will help you to find the best areas and neighborhoods to stay in Charleston with kids and best family-friendly hotels in Charleston for all budgets and preferences.
Charleston is a wonderful place to visit with family. It’s a charming and historic city located in South Carolina, known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and Southern hospitality.
Charleston is steeped in history, with many well-preserved historic sites, including the Battery & White Point Garden, Fort Sumter National Monument, and the historic district itself. These sites offer educational opportunities for the whole family to learn about the city’s past.
Charleston offers a variety of family-friendly activities, such as horse-drawn carriage tours, harbor cruises, and ghost tours. You can also explore museums like the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, which is designed specifically for kids.
The South Carolina Aquarium is a popular attraction for families, showcasing a variety of aquatic life. Additionally, kids might enjoy visiting the Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, which features a small zoo and opportunities to see animals up close.
Charleston is located near some beautiful beaches, such as Folly Beach, Sullivan’s Island, and Isle of Palms. If your family enjoys spending time by the ocean, you can combine city exploration with beach relaxation.
The area around Charleston is dotted with historic plantations that offer a glimpse into the region’s past. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and Middleton Place are two popular plantation sites known for their beautiful gardens and historical significance.
Charleston’s food scene is diverse and delicious, offering traditional Southern cuisine as well as a range of international options. This can be an opportunity to introduce your family to new flavors and experiences.
Charleston offers a range of accommodations suitable for families, including hotels, vacation rentals, and bed and breakfasts.
Where to Stay in Charleston with Family?
The best areas to stay in Charleston with family are Downtown Charleston, Historic District, French Quarter, Mount Pleasant, West Ashley, and North Charleston. Each neighborhood has its own unique characteristics and advantages.
If you want to be in the heart of the historic district and close to most of the tourist attractions, Downtown Charleston, Historic District, and French Quarter would be ideal. If you prefer a quieter suburban setting, Mount Pleasant or West Ashley might be more suitable.
If you plan to have a car, the choice of neighborhood may be less restrictive. However, if you prefer to walk or use public transportation, staying closer to the downtown area might be more convenient.
Consider your family’s preferences, budget, and the type of experience you want to have while staying in Charleston to make the best decision. It’s also a good idea to book your stay well in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.
Overview of best neighborhoods to stay in Charleston for family
Here is an overview of recommended areas in Charleston for families with kids:
|is the heart of the city and offers a blend of historic charm and modern amenities. You’ll find a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions here, making it a great place to stay if your family wants to be close to the action.
|Charleston Historic District
|is part of downtown Charleston and is known for its cobblestone streets, historic homes, and beautiful architecture. It’s a fantastic area to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history.
|is part of Charleston Historic District and is known for its art galleries, cobblestone streets, and historic architecture. This area is particularly great for art enthusiasts and those who enjoy a unique atmosphere.
|This is a family-friendly suburb located just across the Cooper River from downtown Charleston. It offers a quieter atmosphere while still being close to the city’s attractions and the beaches.
|is a more residential area with shopping centers, parks, and dining options. It’s a good option for families looking for a quieter stay while still being relatively close to the downtown area.
|offers a range of accommodations and is home to the Charleston International Airport. While it might not have the same historic charm as downtown Charleston, it can be a convenient option for families, especially if you’re flying in and out.
Map of areas and neighborhoods in Charleston with family:
6 Best areas to Stay in Charleston with Family are:
1. Downtown Charleston
Downtown Charleston is one of the most popular areas to stay in Charleston for families, especially those visiting the city for the first time. Downtown is the central part of the city, encompassing the areas of the Historic District and the French Quarter.
Downtown is situated on a peninsula roughly bounded by the Ashley River to the west, the Cooper River to the east, the Charleston Harbor to the south, and a combination of streets and highways to the north.
Downtown is known for its cobblestone streets, well-preserved historic buildings, and Southern charm. Families can experience a unique blend of history and culture as they explore the area.
The downtown area is relatively compact and walkable, making it easy to explore on foot with family members of all ages. Many attractions, restaurants, and shops are within a short distance of each other.
Downtown Charleston offers a variety of family-friendly attractions, including historic sites like the Charleston City Market, Waterfront Park, and South Carolina Aquarium. The area’s rich history and maritime heritage can be engaging for both children and adults.
Families can take guided horse-drawn carriage tours, pirate-themed walking tours, take a ferry ride to Fort Sumter, where you can learn about the Civil War history of Charleston, or hop on the Charleston Water Taxi to enjoy a scenic cruise along the harbor.
Older kids and teens might enjoy a ghost tour in the evening, where you’ll hear spooky stories and legends from Charleston’s past.
The downtown area boasts a diverse culinary scene, with many restaurants offering Southern cuisine and fresh seafood. This can be a great opportunity for families to experience local flavors.
Families can enjoy shopping for unique souvenirs, arts, and crafts in the boutiques and galleries scattered throughout the downtown area.
While not directly in downtown Charleston, Folly Beach is just a short drive away and offers a family-friendly beach experience with sandy shores and calm waves.
Downtown Charleston is a popular tourist destination, especially during peak seasons. This can lead to crowded streets, longer wait times at restaurants, and potential difficulty in accessing certain attractions.
Overall, Downtown is best suited for families who prioritize convenience and are willing to pay a bit more for easy access to attractions, dining, and shopping.
Best places to stay in Downtown Charleston with family:
- Luxury ($$$): Hotel Bennett Charleston
- Mid-range ($$): Hotel Emeline
- Budget ($): Hyatt Place Charleston – Historic District
2. Charleston Historic District
Staying in a Historic District is a great option for families visiting Charleston, as it offers a unique and charming atmosphere with easy access to many attractions.
