Charleston, SC is a gorgeous destination full of charming architecture, intriguing history, beautiful beaches, and dazzling landscapes. What could be more fun than to share all of this with man’s best friend? Well, you are in luck, because Charleston is very dog friendly. It is possible to go on a wonderful vacation and bring your dog, too!
If you want to bring your furry friend along on your next trip to Charleston, SC, then you have come to the right place! Below you will find an extensive list of pet-friendly accommodations, restaurants, activities, suggestions, and tips.
Dog- Friendly Accommodations
From hotels to single family homes, there are so many options for pet-friendly accommodations in Charleston, SC.
Direct through Owner
If a hotel is a little too cramped for you or you are planning a longer stay, a rental property may be the best choice for you. You will probably have a lot more space for the money and maybe even a yard too! Additionally, some of the areas in Charleston have a limited amount of hotel options. Renting a house, townhouse, or condo may be the only option.
The three most popular sites for searching for short-term rental properties are homeaway.com, vrbo.com, and airbnb.com. They all have options within their search filters for searching pet friendly options.
Property Management Company
One of the drawbacks to renting through the websites above are the extra fees you incur for using their online booking services. Sometimes property management companies use these sites to list their properties in order to reach a larger customer base. The trick is, you can go directly to their websites and potentially save money.
Here is a short list of some popular property management companies that specialize in short-term vacation rentals.
Direct Through Resorts
If you are planning a trip to one of the beach resorts near Charleston, then you have another option for finding dog friendly properties. You can rent directly through the resort websites below.
Sometimes the resorts offer specials or additional benefits when you rent directly through them. If you know you are planning a vacation to one of these destinations, sign up for their mailing list so you can find out about special exclusive deals. You can always unsubscribe once your trip is over.
Keep in mind that these properties are still owned by property owners, not the resort, so the quality and decor of the accommodations vary.
Hotels and Motels
If you you want the simplicity of a hotel or motel, then there is no shortage of pet-friendly accommodations in Charleston, SC.
The table below lists 12 dog friendly hotels/motels broken down by hotel star rating, average customer review, average rates, pet fees, and pet policy.
This list obviously does not include every pet friendly accommodation in Charleston, but it is a good starting point.
Note: Scroll Right to See All Options
|Name||Hotel Star Rating||Avg. Customer Rating||Average Rate||Pet Rate||Pet Policy|
|Sleep Inn Charleston- West Ashley||2 star||4.2||$||$20/night||Max. 2 Pets Per Room|
|Best Western Charleston Inn||2 star||4.2||$||$20/night ($80 max/week)||2 dogs up to 80 pounds|
|Home2Suites Charleston West Ashley||2.5 star||4.6||$||$125 pet fee||50 lbs. max|
|Inn at Middleton Place||3 star||4.3||$$||$125 pet fee||75 lbs. max Click here for policy.|
|Indigo Inn||3 star||4.6||$$||Please Call to Confirm||Pets allowed on request. Charges may apply.|
|Kings Courtyard Inn||3 star||4.7||$$||$40/night||Call hotel for availability|
|Residence Inn Charleston Downtown/Riverview||3 star||4.4||$||$100 pet fee||1 pet per room, 50 lb. max|
|Belmond Charleston Place||4 star||4.7||$$$||$150 pet fee||2 dogs max.. Call hotel for availability|
|John Rutledge House Inn||4 star||4.7||$$||$40/night||Call hotel for availability|
|Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston, Autograph Collection||4 star||4.5||$$||$150 pet fee||2 dogs, 25 lbs. maximum each|
|Wentworth Mansion||5 star||4.9||$$$||$40/night||Call hotel for availability|
|Hotel Bennet||5 star||4.5||$$$||$200 pet fee||2 dogs max, medium sized Click here for pet policy|
$ ($100- $200/night)
*Customer Rating Based on Google Reviews as of Spring 2019
**Data Subject to Change
Dog Friendly Restaurants
So now that you found a place to stay with your dog, you most likely don’t want to just leave him holed up in a room the entire time! There are plenty of dining options in Charleston that welcome you and Fido too!
The amount of dog friendly eateries is so extensive, it is impossible to list them all here. You can use sites like bringfido.com, tripadvisor.com, yelp.com, and opentable.com to find dog friendly restaurants. . To save you some time, the list below covers an assortment of cuisines.
- Poogan’s Pooch – Traditional Southern Cooking
- Taco Boy
- The Park Cafe – Farm to Fork
- Brown Dog Deli
- Fuel – Caribbean inspired pub
- Butcher & Bee – locally sourced ingredients
- Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint
- Edmund’s Oast – American style food and brewing company
- Stella’s – Greek
- Eli’s Table – locally sourced southern inspired
- Lost Dog Cafe
Things To Do
Whether you hit up the local beaches, sprawling parks, extensive greenways, beautiful downtown, or some of the many attractions, there are so many place to go exploring with your pet!
