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20 Towns Similar To Charleston, South Carolina

Hotels and parked cars at Charleston, South Carolina.

The city of Charleston, South Carolina, is beautiful and rich in history and re-embraces the old buildings of the past. Walking on the old cobblestone streets and enjoying the southern-style restaurants and museums makes one wonder which other towns are similar to beautiful Charleston.

Read on to discover more towns with a similar culture, arts, and history to Charleston.

1. Savannah, Georgia

Downtown with old railroad at Savannah, Georgia.

Savannah is the oldest city in picturesque Georgia and was founded in 1733. This city has a beautiful port that played a vital strategic role in the American Revolution. This seaport is now an important industrial center of the town.

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The cobblestone streets of Savannah see millions of visitors every year as they make their way to parks and historic buildings. Famous and must-see buildings include the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low (founder of Girl Scouts) and the Georgia Historical Society. The Downtown area hosts the original town plans with landmark buildings and cafés.

Savannah is filled with arts and culture, and there will never be a dull moment in this relaxed city. Enjoy carriage rides and museums, or stop off at one of the many theaters throughout the city.

Things to do In Savannah

  • Telfair Academy
  • Colonial Park Cemetery
  • Mickve Israel Temple
  • American Prohibition Museum
  • Old Fort Jackson
  • Wormhole Historic Site

2. Richmond, Virginia

City hall at Richmond, Virginia.

Richmond is a city full of culture and history spanning from 1742 to the present. The cafés and restaurants are full of gorgeous murals in this lovely city. It was placed in the top 10 places in the world to travel for food by National Geographic. There is plenty to see in Southern-style living neighborhoods, with over 300 historical markers spread through the city’s borders.

The James River runs through the downtown area. Many whitewater rafting enthusiasts can be seen attempting the rivers class 3 and 4 rapids. Other than watersports, the city has a variety of hiking and biking trails.

Richmond is a great city and is full of historical buildings and streets. It offers a natural, laid-back feel that art, food, and history lovers will enjoy.

Must-see sites in Richmond

  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
  • White House of the Confederacy
  • American Civil War Center at Tredegar Iron Works
  • Virginia Holocaust Museum
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3. Atlanta, Georgia

Amusement park in downtown at Atlanta, Georgia.

Atlanta may be significantly larger than some of the towns on this list. Still, it deserves a spot, thanks to its diverse arts and culture. Though Atlanta is not a port town but instead started as a railway town, it still has a lot of historical significance.

Most of the old historical buildings were burned down in the civil war. Atlanta decided to make the best of this situation and created a culture that is unique to them.

The stunning skyscrapers are built with a post-modern theme that kept the classical elements of their design of the 1980s with tapering spires and ornamented crowns. The suburbs surrounding the high-rise district are full of streetcars and postwar housing. This is also where the art galleries and retail spaces have been created from these old buildings.

Atlanta provides a modern touch on the Southern culture that is only found there and is great to visit or relocate to. The lush greenery that can be seen everywhere in the city brings a calming feeling to the busy city streets.

Attractions in Atlanta

  • The Georgia Aquarium
  • The World of Coca-Cola
  • The Fox Theater
  • Atlanta History Center
  • LEGOLAND
  • The High Museum of Art
  • Collage Football Hall of Fame

4. Mobile, Alabama

Sea ports at Mobile, Alabama.

Founded in 1702, Mobile, Alabama, is the fourth largest city in the state. The city has the only saltwater port in Alabama, located on the Mobile River at the head of the Mobile Bay. Mobile spent its first 100 years as a French colony, and then the British took charge and eventually the Spanish. This left the city with a large, diverse culture that can be seen to this day.

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Mobile is considered one of the Gulf Coasts’ cultural centers and has a vast array of museums. The city often boasts about its local Opera, ballet, and symphony orchestra. The city is known for hosting the oldest organized Mardi Gras, which began in 1830 and had an almost yearly appearance.

Mobile, Alabama, has a rich history and the buildings and cafés represent all that the city has to offer.

Places to see in Mobile

  • The USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park
  • Fort Conde
  • Mobile Museum of Art
  • The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center
  • Mardi Gras
  • The Historic District

5. Raleigh, North Carolina

Historical monument at Raleigh, North Carolina.

Raleigh in North Carolina is also known as the “City of Oaks” as it has many oak trees lining the city center’s streets. This little city has a remarkable pre-civil war history that can be seen all around the city. Raleigh offers excellent nature trails and will attract many outdoor, music, and art enthusiast from around the country.