The Historic District is known for its well-preserved architecture, cobblestone streets, and beautiful gardens, providing a unique and picturesque backdrop for your family vacation.
Many of Charleston’s major attractions are located within or near the Historic District, such as museums, historic homes, art galleries, and renowned restaurants. This can save your family time on transportation and make it convenient to explore the city on foot.
The district’s compact layout makes it easy to explore on foot, which is ideal for families with kids. You can take leisurely strolls, shop at local boutiques, and enjoy the atmosphere.
Families can explore the historic Charleston City Market, where you can shop for unique local crafts, artwork, and souvenirs. The market is a vibrant hub of activity and a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture.
You can also discover the shops and boutiques in the King Street shopping district, where you can find everything from fashion to antiques.
Some historic homes, such as the Aiken-Rhett House and the Nathaniel Russell House, offer guided tours that provide insights into the lives of Charleston’s elite in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Staying in the Historic District immerses your family in the city’s history and culture, giving you a chance to learn about the area’s significance in American history.
Best places to stay in Charleston Historic District with kids:
- Luxury ($$$): The Dewberry Charleston
- Mid-range ($$): Francis Marion Hotel
- Budget ($): Hampton Inn Charleston-Historic District
3. French Quarter
Located within the Historic District, the French Quarter has a distinct European feel with its narrow streets and art galleries. This area is great for families who appreciate art and culture, as it hosts many galleries, theaters, and museums.
It’s situated near the waterfront and is bordered by Broad Street to the south, Market Street to the north, East Bay Street to the east, and Meeting Street to the west.
It’s also close to numerous major attractions such as the Waterfront Park, the Charleston City Market, The Battery, White Point Garden, Old Slave Mart Museum, The Powder Magazine, Pineapple Fountain.
Families can walk along East Bay Street to see the colorful row of historic houses known as Rainbow Row. It’s a picturesque spot for family photos.
Best places to stay in French Quarter for family with children:
- Luxury ($$$): The Spectator Hotel
- Mid-range ($$): French Quarter Inn
- Budget ($): Church Street Inn, Ascend Hotel Collection
4. Mount Pleasant
Mount Pleasant is one of the best areas to stay in Charleston, especially for families with kids. It’s a family-friendly suburb located just across the Cooper River from downtown Charleston, offering a more suburban setting while still being relatively close to the city’s attractions.
This area is also known for its close proximity to the beaches on Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms as well as historic sites such as Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens, and Charles Pinckney National Historic Site.
Mount Pleasant has its own family-friendly attractions, including parks, playgrounds, and outdoor spaces. The Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park, for instance, offers stunning views of the Ravenel Bridge and Charleston Harbor, along with a playground for kids.
Mount Pleasant is home to Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum, where families can visit the naval vessels, including the USS Clamagore submarine, USS Laffey destroyer, USS Yorktown aircraft carrier. This museum offers an interactive experience for all ages.
You can take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk of Shem Creek Park and watch boats go by. This area is known for its vibrant seafood restaurants and picturesque views.
Walk or bike across the iconic Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge for stunning views of the Charleston skyline and the surrounding area.
If you’re visiting during the appropriate season, check out the local farmers market for fresh produce, handmade goods, and food trucks.
Mount Pleasant has a variety of shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment options, making it convenient for families to find everything they need close by.
Mount Pleasant is generally considered a safe and well-maintained area, which is important for families with children.
Best places to stay in Mount Pleasant for families:
- Luxury ($$$): The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
- Mid-range ($$): The Cottages on Charleston Harbor
- Budget ($): Comfort Inn & Suites Patriots Point
5. West Ashley
West Ashley provides a more relaxed and suburban environment, making it a good option for families looking for a quieter setting. The area has parks, shopping centers, and easy access to attractions like Magnolia Plantation and Middleton Place.
West Ashley is located just across the Ashley River from downtown Charleston, so you can easily access the historic charm, restaurants, shops, and attractions of the city.
Generally, the cost of living in West Ashley might be more affordable compared to some other neighborhoods closer to downtown Charleston.
Depending on where you plan to spend most of your time, you might have a commute if you’re traveling back and forth between West Ashley and downtown Charleston.
Best places to stay in West Ashley with family:
- Budget ($): Holiday Inn Express Charleston US Highway 17 & I-526, an IHG Hotel
- Budget ($): Comfort Suites Charleston West Ashley
- Budget ($): Residence Inn Charleston Riverview
6. North Charleston
North Charleston is a more budget-friendly option with a mix of residential and commercial areas. While it may not have the same historic charm as downtown Charleston, it can still be a viable choice for families.
It’s home to the Charleston International Airport and offers convenient access to attractions like the North Charleston Coliseum, Tanger Outlets, and Charleston Area Convention Center, Tanger Outlets, offering entertainment and shopping options for families.
North Charleston offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels and vacation rentals, which can cater to different family needs.
While North Charleston is adjacent to downtown Charleston, there can be a notable distance between the two areas. If you plan to explore the historic charm and cultural attractions of downtown Charleston regularly, you’ll need to consider the commute.
Best places to stay in North Charleston with family:
- Budget ($): Hyatt Place Charleston
- Budget ($): SpringHill Suites By Marriott
- Budget ($): North Charleston Marriott
Summary – Where to Stay in Charleston with kids?
In conclusion, Downtown Charleston, Historic District, French Quarter, Mount Pleasant, West Ashley, and North Charleston are the best places to stay in Charleston for families with kids. Each location has its own unique characteristics and attractions.
If you want to be close to historic sites and attractions, the downtown and historic district areas are ideal. If you prefer a quieter, suburban setting, Mount Pleasant or West Ashley might be more suitable.
Just consider your family’s priorities and interests when making your decision.