Charleston is renowned for its history, beautiful architecture, endless beaches, and thriving restaurant scene. But, it’s also known for its many festivals and events. Long story short, we know how to have a good time here in Charleston, SC.
If you’re looking for all of the can’t-miss events in Charleston this spring and summer, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite upcoming events to help make your trip to Charleston a little easier. Here’s 20 events in Charleston that we just can’t wait to attend.
1. Sunday Brunch Farmers Market
On Sundays throughout the year, get outside and support local vendors at the Sunday Brunch Farmers Market. Vendors include local restaurants, artists, farms, clothing retailers, and more. You can truly get all of your shopping done in one place while supporting local businesses. After all, shopping locally helps preserve the character of any city, and Charleston has a lot of character to preserve. After you’ve done some shopping, sit down with a tasty lunch, and watch some live music and other entertainment. It’s the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Dates: Every Sunday
Location: 1977 Maybank Highway
2. Charleston Farmers Market
For another opportunity to support local vendors, head to the Charleston Farmers Market on Saturdays throughout spring, summer, and fall. Since 1989, the Charleston Farmers Market has been bringing you the best of what Charleston provides in centrally located Marion Square. Vendors include local farmers, artisans, and food & beverage, promising a plethora of gifts, goodies, and tasty treats to choose from. Whether you’re looking to splurge for yourself or for a friend, this is the place to be.
Dates: Saturdays through November 26
Location: Marion Square
3. Weekend Wine Down
Every Saturday, come to Charleston’s only domestic vineyard for wine tasting, delicious local food, and live music on beautiful Wadmalaw Island. The vineyard offers several walking trails where you can look at the garden, pond, and animals on the property. It’s a family- and dog-friendly location, so your kids and four-legged friends are more than welcome. Previous musical guests include the Cotton Blue Band, Jah Creation, Trickknee, and more. It’s a great way to try some wine, get outside, and support local music.
Dates: Every Saturday
Location: Deep Water Vineyard
4. Charleston Art Walk
Support local artists and explore some of the best that Charleston has to offer at Charleston’s Art Walk. This self-guided walking tour will take you through participating locations where you can get a taste of local cuisine and check out the latest from Charleston’s artists. Stores will extend their hours so that you can browse at your own pace, picking up clothing, art pieces, or whatever else your heart desires. If you’ve been looking for a way to support local artists and get to know Charleston’s downtown area a little better, then this is an event that you won’t want to miss.
Dates: Third Thursday of every month (dates subject to change)
Location: Participating venues in Downtown Charleston
5. Festival of Houses and Gardens
This isn’t your standard festival of homes. The 75th annual festival includes tours of beautiful, historic homes and gardens alongside other festivities like concerts, wine tastings, and lectures. This event is meant to educate the public about the beautiful architecture that this city is known for. It teaches the importance of historical sites and the significance of architecture in South Carolina. Whether you love architecture, history, art, or a little of all three, you’ll find something to enjoy at the Festival of Houses and Gardens. Click here to see a full list of festival offerings.
Dates: Through April 19
Location: Throughout Charleston
Purchase tickets here
6. Oysters on the Point
For an oyster grill like none other, come to Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. Featuring buckets of steamed oysters, live music, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, beach games, and more, this is more than just a great way to fill your belly. It’s a full-on event. Sandwiches and hot dogs are also available for purchase for the pickier eaters. Can’t make it this time? The Charleston Harbor Resort hosts this event monthly. Check out their Facebook page for upcoming events.
7. Flowertown Festival
Support the local Y while enjoying a family-fun springtime event. Founded in 1973, this event has brought thousands to Summerville each year to enjoy beautiful springtime flowers and Southern hospitality. Other activities include local food vendors, work by local artists, rides and activities, and of course, plenty of colorful flowers. Admission and parking is free. This year, masks and social distancing are still encouraged, and there will be plenty of hand sanitizing station that attendees will be encouraged to use.
Dates: Friday, April 1 – Sunday, April 3
Location: Summerville Family YMCA
8. Charleston Antiques Show
Whether you love antiques, you’re looking for a new piece, or you adore history, you’ll love the Charleston Antiques Show. Featuring dealers from all over the US and Europe, here you’ll find some of the finest antique furniture, art and ceramics, rugs, silver, prints, and more. Charleston has become a location of choice because of its rich architectural history and cultural preservation. What better way to check out some of the finest antiques than with a backdrop such as Charleston?
9. Firefly on the Bayou
Be a part of a brand new tradition! The first annual Firefly on the Bayou starts this year. This family-friendly event features live music by New Breed Brass Band and The Battery Brass Band and food from Louisiana Crawfish Boil and various food trucks all on the beautiful Firefly Distillery property. Wine, beer, and Firefly drinks will also be available for purchase. This is an outdoor event, so bring blankets and chairs if you’d like to sit.
10. Charleston Gay Bingo
Have loads of fun and support a good cause at the annual Charleston Gay Bingo event. Featuring glitter, rainbows, endlessly entertaining hosts, and of course, bingo, this event raises awareness and funds for the continuing HIV/AIDs epidemic while celebrating the LGBTQ community. Drinks will be available for purchase, and ticket options include general admission, VIP tickets, reserved tables, and more. This year’s theme is leather and lipstick, and prizes will be given for best dressed, so don’t be afraid to get a little crazy with the attire.
