Planning a trip to the Mount Pleasant area? If you’re looking for free things to do in Mount Pleasant, SC, you’ve come to the right spot. We’re sharing our top recommendations for things to do that you will not want to miss on your next trip to the Low Country. From history-rich tours to fun at the waterpark, we’ve got you covered on things to do and even where to eat in Mt. Pleasant.
Planning a trip to the Lowcountry? Here’s your ultimate guide to visiting Charleston, SC – read it before you go!
Want to plan an educational trip to the low country with your family? Discover all things you can learn on a Road Schooling Trip to the Charleston Area.
Free Things to do in Mt. Pleasant, SC
Charleston is a popular destination for residents of the Upstate of South Carolina. Tucked away, just at the other end of the iconic Ravenel Bridge, is the town of Mount Pleasant. And if you’re looking for free things to do in the area, we’ve got some recommendations for you to consider adding to your itinerary.
Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park
As you cross the Cooper River into Mount Pleasant, you’ll be on top of one of the best places to visit. Beneath the Ravenel Bridge is the Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. The Park offers visitors a bunch of things to do for little to no cost. The Mount Pleasant Visitor’s center is located at the front of the park, and this should be one of your first stops. Inside you’ll be able to get all kinds of information about the area, grab discount tickets for area attractions, and book reservations for popular restaurants.
Underneath the bridge is a great playground for kids. With seating for parents and a fenced-in area, it will be a favorite stop for you. The park’s huge greenspace is host to several free events, including live music, moonlight movies, and more.
If fishing is something your family enjoys, you’ll love the pier. The bait shop offers everything you’ll need to drop a line in the water with your kids. You could be in for an exciting time on the pier! If fishing isn’t your thing, the pier is excellent for people-watching.
Shem Creek Park
Another great place to visit in Mount Pleasant is Shem Creek Park. The 2,200-foot boardwalk extends over the marsh and out to the water. The creek is home to the local fleet of shrimp boats, and kids will love watching them come and go. The boardwalk is a great place to bring your kids’ scooters. If your family owns a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard, this is a great place to bring it. You can rent one at the shop right there if you don’t own one.
This is also a popular spot for watching dolphins frolic in the creek as they hope for scraps from the incoming fishing vessels. Grab a picnic lunch and enjoy the view from the many benches along the boardwalk.
Exploring Sullivan’s Island
If the crowds at Folly Beach aren’t your thing, then you’ll enjoy Sullivan’s Island, located off the coast of Mount Pleasant. Free public parking makes the beaches on this quiet island appealing, and the secluded nature of the beach makes it peaceful. Searching for shark teeth is a great lesson in patience and attention to detail for adults and children alike.
There’s also a small local library, the Edgar Allan Poe/Sullivan’s Island Library, you can visit. There’s a comfortable sofa and plenty of books for kids to enjoy. The Island has ties Poe, and you’ll find his name all over the island.
We’ve got even more things for you to do at Sullivan’s Island.
Pitt Street Bridge
The Pitt Street Bridge (also known as the Cove Inlet Bridge and the Cove Inlet Causeway) was once the only way to cross the water to get to the beaches. Originally built for a trolley, it was later widened for personal vehicles. The bridge closed in 1945 and was converted into a fishing pier. The old bridge burned, and now it’s covered by Pickett Park, a greenway lined with palm trees that takes pedestrians and cyclists across the former bridge site. At the end of the bridge is a great spot to go fishing.
Charles Pinckney National Historic Home
Charles Pinckney helped draft and sign the US Constitution, and now you can visit a 28-acre remnant of his original 715-acre plantation, Snee Farm. While visiting, you’ll be able to learn about Pinkney’s life and political influences, the People he enslaved, plantation operations, and the main cash crops of the Lowcountry (indigo and rice). There is no fee to visit Charles Pinkney’s National Historic Home.
Cheap Things to Do in Mount Pleasant, SC
Taking a trip to the Charleston area doesn’t have to break the bank. If you need some extra things to do on your trip, there’s plenty of low-cost fun to be had!
Charleston Water Taxi
Kidding Around’s fans are some of the best around! The suggestion of the Charleston Water Taxi was from a loyal reader. She hesitated to share her secret, but we’re glad she did.
The Water Taxi is a great way to see the waterfront from a different perspective. The pontoon-style boat picks passengers up at several different locations. Pro-Tip: There are no bathrooms on board, so make sure to stop at a restroom before hopping on.
