Looking for the most Instagrammable places in Charleston? Read on for all my favorite spots!
Charleston is special. While, as an American, I know that there are a lot of great things about the United States, an abundance of charming, adorable, beautiful cities just sadly is not one of them. But Charleston, South Carolina will absolutely take your breath away.
The city is full of colorfully painted houses, cobblestoned streets, interesting buildings, old architecture, and beautiful nature. Truly, the entire city is one big photo spot.
I want to note that I am not at all a professional photographer, and we just use my cell phone for all the photos we take. Even so, the city lends itself to wonderful shots.
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14 Most Instagrammable Places in Charleston
These are my favorite photo spots in Charleston, and the most Instagrammable places that you just can’t miss.
1. The Pink House
The Pink House is the second oldest house in Charleston, and has a distinctive tile roof, the street in front of it is perfectly cobblestoned, and the house just adjacent is a striking blue color complementing its own charming pink. As far as historic Charleston architecture goes, you can’t get more classic than this.
This house is at 17 Chalmers Street, just across the street and a few buildings down from the Slave Mart Museum.
2. Philadephia Alley
Philadelphia Alley is the cutest of the many little alleyways hidden between buildings in Charleston, with its red walls, abundant greenery, and cobblestoned/bricked street.
The story behind why it’s called Philadelphia Alley is rather interesting. In the 1700’s this area was private property, and led to some tenement buildings. However, the area was pretty derelict and basically abandoned after two large city fires in 1796 and 1810.
The city of Philadelphia sent aid money to Charleston to help rebuild, and the alley was rebuilt and opened as a public street. Because of this, it was named to honor the people of Philadelphia who sent aid.
This alley runs between between Queen and Cumberland streets, but I’d enter from Queen Street – it’s much cuter than the Cumberland side.
3. Rainbow Row
While there area lot of multi-colored rows of buildings in Charleston, Rainbow Row is the most iconic, and truly is pretty spectacular with the vibrant green, blue, pink, and purple houses all in a row.
While the entire block is colorful and pretty, the section at the north end is the best, and the most photographed part of Rainbow Row. You can find this spot at 105 Bay Street, or at the intersection of Elliott Street and Bay Street.
This area can get busy, come first thing for the best chance of avoiding crowds. Remember to be respectful of the residents when taking pictures here.
4. French Huguenot Church
The French Huguenot Church is one of my favorite photo spots in Charleston, as it’s such a unique and pretty structure! I love the interesting architectural design, the pink color, and the palm trees framing the façade. This is a fantastic Instagrammable place in Charleston.
5. Angel Oak Tree
The Angel Oak Tree is a 400 year old, sprawling tree with limbs that twist and turn, and extend at least 25 feet out in every direction. Some of the branches even come down and touch the ground!
This is a great spot for an interesting photo in Charleston, although you should know that there are strict rules about interacting with the tree. You are not allowed to sit, stand, climb, or lean against the branches, and even sitting on the ground under the tree is against the rules. (You are, however, allowed to hug and kiss the tree!)
The Angel Oak Tree is about a 25 minute drive from historic Charleston, and you’ll definitely need a car to come here. While it is free to visit, it does have hours of operation. It’s open from 9-5 Mon-Sat, and 1-5 on Sunday.
6. Poogan’s Porch Restaurant
One of the best things to do in Charleston is indulging in the top notch food scene in the city – there are so many delicious restaurants to try. Some of these restaurants are in beautiful, historic buildings, including Poogan’s Porch.
This restaurants serves up excellent Southern fare in a charming and adorable building – perfect for getting that Instagrammable photo.
Make sure you have a reservation for Poogan’s Porch, especially if you want to visit on a weekend, as walk-ins can have a multi-hour wait.
7. The Beaches of the Barrier Islands
There are several barrier islands near Charleston, each with their own beautiful beaches to visit. These islands are Sullivan Island, Folly Island, Kiawah Island, Isle of Palms, and all take between 20-30 minutes to reach from downtown Charleston by car.
This picture was taken at the southwestern side of the Isle of Palms beach, a relaxing and super chill beach with fine, soft sand. This part of the beach has a wide stretch of sand, and no lifeguards, facilities, or shops, but is lined by grassy dunes and large, brightly colored coastal houses that sit on stilts and have wraparound porches.
We really liked that this part of the beach didn’t feel too developed – just the sand, the waves, and the sun! And of course, the beach is always a great for a photoshoot.
8. Pineapple Fountain
The famous Pineapple Fountain is located in Waterfront Park, with views overlooking the bay. This fountain is incredibly iconic in Charleston, and is just a *fun* fountain – it’s unique and funky and interesting and really looks like a pineapple, without looking tacky.
There are three steps around the perimeter of the basin of the fountain, which is designed to be a little wading pool for hot days.
While Pineapple Fountain is a must visit Instagrammable place in Charleston, it’s also very popular and can often have people playing in the fountain. If you want a picture, come early.
9. Waterfront Park
While Waterfront Park is mostly known for being the location of the Pineapple Fountain talked about just above, the rest of Waterfront Park is really pretty, too.
There is, of course, the section that goes right along the water and gives beautiful views out to the bay. But the area behind the Pineapple Fountain, closer to the city, is a lovely area and a great spot for a photo.
There are some little walking trails, little clusters of wrought iron benches in the shade, and the spot featured in our picture above: a pathway through a beautiful tree canopy.
10. Broad Street
While King Street, and even Queen Street to some degree, are the most famous streets in Charleston, my favorite was actually Broad Street.
What makes this street and view unique is St. Michael’s Church standing proudly in the background. Of course, the colorful buildings, palm streets scattered along the sidewalk adds to the charm.
The best spot to get this view is close, but not quite at the intersection with E Bay Street.
11. St. Michael’s Church
Completed in 1761, St. Michael’s Church is the oldest church building in the entire city of Charleston, and the interior still looks like it came right out the 1700’s. Today, this church is actually a National Historic Landmark.
St. Michael’s Church is open to visitors and is one of the most well-known churches in the city, as you can see the end of the church and the steeple in the oft-taken picture of Broad Street (mentioned in #10, above). While the outside does get photographed quite a bit, I think the historic and beautiful interior is just as photo-worthy.
12. Shem Creek Boardwalk
The Shem Creek Boardwalk is a short, 15 minute walk through the marshland of Charleston’s coast and it ends at a covered pier/overlook looking into the bay.
The scenic marshes and grasses that are so typical of South Carolina’s coasts, contrasted with the classic wooden boardwalk make for a great Instagram place in Charleston.
13. USS Yorktown at Patriot’s Point
This is one of the more unusual Instagrammable places in Charleston on this list, but personally I thought it was a stunning spot. The USS Yorktown is a navy aircraft carrier that was in World War II, and is now docked just across the bay from historic Charleston.
The flight deck is a particularly good photo op location, as you are up on the flat deck where planes take off and land, and there are many historic planes parked there currently.
14. White Point Gardens
White Point Gardens (also known as The Battery), is a cute little park with a walkway along the coast. It’s located at the very southern tip of Charleston, and looks directly into the bay. Alongside the park are located beautiful houses and mansions from the South of Broad neighborhood. Basically, there are a ton of great photo spots here.
My favorite, however, is in the middle of the park, which is filled with live oaks and palmetto trees that make a tree canopy over the pathways and gazebo that sits right in the center of the park.
Map of the Most Instagrammable Places in Charleston
Final Thoughts on Best Charleston Photo Spots
Charleston is truly one of the most beautiful cities in the United States, full of romantic corners and dreamy lanes. You can find the prettiest Instagrammable places in Charleston around just about every corner, and you wander and explore this charming southern city.