It’s the first truly spring-like day of 2009, and you feel yourself awakening from your hibernation funk. Have you forgotten what to do with yourself once you get outside and the sunlight’s blinding your eyes? Here are some reminders of the best, free (mostly) things to do on a beautiful day in Charleston.

  • Head South of Broad, on foot or two wheels. Peek into the gardens, climb on the cannons at Whitepoint Gardens, and watch the parade of adorable dogs walk by. When’s the last time you just walked around and gawked at the beautiful old houses like a tourist?
  • Speaking of tourists, bring the camera. Go on a photo shoot, with the city as your subject. It’s hard not to get good pics when you’ve got such good subject matter. Maybe some of them will even be frame-worthy.
  • Go to Hampton Park. It’s one of the city’s most overlooked areas, but one of the best parks. Bring a frisbee or football and throw it around one of the big fields. Go say “hay” to the police horses. Stroll around the oddly-green pond and feed the ducks. Climb the live oaks and see what’s blooming in the well-kept gardens.
  • Head up to the neck to check out Magnolia Cemetery.
  • Swing on the swings at Waterfront Park. Take a picture in front of the pineapple fountain. You know you love it.
  • Walk the bridge. Duh.
  • Visit some art galleries, like Robert Lange, John Dunnan, and Corrigan Gallery.
  • Search for sand dollars and dolphins at Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, or Folly.
  • Go to Palmetto Island Park in Mt. Pleasant. Bring your bike, dog, or both, and explore the endless trails that wind through the marsh. ($3)
  • Eat outside. This isn’t always free, but it can be cheap. Head to one of Charleston’s many outdoor patios for a drink and an app, or a full meal. Think Blind Tiger, Monza, Rooftop, Vickery’s, or go to Shem Creek or Folly Beach.

What do you like to do when it’s nice out?

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