This post covers the best things to do in Charleston in August 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 in August
- Things to Do at Night
- Free Things to Do
- Family Friendly Things to Do
- Charleston Walking Tours
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN CHARLESTON IN AUGUST
This section features our top 10 activities to enjoy in Charleston throughout August. 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. First Day Festival
August 18, 2019
First Day Festival is a community-building event hosted every August and invites thousands of students and their families out for a day of free activities and services. Students and families receive school supplies, learn about healthy snacks, and enjoy events like aquarium tours and boat rides.
To learn more and get involved, click here.
2. See a Concert
August brings plenty of concerts to Charleston. Below is a list of performers passing through the city:
There aren't any other musical performances scheduled for the month of August, but that could change very quickly. Even if you're not interested in the options above, make sure to check this list of concerts in Charleston.
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.
4. South Carolina Reggae Jerk & Wine Festival and Exhibition
August 25, 2019
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is hosting the South Carolina Reggae Jerk & Wine Festival and Exhibition. This event puts on display the best of Jamaican Reggae music, jerk food, and the wines to pair with them. This plantation is a beautiful backdrop for the event and is worth visiting even on its own.
To learn more about this event, click here.
For a list of plantation tours in Charleston, we recommend checking out our article here.
5. Seafood Festival of Charleston
August 10, 2019
Charleston has a number of seafood themed festivals each year, and this is another one seafood lovers can't miss! Come out for great food, beer, and to vote for the best seafood in Charleston.
The event takes place from 12:00-5:00pm and you can purchase your tickets here.
6. Charleston Summer Wine Festival
August 17, 2019
Wind down this August with the Charleston Summer Wine Festival. Taking place at Memminger Auditorium, this event features 50+ wines and beer and has live music and DJ.
The event takes place from 6pm-10pm, and you can purchase your tickets and learn more about the event here.
7. Lowcountry Jazz Festival
August 31-Sept 2, 2019
The Lowcountry Jazz Festival kicks off at the end of August. This three-day jazz festival is South Carolina’s premiere annual Smooth Jazz event. Come for one day or all three, where you can score 10% when you book for all three days.
To learn more and purchase tickets, click here.
For other family-friendly events to do in Charleston in August, check out the kids' section below.
8. Beer From Here
August 16, 2019
Come out and enjoy some craft beers at the Wharf! Hosted by the South Carolina Aquarium, spend the afternoon tasting beers and observing animals. There are also small plates from a number of restaurants for grazing.
For more information and purchasing tickets 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 August, the team’s stadium on Daniel Island will be full of energy and excitement.
Check the full schedule and tickets to see what's happening during your visit to Charleston.
Charleston's minor league baseball team, the Charleston Riverdogs, are also playing at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park throughout August.
Check the full list of their schedule to see what's going on this month.
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.
THINGS TO DO IN THE EVENING IN CHARLESTON IN AUGUST
Below is just a short sampling of the many things to do at night in August. Some of our top ten August 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.
Murder Aboard the Starship Fed Ora
Playing at the Black Fedora Comedy Mystery Theatre, “Murder Aboard the Starship Fed Ora” offers sci-fi and comedy lovers a night of laughs! The show about a space cruise ship is also an audience-interactive mystery that’s full of fun.
For tickets and more information, click here.
Sunset at Fort Sumter Tour
Spend an evening cruising the harbor and visiting one of the most historic fort in the US, Fort Sumter. The cruise includes a tour of the fort as well as a Southern BBQ dinner on the return trip. Beverages are available for purchase.
Tickets and more information is available on the website!
For more nighttime ideas, be sure to take a look at our post Things to do at Night in Charleston.
Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series
Aug 2, 2019
Groove, dance, and chill at the last day of the Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series taking place at James Island County Park. Gates open at 7:30 and music takes place from 8-11pm.
Admission is $10 for adults and FREE for kids 12 & under. For more details on the event, click here.
FREE THINGS TO DO IN CHARLESTON IN AUGUST
As a city, Charleston offers a lot of free activities like the First Day Festival 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 August.
For even more free activities, see our Guide to Free Things to Do in Charleston.
Charleston Farmer’s Market
Marion Square fills itself with a number of farmers hawking their fresh produce, eggs, and dairy among other items on Saturdays in August from 8am-2pm.
A great way to support the local community, the Charleston Farmer’s Market is fun for everyone!
Movies & Music – Mt. Pleasant Waterfront
On Fridays in August (except Aug.30), take the family to the Mt. Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park for a night of live music by local musicians and movies! Movies begin at sunset (approx 8pm-8:30pm).
This event is free for everyone! Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.
Visit St. Michael’s Church
Charleston is known as the 'Holy City' for a reason! This city boasts some beautiful churches, the oldest church edifice being St. Michael’s Church, which sits on the corner of Broad and Meeting Streets. The original wooden church that sat on this spot was built in the 1680’s! Stop by for a visit or attend a service.
More information can be found here.
Below is a video of other churches to visit in Charleston, SC:
TIP: Our Guide to Free Things to do in Charleston lists a number of activities and events that won’t cost you a dime!
Created by the Garden Club of Charleston in 1930, the Gateway Walk takes you through many “undiscovered” places in the Holy City including graveyards and gardens. It’s a fun way to explore some lesser-known spots in the city on foot!
FAMILY-FRIENDLY THINGS TO DO IN CHARLESTON AUGUST
The Holy City is one for all ages! Some of the things we’ve mentioned in this article like watching movies at the Mt. Pleasant Waterfront listed in our Free section above are activities the whole family can enjoy!
Here are a few more ideas that are family-friendly.
Visit the USS Yorktown!
Located on Patriots Point, the USS Yorktown is a WWII aircraft carrier turned museum. Additionally, the point offers a number of other historic ships, a Vietnam experience exhibit, and a Cold War Memorial.
For tickets and more information, click here.
Visit Charles Towne Landing
This state historic site is where a group of European settlers first landed in 1670 to build what would become known as the Carolina Colony. Offering many hand-on and interactive exhibits, the landing is also home to Charleston’s only 17th Century replica sailing ship, the Adventure. More information is available on the website!
North Charleston Fire Museum
Aspiring firefighters and families alike will enjoy a day at the North Charleston Fire Museum. The museum’s collection includes over 20 fire vehicles dating back to 1780! You can also enjoy interactive, hands-on learning activities. Check the website for more information.
For more family-friendly things to do in Charleston, see our post Things to do in Charleston with Kids.
Visit Mrs. Whaley’s Garden
Take some time to relax and breathe in the sweet summer air in America’s most visited private garden. The garden is located behind the late Mrs. Whaley’s pre-Revolutionary War home on Church Street.
For more information and opening times click here.