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Things to Do in Charleston this Summer

Friday, May 13, 2016


Summer is just around the corner, and there are plenty of things to do and see around town! Here are few ways to make the most of your summer vacation in Charleston…

Explore the Arts

 •  Enjoy a variety of performances and exhibits by local and national artists. The Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto festivals run May 27th – June 12th, and many events are free to attend.
 •  Peruse Gallery Row with other art lovers. First Friday Art Walks take place on Broad St. (steps from our front door), and summer installations will be June 3rd, July 1st and August 5th. 
 •  The Charleston Music Hall has a lot to offer this summer as well, including a new variety show (show opens in July).
 •  Learn more about Charleston’s sweet grass basket tradition during the Charleston Museum’s basket weaving workshop (June 11th). 


Spoleto Performances from Yester-Year, Photo from Facebook


Take a Tour

 •  Historic homes, like The Governor’s House Inn, abound in downtown Charleston, and you should make a point to go visit some. The Historic Foundation has opened two houses to the public, and tours are extremely affordable. 
 •  Seasonal tours, like the Sunset Sail aboard the Schooner Pride, are another great way to see the city.


Get Your Feet Wet

 •  Charleston summers can be rather warm, but the breeze at Waterfront Park is spectacular! We recommend dipping your toes in the Pineapple Fountain, which is open for wading year round.
 •  With complimentary on-site parking, many of our guests opt to take a day trip to the beach. The Isle of Palms, Sullivans Island and Folly Beach are all a short drive away.


Celebrate the 4th

 •  Did you know that The Governor’s House Inn was owned by the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence? Why not celebrate America’s birthday by booking a stay in our Independence Suite!
 •  Patriots Point hosts South Carolina’s largest 4th of July celebration. You can board the Yorktown with other party goers or simply watch the fireworks over Charleston Harbor from a rooftop bar downtown. 


Ready to start planning your summer vacation? Peruse available rooms at The Governor’s House Inn online, or contact our innkeeper to learn more.


Spoleto 2016 Opens May 27th

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Photo from
Spoleto USA, which is approaching its 40th season, will open in Charleston May 27th. The 17-day arts festival released a thrilling lineup in January, and you can visit for a complete list of shows.


Porgy and Bess is among the most highly anticipated performances of Spoleto 2016, and it is already sold out. We sincerely hope to host some lucky guests in May or June who were able to snag tickets! This will be the third time the Gaillard Center has hosted Porgy and Bess. The production, which was written in Charleston in 1934, wasn’t performed here until 1970. It was the Gaillard’s first integrated performance.


Spoleto goers can learn more about this year’s productions through the Spoleto Salon series. Artist talks will take place every Tuesday throughout the festival.
And if critically acclaimed artists from around the nation weren’t enough, there’s more! Every year, Charleston’s office of cultural affairs hosts the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Like Spoleto USA, Piccolo Spoleto is a multimedia arts festival that runs from May 27th-June 12th. The festival focuses on the work of Southeastern artists, many of whom are local, and hundreds of events will take place around town, many of which will be free to attend.


The Piccolo Spoleto calendar of events is scheduled to be released this month.* Visit for updates or to join their email list. The box office opens May 2nd. 


Stay in the Heart of Downtown Charleston


The Governor’s House Inn is located in the historic district on Broad Street. Shopping, fine dining, art galleries and other historic attractions are all within walking distance, and we are only a few blocks away from the US Custom House where Spoleto opening night festivities take place. Book online to take advantage of our May Getaway deal, or contact the Innkeeper to customize your stay.



*UPDATE 4/28/16: Piccolo Spoleto has released the 2016 calendar of events


*UPDATE 5/13/16: Porgy and Bess is completely sold out, but the opening night performance will broadcast live in Marion Square.


Charleston's Festival of Houses & Gardens

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The 69th Annual Festival of Houses & Gardens is underway, and we are very pleased to announce our involvement! The Governor’s House Inn was recently featured on the Broad Street Tour, and we will be featured again in April…

- King Street Tour Saturday, April 8th 
- King Street Tour Sunday, April 10th 


Tours of historic homes and gardens will continue throughout the month (until April 24th), and there are a variety of events to attend…
- Tours 
We hope you will celebrate the history and beauty of downtown Charleston with us! Click to see available rooms or contact the Innkeeper to plan your stay. Read on to learn about other upcoming events and festivals.