11. Lowcountry Cajun Festival
Looking to mix a little of the Lowcountry and Louisiana? The Lowcountry Cajun Festival offers the perfect opportunity. Enjoy a full day of live Zydeco music, kids’ activities, Cajun and Creole food: jambalaya, alligator, and etouffee, alongside Southern BBQ and seafood. There will also be loads of other vendors so that you can pick up a souvenir and support local businesses. Bring your empty bellies and your dancing shoes for a full day of good times.
12. Lowcountry Strawberry Festival
Since 1997, Boone Hall has brought the joy of fresh strawberries and spring with their Lowcountry Strawberry Festival. This year, the festival is back, and it’s better than ever. Adults and kids alike will love activities like acrobatic dogs, pig races, pie eating contests, a petting zoo, amusement rides, live entertainment, and more. Plus, all the strawberries you can pick!
13. Charleston Cocktail Week
Enjoy unique drink and dinner specials at some of Charleston’s best, award-winning restaurants at Charleston Cocktail Week. This 7-day festival celebrates one of the greatest aspects of Charleston: our thriving food scene. Ticket holders will enjoy discounts and specials at restaurants and bars like Nico’s, Hotel Emeline, Neon Tiger, and more. The $15 passes benefit local non-profits Pop-Up for a Purpose and the Lowcountry Food Bank, so you’ll get to dine in style while positively impacting the local community. What else could you ask for?
Dates: Monday, April 18 – Sunday, April 24
Location: At participating locations throughout Charleston
Purchase tickets here
14. The Charleston Jazz Festival
The Charleston Jazz Festival is back! This annual favorite for both locals and visitors to Charleston features some of the greatest jazz artists from home and abroad. This year’s lineup features big names like the Emmet Cohen Trio, the Jorge Luis Pacheco Quartet, and more. Began in 2015, the Charleston Jazz Festival celebrates the thriving jazz scene Charleston is known for. Past performances included big names like Bobby McFerrin, Regina Carter, and more. There’s even a Family Jazz Day on Sunday, April 24 where you can introduce the kids to this fabulous musical genre. Check out multiple ticket options, including single shows and multi-day packages.
15. 45th Annual Edisto Natchez-Kusso Pow Wow
If you’re looking to get out of Charleston, come to Ridgeville for the Edisto Natchez-Kusso Pow Wow. Learn about the Edisto Natchez-Kusso tribe and watch Native American dancers and craftsmen. Other activities include a drum contest and other educational events. This tribe is native to South Carolina, and they appear in historical documents as early as 1670. As a current non-profit, they seek to preserve their history and heritage.
Dates: Friday, April 22 – Sunday, April 24
Location: 1125 Ridge Rd, Ridgeville, SC
Tickets: Pay a small admission fee at the event
16. North Charleston Arts Fest
This five-day annual event seeks to celebrate the thriving arts and culture scene in Charleston. Including the greatest artists in dance, music, theatre, literature, visual arts, and more, the North Charleston Arts Fest makes the art world accessible to all. Enjoy complimentary wine and beer at the Opening Celebration where you can enjoy artists’ demos, live music, and more. Throughout the week, participate in daily activities that will both entertain and educate. And, on May 6, participate in the fan-favorite Arty Block Party where you can enjoy all things art, food, and fun.
Dates: Monday, May 4 – Friday, May 8
Location: Venues TBA
17. Spoleto Festival USA
The internationally recognized Spoleto Festival brings renowned artists of the performing arts to Charleston for a weeks-long event. Charleston is an apt choice for what has been called “America’s premier performing arts festival” for its beautiful architecture, offering a beautiful backdrop for the classical arts. The Spoleto festival consists of performances including operas, theaters, dance performances, and live music across Charleston in many historic venues. All lovers of art need to attend this event.
Dates: Friday, May 27 – Sunday, June 12
Location: Across Charleston
Purchase tickets here
18. Charleston Carifest
After a two-year hiatus, the Charleston Carifest is back! A celebration of Caribbean culture during Caribbean American Heritage Month, it serves to bring the community together and have an amazing, boisterous time. Culminating in a parade on King’s Street on Saturday, the event showcases beautiful Carnival costumes, Caribbean food and entertainment, and more.
Dates: Thursday, June 16 – Saturday, June 18
Location: 181 Lockwood Dr, Charleston
19. Charleston Pride Parade
For bright colors, beautiful costumes, fantastic music, and a whole lot of Pride, watch the Charleston Pride Parade this June. Participants will be showing off their style in whatever way they choose. After the parade, head to Brittlebrand Park to listen to speakers, get some food at one of the local vendors, grab a drink, and otherwise celebrate the day. It’s a day for inclusion, love, and of course, Pride.
Dates: Saturday, June 25
Location: Kings Street
20. Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival
Journey a little outside of Charleston this July for the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival. Meant to highlight the Gullah Geechee people’s history and contributions, this festival boasts free admission and activities, promising a low budget and family-friendly day. Browse beautiful Sweetgrass Baskets made in the traditional style, enjoy entertainment from members of the Gullah Geechee tribe, and learn about the first people to call this area home.
Dates: Saturday, July 23
Location: Mt. Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park