Charleston, South Carolina was just named the best city in the U.S for the 9th year in a row. With so much to offer and milder temps, seasoned travelers know fall is a prime time to visit the Holy City.
Charleston enjoys being the #1 city for its variety of leisure activities, fascinating history, beach communities, and mild temperatures throughout the fall season. If you’re thinking about visiting Charleston, SC, in the fall, let Pam Harrington Exclusives be your guide!
Fall in Charleston, SC is the perfect time to visit the #1 City in the United States
Charleston, SC is known as the Holy City for its abundance of historic church spires that frame the downtown skyline.
Church Street, named for its multiple houses of worship, is popular with locals and visitors for a morning stroll with the pup or a creamy latte.
Anchored at the end by Waterfront Park, Church Street winds through the French Quarter offering a glimpse of the intimate gardens and beautifully inspired ironworks of legendary ironsmith Philip Simmons.
The Charleston French Quarter District, named for the number of French Huguenots who settled this borough, is teeming with an inspiring collection of art galleries featuring local and regional artists of various mediums. Also located on Church Street, The Dock Street Theatre, dating back to 1740, hosts holiday performances and serves as home to the Charleston Stage Company.
Fall in Charleston: Plan Your Itinerary
Historic City Market
The holidays are approaching us, and the Charleston City Market is a great place to inspire your holiday shopping. Let holiday gift giving this year be inspired by the market’s collection of unique shops featuring artisan crafts and regional gifts inspired by Charleston artists.
The Charleston City Market was established in 1804 and encompasses several city blocks. This iconic merchant center is one of the most visited markets in the United States.
Start your visit in the market's Great Hall, a United States National Register Landmark that offers 18,300 square feet of micro boutiques.
Continue to three open-air structures filled with everything from handcrafted sweet grass baskets, local grits, home goods and textiles, to locally inspired jewelry. You’re sure to find the perfect gift or souvenir!
Please note: Due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, masks are mandatory for entry.
- Market Hours are 9:30 - 5 pm daily.
- The market is open 364 days a year, closed on Dec. 25th.
- Night Market Hours (April - Dec) are Friday's and Saturday's, 6:30 - 10:30 pm.
Magnolia Plantation & Gardens
Known as America’s oldest garden, Magnolia Plantation brilliantly captures Charleston’s spectacular fall foliage. Few estates are more photographed or visited than Magnolia.
The meticulously maintained gardens burst with Sasanqua camellias, pansies, azaleas, and snapdragons. Your senses are captivated by abundant hues of red, yellow, and orange, flourishing in the autumnal shade.
Keep a keen eye out and spot various wildlife species like alligators, black crowned night herons, and river otters before they retreat for the winter.
Charleston Fall Tour of Homes
If you are visiting Charleston in the fall, you don’t want to miss the Preservation Society of Charleston’s Fall Tours and Masters Series. This highly anticipated annual series offers an intimate peek at some of Charleston’s grand gardens, and piazzas.
The rich history of Charleston’s culture, architecture, and hospitality comes alive through guided, interpretive tours.
Join a preservation society member, or local expert on Thursdays for a deeper, behind the scenes tour. Guests may be invited into some homes for a rare interior glimpse of historic Charleston.
Learn about the families who settled the Charleston peninsula whose descendants continue to live here. It’s the perfect way to get to know our charming city!
Please note: During COVID-19 pandemic, all CURRENT CDC Guidelines will be followed.
Charleston Fall Festivals and Tours
Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze
This family friendly annual event runs through October 31st offering corn maze, hay rides, hay mountain, play areas, rock climbing wall and plenty of pumpkins by the pound for carving!
Spooky Night Tours
Fall is the best time to experience Charleston After Dark - touring historic haunted buildings, dark alleyways and centuries old cemeteries in the dark of night. Some of our favorite spooky tours include Bulldog Tours Charleston Ghost & Graveyard Walking Tour, The Haunted Jail Tour, and USS Yorktown Ghost Tours.
Find information on all tours here!
Low Tide Brewing Octoberfest
Low Tide Brewing will be offering beer steins and German beers from Sept 25 - Oct 2. $8 will get you a custom made, Low Tide Brewing half liter stein, filled with Low Tide’s Octoberfest beer “Prost Y’all”. Enjoy an assortment of German beers for $5 each. Better yet, dress up for the occasion and get $2 off your steins!
More Local Things to Do in Charleston, SC in the Fall
Charleston Farmers Markets
Located in Marion Square in the heart of Charleston, SC’s Historic District the Charleston Farmers Market is open each Saturday, from April through the end of November, 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM and Saturdays and Sundays in December for a special Holiday Market.
The Charleston Farmers Market is a popular Saturday morning stop for locals and visitors. The air is filled with yummy aromas from the breakfast and lunch food truck vendors.
