May | Things to Do in Charleston, SC

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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 3-7

Concerts, street dances, fine art, photography, film, public art installations, lectures, workshops, antique show, kids’ activities and fireworks finale.

Art Walk: May 6

The CGA First Friday Artwalks are back from 5-8pm on the First Friday of the month. Visit more than 40 participating galleries during this free evening artwalk. Visit the website for a map.

Lowcountry Shrimp Festival: May 6

Join the Town of McClellanville for a celebration of shrimp and a blessing of the fleet at the Robert E. Ashley Boat Landing on Jeremy Creek. Live music, local shrimp, frogmore stew, barbecue, hot dogs and beer plus more than 45 local artisans and children’s play area.  

Greek Festival: May 6-8

Enjoy Greek food, music, folk dance performances, cultural exhibits and tours of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 30 Race St. in Charleston.

Spoleto Festival USA: May 26-June 11

For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, South Carolina’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. Now approaching its 47th season, Spoleto Festival USA is internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival.

Piccolo Spoleto: May 24-June 9

Annual arts festival running alongside the bigger Spoleto Festival, with events across the city featuring local and other southern performing and visual artists.

Try One of These New Charleston Restaurants

Baker & Brewer, 94 Stuart Street, Charleston

What do you get when you combine a pizzeria with a brewery? EVO Pizzeria and Holy City Brewing bring you Baker & Brewer! Sip on some brews, chow down on wood fired pizza. You can also choose to get coffee and dessert at this location.

Betty Lou’s Bistro2408 Ashley River Road, Charleston

This quaint new dining location in West Ashley offers fresh, casual food and high-end wine at affordable prices. You can nibble on brussels sprout caesar salad ‘or take a big bite our of Betty Lou’s burger drenched in gruyere cheese, garlic aioli, bacon, and tomato-onion chutney.

Visiting Charleston Just Got Way Easier!

TourPass includes all the top tours and attractions & historic sites. Save up to 40% or more on admissions + skip the lines

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