The Wild Side

Charleston’s expansive parks entice visitors and residents to enjoy the great outdoors.




FXExpress Publications


CHARLESTON The unique architecture of Charleston’s waterfront Historic District may set the stage for some of the nation’s most legendary hospitality, as only the U.S. South can provide, but good food and good manners aren’t all this city offers. Pre-pandemic, South Carolina’s largest city entertained more than 7 million annual visitors, most no doubt enchanted by the sights and sounds of its cultural attractions, but, in addition, the city’s 120 parks present more than 1,800 acres of largely natural recreation. As visitors catch on to the value of Charleston’s wilder side, something most of its residents already treasure, those numbers are set to grow as the city invests in expanding its park program even further. “Efforts to update and broaden parks around Charleston allow us to offer more diverse experiences for residents and visitors,” said Doug Warner, vice president of Media and Innovation, Explore Charleston. “The Charleston area is a year-round destination, and our numerous outdoor spaces offer residents and visitors an easy way to enjoy the natural beauty of our coastal location.” He added, “These spaces often host cultural and sporting events, markets and festivals.” Renovations like those coming to North Charleston’s Park Circle will bring not just traditional park fixtures like sports fields and walking trails but also key community-boosting features, such as a performance and event space, particularly attractive to tourists looking for unique experiences while in town. Updating parks also allows forward-thinking cities like Charleston to address modern awarenesses that broaden the reach of these public spaces. At Park Circle, for example, the Southeast’s largest inclusive playground, set to open in late 2023, features a design promoting cross-generational play and which considers people of all abilities and