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From Strawberries to Grits, It’s Festival Time in Charleston

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Charleston’s springtime calendar is filled with festivals and events that celebrate everything from grits to strawberries and from art to tea. Here are some of our favorite upcoming festivals:

Flowertown Festival: From April 4-6, Summerville’s Azalea Park and surrounding streets will be filled with more than 200 arts and crafts displays. Visitors can take in the blooming azaleas, wisteria and dogwood. Restaurants will have food available and there’s plenty of activities for the kids. Admission and parking are free at the Flowertown Festival, one of the largest arts and crafts festivals in the Southeast.

Pie Eating ContestThe Lowcountry Strawberry Festival: Celebrate all things strawberries April 10-13 at Boone Hall Plantation. Visitors can pick their own strawberries from the fields while taking in multiple events and attractions, including more than 30 rides, strawberry pie eating contests, the Little Miss Berry Princess Contest, petting zoo, musical entertainment, a farming exhibit and much more. Admission is $5 for ages 12 and up; $3 for ages 3-11; and children 2 and under are admitted free with an adult. Additional purchase required for rides.

World Grits Festival: Celebrate that delicious Southern delicacy – grits. The 29th annual Grits Festival is April 11-13 in St. George (about a 45-minute drive from downtown Charleston). This festival is about all things grits so get ready to eat grits, buy grits, learn how grits are made and even join dive into a vat of grits for the Grits Rolling Contest. Interestingly, the festival came about when two major grits companies discovered they were shipping a lot of grits to the Piggly Wiggly grocery store in the small town. It turned out that the people of St. George at more grits per capita than any other place in the world. And so was born the annual World Grits Festival.

Blessing of the Fleet: Each spring, locals and visitors gather in Mount Pleasant to send local shrimpers off to a safe and prosperous shrimping season. This year’s festival is 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 27 at Memorial Waterfront Park. Visitors can enjoy a boat parade, ceremonial blessing of the shrimping/fishing fleet, seafood samplings, music, arts/crafts and activities for the kids. Admission and parking are free.

North Charleston Arts Festival: This event runs May 2-10 and is a celebration of arts and culture featuring national, regional and local artists and performers. More than 100 events take place around the area with most free or modestly priced making this festival accessible to all. The main event is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 3 and 2-5 p.m. May 4 at the Charleston Area Convention Center. Events include more than 40 performances, arts and crafts vendors, a gem and mineral show, an antique show and children’s activities. Parking and admission are free.

Sculpture in the South: The weekend of May 17-18, more than 35 world-class sculptors will present their artwork for sale during this event in Summerville’s Azalea Park. This weekend event has Sculpture in the Southzdrawn national recognition and become a mainstay within the community. Proceeds from the event go to support sculpture purchases for the Summerville Permanent Public Sculpture Collection.

First Flush FesTEAval: At the annual First Flush FesTEAval, the Charleston Tea Plantation welcomes the growth of new leaves on the tea plants in the spring time after a winter of rest. The eighth annual festival begins at noon on May 24 at the plantation on Wadmalaw Island. This year’s festival features The Avett Brothers plus Stop Light Observations, Tyler Boone Band, Ben Fagan and the Holy City Hooligans and more. Tickets are $37.50 in advance and $45 the day of the show. Children 8 and under are admitted free.

instagram-iconSnap a photo at one of these festivals and enter our #MyCharlestonPic photo contest. Simply use the hashtag #MyCharlestonPic and tag us on Twitter or Instagram or post the photo on our Facebook page. We’ll pick one of the best photos to publish in the summer issue of Traveler 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

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