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Things to do in Charleston in September

Updated: July 31, 2023

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


Charleston in September


This section features our top 10 activities to enjoy in Charleston throughout September. 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.  Lowcountry Jazz Festival

Aug. 30-Sept. 2, 2019

Listen to a sampling of excellent jazz artists at the 11th annual Lowcountry Jazz Festival. This weekend event will feature a number of jazz instrumentalists and vocalists at the Charleston Gaillard Center.
Check the website for tickets and more information.



2. See a Concert

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

For even more musical performances that could be available this month, please check the following list of concerts in Charleston.

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

3. Charleston Restaurant Week

Sept. 4-15, 2019

Wine and dine at a variety of Charleston’s best restaurants! Participating venues will offer special menu items, discounts, and other promotions. Reservations are encouraged.

For more information and a list of participants click here.

Below is a clip from last year's that explains how Restaurant Week works:



4. Charleston Beer Week

Sept. 7-14, 2019

Round out restaurant week with beer! Did you know Charleston boasts over 24 area craft breweries? Celebrate area craft beer with this multi-day festival featuring a number of craft brews and different events at a variety of venues.

For a lineup of events and more information click here.



5. Charleston Water Week

Sept. 7-15, 2019

Highlighting one of the city’s most prized possessions–its waterways–Charleston Water Week has a lot to offer.

Participate in the swim around Charleston, the Kiawah Island triathlon, or just enjoy being an enthusiastic spectator.

6. Wine Down Wednesday

Sept. 11 & 25, 2019

Wine Down Wednesday starts in September and lasts through October 23rd. These events are a great way to enjoy an early fall evening (from 5-7pm) with wine, food truck fare, and live music at the Old Towne Creek County Park. Wine Down Wednesday is the perfect way to, well, wind down!

Click here for more information and tickets.


7. MOJA Art Festival

Sept. 26- Oct. 6, 2019

This festival celebrates African American and Caribbean arts with a wide range of music performances, dance, poetry readings, art, and more! There are both free and ticketed events, so there's something for everyone's budget. There are plenty of children's activities, so be sure to bring along the little ones!

For more information, click here



For other family-friendly events to do in Charleston in September, check out the kids' section below. 


8. Charleston Pride Week & Festival

Sept. 6-14, 2019

Charleston celebrates Pride this September with a whole week of activities. Events take place all around the city with a number of sponsors, from a family picnic to an art exhibition and free movie showings. The weeks finishes with a Pride Parade for everyone to come out an enjoy.

To see the schedule and plan your week, click here.


9. Watch a Game

Soccer fan or not, watching the Charleston Battery is a fun evening activity for people of all ages! With a variety of games in the month of September, the team’s stadium on Daniel Island will be full of energy and excitement. Get tickets here. 



There are also tickets to snatch for the Charleston Riverdogs, Charleston's minor league baseball team. 

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 September. Some of our top ten September activities in Charleston are meant for evening hours like trying a new dining establishment for restaurant week. 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.

Take an Evening Carriage Ride

See Charleston at night in a unique experience on a nighttime carriage ride. Old South Carriage Company and Palmetto Carriage Works offer nighttime carriage rides in Charleston, the perfect after-dinner activity. They offer daytime tours as well if you prefer it, and we have a whole list of Charleston carriage tours here

Visit Frankie’s Fun Park!

Revisit some childhood favorites with a visit to Frankie’s Fun Park! Attractions include mini golf, batting cages, go karts, bumper boats, and a rock climbing wall among much more! There is something for the whole family to enjoy!



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


Night Market

Selling goods since 1804, the Charleston City Market is one of the oldest public markets in the US. Spend an afternoon strolling through vendors stalls to pick up some local handicrafts like the famous sweetgrass baskets. While fun during the day, it's a cool and different experience at night when the market comes alive on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Take a Ghost Tour

It's not yet Halloween, but who says you have to wait until then to take a ghost tour? A lot of companies offer ghost tours year-round, so you can see the spooky side of Charleston no matter when you visit! There are historic ghost tours, pirate ghost tours, paranormal ghost tours...something for the whole family! There's even a ghost pub crawl for those 21+. 

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As a city, Charleston offers a lot of free activities like the MOJA Art Festival, as 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.

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



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.


Visit the Battery Carriage House Inn 

While staying at the Battery Carriage House Inn comes with a cost, visiting the grounds does not. One of the city’s oldest inns, this house was built in 1843. What makes it even more appealing is that it’s famed as one of the city’s most haunted places!

Charleston Tea Plantation

A living piece of American history, the Charleston Tea Plantation has been around since the 18th Century! Now owned by the Bigelow Tea Company, the plantation is the only tea producing plantation in North America. Visiting the beautiful grounds is free of charge. Visit the website for more information!

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

Charles Pickney Historic Site

One of the primary authors and signers of the United States Constitution, Charles Pickney was certainly a founding father of the US. His coastal plantation is open to visitors and offers an opportunity to learn of the history of his life as well as those who he enslaved on his plantation. Check the website for opening hours and more information. For those interested in visiting other plantations, we recommend checking out our guide here

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The Holy City is one for all ages! Some of the things we’ve mentioned in this article like Frankie's Fun Park in the nighttime section are activities the whole family can enjoy!

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

Turtle Trek 5K

Sept. 21, 2019

Dust off your running shoes and get ready for the South Carolina Aquarium Turtle Trek 5k! This sunset beach run and kids fun run will take place on Isle of Palms. Proceeds help support the Sea Turtle Care Center. More information and registration is available on the website!

Check out Sullivan's Island

Take the family to Sullivan’s Island for a day of fun in the sand–beautiful ocean views await! Make sure to also see Fort Moultrie, one of the oldest forts along the eastern seaboard that’s still standing and the Sullivan’s Island lighthouse, one of the most modern lighthouses in the US.


Visit the Citadel

As the weather cools down, we recommend taking a stroll through the grounds of South Carolina’s military college. With exterior similarities to a castle, The Citadel is a sight to see! Head over on a Friday and you may be able to catch a military parade. You can also take a virtual tour of it here

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


Explore the Cypress Gardens 

With summer ending and the blooms with it, there's still time in September to catch some beauty in the gardens around Charleston. It's a bit of a drive out of Charleston, but you need to get away from the city to enjoy the beauty of the Cypress Gardens. With swamp tours and a butterfly house, this is a great way to get away for a weekend day and enjoy the amazing nature. To learn more, click here



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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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