The Charleston Coast From Our View...
When it comes to laid-back coastal living, it doesn’t get any better than Seabrook Island. Just a 30-minute drive from downtown Charleston, this wonderful island community strikes the perfect balance of modern amenities and unspoiled nature.
With a phenomenal year-round climate, pristine beaches and year-round activities, it’s easy to see why Seabrook Island is an ideal place to live, work and play. This private island is a quiet oasis, full of natural splendor and outdoor recreation.
But don’t mistake this beautiful barrier island for your average summer resort town. Explore the secluded charms of Seabrook Island and you’ll soon discover why residents love living here year-round.
THE UNIQUE CHARMS OF SEABROOK ISLAND
Whether you’re a retiree, a working family or simply want your own private oasis to relax, Seabrook Island is sure to delight. This 2,200-acre island may be small, but it has a lot to offer its residents.
Although you’ll find many of the usual high-end amenities on Seabrook, the island has plenty of unique attributes that make it distinct from other Charleston-area resorts.
Unlike other beach resort areas in Charleston, Seabrook Island doesn’t have many amenities for tourists. In fact, there are no hotels on the island. Seabrook Island offers rental villas and condos that blend in with the area’s natural scenery. Although this offers fewer rental options to those who wish to vacation on Seabrook, locals enjoy having the quieter pace of life that having fewer tourists provides.
One significant benefit to living on Seabrook Island is that locals can enjoy the summer months without the congestion caused by a huge number of vacationers. Less tourism also keeps the island feeling like one big neighborhood.
Commitment to Sustainability
The unspoiled beauty of Seabrook is a deep source of pride for the island community. Locals are committed to preserving their island for future generations and have implemented numerous sustainable management practices to support these efforts.
Because of these efforts, the island received the Audubon International Sustainable Community certification—the first community in South Carolina to receive this status and the 75th in the United States. The certification indicates the completion of management practices and policies addressing 14 focus areas, such as wildlife conservation, energy efficiency, health and transportation.
Seabrook is also involved with the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program and retains Audubon certification for both of its golf courses.
No Master Developer
Do you dislike being told what you can and can’t do when building a home? Seabrook Island is distinctly residential in that it has no master developer. That means residents have the freedom to create their own private oasis without strict limitations.
Enjoy an existing home tucked away in live oaks, lush foliage and palmetto trees, or build your own from the ground up. Whichever option you choose, your Seabrook Island home will be perfectly situated in a balance of modern amenities and natural beauty. Click here to view current listings: Seabrook Island real estate
Small, Yet Vibrant Community
Although the island is gated, the Seabrook Island community is friendly, displaying the same Southern charm that Charleston is famous for. Whether you’re dining on the island, popping into one of many nearby specialty shops or getting together with other locals for Sunday brunch, you can expect a warm welcome from the community.
In fact, the island makes it incredibly easy for residents to connect with each other. Periodic social events are scheduled, giving new residents a chance to meet other locals and community leaders.
Horseback Riding on the Beach
For equestrians and nature lovers alike, nothing is more tranquil than riding horses along the beach. Seabrook Island is the only place you can ride horses along Charleston’s coast and the only place in the Carolinas.
Seabrook Island is also home to a large-scale equestrian center offering private lessons, trail and beach rides and horse boarding. For beginners to advanced riders, the Seabrook Island Equestrian Center is not to be missed.
Dolphin Strand Feeding
Dolphins are a common sight in the coastal waters of the Lowcountry, especially during the peak months of their migration. But less common is witnessing a dolphin strand feeding.
Dolphin strand feeding is a sophisticated form of hunting that requires dolphins to work together to herd fish or shrimp towards shallow water or the shore. This unique behavior is sometimes seen by visitors and residents on Seabrook Island when dolphins are migrating down to warmer waters for the winter.
Visitors in the summer are less likely to see this fascinating sight, but locals who live in Seabrook Island year-round have more opportunities to see dolphin strand feeding. Just remember to keep your distance—at least 50 yards—to avoid interfering with this natural behavior.
A Unique History
Charleston is famed for its rich history, but Seabrook has a unique history all its own. First inhabited by Native Americans, the land that is now Seabrook was settled in 1670 by English settlers.
