Best Charleston Christmas Activities: Top 5 Things To Do

Top 5 Things To Do In Charleston At Christmas Time

Top 5 Things To Do In Charleston At Christmas Time

Charleston, South Carolina, is a city steeped in history, charm, and Southern hospitality. But there’s something truly magical about experiencing Charleston during the festive season. From dazzling light displays to enchanting holiday traditions, Charleston offers a myriad of activities to make your Christmas unforgettable. Here are the top five things you must do when visiting Charleston during the holiday season.

1. Explore the Historic District

Explore the Historic District

Begin your Christmas adventure by exploring Charleston’s historic district, adorned with festive decorations and twinkling lights. Take a leisurely stroll down the cobblestone streets lined with historic homes and marvel at the elaborate holiday displays. Don’t miss the iconic Rainbow Row, dressed up in its holiday best, offering the perfect backdrop for your holiday photos.

2. Visit the Charleston City Market

Visit the Charleston City Market

Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit at the Charleston City Market, where local artisans showcase their handcrafted treasures. Browse through stalls filled with unique gifts, festive decorations, and delectable treats. From intricately woven sweetgrass baskets to homemade jams and preserves, you’ll find the perfect souvenir to commemorate your Charleston Christmas experience.

Make sure to check out the Charleston City Market tours for an insider’s perspective on this beloved local attraction.

3. Experience the Holiday Festival of Lights

Experience the Holiday Festival of Lights

Venture just outside the city to James Island County Park and immerse yourself in the magic of the Holiday Festival of Lights. Marvel at millions of twinkling lights, dazzling displays, and festive attractions spread across a sprawling 3-mile drive-through route. From towering lighted trees to whimsical holiday scenes, this enchanting spectacle is sure to delight visitors of all ages.

4. Attend the Holiday Boat Parade

Attend the Holiday Boat Parade

Experience a unique Charleston tradition by attending the Holiday Boat Parade along the waterfront. Watch as festively decorated boats cruise along the harbor, adorned with twinkling lights and holiday cheer. Grab a spot along the shoreline or book a cruise for a front-row seat to this magical spectacle.

5. Indulge in Lowcountry Cuisine

Indulge in Lowcountry Cuisine

No visit to Charleston is complete without savoring the flavors of Lowcountry cuisine, especially during the holiday season. Treat your taste buds to traditional Southern delicacies like shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, and pecan pie. Whether you dine at a cozy restaurant or indulge in a festive holiday brunch, Charleston’s culinary scene is sure to leave you craving for more.

Book a Charleston culinary tour to discover the best local eateries and culinary delights the city has to offer.


Charleston, with its rich history and Southern charm, becomes even more enchanting during the Christmas season. From exploring the historic district to indulging in Lowcountry cuisine, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, experiencing Christmas in Charleston is sure to create lasting memories.

Key Takeaways

  • Charleston’s historic district is adorned with festive decorations during Christmas.
  • The Charleston City Market offers unique handcrafted gifts and treats.
  • The Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park is a must-see attraction.
  • The Holiday Boat Parade along the waterfront is a unique Charleston tradition.
  • Indulge in traditional Lowcountry cuisine for a taste of Southern hospitality.


What is the best time to visit Charleston for Christmas?

“The weeks leading up to Christmas offer the most festive atmosphere in Charleston, with holiday decorations and events in full swing. However, visiting during December generally ensures you’ll experience the magic of the season.”

Are there any other holiday events in Charleston?

“Yes, Charleston hosts a variety of holiday events, including concerts, performances, and holiday markets. Be sure to check the event calendar for the latest updates and happenings.”

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