Charleston’s Top 12 Things to Do in the Fall

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Charleston has no shortage of outdoor spaces and places, and cooler weather is the perfect time to explore all the Lowcountry has to offer. Check out our list below of fall festivals, activities and events to savor the season.

Charleston Beer Week

Charleston Beer Week

With more than 35 breweries in the greater Charleston area, most with expansive outdoor areas and roll-up doors to enjoy the weather, fall is a great time to check out the locations that make beloved local brew. Charleston Beer Week, held from Oct. through Nov. 6, will offer unique events you wouldn’t normally find on the calendar and special release brews for your sipping pleasure.

Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch and Fright Nights

Boone Hall is a sprawling working farm in Mt. Pleasant that welcomes guests during the fall season for two major seasonal events. The Pumpkin Patch is a fall experience, with family-friendly activities like tractor rides, a corn maze and much more while you pick out the perfect pumpkin. Boone Hall Fright Nights includes a haunted house and hayride with costumed actors who will scare and entertain. The Pumpkin Patch will be open from Sept. 30- Oct. 30 on weekends. Fright Nights will be held on weekends from Sept. 24-Oct. 30 with select Thursday nights. Tickets can be purchased online.

north charleston harvest festival

North Charleston Harvest Festival

The City of North Charleston’s Harvest Festival features live music, an artist market, costume contests, trick-or-treat on the street, costume contests, a petting zoo, children’s activities and more. The fall festivities take place in the Olde Village of North Charleston, located on East Montague Avenue near Park Circle, on Oct. 22.

Summerville Sweet Tea Festival

Summerville Sweet Tea Festival

The Sweet Tea Festival, held on Sept. 17, is a celebration of the birthplace of sweet tea in Summerville. The historic downtown is transformed into a massive open house/street fair with different food trucks, artisanal vendors and entertainment. There will be plenty of sweet tea and attendees can help select the Tea of the Year by sampling and voting for their favorite.

Bulldog Tours Haunted Walking Tours

Bulldog Tours Haunted Walking Tours

Explore all things spooky, spectral, and supernatural in Charleston’s most haunted places with a variety of haunted walking tours by Bulldog Tours. Attendees will walk the jail cells and hallways where Charleston’s worst criminals lived and died. Get exclusive access to explore centuries old cemeteries and graveyards to hear the haunted tales of the authors and poets, artists, politicians, bootleggers and more who still “reside” there. A ghost tour of the USS Yorktown will additionally offer a frightfully good time.

Historic House Tour Charleston

Fall Home and Garden Tours

Visit some of the most historic homes and gardens in America on these self-paced tours organized by the Preservation Society of Charleston. Peek at stunning porches and piazzas of some of Charleston’s finest private homes and walk inside some of Charleston’s finest buildings, seldom open to the public. Private garden tours are led by notable professionals such as landscape architects, garden designers, and horticulturalists.

MOJA Arts Festival Charleston

The MOJA Arts Festival

The MOJA Arts Festival is a multi-disciplinary festival produced annually and directed by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs that includes dance, literary, music, theatre and visual arts at several venues in and around Charleston.

Oktoberfest Celebrations

Oktoberfest Celebrations

Modeled after the famous autumn festival held in Munich, Germany, Charleston has many annual Oktoberfest celebrations, including a large event on Oct. 8 at St Matthew’s Lutheran Church downtown, with German foods and music, beer and children’s activities and the Annual Oktoberfest celebration at Bay Street Biergarten on East Bay Street downtown with live music, local beers, games and more. Additionally, on Oct. 1, the Charleston Symphony Polka Band will hold a concert featuring traditional Polka music mixed with modern mashups at the Frothy Beard brewery in Summerville.

Haunted Harbor Ghost and Pirate Tours

Come aboard for a spine-chilling experience as we tour the Charleston harbor to view some of the city’s most haunted sites, hear stories of local ghost lore, and learn about the deep-rooted superstitions of Charleston’s Gullah culture. Learn of lost fortunes, ships ravaged by storms, pirates who still haunt their conquests and a headmistress who guards the grounds where she once lived. Expert guides at Sandlapper Tours will regale you with tales of Blackbeard, Captain Stede Bonnet, Charles Vain, Calico Jack Rachem, and Anne Bonney, the first infamous female pirate.

Harvest Festival at Johns Island County Park

Harvest Festival at Johns Island County Park

Come on out to Johns Island County Park on Nov. 5 for foot-stompin’ live music from local bluegrass bands, pumpkin decorating, archery, and more. Feast on Southern delights like Carolina barbeque, kettle korn, and other favorite festival foods. Once you’ve eaten your fill, head on over to the crafters market for some great for holiday shopping. There will be family-friendly activities including games, books and more from the Charleston County Public Library.