Originally named “Colleton” in honor of Sir John Colleton, the island would pass hands and experience multiple name changes (often named after the landowner) until it settled upon the name Seabrook Island in 1816 after owner William Seabrook.
Under Seabrook’s ownership, the island was primarily used for growing cotton. During the Civil War, Seabrook sold the island to William Gregg, founder of the Graniteville Company.
The town was eventually incorporated in 1987 when 85 percent of the registered voters of Seabrook cast their vote at the polls. A week later, a certification of incorporation was granted to the Town of Seabrook Island by the Secretary of State of South Carolina.
Interested in more of Seabrook Island’s history? Read the entire history by clicking on the PDF featured on the town’s website.
Unpretentious Seaside Living
Unlike other resort beach towns, Seabrook Island manages to offer modern amenities and a resort-style way of living without any pretentiousness. From its golf courses to its fitness and wellness facility, the town’s amenities are well-kept and welcoming to all.
Whether you want to take personalized golf instruction at one of Seabrook’s golf courses, get in shape at SIPOA Lake House or get involved in a special interest group, the town of Seabrook has an endless number of ways to enjoy the finer things in life.
EXPERIENCE COASTAL LIVING AT ITS FINEST
If one thing is certain about Seabrook, it’s that you’ll never be bored. Edged by 2.5 miles of beaches along the Atlantic coast, Seabrook offers a diverse array of outdoor activities and amenities for residents to enjoy year-round. From championship golf to exciting water sports, there is always something fun to do on this quaint island resort.
With 2.5 miles of uncrowded beaches, a deep-water marina and a phenomenal year-round climate, Seabrook Island is the ideal place for water sports. Residents can take advantage of the secluded waters by way of paddleboard or kayak, take their boat for a deep-sea fishing excursion or hop on a jet ski for an exciting day on the water.
Don’t own a boat? Rent a fishing boat from Bohicket Creek Boat Rentals at Bohicket Marina for a fun day with the family. Seabrook Island’s picturesque waters offer endless aquatic activities for all ages to enjoy.
The lush greens and fairways on Seabrook Island are a golf enthusiast’s dream-come-true. The island features two award-winning golf courses: Ocean Winds and Crooked Oaks.
The two courses are completely unique, uncrowded and offer picturesque views. Ocean Winds, designed by Willard Byrd, is a par 72, 6,765-yard course which takes golfers to the Atlantic Ocean. Crooked Oaks is a 6,780-yard course with a par 72, designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. This course winds through twisted live oaks and marshland.
Tournament Grade Tennis Club
On Seabrook Island, there is no need to hang up your tennis racquet come wintertime. The Seabrook Island Racquet Club features 15 professionally-maintained clay courts which are available year-round.
Ranked in Tennis magazine as one of the top 25 tennis resorts in the world, the Seabrook Island Racquet Club is famed for its state-of-the-art facility and natural beauty. In addition to its tennis courts, the facility also boasts a lounge for members to socialize, private instruction taught by professionals, onsite clinics, ball machine rentals and a Pro Shop for tennis gear and accessories.
Become a member of the SI Racquet Club and enjoy the many fun events that they host throughout the year, such as the New Year Mixer.
Beaches may not be uncommon in the Lowcountry, but Seabrook Island’s unspoiled beaches are second to none. With nearly four miles of sandy beach shorelines, there are ample opportunities to swim, play and take in a gorgeous sunset.
In fact, Seabrook’s beaches have received numerous accolades. Seabrook Island was recently featured in Conde Nast Traveler’s “9 Best Beaches in Charleston” list and was named one of America’s “Best Restored Beaches” by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) in 2016.
Despite its good press, you’ll never need to worry about beating the crowd. Whether you’re taking in a sunrise on North Beach or playing with the kids at Pelican Beach, the miles of pristine shoreline along Seabrook Island are enjoyed primarily by locals. Remember to read the rules before you enjoy the island’s pristine beaches.
Shopping and Dining Opportunities
Not only is Seabrook Island less than 30 miles away from shopping and dining in downtown Charleston, it’s also a short distance to Bohicket Marina & Market and Freshfields Village.
