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23+ Fall Events to See in Charleston (2019)

Book A Guided Walking Tour

Charleston is a fun and family-friendly city to visit this fall. There are plenty of fun and free things to do all around the city, and this is your guide to enjoying the best of Charleston this fall.

 

visiting charleston in the fall

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN CHARLESTON IN FALL

This is a Top 10 list of things to do in Charleston this Fall. For more ideas on popular things to do in Charleston, check out our posts on bus tours and walking tours of the city.

Some of the items listed in this post are included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass

 


1.  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.


2. Autumn Activities at Plantations

Charleston boasts come beautiful and historic plantations, and are a must-visit stop on your trip to the Holy City. You can visit plantations year-round, and depending on when you go they have special events going on, and fall is no exception.

Below is a list of special autumn activities at plantations:

 

 

If you can't make it to any of these, will still recommend taking a plantation tour to see these incredible places!


3. Taste of Charleston

Eat your way through the best cuisine of Charleston at the Taste of Charleston festival. With over 40 participating restaurants, there's sure to be something for everyone!

This is a great way to try new cooking and spend the day munching and relaxing. The event this year will be completely cashless as they usher in a new wristband system do you don't have to keep fumbling for your wallet at each stop!

To get your tickets, click here

 

 

For more festivals in Charleston, check out our festival section below. 

To learn more about the Charleston food scene, we recommend taking a food tour! We have compiled a list of the best food tours in Charleston here


4. Catch a Concert

The summer may be over, but there are still great concerts taking place around Charleston. Going to a concert is a great way to cap off an evening after spending the day touring Charleston. Some big names coming to Charleston this fall:


5. Ghost Tours

Get your spooky on this fall with a ghost tour! We have a full guide to the best ghost tours in Charleston here. Below are a few we think are the best:

 

 

For more spooky things to do in Charleston this fall, keep reading! We have a whole Halloween section below.


6. Sports

Charleston has sporting events to attend year-round, and fall means football! Check out the Charleston teams playing this fall:

Football:

 

 

Soccer:

There's also the Charleston Classic, the 3 invitational college basketball season-opening tournament.

You can get your tickets for that here


7. Halloween

Charleston has lots of Halloween activities for all ages.

For activities of all ages, we recommend going to a plantation to get your spook on.

Both Boone Hall Plantation and Magnolia Plantation have events, like the Boone Hall Fright Night and Family Fright Night at Magnolia Plantation

 

 

You can also attend the Lowcountry Halloween Fest for some safe trick-or-treating and activities.

For those too old to trick-or-treat, we recommend checking out haunted places for a drink!

There are a number of spooky watering holes in Charleston, like the Blind Tiger Pub, where patrons have sworn they've encountered angry spirits.

For more haunted places to check out in Charleston, click on our Halloween post here


 8. Thanksgiving

Eating turkey is our favorite Thanksgiving tradition, but there a number of other things to do in Charleston during Thanksgiving:

  • Go on a run! Feeling guilty about that extra helping of stuffing? Sweat it off at the Turkey Day Run
  • Start your Christmas shopping early at the annual holiday market. Taking place Nov. 8-10, come out and browse the vendors to get unique gifts for the whole family. 
  • Take a drive down the annual Holiday Festival of Lights 

 

 


9.  The Fall Tours: Homes, History, & Architecture

A fall stroll through the neighborhoods of Charleston sounds dreamy, doesn't it?

Tours hosted by the Preservation Society of Charleston highlight architecture and homes October 3rd- November 2nd in The Fall Tours: Homes, History, & Architecture. There are also garden tours and history tours, making this month for everyone!

Tickets can be a little pricey, so for those on a budget we recommend one of our own pay-your-own-price tours, our Charleston Architecture Tour.

You'll see the world-famous "Pineapple Gate", Dock Street Theater, and a number of historic houses and churches. 


10. Look into a 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. 

 

Tourist Passes Reviewed

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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THINGS TO DO FOR FREE IN FALL

Many of our Top Ten don't cost much but check out our post about Free Things To Do in Charleston for a more complete guide.  Below you will find a couple of other options to keep to a budget.


Battery Park 

Take a stroll through Battery Park. A landmark in the Holy City, the Battery sits at the tip of the Charleston and was once used as a line of defense.

Evidence of this is still shown with a number of cannon displays throughout the park. A peaceful place to enjoy an afternoon, Battery Park also offers views of Fort Sumter.


Visit the Big Red Barn Holiday

Even if you’re not planning a carriage tour, you can visit Palmetto Carriage Works big red barn where they keep their well taken care of horses and mules. With over 40 in the barn, it’s a site to see that children particularly enjoy!


Second Sunday on King Street 

Free to attend, this fun shopping day on King Street brings merchants together to advertise new goods, offer special discounts and sales, and welcome shoppers with that classic southern hospitality! Additionally, look out for activities, food, and wine!


Black Ink: The Charleston African American Book Festival

The Charleston libraries are celebrating African-American literature at the Charleston African American Book Festival. This event is completely free and will bring in authors and vendors and have discussions and signings. Come out to see your favorite author and maybe discover a new one!

For more festivals in Charleston this fall, check out our festival section below. 


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PACKING GUIDE FOR FALL IN CHARLESTON

Packing to go to a city you've never been to can feel daunting- how much is too much? There's also the fear of meeting unexpected weather and not having packed something essential. Below are some FAQ about packing we want to answer for you:
  • Does it rain a lot in the fall? The fall months have the least amount of rain in Charleston, so no need for a big raincoat! We recommend bringing an umbrella in case you do catch a wet day, but you should have a mostly dry visit. 
  • What to pack: Charleston has nice weather through fall. With temperatures averaging between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, you can still wear shorts and sandals. We recommend bringing along a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. 
  • Be sure to bring water with you. A lot of the public parks have removed water fountains due to health concerns, so bringing water along prevents you from having to buy expensive water in shops and keeps you hydrated.
  • Going out for a drink or nice restaurant in the evening? If you've been walking around outside all day it might be best to pack along a nice change of clothes. Most places in Charleston are pretty casual in dressing, but if you're going out at night to somewhere ritzy like a speakeasy, dressing up a bit is best.

We have a monthly post section below if you want to read up more on the specifics of the weather to better decide what clothes to bring on your Fall trip to Charleston.


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HOLIDAYS & FESTIVALS

Most Charleston festivals are free to attend and we have LOTS of them throughout the year. There are food festivals, beer festivals, tequila festivals, music festivals, and art festivals. There is a fest for every type of visitor. Below is a list of our most popular fall festivals:


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MONTHLY POSTS

To learn more about what do to in specific months here in Charleston, click the links below:

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: October 12th, 2021
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