Dubbing it “this generation’s gift to the future,” Mayor Joe Riley made the eight-acre Waterfront Park another part of his ambitious and largely successful downtown renovation. Situated on Concord Street roughly between Exchange Street and Vendue Range, Waterfront Park (843/724-7327, daily dawn–dusk, free) was, like many waterfront locales in Charleston , built on what used to be marsh and water. This particularly massive chunk of “made land” juts about a football field’s length farther out than the old waterline.
From Waterfront Park, visitors and locals alike enjoy the relaxing vista of Charleston Harbor, often from the many swinging benches arranged in an unusual front-to-back, single-file pattern all down the pier. On the end you can find viewing binoculars to see the various sights out on the Cooper River, chief among them the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point  and the big bridge to Mount Pleasant.
Children will enjoy the large “Vendue” wading fountain at Waterfront Park’s entrance off Vendue Range, while a bit farther south is the large and quite artful Pineapple Fountain with its surrounding wading pool. Contemporary art lovers of all ages will appreciate the nearby Waterfront Park City Gallery (34 Prioleau St., Mon.–Fri. noon–5 p.m., free).