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In the heat of the summer, here are 10 ways to cool off in Charleston

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It’s hot out there, y’all. The heat of the summer is upon us, and for those looking for a respite from the relentless rays — beyond getting in the ocean at the Lowcountry’s beaches — we have a few ideas of how to keep cool. 

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in water park fun or emerge from an ice cream shop refreshed and rejuvenated, here are our 10 picks for how to stay cool in Charleston this summer. 

Little Palm

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237 Meeting St., Charleston

One of the hottest new bars in town is, ironically, also the coolest. That’s because Little Palm at the Ryder Hotel has its own pool, which can be used by patrons of the vintage Miami-meets-millennial pink nook on the second floor. In fact, it’s advertised as a bar and “swim club.”

Cabanas, plaid umbrellas and lounge chairs encircle the pool, while bartenders serve up indigo popcorn and lavender peach shortbread along with refreshing cocktails inside by the tropical wallpaper. 

There’s the Seven Day Weekend, a revitalizing sipper made with vodka, green pepper, papaya, lime juice and elderflower. Or the fresh Talking Bird concocted with gin, toasted coconut, celery and lime juices and seltzer. The Wavy Baby made with white rum, rosé, peach cream liqueur, lime juice and pistachio is another light and delicious option. 

The frozen Green Light with white wine, pear brandy, honeydew melon and aloe vera is another guaranteed way to cool off as you sprawl out in the shade, lapping up some luxury. If you’re traveling with a whole crew, then you might consider the sparkling brut rosé package with mini frozies (the “High Dive”) or the bucket of beers with chilled tequila, sangria shooters and fresh shucked oysters (the “Shallow End”). 



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Frankie’s Fun Park in North Charleston offers a fun time for family or friends with its arcade, putt-putt course and go-karts. But the water park area allows for cooling off on a hot day. Provided



Frankie’s Fun Park

5000 Ashley Phosphate Road, North Charleston

This fun park has all you need to enjoy a summer day: arcade games, putt-putt, go-karts, batting cages, a rock wall and a water feature. And I’m talking about kids and adults alike. 

The North Charleston hangout spot for family outings and dates alike offers bumper boats at $7 per passenger. The steerable boats shaped like round inner tubes feature built-in water blasters for spraying each other. It’s a more entertaining way to cool off this summer. 

Follow up your bumper boat adventure with an on-site Icee for maximum chill. 



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Kamora Wade, 6, kicks up water with her sister Myasia, 5, in the pineapple fountain at Joe Riley Waterfront Park in Charleston. File/Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff






Pineapple Fountain

1 Vendue Range, Charleston

It’s one of the most recognizable landmarks on the Peninsula, and also a common place for kids to wade and make a splash in the summer. The Pineapple Fountain at Waterfront Park is worth a visit, not only for the iconic architecture but the Cooper River breezes. 

The fountain at the north entrance to the park also offers a fun place for kids and adults alike to run through as geysers shoot water into the air. It’s been nicknamed the “splash fountain” for a reason. And if you’re just looking for a place to lounge, try the benches overlooking the water or family-sized swings along the pier. 

And if you’re in for a walk by the water, wander on down to The Battery for even more sea breezes and a gazebo for sitting in the shade. 



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A soft-serve vanilla ice cream cone with sprinkles at Kinfolk on Johns Island. File/Lauren Petracca/Staff






Kinfolk Soft Serve Ice Cream

4430 Betsy Kerrison Parkway, Johns Island

What better way to cool down in the summer than by ingesting a frozen treat? Kinfolk’s soft serve ice cream is a fantastic and unique option, with some funky flavors on the menu. 

Utz Potato Stix, Lucky Charms marshmallows and crushed pretzels make the basic toppings list — already great picks. But under deluxe toppings, you can choose from matcha and honey, Cinnamon Toast Crunch with maple syrup, and smoked olive oil and sea salt. 

Or you can go with a basic vanilla or chocolate cone with rainbow sprinkles. You can’t go wrong! 



Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark (copy)


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