Journey Fanatics may collect a share of sales from the links on this page if you decide to buy something (that's how we stay in business). However, all opinions in this article are our own.
Are you wondering when is the best time to visit Charleston, SC? The answer depends on what you're looking for! Charleston is a popular destination year-round, but the city really comes alive in the spring and fall. Start by finding the perfect place to stay with Hotwire.
Then pick up a rental car from Alamo Car Rental. Travelers can save money on their travels using these two great services that hook up consumers directly with what they need at competitive rates.
Keep reading to learn more about when to visit Charleston based on weather, crowds, and events.
Spring in Charleston
Charleston springs to life in March as temperatures begin to warm up and flowers start to bloom. This is one of the busiest times of year in the city, so be sure to book your hotel room well in advance. If you're looking to avoid the crowds, aim for a mid-week visit. March also brings many wonderful events to Charleston, including the Lowcountry Crawl, Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, and Cooper River Bridge Run.
Fall in Charleston
Autumn may be the best time of year to visit Charleston. The weather is cooler than summer but still pleasant, and the crowds have dissipated after peak tourist season. You'll have your pick of hotels and restaurants, and you can enjoy annual fall events like Oktoberfest, Oyster Roast & Sushi Roll, and Spoleto Festival USA.
Winter in Charleston
Winter is a lovely time to visit Charleston if you don't mind cooler temperatures. While hotel rates are at their lowest during this time of year, many businesses close down for a few weeks around Christmas and New Year's Eve. However, you can still find plenty to do if you plan your trip around popular winter events like Holiday Festival of Lights and New Year's Eve Celebration on King Street.
Summer in Charleston
Temperatures in Charleston climb into the 90s during summertime, making it one of the hottest cities in the US. If you don't mind the heat, summer is a great time to find deals on hotels and attractions. And there's no shortage of things to do - from swimming and sunbathing at one of Charleston's many beaches to exploring historic sites like Fort Sumter National Monument. Just be sure to stay hydrated and take breaks indoors during the hottest part of the day!
The Best Places to Visit in Charleston, SC
Located in the southeastern United States, Charleston is the state capital of South Carolina. The city is a popular tourist destination known for its coastal setting, charming architecture, diverse history, and important role in the American Civil War. If you're planning a trip to Charleston, be sure to add these top attractions to your itinerary.
1. Charleston Historic District: This district encompasses the city's original peninsula, where French Huguenot settlers first arrived in 1680. Highlights include 18th- and 19th-century houses lining cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and the iconic Battery sea wall and park.
2. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens: Founded in 1676, Magnolia Plantation is the oldest public gardens in America. Visitors can explore hundreds of acres of gardens, tour a historic plantation house dating back to 1676, and take a scenic boat ride through Cypress Swamp.
3. Fort Sumter National Monument: Situated on an island in Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter was the site of the first shots fired during the Civil War. Today, visitors can take a ferry ride out to the fortification to learn about its history and see views of Charleston from the harbor.
4. The Charleston Museum: housed in an 18th-century building that was once home to wealthy planters, this museum is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of Charleston and the Lowcountry region. Exhibits focus on topics such as early settlement days, plantation life, the Civil War era, and Hurricane Hugo.
5. Middleton Place: This former rice plantation is now home to America's oldest landscaped gardens (dating back to 1741) as well as the Middleton Place House Museum which depicts life on a Lowcountry plantation during the 18th century. Other highlights include animal exhibits with elk, alligators, otters & bison as well as enslaved African Americans' quarters & stables converted into an art gallery & general store selling local goods.
6. Rainbow Row: A series of 13 colorful Georgian row houses built in 1740, Rainbow Row is one of Charleston's most iconic landmarks. Today it's a popular spot for taking photos and doing some shopping at high-end retailers like Louis Vuitton & Tiffany & Co.
No matter when you choose to visit Charleston, SC, you're sure to have a wonderful time! The city has something for everyone, no matter what your interests may be. Do some research ahead of time to see what events will be taking place during your trip, and then book your hotel room well in advance - especially if you're visiting during peak tourist season (spring and fall). Bon voyage!