Located between Kiawah Island and Seabrook Island, Bohicket Marina & Market is home to beloved restaurants, including LoKal Seabar and Fischer’s Sports Pub and Grill. The market also features quaint specialty shops where locals can pick up a thoughtful local gift from Doin’ The Charleston or pick up live bait at Bohicket Ship Store.
Freshfields Village is located on Kiawah Island, less than a 10-minute drive from Seabrook Island. This stylish village features an array of dining options, from gourmet coffee to savory, Lowcountry cuisine. Freshfields Village also has a fine collection of boutique stores, a farmers market and service establishments to please locals and visitors alike.
If you’re searching for an easy way of living along the Lowcountry coastline, you’ve found it in Seabrook Island. Peaceful and secluded, this beautiful island boasts all the modern amenities of a resort without the crowds and congestion.
Great choice! The Holy City is packed with beautiful beaches, historical sites and fun activities for the entire family. From outdoor adventures to interactive museums, a Charleston family vacation has something for everyone to enjoy!
But with so many fun things to do, planning your Charleston family vacation can seem overwhelming. To take some stress out of the process, we’ve consulted with some local experts, and this is their helpful guide for planning the ultimate family trip to Charleston this summer.
Activities and Attractions
Whether you’re traveling with teenagers, grade schoolers or toddlers, there are plenty of enjoyable things for your kids to see and do in the Lowcountry. From plantation tours to wildlife encounters, these activities will make your trip to the Holy City as memorable as possible.
Charles Towne Landing
First-time visitors shouldn’t miss Charles Towne Landing. The 664-acre park isn’t just the site of the first permanent English settlement in the Carolina colony; it’s also home to a nature preserve, an indoor interactive museum, beautiful gardens, self-guided history trails and more.
If your kids are old enough, consider renting bicycles from the park to take a peaceful ride under majestic oak trees draped in Spanish Moss. Kids of all ages will enjoy the Adventure, a replica 17th century trading vessel they can board and explore.
Visiting with little ones? They will love the Animal Forest, a wildlife sanctuary filled with animals that once inhabited the region. As an added bonus, admission is free for kids under the age of 5.
Water Fountains and Public Parks
Charleston summers can be brutal, with temperatures averaging mid to upper 80s and humidity that makes it feel even hotter. A great way to beat the heat is by splashing around in Charleston’s many water fountains or relaxing in shaded parks.
The Charleston Waterfront Park boasts numerous water fountains for the kids to play in, including the iconic Pineapple Fountain. While the kids are getting soaked, you might want to grab some gelato and sit on a bench to take in the gorgeous view of the harbor.
Searching for a less touristy option? Try Park West Recreation Complex in nearby Mount Pleasant for a fun playground with fountains or James Island County Park, which has its own splash pad and waterpark.
Nature and Wildlife Adventures
It may be hard to believe, but you don’t need to venture far outside of Charleston’s city center to experience its natural beauty and wildlife. The coastal city boasts many diverse natural landscapes, from magnificent beaches and tidal creeks to salt marshes and forests.
If your family loves outdoor adventures, consider touring a marsh in a kayak or taking an eco-tour out to Bull’s Island. These tours are great for families with older kids and offer a more unique way to experience Charleston’s local ecosystems.
Visiting with younger children? The South Carolina Aquarium is sure to be a hit for the entire family. The aquarium is home to more than 5,000 animals and features indoor and outdoor touch tanks.
Fort Sumter National Park
You don’t need to be a history buff to enjoy Fort Sumter National Park. This famous sea fort is one of Charleston’s most popular attractions, and it provides an exceptional learning experience for the entire family.
Insider’s tip: book your tickets in advance! Because these tours are so popular, tickets sell out fast, and many visitors are forced to wait for the next boat. Also, the southern sun can be brutal in the summertime, but sunscreen and hats will help keep everyone comfortable.
Who says learning can’t be fun? Take the kids to one of Charleston’s many museums for a hands-on educational experience they won’t soon forget.
Parents with small children should not miss the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry (CML). With its many interactive exhibits and programs, youngsters will have a blast exploring all the themed areas.
If interactive museums are a hit with your kids, the North Charleston Fire Museum and Patriot’s Point Naval Museum are also worth a visit. Although neither are as toddler-friendly as CML, they both offer interactive exhibits that are fun for the entire family.
