Dog-Friendly Vacation in Charleston

Earlier this month, I drove up with Sheba to meet my family up in Charleston, SC, for a mini-vacation over Fourth of July weekend. Since hotels don’t allow you to leave your pup in the room alone (I wouldn’t want to anyway), planning the trip took some serious creativity, but worked out wonderfully!

Planning a trip to Charleston with your pup? Here’s some helpful info.

Dog Friendly Charleston


  • Magnolia Plantation and Gardens – This plantation has been open to the public since 1870 and was named one of “America’s Most Beautiful Gardens.” You can easily spend a whole day here, touring the gardens, the house, getting educated about slave history on the plantation, hopping on a nature train, and even taking a boat tour (the boat tour is the only non-dog friendly activity). Peacocks were all over the place, so it was pretty funny seeing Sheba discovering them for the first time!
  • Walking Ghost Tour – I love going on ghost tours, especially in old southern cities! We were really excited to find out that dogs could tag along, even though Sheba wasn’t too interested in ghost-hunting.
  • Waterfront Park – This park is one of the most visited, and for good reason! The pineapple fountain backed up against the water was perfect. One of my favorite areas of the city!
  • Carriage Ride – We didn’t actually take Sheba on a carriage ride, but we did find out she’d be able to come along if we wanted, and even spotted a beagle on another carriage while we were on our ride!
  • Battery Park/White Point Garden – To cool down, stop at this park, set against the water with big trees and even bigger mansions.
  • Rainbow Row – These pastel-colored houses lined up down the road were my favorite! There’s nothing really to “do” here, but just walking through the neighborhood is worth it!
  • Tanger Outlet – We popped over to the outlets (less than 5 minutes away from our hotel), since a couple of our favorite outlet stores were there. Sheba wasn’t able to go in the stores, but she was able to walk around outside of the stores with my dad, while the girls did some shopping!


  • Southend Brewery & Smokehouse – Fortunately, the rain subsided by the time we hit this restaurant, since bringing a dog along means outdoor seating only. It was very fun to sit here, in the middle of the historic district, people-watching, and grabbing a bite to eat.
  • Molly Darcy’s – With live entertainment and delicious appetizers, this was our favorite place to lounge mid-day! It was a block further than where most of the crowded areas were, so it was nice to have some shade and space in the heat! Plus, they had live music going on, which is always enjoyable!
  • Poogan’s Porch – This is an extremely popular restaurant in the city! Supposedly haunted, this place got it’s name from a neighborhood pup that would never leave the porch! Come here for some good ol’ southern dining.


  • Embassy Suites North Charleston – Despite it being a little out of the way for most of the things we had planned to do, our stay at the Embassy Suites in North Charleston (sitting on a road filled with hotels close to the airport), worked out pretty well for 3 adults, 2 kids, and a dog. Especially considering we only booked it the week before (for a Fourth of July weekend stay)! This hotel was about a 20-minute drive from the historic district.

Sheba had a blast exploring a new city, but was more than ready to conk out at the end of the day. Not to mention, she slept the ENTIRE drive home, and basically the whole next day after we got home!

Sheba sleeping

Have you taken your pup on a vacation?

  • We visited Charleston earlier this year and loved it! We didn’t have our dog with us, but I could definitely see us hanging out with our girl at one of the parks. We’re actually going back soon and I can’t wait! I also loved Rainbow Row. I’d love to visit a plantation and try out some of your dining recommendations.

  • Aww looks like you had a lovely time, what a cute dog. We’re thinking of going to America on holiday next year, so it’s interesting to see some of the things on offer.

  • Cynthia @craftoflaughter

    We love to travel with our pup so your post is appreciated! Thanks!

  • Rosie just flew for her first time yesterday to come to NH to visit my family for the next 6 weeks! Because she is tasked trained specifically for me (legal service dog) she got to fly in cabin and I was really nervous on how it was going to go, since she’s never flown before! She was an image of perfection! She got through security with no problems, and slept the whole way on the 3 hour, 40 minute flight! I’m so proud of her and feel so much more confident about traveling with her!

  • tannawings

    I am glad to see there are becoming more and more pet friendly places to stay. Besides service dogs many just want to bring pets along . Some because the pets require special care, and some for companionship or they are going to be gone for awhile. I like the idea of finding pet friendly places.

    • Me too! Definitely makes me want to recommend or become brand loyal when I find out about pet-friendly places!