Best time to visit Charleston, South Carolina
In South Carolina, Charleston is one of the most beautiful cities in the southern United States. Home of spectacular mansions, port trade, slavery, dolphins and pirates, and dreamlike porches.
If you consider visiting a place less typical of the United States, this city will steal your heart. Here‘s our guide to Charleston, with step-by-step routes for two days and loads of information to help you prepare for your trip!
The best time to travel to Charleston in South Carolina is April through October, where you have pleasant or warm weather and little to moderate precipitation. The average high temperature in Charleston is 31 ° C in July and 14 ° C in January. The water temperature is between 13 ° C and 34 ° C.
Charleston has an oceanic climate. We present all the information about the average temperature and rainfall in Charleston or the periods when more rain or snowfalls occur. So you can be well prepared! Our monthly weather statistics averages are based on data from the last 10 years.
Climate Charleston per month
|14° C||16° C||18° C||2. 3° C||26° C||30° C||31° C||31° C||29° C||24° C||19° C||16° C|
Charleston has an oceanic climate. The rain falls every month of the year. The average annual temperature in Charleston is 18 °, and the average yearly rainfall is 528 mm. It does not rain for 198 days per year, the average humidity is 74%, and the UV Index is 4.
|Hours of sun|
Best time to visit Charleston South Carolina
|Day||14° C||16° C||18° C||2. 3° C||26° C||30° C||31° C||31° C||29° C||24° C||19° C||16° C|
|Evening||7° C||9° C||eleven° C||16° C||twenty° C||24° C||25° C||25° C||2. 3° C||18° C||12° C||9° C|
|Water||13° C||2. 3° C||16° C||27° C||31° C||3. 4° C||33° C||3. 4° C||32° C||25° C||19° C||18° C|
|Hours of sun|
Weather Charleston January
It is average a maximum of 14 ° in January in Charleston and at least around 7 ° degrees. The sea temperature is around 13 ° degrees. In January, there are 9 days of rainfall with a total of 33 mm, and it will be dry 22 days this month in Charleston.
Weather Charleston February
It is average a maximum of 16 ° in February in Charleston and at least around 9 ° degrees. The sea temperature is around 23 ° degrees. In February, there are 10 days of rainfall with 42 mm, and it will be dry 18 days this month in Charleston.
Weather Charleston march
On average, it is a maximum of 18 ° in march in Charleston and at least around 11 ° degrees. The sea temperature is around 16 ° degrees. In protest, there are 12 days of rainfall with 47 mm, and it will be dry 19 days this month in Charleston.
Charleston April weather
It averages a maximum of 23 ° in April in Charleston and at least around 16 ° degrees. The sea temperature is around 27 ° degrees. In April, there are 12 days of rainfall with a total of 55 mm, and it will be dry 18 days this month in Charleston.
Weather Charleston may
On average, it is a maximum of 26 ° in may in Charleston and at least around 20 ° degrees. The sea temperature is around 31 ° degrees. In May, there are 16 days of rainfall with a total of 72 mm, and it will be dry for 15 days this month in Charleston.
Weather Charleston June
It is average a maximum of 30 ° in June in Charleston and at least around 24 ° degrees. The sea temperature is around 34 ° degrees. In June, there are 19 days of rainfall with a total of 89 mm, and it will be dry for 11 days this month in Charleston.
Weather Charleston July
It is average a maximum of 31 ° in July in Charleston and at least around 25 ° degrees. The sea temperature is around 33 ° degrees. In July, there are 23 days of rainfall with a total of 111 mm, and it will be dry for 8 days this month in Charleston.
Charleston weather august
It is average a maximum of 31 ° in august in Charleston and at least around 25 ° degrees. The sea temperature is around 34 ° degrees. In August, there are 24 days of rainfall with a total of 135 mm, and it will be dry for 7 days this month in Charleston.
Weather Charleston September
On average, it is a maximum of 29 ° in September in Charleston and at least around 23 ° degrees. The sea temperature is around 32 ° degrees. In September, there are 19 days of rainfall with a total of 89 mm, and it will be dry for 11 days this month in Charleston.
Weather Charleston October
It is average a maximum of 24 ° in October in Charleston and at least around 18 ° degrees. The sea temperature is around 25 ° degrees. In October, there are 10 days of rainfall with a total of 68 mm, and it will be dry for 21 days this month in Charleston.
Weather Charleston November
It is average a maximum of 19 ° in November in Charleston and at least around 12 ° degrees. The sea temperature is around 19 ° degrees. In November, there are 9 days of rainfall with a total of 44 mm, and it will be dry for 21 days this month in Charleston.
Charleston December weather
It is average a maximum of 16 ° in December in Charleston and at least around 9 ° degrees. The sea temperature is around 18 ° degrees. In December, there are 11 days of rainfall with a total of 78 mm, and it will be dry for 20 days this month in Charleston.