A trip to Charleston wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of its historic plantations. With their well-kept grounds, lush gardens and rich history, these storied locales can make you feel as though you have been transported back in time.
Each plantation offers a unique experience to visitors. At Boone Hall Plantation, visitors can go U-picking for seasonal crops and see firsthand why these enchanting grounds are the most photographed of any plantation. Or stop by Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and take a relaxing boat tour as you learn about the important role plantations played in our nation’s history.
Charleston’s beautiful barrier islands offer miles of pristine beaches for locals and visitors to enjoy. From the romantic and secluded strands on Sullivan’s Island to the family-friendly shores of Isle of Palms, each of Charleston’s local beaches has its own unique charm.
If you’re traveling with kids, Isle of Palms is a great choice. IOP has many rules to keep beach-goers safe, as well as many recreational opportunities both on and off the water.
Folly Beach is great place to try your hand at watersports. Watch surfers catch waves near the north end of the island or walk along Folly Beach Pier, the second longest pier on the East Coast.
Looking for more information on Charleston’s most popular beaches? Check out this blog post that details the city’s most captivating beaches and their unique charms.
When it comes to choosing a place to stay for your Charleston family vacation, there are a few options to consider. Start by creating a budget and factor in whether you plan to rent a car while you’re in town.
For example, renting a car gives you the option of staying in more affordable hotels and vacation homes located just outside of downtown Charleston. If you’re not renting a car, you’ll want to explore all the fantastic lodging that are conveniently located on the peninsula.
No matter what you’re searching for, the Holy City has great options for every family and any budget. Here are a few suggestions to help you find the right fit for your vacation.
Beach Vacation Rentals
When rest and relaxation are a top priority, a beach vacation rental is the way to go. Families often feel cramped in hotels, but a charming beach cottage can provide a more spacious accommodation where you can unwind and enjoy the peace and quiet of coastal life.
From Isle of Palms to Folly Beach to Dewees Island, Charleston has a beach vacation rental for everyone. Browse the best beach rentals around Charleston and search for your ideal home-away-from-home based on your exact criteria.
Let’s be honest, we’re in the vacation rental business, so we always recommend staying on the beaches in one of our rental houses. Be we understand there are times, especially with smaller groups, where a hotel is in order and we have some favorites.
The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina
Beautiful views of the harbor, spacious rooms and easy shuttle access to downtown Charleston makes The Beach Club an excellent place for families to stay. Located across the harbor from Charleston in Mount Pleasant, this gorgeous hotel is just a quick shuttle or seasonal water taxi ride away from all the action. The resort is also home to Harborside, a waterfront hotel that offers different rooms and amenities.
Insider tip: Check out Groupon before you book. The resort often has deals for both their Estuary Spa and their hotel lodging.
Holiday Inn on Meeting Street
Don’t want to pay exorbitant prices for a downtown Charleston hotel? The Holiday Inn on Meeting Street offers all the comfort, cleanliness and convenience — but without the fancy amenities that you might find at a luxury hotel like The Belmond Charleston Place.
This relatively new hotel is within walking distance of local restaurants and shopping opportunities on King Street. However, you can also take a quick Uber ride to additional restaurants further along the peninsula.
Restoration on King Street
Visiting with a big family but want to spend a few days living in luxury? The Restoration on King has everything you need to make your stay relaxing and enjoyable.
Located in Historic Charleston, this luxury spa hotel offers spacious suites equipped with a well-stocked kitchen, flat-screen TVs and large bathrooms. Roll-away beds and cribs are available upon request, and guests can rent a room with a terrace for additional space.
Kid-Friendly Places to Eat
It’s no secret that Charleston serves up some of the best Southern food in the country. But can the city’s impressive food scene be enjoyed by young children as well as adults?
Luckily, the answer is a resounding yes! Although some kids can be picky eaters, there are still plenty of restaurants that will please everyone in your party. For a family-friendly dining experience, check out these local eateries:
Bowen’s Island Restaurant
Known for its oysters, hushpuppies and amazing fried shrimp, this funky seafood shack is a hotspot for locals and tourists alike. With its fresh seafood and spectacular view of the water, Bowen’s Island Restaurant may be the perfect place to grab a cold beer and eat a delicious meal with the family after a long day on Folly Beach. Bonus: this is the BEST place in town for oysters when they are in season.
