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This post covers the best things to do in Charleston in November 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.



This section features our top 10 activities to enjoy in Charleston throughout November. Whenever possible, we will make note of attractions and events that are free, family-friendly or great after dark.

For tips on the most popular activities in Charleston, check out our schedule of pay-what-you-like walking tours, our bus tours, and boat cruise pages.

Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.



1. Coastal Carolina Fair

Oct. 31-Nov. 10

The Coastal Carolina Fair is an annual fair hosted in Charleston at the end of October. Come and enjoy rides, flower show, fiddle contest, and more! Profits from the event benefit local charities, scholarships, and other ways to give back to the community. For hours, tickets, and more click here



For other family-friendly things to do in Charleston in November, check out our kids' section below. 


2. See a Concert

November brings plenty of concerts to Charleston. Below is a list of performers passing through the city:

For other things to do at night in Charleston, check out our night section below. 

3. Take a Tour!

Our guided walks are free to join and operate on a pay-what-you-like basis, which means you decide what a tour was worth or what you could afford (even free) when the tour is over.



We also have self-guided tours and GPS-enabled audio tours of neighborhoods that you will likely visit as a tourist in the city.

Check out our homepage or look at our schedule to see what we have available when you are here.

4. Harvest Festival

Nov. 2, 2019

Celebrate the beauty of fall with a day of autumnal activities people of all ages can enjoy! Johns Island County Park will host the Harvest Festival from 11am - 5pm which will feature live music, hayrides, pumpkin decorating, and plenty of food! Tickets are $8 and children under 12 are free!


5. Charleston Literary Festival

Nov. 7-10, 2019

The Charleston Literary Festival is hosted by the Charleston Library Society in historic Charleston, South Carolina and the Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex, England. These two organizations will be hosting a series of programs with authors and scholars from around the world. For a list of events and speakers click here so you can better plan your attendance. 


6. Holiday Festival of Lights on James Island

Starting November 15th through December, head over to James Island in the evenings to enjoy thousands of lights, a victorian carousel, visits with Santa Claus, a holiday train, holiday sweet treats and so much more! Check the website for more information and tickets.



For more things to do in Charleston at night, check out our nighttime section below. 

7. Shrimp and Grits Festival

Nov. 10, 2019

Foodies will love this event in Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park! Bring the family to sample a number of shrimp and grits offerings from some of Charleston’s tastiest restaurants. Festival attendees will also enjoy live music, a cash bar, and shopping vendors, and a kid zone! The event goes from 12pm-3pm; tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of and you can get them online here

For more festivals, check out the kids' section below. 

8. Charleston Scottish Games & Highland Gathering

Nov. 2, 2019

Think Olympics but Scottish style, and that about sums up this games and highland gathering hosted by Boone Hall Plantation. There will be sporting events to cheer and music to enjoy, including a band of over 25 bagpipes! There are even children's games to enjoy. To learn more, click here



Boone Hall Plantation is a beautiful place to visit, and we recommend you enjoy a plantation tour at some point during your visit to Charleston in November. 

9. Watch a Game

The Classic NCAA Basketball Tournament takes place in Charleston this November from the 21st- 24th. This is a great way to enjoy some season-opening college basketball as a date or with the whole family! Come for one game or see all of them, but grab your tickets here


10. Tourist Discount Pass

Do more for less by planning ahead with the Tourist Discount Pass. With this pass, you can 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. 

For more ideas for any time of year, be sure to read our master post on Things to do in Charleston. 


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Below is just a short sampling of the many things to do at night in November. Some of our top ten November activities in Charleston are meant for evening hours like the concerts. Here are a few more ideas for things to do in the evening.



For suggestions on other nighttime activities, see our post Things to do at Night in Charleston.

Margarita Crawl

Nov. 16, 2019

If you love margaritas, this bar crawl is for you! With half a dozen locations and discounted drinks at each place, this event makes for a great night out in Charleston. The crawl takes place from 2-8pm. Learn more here.

For more nighttime ideas, be sure to take a look at our post Things to do at Night in Charleston.

Couple’s Cruise

Nov. 16-21, 2019 

This activity is a little out-of-the-box, but if you're an adventurous couple this one's for you! The Carolina Country Music Festival Cruise sets sail from Charleston harbor the evening of November 16th and comes back the 21st. There will be lots of music and beautiful sights as you sail the water. To learn more and book your trip, click here



To learn more about Charleston Harbor tours, click our post here


Mystery Science Theater 3000

Nov. 21, 2019

Going to the theater is a great way to spend an evening in Charleston. Mystery Science Theater 3000 is hitting the stage at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center. Grab your tickets for a great night out!


