Let’s face it: Instagram was made to capture cities like Charleston. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, there are some spots you can’t miss.
Is there anything more iconically Charleston than that strip of brightly colored row houses on East Bay Street? We think not. It’s on the t-shirts. It’s on the postcards. This spot is Charleston in a nutshell. The trick is trying to get the perfect shot without getting too many cars or people in it. Pro tip: use the bushes across East Bay Street to block out the cars and throngs of people trying to get the same shot as you.
The Ravenel Bridge
There are dozens of beautiful vantage points to capture those iconic double diamonds. You can catch it from Mount Pleasant, downtown, the water and even right on the pedestrian walkway. No matter where you get it, you can’t visit or live in Charleston without posting a few photos of our most famous bridge.
Waterfront Park- Pineapple and Vendue Fountains
In the summer, they’re full of bathing suit-clad kids and that’s just one of the reasons the two fountains in Waterfront Park are well-known symbols of Charleston. The park’s pier gives you great views of the water, Ravenel Bridge and passing boats and dolphins. We’ve even heard that a manatee or two have been spotted nearby. It’s the perfect place to catch some golden hour light after dinner downtown and is also one of the best spots in the city to catch sunrise, if you’re the early bird type.
White Point Garden
Those ancient oaks dripping in Spanish moss, the early and late golden light coming off the water, the bright green grass, the beautiful gazebo in the center of it all…you really can’t go wrong with a shot of White Point Garden. Little known fact: the park was formerly known as Oyster Point, as the land was covered with oyster shells. the sun bleached them out giving the area a bright white gleam and that is why it is now called White Point.
St. Philips, St. Michaels, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Circular Church, St. Matthews, Citadel Square…you can’t go wrong snapping any of the beautiful churches and steeples around Charleston. We are, after all, called the Holy City. For a different shot, try parking on the top floor of one of the city’s garages. From up that high, you’ll understand the nickname!
Window boxes, window boxes, window boxes!
Let’s face it, there are beautiful window boxes everywhere. So many, that the Charleston Instagram community has even dedicated a day to them, dubbing Wednesdays “#WindowBoxWednesday!” You can find beautiful, overflowing, colorful window boxes in pretty much any neighborhood downtown, but they are especially easy to spot South of Broad and in Ansonborough.
Possibly the best place to catch some dolphins for your Instagram feed, Shem Creek is also a mecca for pelicans, seagulls, boats and brunchers! Sunrise, sunset, the middle of the day, even at night: there’s no bad time to catch a shot of this popular, restaurant-lined creek. You can snap one from your table at one of the many hotspots with outdoor dining or take a stroll down the pier to the end of the creek. If adventure is more your style, rent a paddleboard or kayak and shoot right from the water.
Magnolia, Middleton Place, Drayton Hall, Boone Hall and the Charleston Tea Plantation are just a few of the most popular plantations in the area, but they are everywhere and each offers unique views into the history of the Lowcountry. A visit in the springtime will likely get you an eyeful of colorful blooms. A visit any time of year will give you unlimited Instagram-worthy shots of oak avenues, intiricate architecture, animals and history.
No matter your style, you can always find the perfect shot at one of our local beaches. Looking for a pier? Try the county parks at Isle of Palms or Folly Beach. Soft white dunes more your thing? Check out Sullivan’s Island. For early morning shooting, visit the Morris Island end of Folly, the Wild Dunes end of IOP or Breach Inlet on Sullivan’s. Sunsets are best on the harbor end of Sullivan’s and at the Country Park on Folly. Of course, these are just three of the closest beaches to downtown. There are so many others that are Instagram-worthy spots in the Lowcountry: Kiawah, Edisto, the barrier islands and Seabrook, to name a few.
The Angel Oak
Probably one of the most famous trees in the South and definitely the most famous in Charleston, the Angel Oak is a must-photograph spot for locals and tourists, alike. More than 400 years old and providing shade to more than 17,000 square feet of land on John’s Island, this tree is just asking to show up in your feed. The trick is getting a shot without the crowds. We’d recommend an early or late visit for that.