Raleigh forms part of the “fall line,” an area that marks the elevation inland, and as a result, it has many small waterfalls in the area. The Neuse River flows through the city’s northern part and offers a range of parks and recreation areas.

The beautiful downtown area is full of historic buildings such as the Sir Walter Raleigh hotel and the restored city market on Fayetteville street.

Attractions in Raleigh

  • African American Cultural Complex
  • Contemporary Art Museum
  • Marble Kids Museum
  • Joel Lane House
  • Mordecai Plantation
  • Pope House Museum
  • Red Hat Amphitheater
  • Koka Booth Amphitheater
  • Videri Chocolate Factory
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6. Durham, North Carolina

Downtown with brick roads at Durham, North Carolina.

Durham, North Carolina, is a historical haven and has plenty on offer for young and old alike. This city has one of the most unique and celebrated business start-up cultures, with coffee shops, restaurants, and one-off stores to explore.

Durham started with a small railway station and has a rich Civil war history that can be explored in the downtown area. The architecture ranges from 1880 to 1920 houses and shops to newly built modern high rises. This great little town will keep you entertained with its dance and film festivals that take place throughout the year.

Places to visit in Durham

  • Sarah P. Gardens
  • American Tobacco Campus
  • Durham Performing Arts Center
  • Bennett Place Historic Site
  • Museum of Life and Science
  • Nasher Museum of Arts
  • Eno River State Park
  • The Carolina Theater

7. Columbia, South Carolina

City hall and skyscrapers at Columbia, South Carolina.

Columbia is the State Capital of historic South Carolina and is often called by its nickname “ Soda city,” as it is often abbreviated as “Cola.” This city offers a variety of things to see and do, including museums, restaurants, and historical sites.

Columbia has a handful of dedicated puppeteers that will dazzle and entertain all at the Marionette Theater, which is found nowhere else in the US. The streets of this relaxed city are remarkably wide, and spending some time walking or biking through the downtown area is a great way to spend your day.

Attractions in Columbia

  • Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens
  • South Carolina State House
  • EdVenture Children’s Museum
  • Columbia Museum of Art
  • Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park
  • South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum
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8. Clemson, South Carolina

Clemson Memorial Stadium at Clemson, South Carolina.

The small city of Clemson is situated in the Pickens and Andersons counties of South Carolina, with a small population of just over 13 000 residents. The city managed to be ranked number 1 by the Princeton Review for its “town-and-gown” relations with its university. So be prepared to rub shoulders with Gamecocks.

The city is surrounded by natural beauty from the Blue Ridge foothills, and a visit to the Botanical gardens is a must. For a day in the city, there are many beautiful restaurants and cafés to choose from as you walk around and soak up genuine Southern hospitality.

Popular attractions in Clemson

  • The Bob Campbell Geology Museum
  • Fort Hill Plantation
  • Lake Hartwell
  • Brooks Center for Performing Arts
  • Blue Sluice Falls
  • Clemson Little Theater

9. Hartsville, South Carolina

Hartsville is found in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina, and many major industries call it home. The city has charming neighborhoods and a bustling downtown area with loads of entertainment for all. The local restaurants are top tier and offer an exciting cultural experience.

The city of Hartsville has a very close-knit community who are passionate about their hometown. This can be seen in the stunning gardens and parks all around the city. There is plenty to see and explore in Hartsville, from historical sites to recreation facilities and year-round special events.

Places to visit while in Hartsville

  • Kalima Gardens
  • Neptune Island Waterpark
  • Hartsville Museum
  • Fleur De Lis Antiques
  • Burry Park
  • Byerly Park Recreation Complex
  • The Center Theater
  • Black Creek Arts Council
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10. Youngstown, Ohio

Historical suspension bridge at Youngstown, Ohio.

Youngstown is called a Midwestern city but is situated less than 400 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. The city falls within the Appalachian Ohio region and the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Youngstown has seen an abundance of change since the early 2000s and has become the center of entertainment, culture, and innovation.

Founded in 1797, the town was named after Jon Young. This surveyor surveyed the surrounding area and purchased the land from the Western Reserve Land Company. This fantastic city offers great historic landmarks, parks, and art centers.

Sites to see in Youngtown

  • Fellows Riverside Gardens
  • Mill Creek Park
  • The Ward Beecher Planetarium
  • The President William McKinley Memorial Monument
  • The Lanterman’s Mill

11. Bar Harbor, Maine

Acadia National Park at Bar Harbor, Maine.

