- An Insider's Guide
In addition to Charleston’saward-winning cuisine,deep-rooted historyandthriving art scene, our destination’s culture is defined through the music of the Lowcountry.The Charleston area’s rich musical history includes plantation era spirituals, Civil War camp songs and native Darius Rucker, the platinum certified singer whose second solo album is titledCharleston SC 1966.Bluegrass, jazz, Gullah spirituals – it’s the soundtrack to every season in Charleston.Scroll through our guide and experience the music of the Lowcountry for yourself!
For more tunes,check out our Spotify playlistfeaturing Charleston-inspired songs for the summer!
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Elliott House Inn
Check in to the Elliott House Inn and enjoy live music once a month during the Inn's complimentary wine & cheese reception in the hidden courtyard.
Thoroughbred Club at Charleston Place
Classic bartenders reign over a sophisticated lounge atmosphere filled with dark wood and rich leather. Sip and savor fine handcrafted cocktails, like the iconic Mouzon Mash, while indulging in savory bites from the tapas menu. This cozy space is complete with a fireplace, nightly live entertainment, and a lushly landscaped patio open seasonally.
Gibbes Museum of Art
With more than 10,000 works of art in permanent collection, there is a colorful canvas or intriguing object to spark every imagination at the Gibbes Museum of Art. Visit in the spring to catch their live concert series in partnership with Charleston Music Hall or stop by in the summer for live jazz and poetry inside the gallery in partnership with Charleston Jazz!
It is impossible to calculate how many bowls of She Crab soup are consumed in the Lowcountry daily, but it is a sure bet that 82 Queen has served more of the Lowcountry specialty than any other restaurant on the peninsula. Go for the dish and stay for the live jazz in their courtyard every Thursday at 9:30 PM.
Bay Street Biergarten
From 90s boy band tributes to local country musicians, Bay Street Biergarten's calendar is chock full of live music events!
Savor the soulful sounds of gospel music alongside a steak omelet and Halls' Famous Bloody Mary during the Sunday Gospel Brunch.
Overlooking Charleston Harbor and steps away from Waterfront Park, HarbourView Inn's rooftop offers one of the best views in town, as well as live music for hotel guests every Friday from 5 - 6 PM.
The Rooftop at The Vendue
The Rooftop at The Vendue, Charleston's art boutique hotel, provides sweeping views of Charleston Harbor, Waterfront Park and the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. Enjoy refreshing cocktails and live music every Sunday from 6 - 9 PM.
Home Team BBQ
Head to Home Team for finger licking good BBQ, brew and live "pop up" bands downtown, and every Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 PM at the West Ashley location.
Enjoy Southern favorites, including buttermilk fried oysters and Lowcountry boil, along with the sounds of jazz in a classic Charleston setting complete with heart pine floors and antique brick at High Cotton.
Head to 5Church Wednesday nights from 6 - 10 PM for live music, a sophisticated scene and world-class cuisine by Top Chef Alum Chef Jamie Lynch.
Paired with live jazz every evening, this clubby restaurant located in the luxurious Charleston Place hotel is a favorite of locals and visitors alike.
Charleston Gaillard Center
A lively hub for artistic and intellectual creativity, Charleston’s first-ever concert hall is a major musical milestone for the city’s cultural life. Designed in the tradition of a European opera house, the Gaillard Center Performance Hall is built to deliver an unforgettable experience for artists and audiences alike. The venue boasts a 1,800-seat hall complete with an orchestra level and pit, three tiers of balconies and both lower and upper-level galleries.
Charleston Music Hall
The Charleston Music Hall is the perfect venue for shows of all varieties. Boasting the best acoustics in town, the Music Hall is a listening room and intimate theatre in which the audience and the artist can interact on a more personal level.
Grab your beach chairs or blankets and mark your calendar for 6 - 9 PM each summer Friday for Music on the Green, a complimentary concert at Freshfields Village!
Check in to this charming boutique hotel, situated on Kiawah Island and nestled within Freshfields Village, and enjoy live jazz music every Thursday from 6 - 8 PM.
Located on the Folly Beach fishing pier, Pier 101 offers one of the best ocean views in Charleston. With live music every weekend, this seafood spot is a must.
BLU combines spectacular views with a menu dominated by sustainable seafood, regional flavors and local ingredients. Located within the Tides hotel on Folly Beach, it’s the perfect weekend spot for live music and beach hangs.
