If you’re planning to be in Charleston, South Carolina this winter – whether it’s for a wedding at one of the city’s historic venues, or just a scenic holiday vacation in the Holy City – you should make sure to check out one of the many exciting events and activities that will be happening while you’re in town. It may be tempting to spend your whole trip luxuriating in bed if you’re staying in Charleston at a cozy bed and breakfast retreat, but we can assure you won’t regret getting out and exploring what this beautiful area has to offer. Read on to learn more about some of the fantastic seasonal events that are happening this December.
Holiday Pub Crawl (Nov 29 – Jan 10)
If you’d like to see some of the sights while also quaffing a hearty glass of spirits or ale, the holiday pub crawl is an excellent choice. You’ll visit four historic pubs and munch on complimentary treats and snacks while sipping on your beverage of choice. The tour lasts approximately two and a half hours, and your friendly guide will regale you with historic tales while you walk (or crawl) between venues.
Charleston Comedy Festival (Jan 15-18)
This year marks the 17th annual Charleston Comedy Festival, and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. You’ll bust a gut taking in dozens of hilarious performances spread out across venues all over the city. This year’s lineup features a healthy mix of hometown favorites and nationally-touring headliners and will showcase some of today’s brightest stars from the worlds of standup, improv, and sketch comedy.
Charleston Bridal Show (Jan 26)
If you’re currently planning a wedding, or even just thinking about getting married in the near future, the annual Charleston Bridal Show is a must-visit for both you and your bridal party. This year’s show is taking place at the Shriner’s Auditorium and will feature over 100 vendors in a fun and interactive environment. You can check out all the latest bridal fashions while sampling delicious hors d’oeuvres and wedding cakes, all set to live music provided by local musicians. You’ll also have the opportunity to talk to representatives from some of Charleston’s luxurious mansion wedding venues, who may be able to host your dream wedding right here in the Holy City.
Charleston Jazz Festival (Jan 23-26)
Fans of live music also won’t want to miss this annual showcase of some of the biggest names in jazz today. Every year jazz-lovers from all over the southeast come out to hear local musicians and international stars alike perform songs covering the whole spectrum of jazz, from swing to bop to avant-garde improvisation. The schedule this year features an eclectic mix of acts performing in classic music venues all over the city, so if you’re in town while the festival is on don’t be surprised if your toes start involuntarily tapping and leading you towards the beat.
Charleston Coffee Fest (Feb 9)
For coffee lovers, Charleston’s annual Coffee Fest is the “hottest” event of the season (get it?). Showcasing the city’s burgeoning coffee culture, this year’s festival will feature hometown and regional roasters, food from some of the area’s most popular brunch spots, and work from a variety of local artisans. The 2020 festival is happening at a new venue, Lo-Fi Brewing, and will run from 10:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m on Sunday, February 9.
Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (Feb 14-16)
If you love animals and you’ll be in town mid-February, you’ve got to check out the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, located in the Shops at Belmond Charleston Place. This annual expo showcases a huge assortment of animals and plant life, and is a great event for wildlife lovers of all ages. From art exhibits to educational talks, live demonstrations to bumping parties, the SEWE is more fun than a barrel of monkeys.
Charleston Remodeling Expo (Feb 21-23)
If you’re planning to make some upgrades to your property this year, the Charleston Remodelling Expo is a great place to go for ideas. With wall-to-wall exhibits and a host of knowledgeable experts to answer all of your home renovation questions, you’ll find the inspiration to create the home of your dreams everywhere you look. And the best part is, admission is only $3, and people under the age of 18 get in free!
Lowcountry Irish Fest (Feb 23)
Charleston has a rich and unique Irish history, so if you’d like to get in touch with your Celtic roots the Lowcountry Irish Fest is the perfect place to do it. The 2020 festival will include live pipe and drum music, traditional Irish dancing, and a number of fascinating exhibits celebrating Irish arts and culture. Snacks and beverages, including Guinness and Jameson, of course, will also be available if you’d like to sample a little taste of the old Blarney.
Whatever you’re into, Charleston likely has something fun for you and your loved ones to check out this winter. If it’s your first time visiting, be aware that even though winter in the southeast isn’t nearly as chilly as in other parts of the country, it can still get brisk from time to time. It’s a good idea to dress in layers, so be sure to pack a sweater and a light jacket.
Although the eight examples mentioned above are all great opportunities to explore the city and experience authentic Chucktown culture, there are also plenty of other events and activities to partake in this winter. The helpful folks at the local Visitor Centre can provide you with details on a whole slew of other things to do while you’re in town, so don’t be afraid to pop in and say hello once you arrive.