Charleston Events – April and May 2016

- Cooper River Bridge Run April 2nd 

- Second Sunday on King April 10th
- Nuit Belge at Memminger Auditorium April 16th 

- Spoleto opens May 27th 

- Piccolo Spoleto opens in May, events to be announced in April 
- Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square every Saturday in April
- Shows by 34 West are The Beaux Strategem and Runaround Sue 


Winter Weeknights in Charleston

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Charleston is always a good idea—every month of the year and every day of the week. Many travelers hold out for spring, and there are plenty of reasons as to why... The weather is spectacular, and the Holy City’s social calendar absolutely explodes in March, when “tourist season” officially begins. 

Beat the heat, avoid crowds and spend less on your accommodations by booking during the “off-season.” You can save even more on rooms and airfare by traveling mid-week (Tuesday or Wednesday), and there are plenty of things to do in Charleston during the week. Fine dining and shopping are always an option, and local eateries have phenomenal happy hour specials. Businesses also host a variety of special events that make Monday-Friday even more fun!


Swing on King

Prohibition, located on upper King, offers free swing dance lessons two nights a week (7:00pm on Wednesdays and 6:00pm on Sundays). Visit for more information on dances and live musical performances.


Take in a Show

Groovy Kinda’ Love was such a hit in 2015 that the 34 West Company has brought it back for an encore performance. Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday shows will run through the month of February. Visit for details. A new production, The Seat of Justice, by the Charleston Stage Company will open February 17th. Visit to secure your tickets.



Shop like a Local

Locals converge on King once a month for Second Sunday, when the street shuts down to through traffic. Local businesses open street side cafes, and it is the perfect atmosphere for leisure shopping. The next installation of Second Sunday will be February 14th from 1:00pm until 5:00pm.


Find that Loving Feeling

Valentine’s Day is Sunday, February 14th! With five star restaurants and a charming accommodations Charleston is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway, and our staff is eager to go above and beyond to make your stay extra special. The Charleston area also offers a variety of festive events. Local artist Elise Testone will return to the Charleston Music Hall for her 4th Valentine’s Day show, which is sure to be a treat. Visit for details and a list of other local events.


Laugh out Loud

Charleston’s burgeoning comedy scene is home to a host of open mic nights and comedy clubs that offer weeknight shows. Our favorites include The Black Fedora Comedy Theatre and Theatre 99.


There is still time to visit Charleston before busy season begins, and we are eager to host your fun-filled stay. Peruse available rooms online, or contact the innkeeper to plan your getaway.




Planning a Charleston Wedding

Monday, November 30, 2015

Photo courtesy of Wild Cotton Photography


Historic churches, cobblestone streets and a flourishing social scene that is rich in Southern charm… Charleston has it all! It’s the perfect wedding destination, and the Holy City is so much fun that planning your wedding can be just as enjoyable as the wedding itself.


You can cover a lot of territory over the course of a few days if you play your cards right. We encourage brides to make a weekend of it! Here’s how…

Book a Room

Have you given any thought to where your wedding guests might stay? Do you have a hotel or historic bed and breakfast (hint hint) in mind? If so, consider booking a room there (even if you live locally). A wedding planning vacation (or staycation) is a wonderful way to spend time with close friends and family members. There are practical benefits as well. You get to experience a trial run of your potential wedding weekend accommodations and can meet with staff members to discuss event spaces (for receptions, brunches or lunches).

Friday – Arrive

If you are booking a weekend in downtown Charleston, arrive on Friday. That way you can enjoy a leisure evening and still have a full weekend for wedding planning.

Saturday – Go Shopping

Start with the dress! Our favorite places to go wedding dress shopping downtown are Fabulous Frocks and Modern Troussaeu. We recommend making an appointment in advance. There are plenty of places nearby to pause for a cocktail or a bite to eat. And if things get stressful, your girlfriends can leisurely shop at neighboring stores while you make major decisions.

Use Saturday afternoon to scout out venues, and unwind over dinner.