Bar Harbor, Maine, is a small resort town in the Acadia National Park. The city has lovely warm summers that attract many visitors. The charismatic historic homes of this town bring an artsy feel to the area. The locals are warm and friendly and take great pride in their small town. There are many restaurants, bars, and cultural centers to keep the family entertained.

Bar Harbor has an abundance of hiking trails, so pack in some hiking boots and a picnic basket and enjoy this town’s picturesque views.

Places to visit in Bar Harbor

  • Mount Desert Island
  • The Shore Path
  • The Ocean Trail
  • Acadia National Park
  • Frenchman Bay
  • Village Green
  • College of the Atlantic Gardens
  • Bar Harbor Whale Watching Company

12. Camden, Maine

Mount Battie peak at Camden, Maine.

Camden, Maine, is a stunning seaside town that offers culture, art, incredible views, and an authentic holiday feel. Camden has something to offer everyone, whether indoors or outdoors, and for the seafarers.

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The town is busy in the summer months, but it has something extraordinary and unique to offer in the winter. Camden sports the Camden Snow Bowl in wintertime, a community-owned ski resort that offers a one-of-a-kind ocean view while on the ski slopes. So for great food, stunning scenery, and an ocean getaway, Camden is the place to be.

Popular attractions in Camden

  • Bay Chambers Concerts
  • Camden Hills State Park
  • Camden Opera House
  • Curtis Island Lighthouse
  • Peyton Place Archives
  • Maidens Cliff
  • The Snow Bowl
  • Mount Battie
  • Captain Jack Lobster Boat Tours
  • Camden Harbor Cruises

13. Provincetown, Massachusetts

Pilgrim Monument at Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Situated on the furthest tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown, Massachusetts, is a small coastal resort town with a year-round population of slightly over 3000 residents. Often referred to as “P-town,” Provincetown can swell up to 60 000 residents during the summer months.

P-town is known for its stunning beaches, variety of artists, year-round tourism, and friendly atmosphere. Founded in 1620, pilgrims aboard the Mayflower spotted Cape Cod en route to Virginia after seeking refuge in the natural harbor known today as Provincetown Harbor.

Sights to discover in Provincetown

  • Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum
  • Race Point Beach
  • The Historic Commercial Street shopping sprees
  • MacMillan Pier
  • Provincetown Art Galleries
  • The Beech Forest
  • Provincetown Hall Concerts
  • Art’s Dune Tours
  • Whydah Pirate Museum

14. Rockport, Massachusetts

Motif Number 1 Fishing Shack at Rockport, Massachusetts.

Situated in Essex County, Massachusetts, Rockport is a small quiet coastal town with a population of under 10 000 residents. The Rockport inner harbor boasts a fleet of lobster boats that have tours on offer. The city has many great art galleries to visit and excellent restaurants to dine in.

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Rockport was a haven for many immigrants throughout the 1800s looking for work in the area’s rock quarries. The granite quarries were large and required hard labor to extract the rock, assisting in the industrial revolution of the town. Many Scandinavian and Swedish descendants still reside in the town. Enjoy a day fishing in Rockport, as the waters are still abundant with fish.

Points of Interest in Rockport

  • Motif Number 1 Fishing Shack
  • Halibut Point State Park
  • The Paper House
  • Pirate Ship Charters
  • Shalin Liu Performance Center
  • Twin Lights at Thatcher Island
  • 7 local Art Galleries

15. Galveston, Texas

Stewart Beach at Galveston, Texas.

Galveston is a coastal resort city in the Southeast of Texas. It was named after a Spanish and political leader, Bernardo de Gälves y Madrid, a Count of Gȁlves in the 18th century. During a short period in the 19th century, Galveston was the largest and wealthiest town in Texas. It also had the privilege of the State capital for a few years before the title moved to Huston.

The town proudly displays its historic buildings and iconic mansions in its downtown sector. The Downtown sector has a selection of art galleries, cafés, restaurants, and shops with original façades. Many holidaymakers descend on the city during the summer months to take in the splendor and history that Galveston offers.

Places to visit in Galveston

  • Stewart Beach
  • Galveston Island State Park
  • The Strand Historic District
  • Texas Seaport Museum
  • 1898 Bishop’s Palace
  • Moody Garden and Aquarium Pyramid
  • Galveston Historic Pleasure Pier
  • The Bryan Museum
  • The Grand 1894 Opera House

16. Greenville, Texas

Historical house at Greenville, Texas.

