Charleston & COVID: Social Distancing Guide for Travel
Charleston travel is still happening in 2022! COVID-19 be darned, there is still plenty to see, do, and eat in the Holy City (with a few restrictions, of course). If you’re planning on heading to Charleston for a quick getaway or road trip, we’ll be waiting for you with open arms (and wearing masks).
We’ve got all the Charleston COVID updates right here.
While there’s no shortage of safe activities here, there are a few changes to our regularly scheduled program, including mask mandates, social distancing policies and more.
Despite all the changes, there’s still plenty of fun to be had here — all while staying safe.
Charleston’s Social Distancing Rules
Like most major cities in the U.S., Charleston has some pretty strict rules to keep residents and visitors safe from COVID-19. While travel through the state of South Carolina isn’t currently restricted, the mayor of Charleston has imposed the below rules to ensure both travelers and locals stay healthy:
- Masks must be worn in indoor public spaces
- A six-foot distance is required between you and those not in your party
- Fines may be issued to anyone who does not comply with these rules
These are just some of the basic guidelines. If you want to find out about updates and/or read further information on Charleston COVID policies, please head over to the City of Charleston’s Coronavirus update website.
The Holy City hosts plenty of social distancing activities — and they’re not just for travelers, either! If you can’t get out of the city this summer, we recommend playing tourist in your hometown. Take a tour, eat out at a new restaurant, or take a day trip to Savannah.
Staying home doesn’t mean you need to miss out on exploring new places!
Charleston & COVID: How to Stay Safe While Visiting Charleston
If you’re planning on road tripping to Charleston this summer, we recommend taking some extra measures to ensure your safety. You don’t want to get sick on vacation — or take up a hospital bed for that matter!
We recommend following Charleston COVID policies, CDC guidelines and WHO guidelines at all times. This means staying six feet away from others not in your COVID ‘circle’, wearing a mask, and practicing basic hygiene, like washing your hands and using hand sanitizer.
We also recommend the following ways to ensure you stay safe while you’re in town including:
- Opt for outdoor activities whenever possible
- Take a coronavirus test after arriving in the Holy City
- Enjoy our world-famous foods and cocktails on an outdoor patio — instead of inside
- Feel free to call ahead to venues, attractions, and activities to find out about COVID policies beforehand
Social Distancing Charleston Activities
When it comes to fun in the sun (or outdoor activities), Charleston knows what’s up! We love getting out in the water — or even outdoors in the city. That’s why we’re one of the best cities to enjoy while staying safe. Some of our favorite outdoor activities include:
- Walking tours
- Water sports
- Adventure activities
Charleston Walking Tours
Yes, Walks of Charleston and Lowcountry Walking Tours are still open for business! We are running our public tours at a reduced capacity and private tours for groups of 10 or fewer. Since all of our tours are outdoor experiences, they’re a great way to see the city while staying safe.
Our tour guides help guests stay six-feet apart from other guests while relaying stories of the Holy City. Come visit us by signing up for our History Tour, Alleyways and Passages Tour, or Charleston’s Most Beautiful Walking Tour.
Our guides can also recommend a few spots for a socially-distanced cocktail or meal at a restaurant that follows Charleston COVID restrictions at the end of the tour.
Charleston is practically surrounded by water! We use any excuse we can get to enjoy a Charleston boat ride in the summer. If you’re worried about crowds on the ferries or larger boats, we recommend renting kayaks, paddleboards, or canoes.
Or, Saltwater Cycle is offering public boating tours and guaranteeing a capped capacity of 10 people per tour. Its private tours are currently on sale at 20% off!
Zipline Adventures is still open (you can’t get within six feet of another person flying through the treetops!), and Charleston’s hiking trails are still open for socially-distanced hikes.
Charleston’s beaches are still open — at a reduced capacity. Head to one of our world-famous white-sand beaches early in the morning to claim your spot (six feet away from everyone else!).
Many of Charleston’s world-famous golf clubs are still open for guests, too. Face masks may be required in some areas of the clubs.
In addition to our city tours, most of Charleston’s plantation grounds are open as well. We recommend checking out Magnolia Plantation as it’s home to world-famous gardens.
City Gallery is also open to visitors.
Social Distancing Charleston Restaurant Guide
One of the safest ways to enjoy Low Country cuisine is on a patio or rooftop. The coronavirus has thrown us all for a loop, but one thing we know for sure is that it’s safer to eat al fresco these days. (Eating outdoors is also more romantic, in our book!)
Charleston is known for its outdoor patios, courtyard cafes, and rooftop bars. Just some of our favorite social distancing restaurants and bars include:
And in the Old Village/Shem Creek are and Sullivans Island:
Of course, eating out isn’t the only way to enjoy Charleston’s iconic eats while staying safe. We also recommend grabbing food-to-go at one of our fave local spots, grabbing a cooler and a blanket, and heading to the beach.
We always recommend calling ahead to bars, restaurants, museums and other sites to ensure they’re open and following Charleston COVID policies.