One of the nice things about the taxi is you can stay on as long as you’d like, or hop on and off to sightsee. The taxi offers some very unique views of the ships docked at Patriots Point.
A complete trip around the harbor takes approximately 60 minutes. Make sure to have your camera ready because, in addition to the photo opportunities at Patriots Point, guests of the taxi are often treated to visits from dolphins. You can also capture some nice family photos with the Ravenel bridge in the background. The guys that captain the ship are happy to jump in a play photographer, so you can capture the memory of your entire family’s day out on the water.
$14 a person gets you a pass that covers the entire day, and kids 3 and under ride free.
Sullivan’s Island is also rich in history, as it was home to where some of the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Fort Moultrie is part of the National Park Service. Adult admission costs $10, and children 15 and younger receive free entry.
Among the ranks at the Fort was someone who was destined for fame later in life. Regimental Sergeant-Major Edgar Allen Poe spent just over a year stationed here, and you will find evidence of his time here all over the island.
More Things to Do in Mt. Pleasant, SC
Patriots Point Naval Maritime Museum
For more immersion into Lowcountry history, take a visit to Patriots Point. In June 1975, the USS Yorktown entered Charleston Harbor and was the first ship dedicated to the Naval & Maritime Museum. Patriots Points opened the following year, housing the museum and a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships. You’ll be able to view a World War II Aircraft Carrier. You’ll also find the Cold War Memorial, the only Vietnam Experience Exhibit in the US, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and the official Medal of Honor Museum. It’s a very popular attraction and one to consider.
Give yourself 2-3 hours to go through everything. A single-day Patriots Point ticket for adults 12-61 years old is $27, children 6-11 years old tickets are $16, children 6 and under are free, and seniors 62+ years old will pay $19 for their tickets. There are bundle ticket options, and Veterans, First Responders, Teachers, and Active Military are offered discounts.
Splash Island Water Park
Splash Island Water Park is an excellent and fun attraction within Mount Pleasant Palmetto Islands County Park. The water park features a 200-ft body flume, a 16-ft otter slide, cyclone swirling water ride, a pool, and plenty of sprays, geysers, and raindrop waterfalls. There are lifeguards on-duty, and you’ll find concessions, restrooms, showers, and changing areas. Be sure to check their site for hours of operation because they do close during the winter season.
Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens
Another thing to do in Mt. Pleasant is to visit Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens. The plantation was founded in 1681 by Major John Boone. His family and descendants were significant influencers in South Carolina’s history. It’s one of the oldest working plantations in the US; it continues growing crops to this day. Boone Hall has been dubbed “a must-see stop on any trip to Charleston, SC” by NBC Daytime and is recognized as the “#1 Plantation in the Charleston Area by USA Today 10Best.”
Regular Adult tickets are $28, Seniors/Military/AAA are $25, children 6-12 years old are $12, and children 5 and under are free.
Where to Eat in Mount Pleasant
There’s no shortage of pitmasters in the Lowcountry, that’s for sure. Swig & Swine BBQ is a favorite. If you haven’t been yet. Be sure to follow Swig & Swine BBQ on Facebook so you don’t miss out on their daily specials, like $5 burger night and Wing Night!
Bon Bahn Mi is another local favorite restaurant in Mount Pleasant. They have delicious food and a build-your-own kid’s meal menu that is a hit when we go! Kids get to choose from a taco, a rice bowl, a noodle bowl, or a sandwich – and build it with protein and veggie options all for just $7 with an included drink!
Be sure to treat yourself to one of their iced Vietnamese coffees, they are amazing!
The Pitt Street Pharmacy Soda Fountain is an old-school spot where you can grab a no-frills meal and a low price. Cheap burgers, sandwiches, and ice cream are the perfect lunchtime meal when you are on the go. Dine in and go around exploring Historic Mount Pleasant, or get it to go and head up the road to Shem Creek to relax.
Every Monday night, from 6-8 pm, Dog & Duck has family bingo night! The family-friendly prizes include gift cards for X-Box, iTunes, and more. If you make it there before we do, let us know!
Want to read our entire guide to visiting Charleston, SC? We’ve got you covered with Charleston Itineraries, Things to Do in Charleston, Where to Eat, and Places to Stay.
We can’t wait to add more free and cheap fun to our list of activities in Mount Pleasant! Check back often to see where our next adventure takes us.