Things to Do in Charleston in February
This post covers the best things to do in Charleston in February and has been updated for 2019. It includes a top 10 list, nighttime activities, free and family-friendly things to do.
Be sure to check out our master post, Things to Do in Charleston for even more ideas.
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO AND EVENTS IN FEBRUARY
This section features our top 10 activities to enjoy in Charleston throughout February. Whenever possible, we will make note of attractions and events that are free, family-friendly or great after dark.
Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.
1. Honor Black History Month
Throughout the month of February Charleston honors its African-American history and culture with a variety of special events and attractions. From learning about the area’s unique Gullah heritage to making sweetgrass baskets, there is no shortage of opportunities to participate in the month-long celebration of black history. Some of the most popular events include:
- Charleston Museum (February 9, 2019) – Join Sharon Cooper-Murray, the Gullah Lady, for a lecture and hands-on workshop about the folk art tradition of rag quilting
- African American Heritage Day Festival (February 9, 2019) – Interpreters from the Slave Dwelling Project will be at the Hampton Plantation to teach us about the lives of the enslaved and emancipation.
- Charles Pinckney National Historic Site (Saturdays at 2 pm through February and March) – Craft demonstrations, cooking, African drumming and story-telling and other musical performances.
Black History month is also a great time to visit one of the plantations near Charleston to learn more about the hardships that the African-American community had to face.
2. Take a Sightseeing Tour
We offer three different types of name your own price tours in Charleston, check out our walking tour schedule here.
If you’re looking for a romantic vibe in February, private carriage tours are highly reviewed for a Valentine’s night out.
3. Super Bowl Sunday
If you’re looking for a fun place to watch the Super Bowl, it doesn’t get much better than Charleston! There are dozens of sports bars and pubs showing the game. Some of our favorites are Charleston Beer Works, Upper Deck Tavern, and Bay Street Biergarten.
Read our post comparing pub crawls in Charleston to learn more about the best bars in the city.
4. Valentine’s Day
There are a handful of events happening in Charleston on Valentine’s Day. The Valentine Chocolate & Camellia Sweetheart Stroll takes place every year at Magnolia Plantation, as well as the Couples Pub Crawl around the historic area. Other fun and romantic things to do in the city include going on a dinner cruise in Charleston Harbor tours or enjoying a sunset carriage ride around the city.
5. Folly Gras
February 23, 2019
Folly Gras is Charleston’s week-long celebration of Mardi Gras, featuring live music, an all-day street part, and a Folly Gras parade. Though this festival is largely aimed at adults, there are also lots of activities for kids in the daytime including face-painting and a pet parade. New Orleans style food and drink are served throughout the event, and traditional Mardi Gras face masks and costumes are more than encouraged. And the best part of all? It’s completely free to attend!
Learn more about Folly Gras here.
6. Southeastern Wildlife Expo
February 15-17, 2019
Outdoor enthusiasts will find a number of events at this weekend exposition. Explore your wild side with art exhibits, conversation education, sporting demonstrations, family events and more.
Find out which exhibitors are here for 2019 and plan your weekend: SEWE.com
7. Carolina Challenge Cup
February 16, 20, 23, 2019
Major League Soccer makes it way to Charleston for the annual Carolina Challenge Cup. Three MLS teams, Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew SC, FC Cincinnati compete with local team, the Charleston Battery, in a round robin challenge.
The Aiken Rhett House Museum is one of the most popular sites in Charleston and is perfect to visit on a cooler day in February. Sold to the Aiken Family in 1827, this incredibly well-preserved mansion showcases the “changes which occurred in architectural design during the first half of the 19th Century.” This property is not only a landmark in this town but it also gives visitors a unique view of the history of this area and this makes it more than worth a visit.
Read our post on the Aiken Rhett House Museum to learn more.
9. Boone Hall Plantation
Boone Hall Plantation is one of the oldest and most widely photographed working plantations in the United States. It has been featured in several films and TV programs, and even served as the house where celebrity couple Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively got married. Tours are offered as well as live talks about the Gullah black history experience. Several tour operators run tours from Charleston and Myrtle Beach to Boone Plantation as well as other plantations.
Read our post comparing Charleston plantation tours to learn more.
10. Get Free Tickets with a Tourist Discount Pass
Admittedly, these passes have a cost. However, if you plan well, you will essentially get several tickets to attractions or tours each day for free. Tourist discount passes work by bundling multiple tickets into one price, usually between 20%-50% the retail price.
Read our post comparing the different Charleston tourist discount passes. Several bus tour companies, including hop-on-hop-off buses, also offer discounts and deals.
TIP: Our Guide to Free Things to do in Charleston lists a number of activities and events that won’t cost you a dime!
Below are our sections on things to do in at night, for free, or for families in February.
For more ideas for any time of year, be sure to read our master post on Things to do in Charleston.
Things to Do at Night in Charleston in February
Below is just a short sampling of the many things to do at night in February. Between Black History Month events, Mardi Gras, there are many things to do at night in the city. For suggestions on other nighttime activities, see our post Things to do at Night in Charleston.
