Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge (Cooper River Bridge) Tours
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At 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) long, the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the United States. It connects downtown Charleston to the city of Mount Pleasant and the beaches beyond, plus it provides bike and pedestrian paths that lead to unobstructed views of Charleston Harbor and the city skyline.
The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, also known as the Cooper River Bridge, is an 8-lane, cable-stayed bridge spanning the Cooper River. You can walk, bike, or drive across it—a sectioned-off portion protects people from cars during the slow-and-steady uphill climb—to reach gorgeous vista points of the Charleston skyline, USS Yorktown, and Charleston Harbor. Or you can pass right under the bridge while enjoying a harbor sightseeing cruise or stand-up paddleboard tour. No matter how you choose to see it, the bridge is worth a visit for its beautiful architecture and stellar views.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is a lovely sight for all visitors to Charleston, especially those particularly interested in bridges and engineering.
- A long and steady incline makes this walk a good workout.
- Dress in layers—it’s windy at the top of the bridge.
- Bring snacks, water, and sun protection if you plan to walk the whole bridge. There are no amenities along the way.
- Though technically wheelchair and stroller friendly, they’re not recommended.
How to Get There
The bridge is located on US Route 17 between Charleston and Mount Pleasant. From Charleston, access the bridge on East Bay Street; drive right up to it and park on the street, or park downtown and walk to the bridge. On the Mount Pleasant side, park at nearby Waterfront Park. You can also take CARTA bus 40 from either side of the bridge.
When to Get There
If you’re walking the bridge, plan to leave early in order to give yourself plenty of time and stay out of the midday heat. Sunset is a beautiful time on the bridge, too. Look out for special events at the bridge, too, such as the annual Cooper River Bridge Run, which interferes with regular public access.
Mount Pleasant Day Trip
Popular Charleston itineraries use a trip across the bridge as a great excuse to explore Mount Pleasant highlights such as Waterfront Memorial Park, the USS Yorktown, and Patriots Point. You can also drive across the bridge on your way back from Sullivan’s Island beach, Shem Creek, or other Mount Pleasant attractions.
Address: US Route 17, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
5 Tours and Activities to Experience Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge (Cooper River Bridge)
See the Charleston Harbor by boat with a leisurely sightseeing tour along the Cooper River to Fort Sumter National Monument. This fully-narrated tour focuses on Charleston history from Civil War sites to antebellum houses and landmarks, passes under Cooper River bridges, and explores a waterfront that’s home to bottlenose dolphins and pelicans.
We are a family owned sailing charter business. Come enjoy a day of sailing and seeing the historic sites of Charleston from the water in a 36' Beneteau Sailboat. We offer hourly, daily, or customized tours according to your desires for up to 6 guests maximum (USCG Rules & Regulations). Sit back and relax while a professional crew caters to your every need on your private yacht. Most tours are 2-3 hours in length and circle the entire Charleston harbor before returning to the docks where you boarded the vessel. Bring your favorite beverages, a picnic, or you can also request gourmet catering to fit your desires. A professional photographer can be requested as well. If you are looking for a romantic evening we can accommodate with a 3 hour sunset sail with downtown Charleston in the background. We want to make sure you have the 5 star experience you deserve and will do everything we can to ensure this. Book now to enjoy the Charleston views from your privately chartered yacht!
Taking safety measures
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Get behind the wheel of an F13 speedboat for a guided tour of Charleston Harbor. Learn the basics of operating the speedboat from your guide, and then follow the guide boat past the Battery, under the Ravenel Bridge, to the USS Yorktown, and more, stopping for photo ops and to optionally change drivers. Small-group tour is limited to eight people or fewer.
Watch the sunset from the water on a 2-hour evening cruise aboard an 84-foot (25-meter) classic tall ship. As the crew hoists the sails of the schooner, you'll glide through Charleston Harbor to enjoy the glow of twilight over one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Drinks are available for purchase on board.
Explore Charleston’s harbor and historic sights on a 2-hour stand-up paddleboard tour with an experienced guide and instructor. Learn to steer your board, then paddle alongside a small group on a route that changes with the season. Cruise past island forts that saw decisive battles in the Civil War, and take in views of the stunning Ravenel Bridge’s diamond-shaped towers. Experience stand-up paddleboarding for the first time, or brush up your skills with help from an instructor on a tour that combines the best of Charleston’s culture and natural beauty.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge (Cooper River Bridge)?
The best ways to experience Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge (Cooper River Bridge) are:
- Charleston Harbor History Day-Time or Sunset Boat Cruise
- Private 2-3 Hour Charleston Sailing Charter (Sunsets & Day Sails)
- Charleston Harbor Speed Boat Adventure Tour
- Schooner Sunset Sail on Charleston Harbor
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