Early Bird Diner
If you’re a fan of the Food Network, you may be familiar with Early Bird Diner and its famous chicken and waffles. However, it’s not just that one dish that makes locals flock to this popular American diner.
From shrimp and grits to homemade ice cream, the Early Bird Diner can do no wrong. Order anything off the ever-changing menu and expect your taste buds to be delighted.
With affordable prices and large portions, this classic Southern diner is ideal for families on a budget. Just be prepared to circle the parking lot a few times if you come during the lunch rush.
Triangle Char + Bar
Triangle Char + Bar is a convenient place for locals to enjoy savory burgers or stop by for a beer during happy hour. Whether you’re in the mood for a craft cocktail or a brisket taco that melts in your mouth, good food at Triangle is always a sure thing.
If you’re staying on Folly Beach with the family, visiting Lost Dog Café is a must. This charming café serves breakfast all day and welcomes dogs to sit outside on the patio with their owners.
From the blackened salmon wrap to flavorful biscuits and gravy, Lost Dog never disappoints. Breakfast is served all day, so you don’t need to worry about missing out on those delicious cinnamon buns or poached eggs.
Fleet Landing Restaurant and Bar
Kids and adults should have no trouble finding something to enjoy at Fleet Landing. Located near the City Market in Historic Charleston, this casual restaurant boasts four menus: dinner, bar, brunch and dessert.
Dinnertime at Fleet Landing is usually noisy, but families with little ones may find this to their advantage. Take in the ocean view as you enjoy some specialty crab cakes or she-crab soup.
Smoky Oak Taproom
Craving some good BBQ? Smokey Oak Taproom on James Island is the place to roll up your sleeves and don a bib.
In addition to pulled pork, chicken, beef brisket, pork ribs and many tasty sides, Smokey Oak offers more than 45 craft beers. Combined with its laid-back attitude, Smokey Oak is the perfect dinner place for casual family gatherings.
There is never a bad time for a Charleston family vacation. You can save money — and a few headaches — by planning your trip to the Holy City in advance. This way, you can take advantage of deals and avoid tourist traps that can suck your vacation budget dry.
Ready to put your vacation plans into action? Book your Charleston family vacation today and get ready to start making lasting family memories!
Finding artistic inspiration in Charleston isn’t difficult. Surrounded by lush gardens, historic architecture and the natural beauty of the Lowcountry, the Holy City has long been a magnet for talented artists and creative minds.
It was only a matter of time before Charleston received recognition as a global art destination. With a diverse array of galleries, museums, year-round festivals and multicultural events, the city has a variety of art experiences to be enjoyed.
Ready to discover Charleston’s artistic side? As you stroll through the city’s cobblestone streets, be sure to check out these places to experience the city’s vibrant art scene.
Fine Art Galleries
Hoping to take a piece of Southern charm home with you? Step inside one of Charleston’s many art galleries, and you’ll find a diverse collection of stunning pieces by both regionally and internationally acclaimed artists.
Conveniently, most of these art galleries are located in the same general area in Downtown Charleston: one on Broad Street (known as “Gallery Row”) and the other just a block or two away in the charming French Quarter neighborhood.
Gallery Row on Historic Broad Street
Appropriately called “Gallery Row,” this series of fine art galleries on Broad Street is a top destination for art-lovers. You are sure to find a unique treasure to take home from this cultural mecca that features the work of award-winning artists from the Lowcountry and beyond.
The only difficult part will be deciding which work to choose! Sculptures, oil and acrylic paintings, watercolors, stone, pottery, glass, photography — there is something along Broad Street for everyone.
Don’t miss the Mary Martin Gallery for a varied selection of paintings and sculptures. Named one of the 25 Best Art Galleries in America and Best Gallery in South Carolina, this gem is full of high-quality contemporary pieces and creative works.
French Quarter Art Galleries
If beauty is what you’re hoping to find in Charleston, take a pleasant stroll through the French Quarter. You’ll pass by some of Charleston’s most beautiful gardens and historic homes on your way to the string of fine art galleries in this neighborhood.
The French Quarter boasts a large selection of fine art and jewelry in various styles and mediums. From traditional to contemporary pieces, the Holy City’s artistic talent is on full display.
