River Street is much tamer than it was 30 years ago—when muscle cars cruised its cobblestones and a volatile mix of local teenagers, sailors on shore leave, and soldiers on liberty made things less-than-family-friendly after dark—but River Street still has more than enough edginess to keep things interesting.
Families are safe and welcome here, but energetic pub crawling remains a favorite pastime for locals and visitors alike.
If you have a car, park it somewhere else and walk. The cobblestones—actually old ballast stones from some of the innumerable ships that docked here over the years—are tough on the suspension, and much of River Street is dedicated to pedestrian traffic anyway.
If you do find yourself driving here, keep in mind that the north–south “ramps” leading up and off River Street are all extensions of major downtown streets, so you can easily drive or walk up them and find yourself in the middle of bustling Bay Street and on to points beyond.
© Jim Morekis from Moon Charleston & Savannah, 4th Edition