Holiday Swing: A Charleston Jazz Tradition

Nov. 30, 2019

Charleston Music Hall is putting on a holiday Jazz show! This 18-piece swing band will put the blues right out of you on this night of fun music! You can also make it a whole evening event with dinner add-on options, making this the perfect date night. For tickets and more click here

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As a city, Charleston offers a lot of free activities in November like the things included in our Charleston Discount Pass listed in our top ten section above. Just strolling up and down the cobblestone streets and soaking in the historic and unique architecture is free and enjoyable.

Here are a few more free things to do in Charleston in November



For even more free activities, see our Guide to Free Things to Do in Charleston.

Holiday Market – Middleton Place

Nov. 29 & 30, 2019

Start your Christmas shopping early at the Holiday Market taking place at Middleton Place Plantation. This open-air market is open all day from 9am -5pm and will have a number of vendors with a whole variety of goodies to buy for those special people on your holiday list. Admission to the market is free, so bring the whole family! 



For more family-friendly things to do in Charleston, see our post Things to do in Charleston with Kids.


Visit the Gibbes Museum of Art

Charleston’s only visual art museum, the Gibbes Museum of Art, is sure to please any art lover. The museum showcases a number of classic paintings as well as contemporary pieces including mixed-media, abstract, and sculpture. The first floor is free and open to the public while tickets are required for the second and third floors.

TIP: Our Guide to Free Things to do in Charleston lists a number of activities and events that won’t cost you a dime!


Visit the Big Red Barn

Carriage tours of Charleston are a great way to see the city! There are a number of different companies and a variety of tours to choose from. The Palmetto Carriage Works is one of those, and they have also what's called the Big Red Barn where you can visit and see where they take care of their horses and mules. With over 40 in the barn, it’s a site to see that children particularly enjoy!


Charleston Oyster Festival

Nov. 16, 2019

Whether you're a longtime oyster fan or coming out to try it for the first time, this festival is for everyone. Oysters in all shapes- raw, cooked, fried, you name it- will be served up, so any way you like it they'll have it. There will also be a selection of brews including from local breweries. Admission is FREE if you book in advance or $20 at the gate, then it's purchase as you go at each of the vendors. 



Also that weekend there's the lobster festival if that's more your delicacy, taking place on Nov. 15th.


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The Holy City is one for all ages! Some of the things we’ve mentioned in this article like the Holiday Market listed in our free section above are activities the whole family can enjoy!

Here are a few more ideas that are family-friendly.

Attend AtomaCon

Nov. 22-24, 2019

This convention is in its 6th year and is for all those passionate about fantasy and sci-fi. The weekend-long event will host panels, talks, and more! You can come for a single day or purchase for the whole weekend, depending on what your schedule allows. To learn more, click here


Hot Air Balloon Festival & Polo Match

Nov. 15-16, 2019 

One of the largest equestrian events in the US, the Victory Cup has grown in popularity over the years and is a family-friendly activity for everyone to enjoy. Also part of the weekend is the hot air balloon festival (weather permitting) that will be a gorgeous sight to see. To learn more and get tickets, click here. You can get tickets for one or both events and are reasonably priced. 



Come out for the YALL Festival

Nov. 8 & 9, 2019

The Charleston Young Adult Literary Festival is taking place in November. A fun event for all ages, this festival will have visiting authors, readings, and so much more! Hosted by some of the biggest names in publishing, this event is a great way to get excited about reading! To learn more, click here


Visit the South Carolina Aquarium

Marine life lovers will enjoy a trip to this dazzling aquarium. Focused on connecting people with water, wildlife, and wild places, the aquarium features a number of exhibits that showcase animals like sea turtles, alligators, a large variety of fish, and more! Children especially like the hands-on touch tank!


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About The Author

Scott Nelson

Scott has led over 2,000 tours of Charleston and has more than 1000 5 star reviews. He started working in museums at the age of 16 (Unsinkable Molly Brown House) and hasn't looked back. He was the Executive Director of Heurich House and on the historic interpretation/ education staff at Mount Vernon, both in Washington DC, for over 6 years. Scott moved to Charleston in 2012 for a job with the Historic Charleston Foundation and began leading tours for Free Tours by Foot.
Updated: July 31st, 2023
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