For contemporary art, stop by Robert Lange Studios on Queen Street. Voted Best Gallery by the Charleston City Paper, the gallery offers a unique art experience for those who tire of traditional Charleston landscapes and scenery.
If traditional art is better suited to your tastes, the Lowcountry Artists Gallery will have plenty of artwork for you to enjoy. The oldest artist-owned and -operated gallery in Charleston is home to a stunning collection of artwork by local, regional and national artists.
First Friday Charleston Art Walks
One of the best ways to experience Charleston’s art galleries is by participating in the Charleston Art Walk, which occurs on the first Friday of March, May, October and December. On these days, galleries in downtown Charleston open their doors to visitors from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
This gives visitors an opportunity to chat with the artists and sip on complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres as they take in Charleston’s thriving art scene.
Art Museums and Exhibitions
With nearly 350 years of rich history, Charleston has no shortage of museums and exhibits. Step inside these museums and explore displays of art from centuries past, as well as contemporary offerings.
The Gibbes Museum
Opened in 1905, the Gibbes Museum is one of the oldest museum buildings in the South and the only visual arts museum in Charleston. Featuring a combination of innovative exhibits and permanent collections, Gibbes Museum is a must-visit for art lovers.
Peruse the museum’s paintings, sculptures, miniature portraits and decorative arts, each providing a glimpse of the era in which it was produced. Along with art from the past, you can also explore the artwork of talented regional artists who offer a taste of Lowcountry heritage.
Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art
If you’re less interested in history and more fascinated by contemporary art, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art should be on your list of must-see places in Charleston. Part of the College of Charleston, the Halsey regularly features emerging and mid-career artists and is known for displaying daring exhibits.
The artistic risks that the Halsey takes with its gallery make it stand apart from other galleries in Charleston. Exhibits change every few months, and the art museum is free to visit, which means that you can stop by regularly for a new experience each time.
The Charleston Museum
Those wishing to explore the history and culture of the Lowcountry through artwork should visit the Charleston Museum. Founded in 1773, the museum is known as America’s First Museum and showcases an extensive collection of historical crafts, jewelry, decorative art and more.
Check out Lowcountry History Hall, a permanent exhibit in the museum that details the early life of those who first inhabited the Lowcountry, including Native Americans as well as early colonists and African-American slaves.
The Historic Textiles exhibit is another permanent fixture at the museum that will delight aspiring designers. The Charleston Museum’s rich historic textiles and clothing collection is one of the best in the southeastern United States.
Packed with artistic talent, Charleston is a mecca for art festivals. From smaller events featuring local artists to major performing arts festivals, there is always a celebration of art and culture happening in the city.
As you plan your Charleston vacation, consider attending these much-loved art festivals:
Spoleto Festival USA
One of the nation’s largest performing arts festivals, the annual Spoleto Festival USA is a must-attend event in Charleston. Theater, dance, opera, performance art, music—no matter what you’re into, it can all be found at Spoleto.
For 17 days and nights, Charleston’s historic venues are filled with performances by world-renowned artists as well as emerging talent. Now in its 42nd season, Spoleto Festival USA is an unforgettable experience that art enthusiasts can’t miss.
Curious about this year’s festival? Fans of Spoleto will be pleased to know that the 2018 lineup was announced in January.
Mount Pleasant ArtFest
Each year, Downtown Mount Pleasant is filled with stunning performances by some of the region’s most talented artists and performers. Dance, music and visual art studios will be on display for both adults and children to enjoy.
In fact, this event is packed with kid-friendly activities and is fun for the entire family. Did we mention that all activities and performances are free?
MOJA Art Festival
One of the longest running festivals in the city, the MOJA Art Festival is an 11-day celebration of African-American and Caribbean arts and culture. Fun for the entire family, this lively festival brings a burst of color to Charleston’s streets each year.
“Moja” means “one” in Swahili, and the festival embodies the celebration of unity and harmony within the community. Events include dance, theater, music, poetry, storytelling and special programs for the kids.
One piece of advice — come hungry! You’ll want seconds of the savory ethnic food from Charleston’s best food and drink vendors.