Home Team BBQ - Sullivan's Island
Re-fuel & refresh after a sunny Sullivan's Island day at the beach with Home Team BBQ's bites, cold brew and live music every first Friday of the month at 10 PM.
Boone Hall Plantation
Learn about Gullah culture during Boone Hall's live presentations. The educational performances, featuring Gullah singers, take place at The Gullah Theater.
Strap on your boots and head to the Lowcountry's only country music venue for award-winning BBQ, live music and a good time.
Christmastime at Drayton Hall, the meticulously preserved 270-year-old plantation house perched on the Ashley River, is truly special. Native Gullah spirituals, by Ann Caldwell and The Magnolia Singers, soar through the night air during Drayton Hall's Spirituals Concerts, a can't-miss around the holidays.
Colour of Music Festival
The Colour of Music Festival offers a musical kaleidoscope highlighting the impact and historical significance of black classical composers and performers on American and world culture. The festival delivers a global offering of the leading black artists with featured performers from France, Colombia, Great Britain and the Caribbean. The festival will take place this year October 24 - 28 in Charleston.
The Sound of Charleston
From Gospel spirituals to jazz and light classics, The Sound of Charleston helps define Charleston's rich heritage, and is our soundtrack to every season.
Spoleto Festival USA
The Charleston area is electrified by 17 days and nights of round-the-clock performances during Spoleto Festival USA. Scores of venues hum with the energy opera, jazz, theatre, orchestral, chamber, contemporary music, literary and visual artists during this internationally renowned compendium of talent.
Healthy Holy City Hotel Amenities You Never Knew Existed
Going on vacation doesn't mean having to forgo your fitness goals when in Charleston!
The OGs: 12 of Charleston’s Oldest Restaurants
Discover the oldies who have been perfecting heirloom recipes for decades.
Splendor by the Shore
No matter your style of romance, The Sanctuary is a special place to rekindle and reconnect.
Ready to Visit the City Voted #1 in the United States by Readers of Condé Nast Traveler and Travel+Leisure?
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Does Charleston have a music scene? ›
Charleston's music scene is more alive-and diverse-than ever. It's jazzy, it's funky, soulful, classical and contemporary.What music is Charleston SC known for? ›
The Charleston area's rich musical history includes plantation era spirituals, Civil War camp songs and native Darius Rucker, the platinum certified singer whose second solo album is titled Charleston SC 1966. Bluegrass, jazz, Gullah spirituals – it's the soundtrack to every season in Charleston.What should I not miss in Charleston SC? ›
- Fort Sumter Tours.
- Bulldog Ghost & Culinary Walking Tours.
- Patriots Point and the USS Yorktown.
- Boone Hall Plantation.
- Magnolia Plantation.
- Aiken-Rhett House Museum.
- Tour Pass Charleston – includes admission to the top tours/attractions.
Even if you're trying to do Charleston on the cheap, you may want to dress up just a little. If you plan on wearing jeans, make sure they're nice — no holes, in the Holy City, please. Casual pants, like khakis, are always welcome. Pack at least one outfit that would be appropriate for a restaurant with a dress code.What is the most popular street in Charleston? ›
With its remarkable history and eclectic mix of fashion, art, antiques, home décor, and extraordinary food, King Street is the most vibrant and distinctive downtown in America. King Street is a perfect blend of local, regional, and national shops that remains the place to be for retailers of all types.What is the vibe of Charleston SC? ›
From a bustling vibe in the historic district to the less-touristy but still busy 'burbs, Charleston can sometimes feel like a few cities in one. Cobblestone streets snake through downtown, where King Street galleries and upscale shops share real estate with boutique hotels and some of the best dining in the Southeast.What do you wear in the Charleston dance? ›
Any style or color leotard, tights, dance dresses, skirts, tutus, jazz shorts, etc. Tan tie tap shoes, pink ballet shoes, and dance bag.What is the significance of Rainbow Row in Charleston? ›
Many have speculated over the true reason for the color transformation of Rainbow Row. One theory is that the homes were painted various pastel colors so that drunk sailors might find their way home easier. Others believe that the various hues were the merchants' way of indicating what types of items they sold there.Where do the rich people live in Charleston? ›
Daniel Island Park is the highest end subdivision on Daniel Island, but you may also want to look at Smythe Lake Park on Daniel Island too, some of the homes around 11-acre lake are some of the nicest in Charleston — grand oaks. Historic Charleston is awash with luxury homes that date back to the 1700's.Where do the rich live in Charleston? ›
- Downtown Charleston: The Historic District.
