One of the best ways to explore downtown Charleston is by foot. There are so many hidden paths through ancient alleyways and cobblestone corridors, so many interesting architectural details on the local buildings, and so many intimate insights that simply can't be experienced from a car. Not to mention, trying to drive anywhere downtown is like navigating through a maze. There’s nothing quite like running down 200-year-old streets, past the historical homes of our country’s colonials, and towards the Battery with its ever epic sunsets. RootsRated recommends 4 running destinations that will ensure you see the best of downtown Charleston and its surrounding areas.
Begin your run at the corner of Tradd St. and Rutledge Avenue. Tradd Street runs East to West from one side of the peninsula to the other and is easy to find if you decide to run through a few too many alleyways and find yourself a little lost. The best way to get the most out of your run through this area is to turn down any and every street you see. It is incredible how many historical landmarks are in this area, you just have to do a little exploring to find them. White Point Gardens, also known as The Battery, is a park located on the very tip of the Charleston Peninsula. Live oaks line the sandy paths, and cannons line the sea wall looking out towards the Atlantic. This is an excellent place to cool down after running the surrounding streets South of Broad. The Battery is heavily shaded, and very relaxing because it's right next to the ocean- the perfect spot to catch your breath.
Brittlebank Park is located downtown on the banks of the Ashley River and is a great destination for runners looking to get a quick workout in, and still be surrounded by incredible views of the lowcountry. The park is pedestrian and pet friendly, so bring your dog for a run as well. The park path will lead you along the river under palm trees and flanked by tall Spartina grass, and there are two piers accessible if you want a closer view of the river. If you want to add a little more length to your run, continue on toward Lockwood Ave. to run through The Citadel’s campus.
Running on any beach early in the morning is one of the best possible ways to start your day, but Sullivan’s Island takes beach running to a whole new level. If you want to have the feeling of running on a secluded beach, miles from anything else, with a cool breeze at your back, Sullivan’s is the place to go. The entire length of the beach is roughly 3 miles, and along your run you can expect to catch an amazing sunrise as you dodge tidal pools and watch dolphins playing in the waves close to shore. No matter which end you start from, be sure to finish at The Co-Op for some recovery food. There’s nothing like a homemade meal or hot sandwich to refuel with after running on the sand. Bring a beach chair and umbrella with you for a post-workout rest day on the beach.
The Old Village of Mount Pleasant is home to one of Charleston’s best running destinations: The Pitt Street Bridge. Start your run on Live Oak Drive next to Shem Creek. That will shortly turn into Bennet Street, where you will make a right onto Pitt Street. The bridge is at the very end of Pitt Street, but before you get there you’ll pass historic homes situated in a beautiful part of the city right on the river. Definitely run this route in the evening right before sunset, once you make it to the end of the bridge, you’ll have an incredible view of the Peninsula, the Cooper River and the ocean. The Old Village of Mount Pleasant is similar to running South of Broad, as it features beautiful homes, marsh, and ocean views at every turn, and a very relaxing atmosphere.