Historic Charleston Decked Out for the Holidays


Edmondston-Alston House

Photo/Edmondston-Alston House

Long before twinkling lights, inflatable snowmen and the Elf on the Shelf, people in Charleston decorated with greenery, berries, flowers and pinecones. You can still experience that style of Christmas decorating at plantations and historic homes around Charleston.

Built in 1825, the Edmondston-Alston House is decorated as it would have been in 1860. Experience a Victorian holiday season by candlelight as part of Christmas 1860 with ongoing tours from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Dec. 13. Costumed interpreters will present dramatic scenes exploring Charleston’s last opulent Christmas before the start of the Civil War. Afterward, visitors can enjoy hot cider and refreshments in the courtyard. Tickets are $20 online (through 3:30 p.m. day of the event); $25 at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Edmondston-Alston House is at 21 East Battery.

Middleton Place showcases plantation life during the holidays at its Family Yuletide in the Stables from 5:30-8 p.m. on Dec. 14. Enjoy storytelling around the fire, caroling and craftspeople working in their shops by candlelight as they prepare for Christmas at Middleton Place. Tickets are $15 for adults; $5 for children 4-13; and free for children 3 and under.

Middleton Place

Photo/Middleton Place

Join Historic Charleston Foundation’s Curator Brandy S. Culp for a guided tour of the Nathaniel Russell House Museum. This month’s theme is “Celebrating the Holidays in the Lowcountry.” Tours are at 2 p.m. each Thursday. Tickets for these private tours at $60 each and reservations are required. The Nathaniel Russell House is located at 51 Meeting St.

Let us know if you’ve visited some historic sites and which have the best Christmas decorations.