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9 Best Things to Do in Charleston May 2024

Charleston, South Carolina, is a city that oozes charm and history, with cobblestone streets lined with pastel-colored antebellum homes, horse-drawn carriages rumbling by and the scent of magnolia blossoms in the air. Charleston’s rich array of culture and attractions makes it a popular destination all year round, but May is an especially enchanting time to visit. The temperatures are mild, the flowers are in bloom and the social calendar is filled with exciting events. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, here’s our guide to the 9 best things to do in Charleston in May 2024.

From exploring historic plantations to enjoying mouth-watering cuisine, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. May is an ideal time to experience Charleston’s famous charm, where warm weather encourages outdoor activities and the city comes alive with festivals and special events. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history, enjoy its culinary delights, and create lasting memories in Charleston’s beautiful surroundings.

Explore historic plantations

Charleston is home to a number of historic plantations that offer a glimpse into the city’s past. Visit Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens, a 738-acre plantation with a rich history dating back to the 17th century. Take a tour of the opulent main house, stroll through the formal gardens, and explore the slave cabins that tell the stories of the enslaved people who worked on the plantation. Other notable plantations to visit include Middleton Place, Drayton Hall and Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.

Stroll through Charleston’s City Market

Charleston City Market is a bustling marketplace that has been a city staple since the 19th century. Browse the stalls of local vendors selling everything from handmade crafts to fresh produce. You’ll find sweetgrass baskets, intricate jewelry, and souvenirs that are perfect to take home as a memento of your trip. Be sure to sample some of the local cuisine, such as shrimp and grits or a benne seed cookie.

Take a horse and carriage ride

One of the best ways to experience Charleston’s historic charm is to take a horse-drawn carriage ride. These tours depart from various points around the city and take you past some of the most iconic sights, including Rainbow Row, the Battery and White Point Garden. You’ll learn about the city’s history and architecture from your expert guide.

Visit the Gibbes Art Museum

The Gibbes Museum of Art houses a collection of more than 10,000 American works of art. The museum’s collection includes paintings, sculptures and decorative arts from the colonial era to the present. You will find works by renowned artists such as John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer and Edward Hopper.

Attend the Spoleto Festival USA

The Spoleto Festival USA is a world-famous performing arts festival held every year in Charleston. The festival offers a wide range of performances, including opera, theatre, dance and classical music. This year the festival will take place from May 23 to June 9.

Take a day trip to Sullivan’s Island

Spend the day on Sullivan’s Island, just a short drive from Charleston. This barrier island is home to beautiful beaches, ideal for swimming, sunbathing or surfing. You can also visit historic Fort Moultrie, which played a key role in the American Revolutionary War.

Explore Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park is a beautiful park located along the Cooper River. Take a walk or bike ride along the waterfront promenade, enjoy a picnic on the lawn or simply relax and enjoy the harbor views. The park is also home to the USS Yorktown, a historic aircraft carrier that is now a museum ship.

Visit the old city market

The Old City Market is a vibrant indoor market in the heart of downtown Charleston. The market is home to more than 300 vendors, selling everything from produce to seafood and souvenirs. The market also has a variety of restaurants and bars.

Enjoy the culinary delights of the city

Charleston is a foodie’s paradise, with a wide variety of restaurants to choose from. From fine dining to casual seafood restaurants, there is something to suit every taste and budget. Be sure to try some of the local specialties such as shrimp and grits, crab soup, and benne seed cakes.

Charleston is a welcoming city that has much to offer visitors. From the vibrant Spoleto Arts Festival to the fascinating historic plantations and delicious culinary scene, there’s something to capture every traveler’s attention. Experience Charleston’s southern charm and rich history when you visit in May.

Culture, best months to visit, nearby transport, local food and the best hotels

Culture

Charleston is a city with a rich and diverse culture. The city’s history is reflected in its architecture, cuisine and traditions. Charleston is home to a number of historic churches, museums and plantations. The city also has a thriving arts scene, with a number of theatres, galleries and music venues.

Best months to visit

Charleston is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild. May is a particularly good time to visit as the city is in bloom and the temperatures are perfect for exploring.

Transportation nearby

Charleston is easily accessible by plane, train and car. Charleston International Airport (CHS) is just 12 miles from the city center. Amtrak’s Silver Star train provides service to Charleston from New York City and Miami. Charleston is also easily accessible by car from other major cities in the Southeast.

Local food

Charleston’s culinary scene is one of the best in the United States. The city is home to a number of award-winning restaurants, as well as a number of casual eateries and seafood restaurants. Be sure to try some of the local specialties such as shrimp and grits, crab soup, and benne seed cakes.

Best hotels

There are some great Charleston hotels to choose from. Some of the top-rated hotels include:

  • The Vendue
  • The Dewberry
  • The Francis Marion Hotel
  • The Market Pavilion Hotel
  • The Planters Inn

Conclusion

Charleston is a beautiful and historic city that has something to offer everyone. From the cobblestone streets to the world-class restaurants, Charleston is a city that will capture your heart. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, be sure to add Charleston to your travel list. With the ‘9 Best Things to Do in Charleston May 2024’, now is the perfect time to experience the charm and hospitality of this vibrant city.