Bacon and Bourbon
February 16, 2019
Two of the most delicious things can only get better together! For Bacon and Bourbon lovers you can get unlimited tastings of each, alongside live music, bull riding competition and ax throwing. A highlight is the rare Bourbon Bar
The event starts at 730pm with VIP access starting at 630pm, which we recommend if this is something you’re looking forward to – or at least arrive at 730pm – because in years past some vendors have run out of bourbon AND bacon!
Proceeds will benefit Charleston Feed The Need.
Dock Street Theatre is a fantastic place to get a taste of Charleston’s history and culture while enjoying one of the many shows put on there every year. In fact, there are over 120 performances each season and the theatre itself plays to more than 40,000 patrons annually. The current building was completed in 1809 and originally served as a hotel before being converted to a theatre in 1935. It occupies the site of what was the very first theatre established in the Thirteen Colonies many years previously.
Click here for a calendar of performances at the Dock Street Theatre.
If you’re looking for a fun and educational way to spend your evening, then why not go for a ride on one of Charleston’s historic carriage tours! There are currently 2 different companies offering nighttime carriage rides. Both are 30-35 minute tours and cost between $15-$16 per adult. Evening tours prove to be popular with those hoping to explore the city as the sun is setting or with those who want to see the city lights lit up.
Read our post comparing the best carriage tours in Charleston to learn more.
You can’t visit Charleston without dining at one of the many fantastic seafood restaurants located around the city. From oysters and crab cakes to fried grouper and shrimp and grits, the seafood you can find in Charleston is some of the best in the country. Some of our favorite places to dine are Hank’s Seafood Restaurant, Fleet Landing Restaurant and Bar, and 167 Raw. Just don’t forget to finish off the meal with a slice of pecan pie!
TIP: For many more ideas, be sure to take a look at our post Things to do at Night in Charleston.
Free Things to Do in Charleston in February
Here are just a few of the many free things you can do in Charleston in February. Also, be sure to check out the other sections of this post, as many of these other ideas are free, such as visiting the Charleston City Market, taking a self-guided tour of historic Charleston, or going to Rainbow Row.
For even more free activities, see our Guide to Free Things to Do in Charleston.
Charleston’s Waterfront Park is one of the prettiest areas in the city. Even on a chilly day in February, the Pineapple Fountain and surrounding trees make for a fantastic photo op. In fact, this park is so beautiful that it was voted one of the Top 25 public parks in the U.S. by Trip Advisor. We include it as one of the top 10 things to see in Charleston and it is featured on our Historic Charleston Tour.
Rainbow Row is a colorful series of 13 mansions that certainly shouldn’t be missed during your visit to Charleston! Though the homes are occupied and can’t be toured, there’s certainly no harm in enjoying the beautiful architecture. In fact, Rainbow features the ‘longest cluster of Georgian row houses in the United States.’ Most of the homes were built between 1770-1790 and are painted bright, pastel colors.
Read our post on Rainbow Row to learn more.
Marion Square Farmers Market
In addition to the King Street Market and Charleston City Market, there is also a weekly farmers market in Marion Square. Open every Saturday from 8am-2pm, the market is free to visit and features local food vendors, as well as craft merchants and live music. If you’re hoping to get a taste of local Charleston culture, then we highly recommend you head to Marion Square on the Saturday of your visit!
Nearby Sullivan’s Island is a great place to visit if you’re on a budget. On a sunny day, you can enjoy a quiet walk on the beach. Or, if you’d prefer visiting a historic site, then make your way to Fort Moultrie, which was built during the Revolutionary War. Tickets are just $3 per person and include museums exhibits and an orientation film.
Read our post on Charleston bus tours to find one that visits Sullivan’s Island.
Family-Friendly Things to do in Charleston in February
Below are just a few of the ideas for things to do with kids in February in Charleston. Some of the items mentioned above would also qualify for inclusion here, including taking a bus tour in Charleston or going on a carriage tours in Charleston.
You might also want to read our Charleston on a Budget guide for tips on how to save when traveling as a family.
Citadel Mall in West Ashley, Suite 264
While the main musuem undergoes renovations in February, you can still play at a reduced price at their temporary location.
This museum is geared towards kids of all age and is thus hands on – feet on – run around and jump kind of place. While many of their larger exhibits won’t be accessible at their temporary location, you’ll still find this a great place to wear out the kids indoors this winter.
The main museum is meant to reopen in early March 2019.
Charleston Harbor Cruise
A boat ride around Charleston Harbor is fun for the whole family! Choose between sightseeing cruises, Fort Sumter tour, sailing tours, water taxis, or a dinner cruise! Regardless of which you pick, these tours offer guests a unique perspective of the city, as well as give visitors the chance to learn more about the famous sites dotting Charleston Harbor. Kids tickets are heavily discounted, making this a popular choice for families.
Check out our post comparing all Charleston Harbor tours for more information.
If it’s too chilly to wander around outside, then take a break and visit the South Carolina Aquarium. Open 9am-4pm daily, the aquarium features marine animals traditionally found in the coastal waters of South Carolina and beyond. Two of their most popular creatures are a rare albino alligator and a bald eagle named Liberty. Admission is $29.95 for adults and $22.95 for children.
Read our post on the aquarium for more information.
TIP: For more ideas of things to do with kids in Charleston, see our post Things to do in Charleston with Kids.