Shem Creek

Shem Creek

Fall is the perfect time of year to stroll along Shem Creek, the jewel of Mt. Pleasant, with idyllic creek views—and more often than not, dolphin sightings—as well as long-range views of Charleston’s larger waterways. Stop by any of the many restaurants and bars along the creek for a bite or a beverage al fresco or relax at the Shem Creek public park and dock on Shrimp Boat Lane.

Charleston Farmers Market

Held up in the heart of downtown Charleston at Marion Square, the weekly Charleston Farmers Market on Saturday mornings highlights Lowcountry farmers, growers, artisans and crafters along with live performers and community activities. Stop by from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. to peruse a variety of local produce, packaged and prepared food, plants, herbs, cut flowers and enjoy breakfast and lunch vendors in what organizers call “the largest outdoor dining patio in all of Charleston.”

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Charleston FAQ's

Choosing a hotel and where to stay in Charleston all depends on your budget and goals. Do you want to stay Downtown, at the beach or in the outer areas such as North Charleston where you have to drive to get everywhere? For more help on deciding:

Charleston has 3 main public beaches which are: Folly, Isle of Palms and Sullivans. Each beach has it’s own atmosphere. The most common beach that people visit is Folly Beach and then Isle of Palms followed by Sullivans Island. For more info on Charleston’s beaches visit:

Charleston, SC is full of historical things to do. Everything from museums, to public sites and free landmark sites such as Rainbow Row and the Battery can be seen. For more info on Charleston’s top historical sites visit:

There are many things that will keep the kids and family entertained and educated in Charleston. There are historic sites such as Fort Sumter, a Children’s Museum, Aquarium and the USS Yorktown…a WWII era aircraft carrier you can tour. For more info visit:

There’s so many  things you could do in Charleston it can be overwhelming. We recommend that first time visitors, checkout the ultimate first-time visitor guide here:

Spring in Charleston, SC is an amazing time of year to visit. The flowers are blooming and the weather is mild and sunny. For more info, check-out our spring guide to Charleston here:

Summer in Charleston is a great time to visit. There’s plenty of things to keep you busy and visiting the beach will probably….or should be on your short-list. Also water-based activities and tours are popular. Checkout this summer guide to Charleston for more info: 

Our 10 Favorite Summer Activities in Charleston

Fall is one of the best times to visit. The weather cools down a bit and the skies are typically blue and clear. In addition there are many great events, festivals and the large crowds of summer have gone back to school or work. For more info on visiting in the fall, checkout this article:

There are so many great things to do that it’s difficult to narrow the list down. This article does a great job with figuring out the must do things to do in Charleston

7 Can’t Miss Reasons to Visit Charleston, SC Now

The consensus is a minimum of 3-days is needed to settle in and experience Charleston. For instance, many people take 2 days exploring downtown and another day visiting sites outside of downtown such as the plantations, Angel Oak Tree or beaches. Checkout this page for a list of tours and attractions: 

Charleston’s Top Tours & Attractions | Things to do

Downtown Charleston was made for walking and for sure one of the best way to soak up and experience the history first-hand. This article goes over getting around Charleston with and without a car as well: 

Getting Around Charleston, SC

We’re of course partial to Charleston, but here’s the truth. There are many similarities however there are some differences in our opinion: 

  • Both cities are historic and beautiful. 
  • Both cities are extremely walkable. Savannah, with it’s park-like squares maybe more walkable than Charleston. 
  • Charleston has a more established and food scene with many more options. 
  • Charleston has better hotels and shopping.
  • Both cities have equally good tours.
  • Charleston has better beach options. Savannah has Tybee which is great, however it’s 1 beach vibe versus Charleston which has 3 beaches with different vibes. Checkout this Charleston beach guide article:
  • In Savannah you can walk with alcoholic beverages on the street. This is not allowed in Charleston. This can be good or bad depending on your stance. 
  • Savannah is more affordable.
  • TourPass offers all-inclusive passes in both cities:

There are always great and world-class events happening in Charleston. For a calendar of events and things to do in Charleston, checkout our online calendar of events:

Of course there are free money-saving coupons that you can use. Visit the coupons page for a bunch of ways to save:

Charleston has some fantastic can’t miss tours such as Fort Sumter, carriage, ghost, harbor, historic and culinary tours. For a full list with more info visit:

Checkout the Charleston Relocation Guide page which will guide you during your move:

Additional Places to Explore