Charleston Tourism At a Glance
Best Time to Visit Charleston South Carolina
Charleston offers excitement throughout the year. From mid-March through mid-April, the Festival of Homes and Gardens gives visitors access to many historic homes and private gardens that are not open to the public during the rest of the year. Come in late May and early June to experience Spoleto, the USA’s premier arts and culture festival. Or, visit during the cool fall and mild winter to see the historic sites and take long walks. During the fall you can catch the Scottish Games, the Highland Gathering in September, or the MOJA Festival that celebrates African-American culture in October. If you want to combine a tour of historic homes with a day at the beach, you’ll want to come during the summer but keep in mind the humidity is high. Click Here to find hotels in Charleston. If you need additional visitor information for Charleston, Click Here.
Average Charleston Weather
During January, the month that is closest to actually getting cold, the average temperature is a comfortable 48 degrees Fahrenheit. From June through August, temperatures are high --- usually in the 80s or above, and an umbrella is essential; summer is the rainy season with over six inches of precipitation each month. Late August and early September are considered hurricane season so keep track of storms if you’re planning a visit then. During the spring and fall, rainfall is moderate and temperatures average in the 50s, making these two seasons a great time to experience Charleston on foot.
Air Canada, Delta, Continental, US Airways, and other carriers serve Charleston International Airport. Avis, Hertz, Budget and Thrifty have airport outlets. Triangle Rent a Car has an in-town outlet that also rents handicap accessible vans. The Charleston Area Regional Transport Authority has a network of buses that serve the downtown area, the beaches and the suburbs. Downtown is efficiently covered by the DASH trolley system; tickets are available from drivers, the Charleston Visitor Reception and Transportation Center, and area Piggly Wiggly stores. Call 843-724-7420 for more information about Charleston Area Regional Transport Authority or the trolley.
Admission to historic houses and museums ranges from $7 to $15 for adults, and you’ll certainly want to sample a few of these delightful treasures. While a stroll around the Old City Market is free, you’ll find yourself tempted to do some shopping, either at the Market or in Charleston’s array of eclectic shops and upscale retailers. Charleston is one of the best shopping destinations in the Southeast --- budget accordingly. Hotel rooms in Charleston come in a full range of prices, from budget beds to luxury honeymoon hotels. During Spoleto and other events book well in advance or expect to stay in the suburbs for around $80 per night. You’ll find all the familiar fast food and moderate-priced chains in Charleston, as well as some inexpensive local eateries --- but given its well-deserved reputation as a haven for gourmets, budget at least $30-$40 for a special seafood meal with wine.
South Carolina Tourism - Charleston Attractions, Activities and Day Trips
It would be a shame to sample Charleston without spending some time by the sea. Folly Beach is only a 15-minute drive from downtown Charleston. Folly Beach has beautiful white-sand beaches, some standard seaside kitsch and is a great place to see sea turtles. Isle of Palms is another incredible choice for white-sand beaches surrounded by sea oats. Both of these beaches are a short drive yet a world away.
Edisto Beach is about forty-five miles from Charleston, and is one of the most unspoiled beaches on the East Coast. The town of Edisto Beach is lowcountry life at its best --- slow, casual and relaxed.
James Island is a triangular sea island bordered by Wappoo Creek and Charleston Harbor on the north, Morris Island and Folly Beach on the east, and the Stono River and Johns Island on the west. Ft. Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, is on the north shore of James Island. James Island is an interesting side trip; spend time combing the outdoors with a historic attraction you can visit via boat ride from Charleston. Call 843/883-3123 for more information. Admission to Fort Sumter is free; the boat trip costs, $10.50 for adults and $5.50 children six to 11. It’s free for children five and under.
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