Best Time to Visit Charleston, SC
The best time to visit Charleston, SC, is pretty much any time of year so if you are trying to decide when to reschedule, you really can’t go wrong! Charleston is known for its mild winters, fresh seafood, colorful architecture and history that dates back to the 1700s. While you’re here, you might want to check out one of our famous Charleston festivals or eat some of our iconic foods. Of course, we also recommend booking a walking tour if you really want to get to know our fair city.
Best Time to Visit Charleston, SC: Winter
Charleston is known for its mild winters. You can expect to see highs in the low 60s and lows in the 50s. The average rainfall is about six days out of the month.
December is arguably the best time to visit Charleston. The temperatures are mild, the city is a little quieter than it is in the summer — and there’s plenty of holiday fun to be had!
The Daniel Island Holiday Festival kicks off in December, and thousands of locals and visitors head here for holiday lights, carols, and live music. There are also plenty of other ways to celebrate the holiday season in Charleston — from oyster roasts to the Holiday Parade of Boats.
We think one of the best times to visit Charleston, SC, is in winter. The crowds are low, hotel prices are affordable — and you can enjoy a break from frigid weather. If you’re looking for a deal, we’ve got you covered with the best cheap Charleston, SC, hotels that don’t feel cheap.
There are also three major festivals that take place in the Holy City in January: the Lowcountry Oyster Festival, Taste of Folly, and the Jazz Festival.
February is another one of the best times to visit Charleston because this city was simply made for romance. In fact, it was named one of the most romantic cities by CNN!
If you’re headed to the Lowcountry for something other than romance, you might want to check out the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition or the Bloody Mary Festival.
Best Time to Visit Charleston: Spring
This time, we really mean it. Spring is — hands down — the best time to visit Charleston, SC. The temperature is perfect (highs in the 70s) and it only rains about five days out of the month.
There are more festivals in Charleston in March than in any other month. Head here for the Wine and Food Festival, the Volvo Open, or Charleston Fashion Week.
While you’re here, we recommend taking a Charleston History Tour if you want to see all the iconic sites of the city.
In April, Charlestonians gather for the High Water Festival, a celebration of music, art, and food. This is also a great month to visit Boone Hall Plantation, as this plantation is known for its gardens — which will be in full bloom in April.
The temperatures start climbing in May with highs just barely hitting the low 80s. Both locals and visitors come out of the woodwork to attend the Spoleto Festival, a celebration of all types of music.
Best Time to Visit Charleston: Summer
Summers in Charleston are hot and humid. This is our high tourist season — especially for families — because kids are out of school in July and August. You’ll experience temperatures in the mid-to-upper 80s in June, July and August. It also rains between seven and nine days out of the month, so don’t forget your umbrella!
We also don’t have many festivals in town during the summer (thanks to the heat and rain). We recommend the following activities in the summertime in Charleston.
Charleston Boat Ride
We think the best way to keep cool in the summer is by taking a boat ride. Charleston is surrounded by water on three sides, so there are plenty of opportunities to set sail. Paddle a kayak, take the ferry to Patriots Point or set sail on a historic schooner. There are so many different Charleston boat tours, you could take one a day and still never see all of the city’s waterways.
When Charlestonians get hot, the hot go to the beach. Charleston is known for its world-famous white-sand beaches. We have so many beaches, there’s a stretch of sand for almost every personality. From family-friendly beaches to quiet, off-the-beaten-path ones — Charleston has it all. The best beaches in Charleston, SC, include all of them.
Want to see even more beautiful South Carolina beaches? Take a Charleston day trip up the coast!
Alleys and Hidden Passages Walking Tour
What better way to avoid the sun than by exploring Charleston’s shaded alleyways and hidden passages? This tour takes you past some of the most iconic Downtown structures in Charleston. But instead of learning about well-known history, you’ll get a glimpse into the Holy City’s hidden history on this two-hour tour.
Best Time to Visit Charleston: Autumn
Autumn is Charleston’s swing season. The summer rush dies down and the weather cools down.
In September, you’ll still see highs in the 80s. Though, the humidity isn’t as intense as it is in the summer and there are fewer days of rain. The MOJA Arts Festival also rolls into town in September, featuring African-American and Caribbean art, music, dance and food.
October sees highs in the mid-70s in Charleston. You’ll also get a chance to see the city decked out for Halloween in October. The Fall Tours of Homes & Gardens offers a glimpse into some of Charleston’s most iconic historic homes.
In November, you’ll encounter even fewer tourists in the Holy City. Highs are in the upper 60s and lows are in the upper 50s, so you’ll be able to explore without worrying about the heat or packing a bulky jacket.
This month is when the Charleston International Film Festival takes place. So, should you encounter a cold or rainy day, you can always hide in the warmth of the theater.
Our hot take on the best time to visit Charleston, SC? Pretty much all year long.