May is a busy time in historic Charleston, full of events and annual festivals.

When the weather starts to warm, a trip to the beach provides the perfect snapshot of the Lowcountry in bloom. Temperatures are mild, days are long and tons of fun's a brewin'.

Read on for some of the best events Charleston has to offer in May.

What is the Weather in Charleston SC in May?

In May, the temperatures start to reach the high 70s and low 80s, and summer is in the air. You may even have a day in the early 90s by May, and even the lows are nice and warm. While you always want to prepare for cooler temperatures when visiting the Carolina Coast, be sure to pack your beach gear and plenty of warm weather attire. And don’t forget the sunscreen and bug repellent this time of the year.

This time of the year is perfect for being outdoors, whether that’s near the water or exploring the many historic attractions and activities throughout the Lowcountry.

Things to do in Charleston SC in May

  • Visit Middleton Place

Middleton Place is a National Historic Landmark and considered to be America’s Oldest Landscaped Gardens. In addition to the 65 acres of ornate gardens, Middleton Place boasts a museum and restaurant and hosts regular guided tours of the gardens, museum, and historic livestock breeds that still reside on the property.

  • Bike Kiawah Island’s Bike Paths & Trails

Kiawah Island has 30 miles of paved trails and 10 miles of hard-packed beach trails to explore. This time of the year is near perfect for biking, and there are plenty of spots to dip into the water if you break a sweat. Biking on Kiawah is perfect for all ages and skill levels, and you can spend an hour or an entire day on the trails here.

  • Book a Fishing Charter

The Charleston Coast is perfect for anglers of all experience levels. There are dozens of fishing charters throughout the Charleston area that offer a wide variety of chartered trip options that include nearshore, inshore, surf fishing, deep sea, and more. Fishing charters are a great way to get out on the water with a local expert who knows the waters and where to find fish based on season and conditions.

  • Get Aboard a Charleston Boat Tour

Prefer not to cast a line while you’re out on the water? No problem. Charleston and the coastal islands offer boat tours to watch a stunning sunset, see dolphins in the wild, go birdwatching, or view Charleston’s iconic landmarks from the water. Take a scenic trip out to Morris Island, Fort Sumter, Sullivan’s Island, and more!


Can't Miss Charleston Events in May

Every May, Spoleto takes over the Holy City for 17 days and nights, shining a spotlight on internationally renowned and emerging artists. The celebrated performing arts festival takes place May 27 - June 12, 2022, throughout multiple venues in Charleston featuring music, dance, and theatre performances. Started in 1977 by Gian Carlo Menotti, this highly attended 2-week festival was inspired by the Festival Dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, and is now America’s leading performing arts festival.

Running simultaneously with the Spoleto Festival, Piccolo Spoleto is its performing arts sister festival focuses on local talent and regional performers, particularly from the southeast. Witness some of the edgiest, most provocative performances. May 27 - June 12, 2022, don't miss it!  Performances and schedule of events TBA.

  • Charleston River Dogs

Book your ticket now to attend the Charleston River Dogs’ opening game. May marks the start of the season with the first home game of the year. If you’ve never been to a game at “The Joe,” there’s no better time to root for the home team.

  • The North Charleston Arts Festival

The North Charleston Art Festival is an annual five-day celebration of the arts! This year, the festival will take place May 4-8th, 2022. Events throughout the festival include an art block party, exhibitions, competitions for sculptures, fine art, and photography, as well as concerts and even a magic show! Get in touch with the art scene in Charleston!

The Annual Charleston Beer Week typically takes place in May, highlighting a wide variety of craft beer brands enjoyed in the Holy City! The Charleston craft beer scene has blown up over the last decade. We now have over 30 breweries, pubs and craft-beer focused restaurants. Charleston Beer Week offers locals and visitors alike, the opportunity to get outside and enjoy a wide variety of unique events. In 2022, event organizers are optimistic the event will still go on, but dates have not yet been announced.  In the meantime, check out our complete guide to the best breweries in Charleston.

Kiawah Island & Seabrook Island May Events

  • Mother's Day Brunch on Seabrook

A brunch honoring all Mothers will take place Sunday, May 8, 2022. Please contact the Seabrook Island Club for additional information and reservations at 843.768.2500.

Join your neighbors for a preview of the performances scheduled for Piccolo Spoleto.  This free event will be held at Holy Spirit Catholic Church on Betsy Kerrison Parkway.  The event time is 4:00 pm.  There is no charge for the show but a ticket is required to attend.  Tickets will be released on April 15, 2022, at 9:00 am.  Get tickets HERE

Freshfields Village comes alive with the groove of beach music on Tuesday nights from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Lakeside Dock in Freshfields Village.  Learn the Shag or show off your fancy footwork!  Sponsored by Doin' the Charleston!

Located at Charleston Collegiate School on Johns Island every Saturday from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm.  Bring your tote bag and grab some fresh goodies!  The Sea Island Farmers Market features seasonal produce, fresh baked goods, prepared foods, and arts and crafts.

Held the 3rd Saturday of each month, or May 21, 2022, at Freshfields Village on the green.  Grab a coffee and fresh pastry from Java Java Freshfields.  There is also a Starbucks Coffee kiosk in the Harris Teeter Grocery store.  Polish those chrome vendors and air intakes and bring your vintage or classic automobile!  You don't need a car to join the fun.  Stroll the green with fellow auto enthusiasts and enjoy the eclectic array of autos from Austin Healeys, to Corvettes, and Model Fords!

Head over to Mingo Point on Kiawah Island on May 28 and let's get the summer party started!  Roasted oysters, BBQ, smoked chicken, and succulent side dishes and desserts are on the menu.  Kiawah Island Resort hosts this traditional summer party featuring live music and games for the kids.  Read more and get tickets here.

Grab a blanket or your favorite lawn chair and head up to Freshfields Village for a party!  Complimentary music on the Green starts at 6:00 pm on Friday, May 27, and Saturday, May 28.  Get the summer started off with some neighborly fun and live music.

Beach Memorial Day Kiawah Seabrook

If you are spending the holiday at the beach, then you’ll find a variety of Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island Memorial Day weekend events to attend.

Every year, Charleston’s sea islands kick off Memorial Day weekend with live music, great food, poolside parties, and more. Click Here for a few of our islands’ summer traditions and festivities!