North Charleston Arts Fest
Venture to the City of North Charleston in the spring for its annual art festival and experience the diverse array of performances by over 100 national, regional and local artists. Hosted by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, the comprehensive art festival encompasses dance, music, theatre, visual arts, media arts and literature.
There will also be a variety of workshops, exhibitions and activities taking place in nearby libraries, businesses and community centers. Last year, there were an eclectic mix of events including a fiber art lecture and exhibition tour, a children’s puppet show, a block party with live music and vendors and much more!
Notable Art Centers and Venues
From concerts to Broadway shows and music halls, Charleston’s performance arts scene is magnetic. Many of these enchanting performances take place in historic venues, giving them added charm that can only be found in Charleston.
The Gaillard Center
The historic Gaillard Center began in the 1960s as an auditorium and exhibit hall, serving as Charleston’s primary venue for top performances and events. After undergoing extensive renovations, the new Gaillard Center reopened in 2015 as a world-class performance hall complete with ornate ceilings and grand stairwells.
From big-name performances to small-scale galas and educational outreach programs, events at this multifaceted venue space are something that locals can’t help but brag about. Check out the upcoming shows and grab your tickets for a memorable performance!
Redux Contemporary Art Center
Stop by Redux, a thriving contemporary arts center that is popular with locals. Located on King Street in historic downtown Charleston, the nonprofit organization rents out private studios to working artists and features rotating mural exhibitions.
Redux is geared towards supporting local artists in Charleston and building meaningful relationships within the community. However, visitors can also enjoy the visual art exhibits at the art center, as well as the events, concerts and lecture series that they regularly host.
Redux also offers educational classes year-round for all ages. Whether you want to learn screen printing basics or release tension with watercolor tutorials and a glass of wine, Redux has a class for everyone.
Charleston Music Hall
Like your music with a bit of history? The Charleston Music Hall is a 19th-century Gothic Revival-style building that has survived wars, earthquakes and hurricanes.
Beautifully preserved, the Charleston Music Hall is now an intimate venue for the arts and entertainment. With superb acoustics and not a bad seat in the house, shows at the music hall are regularly sold out, so buy your tickets in advance!
The Vendue isn’t your typical hotel. Filled with rotating art exhibits that feature local and international artists, the warehouse-turned-hotel has earned its title as Charleston’s premiere art hotel.
No two rooms at The Vendue are alike, each adorned with its own unique artwork and amenities. The art hotel is also home to Charleston’s only Artist in Residence Program, and both guests and visitors are invited to explore the studio and meet the resident artist.
Of course, The Vendue’s impressive dedication to the arts isn’t the only lure for visitors. The hotel is conveniently located in downtown Charleston, and their rooftop bar provides exceptional views of the city and the waterfront.
Additional Ways to Experience Charleston Art
Charleston’s many art galleries and performing arts venues are a given for those wanting to experience the city’s vibrant art scene. However, you can also find beauty and art in some rather unexpected places as well.
Charleston City Market and Night Market
From Gullah sweetgrass baskets to jewelry and crafts, you’ll find a large selection of unique wares at the Charleston City Market. Established in the 1790s, the history of the market is reason enough to visit.
A popular tourist destination, the City Market features locally made crafts, so you certainly won’t have trouble finding a unique gift to bring home. Don’t miss the Night Market, which runs from April through December, to discover the best upcoming artists in the Lowcountry.
Home, Garden and Art Tours
Although many of Charleston’s historic homes and beautiful gardens are open to the public year-round, only on special occasions do people get the opportunity to see inside historic homes that are privately owned.
Take one of Charleston’s home and garden tours for a rare glimpse into some of the city’s most magnificent historic properties. Showcasing elegant architecture and lush gardens, these tours offer visitors the chance to see beauty from the past collide with present-day charm.
Home and garden tours generally take place a few times in the spring and fall. The Annual Festival of Houses & Gardens occurs in the spring, while the House and Garden Tour organized by the Preservation Society of Charleston offers self-guided tours in the fall.
Well-known for its culinary offerings and rich history, Charleston also has a thriving art scene that shouldn’t be missed. Home to writers, dancers, musicians and artists, you won’t have trouble finding an art experience to pique your interest.
Need assistance planning your next Charleston vacation? Contact us and we’ll help you find the perfect beach vacation rental to make your trip unforgettable!