We can all agree that Charleston SC is a favorite travel destination all year round - after all, it does consistently get voted “#1 City in the USA” for a reason - but there’s a certain aura about summer in Charleston that has a particular buzz to it. Vibrant, pink crepe myrtles are in bloom all over downtown, window boxes are overflowing with fragrant hydrangeas and English ivy, and tourists and residents alike are bustling about the city taking it all in. While certain activities can be enjoyed all year round – from golfing on one of the countless award-winning courses, visiting any of the numerous city landmarks and historical sights, or sampling the renowned culinary scene throughout the Holy City - summer brings with it experiences and events that are looked forward to all year long and enjoyed from June to the first of September.
Even though Charleston’s weather permits ample opportunity for boating and the hitting the beach virtually all year long, these are a staple of the summer months. Whether you’re reeling in red fish on a fishing charter in the harbor, sipping cocktails on a sunset sail, or laying in a beach chair in the sand at any of the beautiful Atlantic beaches, Charleston’s waterways are always buzzing. It’s not summer if you don’t find yourself cooling off in the saltwater at least a few times a week!
On land, us locals look forward to the summer farmer’s market held in Marion Square every Saturday from April to November. What’s better than farm fresh fruits and veggies purchased directly from the one who harvested them? Supporting local goodness happens all summer at the downtown Charleston Farmer’s Market, the James Island Farmer’s Market on James Island, the Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Market at Moultrie Middle School, and the West Ashley Farmer’s Market at Ackerman Park. More than just fruits and veggies, you can browse arts and crafts from local artisans and sample tasty treats from local vendors.
Summer evenings are usually spent unwinding from the work day with a cocktail and dinner at a rooftop bar or outdoor patio. Skyline views and ice-cold libations can be taken in downtown from The Vendue, Pavilion Bar, The Watch, or even Revelry Brewing rooftop bar a little further up the peninsula. And summer outdoor dining favorites span from downtown to Johns Island. In the heart of downtown, 82 Queen provides a shaded outdoor terrace complete with a canopy of greenery, hanging plants, and chairs in the shape of butterflies. Just 15 minutes from the peninsula, Johns Island offers a combination of French and lowcountry cuisine at Fat Hen and their quaint, outdoor bar aptly named "The Coop" is perfect for an evening drink (it's even dog friendly!).
Regardless of temperature, you can't miss joining the crowds swaying to summer concerts or catching outdoor films at pop-up movie spots. Party At The Point happens each Friday from April to June and is an enormously popular event for all ages to experience great tunes, drinks, and picture-worthy sunsets over the Charleston Harbor. Or you can grab a blanket or beach chair and chill out with good vibes and good music at James Island County Park - once a month from June to August they host Reggae Nights. On Folly Beach, you can spend the night under the stars with your feet in the sand, watching a giant movie screen and sipping drinks just outside The Tides every Wednesday night from June to August for their Summer Movie Series. They've got it all from Top Gun to Jumanji, The Incredibles and Wonder Woman all summer long. In addition, The Restoration Hotel offers their rooftop movie and music series throughout the summer where $10 will get you in for the movie, a drink, popcorn and your favorite candy.
Summer isn’t complete without attending at least one Charleston Riverdogs game at "The Joe." An evening or afternoon filled with baseball, hot dogs, tall beers, and a stunning sunset over the water of the Ashley River is just what the summer doctor ordered. With $1 beer nights on "Thirsty Thursday," Friday night post-game fireworks, and "Dog Day Mondays" with $1 hotdogs & draft beers and pups all around, the Riverdogs is an essential summer event. You may even get a sighting of local celebrity Bill Murray, the team’s owner.
Note: While there is something to enjoy about every season in Charleston, you can ONLY experience these events and activities throughout the warm summer months. So gather up a group, or invite your out of town friends, and explore the very best of the Holy City this summer. Our luxury vacation rentals with Luxury Simplified Retreats are perfect for large or small groups, right in the heart of each of these activities.