Some of the most beautiful beaches in the country are located right here in Charleston, SC!
While all Charleston, SC beaches are dog friendly, it is wise to be familiar with local dogs laws for specifics on time and date restrictions as well as leash laws.
The below table lists the six most popular local beaches and corresponding leash laws. Pet owners are required to pick up all dog waste, and all dogs are required to be up to date on their rabies vaccination. Links to direct policies are given below, and an extensive and handy list of all dog park and beach rules and regulations for pet owners can be found here.
|Beach Name||Dog Rules and Regulations|
|Folly Beach||Dogs are allowed year round but there are time restrictions. They are not allowed on the beach from 10am - 6pm from May 1- Sept. 30 (max fine $500). Dogs must be on a leash at all times. For full policy click here|
|Kiawah Island||Leash laws and time restrictions vary depending on beach location. There is a leash-free dog use area of beach, but pets must always be on a leash between 7pm - 7am. Read full policy here and pet restraint map here|
|Seabrook Island||The beach is primarily dog friendly, and the beach broken into red, yellow, and green zones (look for signs). Dogs are allowed off leash during specified times in green zones. Click here for full policy|
|Isle of Palms||Dog are allowed on the beach year round. They are also allowed off leash during specified dates and times. Click here for policy|
|Edisto Island||Leashes required from May 1 - Oct. 31. Dogs are allowed off leash from Nov 1. - April 30. Even better, doggy waste bags are at every beach access point.|
|Sullivan's Island||Strictest dog rules of all beaches. A permit must be obtained from town hall and dogs must wear a red collar. Dogs are not allowed on beaches between 10am - 6pm from May 1- Sept. 30|
Charleston County is home to an extensive park system which not only includes the beach access points, but also water parks, walking trails, camping sites, recreational facilities, and historical locations. These parks are also home to various festivals throughout the year.
There is typically a small vehicle entrance fee, but if you plan to visit more than one park or come back to Charleston often, it might make more sense to purchase an annual pass.
There are 3 off-leash dog parks located at James Island County Park, North Charleston Wannamaker Park, and Mount Pleasant Palmetto Islands County Park. Click Here for details including dog park rules and location information. Dogs are required to be on a leash at all times unless they are in designated dog park There are also a few locations in the park system where pets are not allowed (mostly historic areas and nature preserves).
One of the oldest plantations in the south, you can tour a historic home and beautiful gardens. According to bringfido.com, dogs are allowed in the gardens and on tram tours, and small dogs that can be carried are allowed in the house.
A popular greenway that runs from West Ashley to John’s Island. This 8.25 mile trail that meanders through the lowcountry wetlands and has sections with water and marsh views. Click here for additional pictures and information.
Take a walk though this beautiful park with soaring oak trees and stately statues. Then, go for a walk down the battery and take in the water view and historical Charleston skyline.
Stroll Through Historic Charleston
What is a Charleston vacation without a walk down cobblestone streets where you can appreciate the architecture of a by gone era? Your furry friend will love the quality time, and there are not many towns more fun to explore than this one!
Listed below are some additional dog friendly attractions:
- Drayton Hall – pets on leashes allowed in outdoor areas
- Charleston Tea Plantation – pets on leashes allowed on the grounds
- Charles Towne Landing – pets allowed everywhere outside except animal forest area
- Charleston Water Taxi – well behaved leashed dogs allowed
- Charleston Carriage Works – small lap dogs allowed on tours
Things to Consider
If you want to bring your pet but don’t like the idea of staying somewhere pet friendly, you can always bring him for the ride but board him in town.
There are plenty of doggie daycares located in Charleston, SC.
Please consider micro-chipping your pet prior to any travel if you haven’t.
A dog in a new place might not act the same when it’s shaken up from a long car ride, and if your dog decides to dash, a microchip could be the difference in a lost or found dog.
Bring a copy of shot records with you in case of emergency.
If you have any emergency requiring a vet, or decide to board your dog for any reason, you will most likely need a copy of shot records and a rabies certificate.
Can I bring my dog to the downtown Charleston Market?
Dogs are not allowed in the Charleston City Market, and even if they were, I would not recommend it. The market aisles are extremely tight, and during popular times of the year, it is very difficult to walk through! It’s best to stick to the outdoor parks and sidewalks and leave the market for the humans
Are there rules about bringing dogs to state parks?
Pets are allowed as long as they are crated or on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet. Noisy or dangerous pets that are a threat to humans or wildlife are not allowed. Pets are also not allowed in or around lodging facilities.
What other SC towns are dog friendly?
Some other pet friendly destinations in South Carolina are Hiton Head Island, Beaufort, Hendersonville, Asheville, Columbia, and Greenville.
I hope this post has been a great help to prepare you for a fun vacation to Charleston, SC with your pet! My goal was to consolidate everything you may need so you didn’t have to spend hours researching for your trip.
Have you taken your dog to Charleston, SC and have some recommendations to share? If so, please comment below!