Ain’t no sunset like a Charleston sunset, especially in the fall. The perfect combo of salty sea breeze, lapping waves, and pink streaked skies will have you all up in your feelings. Here are 8 different spots that will take you all over the city as you chase those magnificent hues- a great break between all the great food and beer you are undoubtedly consuming.
Walk out to the end of the pier directly underneath the Mt. Pleasant side of Ravenel Bridge (pictured above) to take in views of downtown and the bridge at sunset. There is plenty of free parking, bathrooms, and even a small cafe to pick up ice cream in the summer or hot chocolate in the winter. If you happen to be in town on a Thursday in the fall, not only can you watch the sunset from the pier, you can do so while taking a Starlight Yoga class put on by Charleston County Parks.
The Bridge to Nowhere
Located on the upper peninsula in the Wagener Terrace neighborhood at the corner of Mechanic and Petty Street is quite literally, a bridge that leads to nowhere. Construction on this bridge began in 2008 and was meant to lead to a new mixed use development that was put on hold following bankruptcy claims tied to the Recession. Today, this bridge remains much loved by locals who want a quiet spot to picnic, drink a beer in their lawn chair, or possibly propose to their partner, all while watching the sun set over an inlet of the Ashley River. If you come on a clear day at high tide you will also be rewarded with spectacular sunset reflections. You can park along the street or around the corner at Cooper River Brewing, one of Charleston’s longtime little breweries that you should definitely grab a pint at afterwards!
Well, the name gives it away, but rightfully so! Located on the quieter, south end of Folly Beach, this is a popular marina for local islanders to dock their boat and take in the cotton candy skies at sunset. Walk on down to the nearby County Park that juts out at the end of the island to fully grasp why Folly Beach is nicknamed “The End of America.”
This public, palm tree lined park was formerly the bridge that connected Mount Pleasant to the beaches on Sullivan’s Island. Today it has a long fishing pier and benches that provide great views of the water, Ravenel Bridge, Fort Sumter, and the downtown skyline.You can park along the road at the entrance of the park, and don’t be surprised to share spots with a brigade of golf carts owned by residents of the Old Village neighborhood that you drive through to access Pitt Street Bridge. Check out their tiny, historic downtown district that was recently made famous thanks to the filming of Outer Banks and eat a meal on the patio of the Post House Inn.
Sullivan’s Island Station 18 ½ (lighthouse end)
A walk along the beach on Sullivan’s Island at sunset is possibly my all time favorite Charleston activity, and if you venture far enough down the south end, you will be rewarded with views of the Ravenel Bridge and Holy City skyline along the way. Pick up gelato at Beardcat’s Sweet Shop along the way for an extra sweet walking beach stroll.
Brittlebank Park is located on the quieter, west side of downtown near West Edge and the medical district. I used to work in an office facing this park and let me tell you, I saw some of the pinkest, prettiest sunsets of my life. Seriously, sometimes I even worked late in order to be there for them. Walk along the pier, sit under the trees, and if you still aren’t relaxed enough, you can always check out the widely popular local Woodhouse Day Spa across the street.
In Charleston, you go to a baseball game for the sunsets. Ok, also the cheap beer and possibly Bill Murray sightings… but mainly the sunsets! The Riverdogs baseball stadium is located on the peninsula, caddy corner to the Ashley River and surrounded by marshland, so MAKE SURE to go out back to watch the sunset while attending a minor league game. The ballpark is named after the City’s former Mayor Riley who was committed to “giving back” the waterfront to the people of Charleston. Sound familiar? Waterfront Park with the Pineapple Fountain is named after him too.
Boathouse Restaurant at Breach Inlet on Isle of Palms
Go for a waterfront meal or just walk along Breach Inlet to watch the sunset directly over the creek and marshlands. You will often be able to spot dolphins swimming along the shore and be directly across from the launch site of America’s first submarine, the HL Hunley.