Sunday – Attend a Bridal Show

Bridal shows are a great way to shop for vendors, and Charleston hosts at least two per year (winter and summer). The next installation of The Charleston Bridal Show is scheduled for Sunday, January 24th. The event will be at the Gailliard Center on Calhoun Street. Doors open at 12:00pm, so you will have plenty of time to grab brunch before. Admission is $10, and there is no need to purchase tickets in advance. Visit the show's Facebook page for more information.  

Visit The Governor’s House Inn

We would love the opportunity to host your wedding guests or bridal party. The Governor’s House Inn is also available for small ceremonies (less than 30 guests). Visit our weddings page for more information, or contact the innkeeper (843.720.2070) to schedule a property visit.

Congratulations, and happy planning!

Charleston's Jazz Scene

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Charleston’s burgeoning jazz scene is attracting national attention thanks to a local nonprofit, Jazz Artists of Charleston. Restaurant goers can now enjoy live musical performances every night of the week, and we’ve put together a short list of our favorite spots… 



Eli’s Table


Eli’s Table is located on Meeting Street beside the Gibbes Museum of Art. The restaurant offers a diverse menu, outdoor seating a live jazz performances every Wednesday evening. Visit for more information.

The Mezz

The Mezz is a renovated Jazz club located in the heart of downtown Charleston above Sermet’s on King Street. The club serves lunch and dinner and hosts live music Wednesday through Saturday. The Mezz becomes a piano bar every Wednesday night at 7:00, and the Joe Clark Trio plays every Friday. Visit for more information.


Barsa is a Spanash influenced tapas bar and restaurant. Thursday nights are “Jazz Jam” nights and feature musical stylings from Steve Simon and the Kings of Jazz. Visit for more information.

High Cotton

High Cotton, located on East Bay Street, prides itself in Lowcountry cuisine prepared with local ingredients. The restaurant also features live music every night of the week with performances by Cattle in the Cane, the James Slater Trio and the Frank Duval Trio. Visit for details.

Many other popular Charleston restaurants, including Halls Chophouse and Fish, offer live music. For an extensive list of jazz performances visit

Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Travel Plans

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Image courtesy of 

Thanksgiving is a holiday steeped in tradition—the Macy’s parade, turkey, trimmings, family, football and pumpkin pie. We adore the warmth of it all and so do you, but sometimes you just need a change.

If you are seeking a change of pace, Charleston may be the answer. An increasing number of local restaurants are hosting Thanksgiving meals. The following are just a few of the delicious dining establishments who participated in 2014:
  •  -  Charleston Grill
  •  -  Hall's Chophouse
  •  -  High Cotton
  •  -  Magnolia's
  •  -  Oak Steakhouse
  •  -  Poogan's Porch
  •  -  Virginia's on King
Stay tuned for special Thanksgiving 2015 menus. We will be sharing our favorites on Facebook and Twitter.

After you’ve enjoyed a beautiful meal (and someone else has done the dishes), you may want to fill the weekend with other holiday season festivities. Most downtown retailers are open for Black Friday, and many local retailers will have Small Business Saturday specials as well. The Holiday Festival of Lights is also open every evening after November 13th.  

If you are planning ahead to keep things simple, online booking is available for your convenience, or you can call our innkeeper (800-720-9812) to book your accommodations over the phone.

*UPDATE 10/14/15 - The 38th Annual Turkey Day Run is scheduled for Thursday, November 26th. The event starts at 9:00am, and with free food, drinks and family activities, it is sure to be a lot of fun! Visit for details.  

*UPDATE 11/18/15 - Several downtown restaurants still have Thanksgiving Day tables available. Visit for details.  



Charleston Activities for Art Lovers

Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Thousands flock to Charleston every year for its rich history and culinary scene, but Holy City culture certainly has a whole lot more to offer. The arts play a large role in the allure of Charleston. Here are just a few of our favorite activities for art aficionados…

Gallery Row on Broad Street in Historic Downtwon Charleston 

First Friday

Art lovers gather on Broad Street the first Friday of every month to peruse Gallery Row. The area boasts a variety of fine art (contemporary pieces, portraiture and works from local artisans), and it is conveniently located to The Governor’s House Inn (mere steps away). First Friday is a wonderful opportunity to engage with gallery owners, artists and fellow art lovers. Gallery Row is also home to several boutiques and Oak Steakhouse, which we highly recommend.

