north charleston arts fest

May | Things to Do in Charleston, SC

“You are as welcome as the flowers in May” – Charles Macklin

The sun is out to greet us every day, flowers are in full bloom, and endless Charleston events await us. It’s one of our favorite times of the year. We love farmers markets and outdoor brunch, plus we have a host of events keeping us busy and out enjoying this this beautiful month of May in the Holy City.

Our Favorite Charleston Events

North Charleston Arts Fest: May 2-6

Locals and visitors have the opportunity to experience a vast array of arts and cultural offerings that are both affordable and accessible. This festival uses performing, visual, media, and literary arts to expose, engage, and inspire patrons from all walks of life.

Art Walk: May 4

Start at any of the 40 downtown galleries and stroll through the streets of Charleston viewing some of the city’s finest art.

May the Dogs be With You Festival: May 5

The Galactic Dog Festival Returns! This year the event is at Deep Water Vineyard on Wadmalaw Island. Perfect for kids, adults and dogs, there will be food trucks on site and live music throughout the day.

Charleston RiverDogs

photo/Charleston RiverDogs

Bark For Your Brew: May 6

Enjoy more than 30 craft beers from Southern Eagle Distributing’s craft beer portfolio, hot dogs and live music before the start of the RiverDogs game that evening. Tickets are $25 in advance and include beer sampling tickets, a tasting cup, hot dog samples and tickets to that night’s RiverDogs game versus the Lexington Legends.

Hops & Vines: May 10

After a popular debut last year, Charleston County Parks’ Hops and Vines event series returns to McLeod Plantation Historic Site for two events in May. On May 10 and May 24, enjoy live music, beer, wine and a food truck from 5:30-7:30 p.m.. Interpreters will be on site to illustrate the storied history of McLeod Plantation. Guests are encouraged to arrive by 5:15 p.m. for a complimentary tour of the plantation site’s grounds. The main house and gift shop will not be open during the event, but interpreters will be on site to answer questions.

Mother’s Day Brunch: May 13

SpiritLine Cruises will be honoring all moms on Mother’s Day with brunch and a harbor tour. Ticket includes brunch, live smooth jazz and a complimentary mimosa for all adult guests.

Charleston Beer Garden: May 19

Charleston Beer Garden

Charleston Beer Garden / photo by Michael Cyra

Sample a variety of craft beers from the Carolinas while enjoying beer games, food trucks, vendors and music from The Dubplates and Sol Driven Train – all while raising money to help those living with HIV/AIDS here in the Lowcountry. Featuring 30 breweries and more than 60 beers plus games, food trucks, vendors and a Homebrewers’ Village.

Charleston Sprint Triathlon: May 20

The Lowcountry’s premier swim, bike and run competition, the Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series, kicks off its 28th year on May 20 at James Island County Park. The Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series is a five-race series spanning May through August and is hosted by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission. Athletes may compete in one race, multiple races, or sign up for the entire five-race series.

Lowcountry Boil on Morris Island: May 20

You haven’t lived till you’ve tried this Southern favorite – corn, potatoes, sausage and shrimp combined in one large pot for a delicious beach treat. Explore the island, swim or relax on the sand before dinner. Trip leaves from Folly Beach and lasts about 2.5 hours.

Spoleto Festival USA: May 25-June 10

For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers in opera, theater, dance, and chamber, symphonic, choral, and jazz music.

Charleston-Mount Pleasant Art Festival: May 26 & 27

Head to Mount Pleasant Towne Centre for an outdoor art show and craft marketplace. Free admission.

Try One of These New Charleston Restaurants

Uneeda Sicilian, 624 1/2 Rutledge Ave., Charleston

Balao rooftop seafood and cocktail bar in Charleston, SC


We aren’t sure if we’ve come across a smaller menu than this one, but it works. The options at this fresh new pizza joint on Rutledge are simple and perfected. Pepperoni or cheese, sandwich or salad … decision making won’t be hard here. The pizza itself will leave you coming back every weekend. Unlike any other pie we’ve tasted in Charleston, Uneeda Sicilian offers a unique taste that isn’t crowded by toppings or seasoning. This is a must-try while visiting downtown.

Daps280 Ashley Ave., Charleston

Daps Breakfast and Imbibe is described as a casual neighborhood breakfast shop and gathering place. The breakfast menu is unique — and delicious. From fruity pebble pancakes to a sloppy chorizo gravy sandwich, there is something for every mood. Grab your friends and some mimosas for a perfect Sunday morning at this new hot spot.

Balao16 North Market St., Charleston

If you love a bird’s eye view of Charleston, you’ll love this new rooftop seafood and cocktail bar. This new concept has been in the works for four years and has finally opened its doors. The raw bar and small plates menu offer a wide range of fresh seafood and creative cocktails.


Checkout The Charleston Tour Pass

Charleston Tour Pass provides access to over 20 of Charleston’s top tours , attractions and restaurants. You simply present your pass to participating Vendors who scan you in….you pay nothing at the gate. Passes can be purchased for 1-Day, 2-Days or 3-Days.

Visit their website for more details – Charleston Tour Passcharleston tour pass

Some places on the Tour Pass:

  • Boone Hall Plantation
  • Harbor Tours
  • Carriage Tours
  • City Bus Tours
  • Lewis Barbecue – $7 voucher
  • Charleston Harbor Fish House – $7 voucher
  • Charles Towne Landing
  • Old Exchange
  • Slave Mart
  • Gibbes Museum of Art
  • Charleston Museum
  •  Nathaniel Russell House
  • Revelry Brewing – 2 free pints
  • Deep Water Vineyard – free tasting + tour
  • Firefly Distilleries – free tasting + tour
  • Charleston Tea Plantation – free Trolley Tour
  • Charleston Water Taxi – all day ride pass
  • Charleston Fun Park – $20 voucher per person
  • visit website to see all attractions