Greenville, Texas, is the cotton capital of the world and is situated in Hunt County. The city has a small population of 26 000 residents and was named after a founder member of the Texas Republic, Thomas J Green.

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Greenville has a rich history that can be seen in the backland soil, which is essential for the cotton cultivation industry. This beautiful city has historic buildings scattered throughout its borders that are a reminder of the cotton-growing days of the past. So be sure to visit the famous cotton museum and pay your respects.

The sites of Greenville

  • Lake Ray Hubbard
  • Audie Murphy/ AMERICAN Cotton Museum
  • Smith Park
  • Cotton Park
  • Greenville Public Art Installations
  • The Texan Theater
  • Landon Winery
  • Longhorn Arena

17. McClellanville, South Carolina

Situated an hour from Charleston, McClellanville is a small coastal town with a welcoming community. The primary industry in the city is shrimping, and the local restaurants flourish with their seafood dishes. McClellanville was named after the McClellan family, who were the first to settle in the beautiful area.

The town is small but has a lot to offer, so take the time to explore its recreational activities, art, and culture.

Attractions in McClellanville

  • McClellanville Arts Council
  • Pinckney Street
  • Solar System Walk
  • The Village Museum
  • Buck Hall Recreation Area
  • Downtown Historic Sector

18. Mount Pleasant. South Carolina

Ravenel Bridge Walk at Mount Pleasant. South Carolina.

Mount Pleasant is the 4th largest municipality in South Carolina. It is just slightly more than a stone’s throw away from Charleston. The town was only populated on a seasonal basis, with only the wealthy Charleston residents affording vacation homes in Mount Pleasant.

Things have changed quite a bit, and Mount Pleasant has become a bustling little town with its own atmosphere, attractions, and sites.

Mount Pleasant has many historical sites that should be visited, such as the Old Village, the oldest section of Mount Pleasant. It boasts a massive Oak tree on the corner of Pitt and Vinnie street, a true giant and excellent photo opportunity.

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Attraction in Mount Pleasant

  • Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park
  • The Old Village
  • Pitt Street Bridge
  • Shem Creek
  • Patriot Point
  • Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park
  • Boon Hall Plantation
  • Ravenel Bridge Walk

19. Charlotte, North Carolina

Lively downtown park at Charlotte, North Carolina.

Charlotte boasts the highest populated city in North Carolina, with a population of 800 000 Charlestonians. Charlotte was named the fasted growing city in the United States between 2004 and 2014, attracting many residents from New York and California. The city is home to the world-renown NASCAR hall of fame and the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Though the city grew fast, it did not forget its heritage and culture. The town has a beautiful feel as you walk the streets and enjoy the taste of the tradition and food in the restaurants. All art lovers will enjoy spending time at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and the Levine Center for the Arts.

Charlotte may be an upcoming city, but it is still full of things to see and adventures to partake in. So for food, entertainment, history, and nature, Charlotte is the place to be.

Activities in Charlotte

  • Little Creek Greenway Center
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
  • Camp North End
  • 7th Street Public Market
  • US National Whitewater Center
  • NASCAR Hall of Fame
  • Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
  • Levine Center for the Arts
  • Crowder Mountain State Park

20. Green Bay, Wisconsin

Green Bay welcome signage at Wisconsin.

Green Bay is known as “The Little City by the Bay” due to the green streaks that can be seen in the bay during the spring. Green Bay is a popular tourist city and has some of the friendliest residents in the Midwest. The town is very proud to be the home of the Green Bay Packers and Lambeau Field.

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A little-known fact about Green Bay is that it is also known as the “toilet paper capital of the World.” This is due to the large paper industry in the city. Green Bay has a large arts and cultural following and has its own Symphony Orchestra that performs at the Mayer Theater. Green Bay has everything from sports to paper to food and culture.

Popular attractions in Green Bay

  • Lambeau Field
  • The Walk of Legends
  • National Railroad Museum
  • Green Bay Botanical Gardens
  • Bay Beach Amusement Park and Wildlife Sanctuary
  • The Automobile Gallery
  • Hill State Historical Park
  • Neville Public Museum of Brown County
  • The Historic Mayer Theater

Conclusion

Charleston, South Carolina, may be a city with a long history. But many beautiful towns in the United States share a similar and rich historical heritage. If you have enjoyed your stay in Charleston, then the towns listed in this article are a must-visit, and you will enjoy much excitement as you explore their legacy of cultures.

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