Night Market

The Historic Charleston City Market remains open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:30pm until 10:30pm. The Night market features the work of local artisans, and live music and street performances are often present as well. For more information visit

MOJA Arts Festival – September 2015

The 2015 MOJA Arts Festival opens September 24th and will last through October 5th. The festival is a celebration of African American and Caribbean influences on Western culture and features a wide range of events including visual art displays, musical performances (gospel, jazz, R&B, etc.), storytelling, theatrical performances and so much more. MOJA events are open to the public and many are free. Visit for event details.

Charleston International Film Festival – November 2015

The 2015 International Film Festival here in Charleston is scheduled for November 4-8. The festival will explore all genres through features, documentaries, short films and animations. Work by local, national and international filmmakers will be on display. In addition to screenings, festival goers attend after parties, workshops and a closing awards gala. Visit for more details.

Annual Charleston Antiques Show – March 2016

The Annual Charleston Antiques Show is a must see event for collectors and decorators. Furniture and other antiques will be present, but the show also a features a variety of fine art and vintage prints. The Preview Party is scheduled for Thursday, March 17, 2016, and the show will last March 18th through the 20th. 

Piccolo Spoleto Festival – May 2016

Piccolo Spoleto is of course the most popular art attraction. The festival begins in May and lasts through the first week in June. 

Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival – June 2016

The Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival occurs annually in June. It is a unique cultural showcase featuring Gullah crafts, gospel performances, basket weaving and more. Visit for more information.   


More to Love…

The Charleston Gallery Association puts on even more art events; the most popular being The Palette & Palate Stroll (in July) and the Charleston Fine Art Weekend (in November). These events are popular among locals, but you can learn more by visiting

New visual and performing arts events are announced throughout the year. Stay tuned to the Charleston Visitor’s Bureau for the latest and greatest news.

September in Charleston

Tuesday, August 04, 2015


There are plenty of reasons to visit Charleston this September. The dog days will soon be over, and we are eagerly anticipating pleasant, 70-something weather! We’re also excited about Charleston Restaurant Week! More than 30 of the area’s most popular eateries have confirmed participation, and that list will likely grow to 100 or more establishments between now and September 9th.
Restaurant Week is an open invitation to eat like you've never eaten before! The 11 day affair (September 9th through the 20th) is hosted by the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, and you can visit their website to learn more about participating restaurants and peruse prix fixe menus. The latest and greatest updates and menu additions will also be available on the CRW app. Visit the app store and search "Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, Inc." to download. 
The  MOJA Arts Festival also occurs in September. MOJA, which is a celebration of Caribbean and African-American arts, begins September 25th, and you can visit to learn more about specific events and featured artists. 
And if that's not enough reason to visit Charleston this September, Southern Living's Taste of Charleston  is scheduled for September 27th!


We hope you will come visit with us! Remember that all accommodations (The Governor’s House included) book quickly this time of year. Book your room online or call our innkeeper (843.720.2070) to start planning your vacation today!

The Charleston Bridal Show is Back

Monday, July 20, 2015

So you want to get married in Charleston? Well, it's the perfect time of year to start making some decisions! The Charleston Bridal show is this Sunday, July 26th. Tickets are $10 at the door, and there is no need to preregister. Get all the bridal show details at


Photo courtesy of Wild Cotton Photography


A representative from the Governor's House will not be in attendance, but it's a great time to get in touch with our innkeeper, especially if you are already planning some venue tours. The inn, located in the historic district of downtown Charleston, is ideal for bridal party accommodations and small, intimate weddings. Please call 843.720.2070 to schedule a property visit. 


Learn More About Our Historic Bed and Breakfast


Visit our Weddings Page to learn more about renting the entire inn. Click to view a real Governor's House wedding, and call 843.720.2070 for additional information. Our innkeeper would be happy to answer questions or schedule a visit. 



117 Broad Street

Charleston, South Carolina 29401

Toll Free: (800) 720-9812

Local: (843) 720-2070