The Crepe Station is legendary for their Nutella crepe! Stroll through booths featuring a variety of local produce, plants, fresh flowers, and juried arts and crafts from local artisans.
A small stage hosts live music and the large lawn is the perfect setting for a picnic with your family and dog. Feel like a local by attending the CFM, bringing together people from all over for a real community connection.
Fall is the perfect time to visit America’s oldest public, historic home, Drayton Hall. This 18th century home was built in 1738 by John Drayton. It neighbored his family’s estate, now known as Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
Drayton Hall remains in original, non-modernized condition. It is an unparalleled example of the period.
Visitors are welcome to tour the main home and gardens offering a glimpse of the architectural style of the 18th century. Book a guided tour, or just enjoy a self-paced tour.
In October and November, Drayton Hall opens in the evening with a unique opportunity to take a candlelight tour.
- Pre-registration is required. $45 non/$40 members.
- Begins October 9, 2021 (Columbus Day weekend) 7:00 - 8:00 pm start times
- COVID safety guidelines are in place for all tours
Johns Island Fall Events
Harvest Festival at Johns Island County Park
An annual tradition on Johns Island with fun for the whole family. Come out to Mullet Hall at Johns Island County Park on Saturday, November 6 and celebrate with us! The Johns Island Harvest Fall Festival celebrates the bountiful harvest and gives thanks for all our blessings. Hayrides, pumpkin decorating, live bluegrass music and delicious food are all a part of the fun. Mouth watering Carolina style barbeque, kettle corn, and many other festival foods will be available. Get a jump on holiday shopping with a stop at the craft booths. Many local artisans are offering unique and special crafts that make great holiday gifts!
- $8 per person
- Free for kids 12 & under and Gold Pass Members
Kiawah Island in the Fall
Kiawah Island is a gated, oceanfront resort community featuring world-class golf with verdant fairways and greens, 8 miles of pristine, sandy beach, and a coastal lifestyle unmatched on the eastern seaboard. The cool fall breeze off the Atlantic Ocean inspires a day of outdoor fun!
Hit the Sand
Kiawah Island is perhaps the best place to visit during the fall. The temperatures stay around 75 degrees, the water is still warm, and it’s just you, the sand, and the surf. Trade in your typical summer vacation for a relaxing vacation on the coast this fall.
Whether you’re chartering a boat or casting out from the shore, there are tons of fish in the water during the change of seasons. Fall fishing on Kiawah Island is a angler’s paradise - and Tarpon season! From Beachwalker Park to The Kiawah River, we have everything you need to know about tossing out your next line.
Head up to Freshfields for the annual Dogtoberfest taking place Saturday October 23. The family friendly pet expo will go from 1 – 5 pm offering various activities including beer tasting, live music, adoptable meet and greet with local recues, pet vendors and a pet costume contest!
Dogtoberfest at Freshfields Village is a free event; Participating rescues include the Charleston Animal Society, Pet Helpers, Grateful Goldens Rescue, Lowcountry Lab Rescue and many more!
Seabrook Island in the Fall
Neighboring Seabrook Island, nestled along the Atlantic Ocean, welcomes fall visitors to enjoy their 2 luxury resort golf courses, nationally renowned tennis complex, private sandy beaches, and even a full service equestrian center.
Did you know Seabrook Island is one of the few places on the eastern seaboard where you can ride a horse on the beach? Saddle up for those fall ocean breezes! Seabrook Island is recognized as an Audubon Certified Sustainable Community. Fall on Seabrook Island is the perfect time to explore the island, and learn more about how Seabrook Island leaders and residents work together to create a harmonious community for all!
Witness the magic of bird migration in the tranquility of the Lowcountry this fall. Mild winters and a diverse habitat make Seabrook Island a premier birding destination. Expect to see a variety of warblers, herons, finches, and shorebirds. Is there a better way to relax than admiring the Yellow Warblers, Northern Cardinals, or the Carolina Wrens?
Did you know Seabrook Island is home to one of the top resort tennis centers in the eastern U.S? In addition to being home to the annual Alan Fleming Senior Clay Court Championships in October, tennis players flock to Seabrook Island for a fall tennis vacation at the beach. The full service tennis center offers 15 Har-Tru clay courts, a full time teaching professional, and full service clubhouse with equipment sales and rentals. With beautiful, cool fall mornings, and milder afternoons you won’t want to leave!
Grab a beach cruiser and explore the island on two wheels. Fall is the ideal time to meander through Seabrook’s moss draped private roads. Perfect temperatures and quiet streets offer the best way to explore the island. Breathe in the ocean air from the seat of your bike this fall.
Become a Charleston Local with Pam Harrington Exclusives
Whether you plan to vacation in Charleston, SC in the fall or want to make our city your permanent residence, Pam Harrington Exclusives has you covered!
From Kiawah Island’s beaches to the cobblestone streets downtown, our skilled and experienced real estate team will help you find the perfect vacation home or permanent residence for you and your family.