- Mount Pleasant: Hobcaw Point/Scanlonville.
- Daniel Island.
- North Charleston: Club Course Drive / Dorchester Road.
- Goose Creek: Caromi Village.
- James Island: Harborview Road / Clearview Drive.
What salary do you need to live in Charleston SC? ›
What is a good salary in Charleston? The Census Bureau reports that the average salary for Charleston residents is $54,864. However, to stick to the rule of spending only 30% on your monthly income on rent, you will need an income of $58,360 to live comfortably in a one bedroom apartment.What is the best month to visit Charleston SC? ›
The best time to visit Charleston is from March to May or from September to November when temperatures are mild – but not stifling. Hotel rates, however, will be high, especially around Easter.Is 2 days enough in Charleston? ›
Charleston, South Carolina, is the perfect city for a short getaway. We think that 2 days in Charleston would give you enough time to see the majority of the highlights, sample some of the incredible food on offer and even take in some of the surrounding attractions.How many days is enough in Charleston? ›
Charleston's manageable size allows you to see a lot in a short time, making it the perfect choice for a quick getaway. In fact, 3 days in Charleston is just enough to experience the best of this Southern city.Does Charleston have a red light district? ›
Tour Description. Take a trip to the dark side of Charleston's past on this amazing fun tour that highlights brothels, prositutes, corruption, crime, scandal and tumultuous affairs. See where Charleston's red-light district once was and more where licensed and experiences tour guides take you on a 1.5 hour journey.Can you drink on Sundays in Charleston? ›
Counties currently allowing Sunday beer and wine sales: Berkeley, Beaufort, Charleston, Darlington, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Newberry, Oconee, Richland (unincorporated areas only), and York.Can you walk around Charleston with a drink? ›
In the City of Charleston, for instance, it is illegal to consume beer, wine or any other alcoholic beverage on streets, sidewalks, or public ways. In this city, you also cannot have an open container of alcohol at a public park or playground unless the city has issued a special permit to allow alcohol for an event.Why do porches in Charleston have doors? ›
What Are the Porch Doors For? The hospitality doors were helpful social cues for neighbors and friends. If the porch door was propped open, it meant that the family inside was ready for visitors, and people were welcome to come in. If the door was shut—you guessed it—do not disturb.Is it better to stay in downtown Charleston or historic district? ›
If you are visiting Charleston, we recommend you stay in the Historical District, situated just 20 minutes from the airport. Here you will find many restaurants, fashion boutiques, antique shops, magnificent old houses, art museums, ghost tours, historical tours horse-carriage tours and much more.What food is Charleston known for? ›
- She Crab Soup. She crab soup is a crab soup that has a “little something extra.” Orange roe tops this soup to make it specifically a soup made of female crabs. ...
- Shrimp and Grits. ...
- Cornbread. ...
- Planters Punch. ...
- Hush Puppies. ...
- Frogmore Stew. ...
- Fried Green Tomatoes. ...
- Okra Soup.
How white is Charleston? ›
|Persons 65 years and over, percent|| 17.4%|
|Female persons, percent|| 51.5%|
|Race and Hispanic Origin|
|White alone, percent|| 70.6%|
Like most southern states, South Carolina is a largely conservative, Republican state.Is Charleston a walkable city? ›
40. That's what Charleston scored out of 100 on Walk Score's walkability meter, making it a “car-dependent” city.What is a corset check room? ›
Some halls even had “Corset Check Rooms” where women could ditch their corsets before heading to the dance floor.Do people wear cowboy boots in Charleston? ›
We do get classy and dressed up on many occasions donning Aldo, pumps, heels and cowboy boots. You may even witness some gals wearing high heels to church on Sunday.Can you wear jeans to salsa? ›
Jeans, t-shirt, tank top, whatever you feel comfortable in is great choice for you to wear, obviously unless you're coming from work, wear whatever you wear at work.Why are houses turned sideways in Charleston? ›
When the city's first streets were laid out in 1680, residential lots were long and deep but had little street frontage. Placing the house sideways on the lot made the best use of space. This also allowed the home to take full advantage of the prevailing southerly breezes, necessary in the hot summer climate.What do they call porches in Charleston? ›
Frequently what stands out to new Charleston area residents are the porches on these houses. Called piazzas, they run along the side of the house and provide a cool, airy place to sit in the heat of the summer and also serve to shade the side of the house oriented towards the sun.Why is downtown Charleston called the battery? ›
The Battery serves as the landmark, which is a defensive seawall & a boulevard in Charleston, SC. Named after the coastal defense civil-war artillery “Battery,” this place stretches through the Charleston peninsula lower shores.Who is the richest person in Charleston? ›
There aren't many people who can say their net worth is in the billions. One of the few who can is Charleston's own Anita Zucker.
