One of my favorite activities on any visit to downtown Charleston is to take a walk and admire the window boxes, gardens, and architecture all around. And several of my favorite routes include the quite alleyways woven between the homes and gardens. And as a bonus, many of them are shortcuts and bypasses to other favorite spots and attractions.
Stoll's Alley - East Bay to Church
If you blink, you will miss this little alley close to The Battery. I love this walking path, it feels like a trip back in time and a great change of pace during the height of tourist season on E. Bat street and around The Battery.
Society Street - Meeting to King
Technically not an alley but this little street is a great spot to get to King Street, including stores like Blue Bicycle Bookstore and The SkinnyDip: Charleston Edition from Meeting Street. Also, Society Street is home to my favorite chocolates and macarons, so a great place to take a break before heading to King Street to get your shopping on!
Philadelphia Alley - Cumberland to Queen (Site of photo content)
This alley is the perfect shortcut after lunch at Amen's Street and heading to a show at the Dock Street Theater. As a bonus, the path is almost entirely shaded, which is a blessing during the hot summer. Also, note you will come across the occasional walking tour group that you may have to cut through but still worth it.
Other mentionable alleyways for a scenic detour or short cut:
St Michaels Alley
*Please note that even though Charleston is a beautiful place, I would avoid any darker paths at night and always stay aware of your surroundings.*
Blessings from Hartsville,