A popular vacation spot, Charleston, South Carolina is known for its rich history, antebellum homes, and attractive setting on Charlestown Harbor. The main downtown area is known as ‘the Peninsula’, separated by the Ashley River to the west and the Cooper River to the east, with The Battery at its southern end. Across the water, Fort Sumter is where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Running in Charleston is a treat, with numerous scenic and historic routes, taking advantage of the city’s waterfront setting, historic architecture, and numerous rivers that spill into the harbor.
The best places to run in Charleston center around our downtown ‘runseeing’ tour, and the waterfront, including routes to the historic Citadel, and over the bridge to Patriots Point. We also recommend Sullivan’s Island for more waterfront and beach running. For parks, there’s a great loop around Hampton Park and Brittlebank Park. James Island Country Park, west of the city, has some scenic loops around a tidal marsh. The Mount Pleasant neighborhood, located 10 miles east of Charleston, has nice residential running. For a great destination run, head to Kiawah Island for 10 miles of fantastic beachfront running and 30 miles of bike paths. Further north, see our guide for Myrtle Beach.
The central part of Charleston is very walkable. The bus system is operated by the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA). Note that Charleston’s summer weather is very hot and humid, featuring near daily downpours and thunderstorms.