What actors live in Charleston? ›
Celebrities with ties to Charleston include Bill Murray, singer and songwriter Darius Rucker, talk show host Stephen Colbert, and street artist Shepard Fairey.Who is the most famous person from Charleston? ›
Thomas Gibson is certainly one of the most Famous People from Charleston, SC. The actor remembers the city as a place filled with the most amazing wild dunes and golfing places.What percent black is Charleston? ›
White: 73.88% Black or African American: 20.77% Asian: 2.08%
South of Broad Charleston is by far the prettiest area of Charleston with stunning pastel southern homes. Along with the French Quarter of Charleston, South of Broad is a place not to be missed in a romantic Charleston getaway.What town in SC is the wealthiest? ›
South Carolina households must make at least $21,583 to reach middle class, study finds. (The Center Square) – In South Carolina, households must earn a minimum of $21,583 per year to be considered middle class, with the upper earnings boundary set at $102,365, according to a new 24/7 Wall St.Is SC cheaper to live than Florida? ›
South Carolina is 6.4% cheaper than Florida.Is it cheaper to live in Florida or South Carolina? ›
Cost of living
Looking at those numbers, South Carolina is more affordable than Florida in every category but health care. However, it also has a smaller population and less land mass.
In Charleston, the fun doesn't stop when the sun goes down. From music venues and dance clubs, to friendly, mellow pubs and city-wide festivals, every night here is bound to be unforgettable.Is there hop on hop off in Charleston? ›
Please note: the city of Charleston does not allow hop-on, hop-off bus tours, so the 'See it All' City Bus Tour is your best way to enjoy Charleston!
Is Charleston a party town? ›
While Charleston's party scene is tamer than that of its sister city Savannah (sorry, no open containers here), it has a bit of everything: elegant hotel bars, beer emporiums, dive bars with live music, and nightclubs with house DJs.What is Charleston well known for? ›
Charleston is an historic port city known for its deep southern roots. Due to its charming architecture, pleasant weather, and excellent cuisine, it's a popular romantic getaway destination. However, it's also well loved by history buffs.Can you walk around with beer in Charleston? ›
In the City of Charleston, for instance, it is illegal to consume beer, wine or any other alcoholic beverage on streets, sidewalks, or public ways. In this city, you also cannot have an open container of alcohol at a public park or playground unless the city has issued a special permit to allow alcohol for an event.Where do people go out in Charleston SC? ›
Most Charleston bars are centered around the Market Street and Upper King Street areas, though many fall just outside of these popular hangouts. Combine your party plans with a few rounds of bowling at The Alley, or, take on the outdoor games on the patio at Bay Street Biergarten.What is the street in Charleston with the bars? ›
A night out on the town in the charming city of Charleston, South Carolina means a visit to famous King Street. The bars on King Street are known for their fun atmosphere, delicious food and tasty drinks in their historic locations.How do you get around Charleston without a car? ›
Can I get around Charleston without a car? Yes, the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) provides bus transportation throughout the region. There is also a free trolley that provides transportation throughout the historic district when visiting.Can you drink in Charleston on Sunday? ›
You can not purchase liquor at all on Sundays, and that includes Saturday night once it turns midnight and becomes Sunday, you can not get liquor or beer until 6:00 AM. Then the rest of the day, you can get beer, but no liquor, unless you buy it at a bar or a restaurant.Why are doors on the side in Charleston? ›
What Are the Porch Doors For? The hospitality doors were helpful social cues for neighbors and friends. If the porch door was propped open, it meant that the family inside was ready for visitors, and people were welcome to come in. If the door was shut—you guessed it—do not disturb.Is Folly Beach a party town? ›
Folly Beach has the best of all worlds- the party scene, the surf scene, a great town center with a lot of bars and restaurants, a tidal river that allows for boating and water activities, and it's all within walking distance to the pier.What is the best month to visit Charleston? ›
The best time to visit Charleston is from March to May or from September to November when temperatures are mild – but not stifling. Hotel rates, however, will be high, especially around Easter.
What famous people live in Charleston? ›
Celebrities with ties to Charleston include Bill Murray, singer and songwriter Darius Rucker, talk show host Stephen Colbert, and street artist Shepard Fairey.