Charleston is located in South Carolina in the state of South Carolina, and its population is 411,940. If you want to phone Charleston, then you must add +1 or 001 before the phone number. If the first digit of the number is a 0, you must remove it. For example, if the phone is 05012457809, you will have to remove the first 0, and the resulting number is +15012457809 or 0015012457809.
Charleston is located at 7,821 km in a straight line from Buenos Aires. From the Ministro Pistarini International Airport, flights take 10 hours50.
The coordinates of Charleston, South Carolina are the latitude: 32.7765656 and longitude: -79.9309216
The GPS coordinates are N 32 ° 46 ‘35.7600 “ and W 79 ° 55′ 51.2400″
PRACTICAL GUIDE TO TRAVEL TO CHARLESTON
To start this guide to Charleston, here are some notes on the history of the city, marked by trade and slavery:
- Charleston is located in the state of South Carolina, one of the original 13 colonies of the United States.
- Two rivers surround the city, the Cooper (to the east) and the Ashley (to the west), which meet and flow into the Atlantic Ocean in the city’s South.
- Thanks to its coastal location and relatively close to the Caribbean, it was one of the most important ports in the Atlantic for a long time. Many citizens became rich thanks to the maritime trade between colonies. Although it had a time of decline, today, its historic centre is one of the most stately and spectacular in the United States. Although behind it hides a very simple story, since
- Charleston’s prosperity would not have been possible without the trade-in of thousands of enslaved Africans, kidnapped from their countries and brought to the city by the sea. There, they were auctioned off and shipped to other states to work on the rice, indigo, and cotton plantations or worked as domestic servants in merchants’ homes.
- At the height of slavery, more than 40% of enslaved people came to the United States through South Carolina. Scary fact, right? Thanks to this trade in human beings, many families became richer and richer, leaving behind the Charleston we know today.
- Charleston is also the starting point of the American Civil War, a conflict fueled by the different positions on slavery between the South and the North from 1861 to 1865. South Carolina was part of the Confederate states, and today it is a popular destination among nostalgics and defenders of that controversial episode in history.
HOW TO GET THERE AND ROAD TRIPS
- The easiest way to get there is through the Charleston International Airport. From New York, the flight takes about 2 hours.
- The airport is only a 20-minute drive from downtown, and there is also a bus that covers the journey for $3.5 per person.
- If you are thinking of making a road trip, a fantastic combination would be to visit Charleston and Savannah for us, another of the most charming cities in the United States. Although it is located in the neighbouring state of Georgia, it is only a 2-hour drive away.
WHERE TO SLEEP IN CHARLESTON
- Most Charleston hotels are located in the historic downtown area. We recommend staying in this area, more or less between Calhoun St and Broad St, since the center is tiny and will allow you to always get around on foot.
- Click here to search for hotels in Charleston.
- We stayed in an Airbnb room in the Harleston Village neighbourhood, west of downtown, a beautiful and quiet area day and night.
WHAT TO SEE IN CHARLESTON IN 2 DAYS
This section of the Charleston guide shares the routes we followed on our 2-day trip to the city. As we were short on time, we could not visit any of the nearby plantations.
But, if you have more time and want to know the history of these places and the enslaved people who lived in them.
CHARLESTON ROUTE: DAY 1
THE CITY MARKET AND SWEETGRASS BASKETS
We start the day at the most touristic place in Charleston, the City Market. Although you’ll recognize it from the neoclassical facade, most of the market dates back to the early 19th century, when meat and groceries were sold here.
It occupies several blocks and, today, they have transformed the buildings into a showcase for local businesses: you will find souvenir and decoration stalls and cafeterias.
And, the most curious thing, artisans who weave baskets with a grass called sweetgrass, a kind of wicker. For Charleston’s most beloved souvenir, look for this African-derived craft brought to South Carolina by plantation enslaved people.
On weekends between March and December, the market also opens at night (Night Market), and concerts are organized. The surrounding streets, North Market St and South Market St, are also lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes.
The truth is that this was the part of Charleston that caught our attention the least since it is the most focused on tourism, but it is the most central and well-known, so it is a good starting point.
THE FRENCH QUARTER
South of City Market, between South Market St and Broad St, Charleston’s French Quarter awaits.
The French quarter is tiny, but its streets and alleys make you fall in love. Going down Church St, you’ll find St Philip’s Church and the Dock St Theatre a little further on, a theatre with a wrought-iron balcony reminiscent of the French Quarter in New Orleans.
A place that we loved in this area is the little street Philadephia Alley, although, if you walk through the neighbourhood, you will find many other alleys to sneak into.
THE OLD SLAVE MART AND ENSLAVED PERSON AUCTIONS
One of the French Quarter’s lovely cobblestone streets, Chalmers St, hides some of Charleston’s darker past: the Old Slave Mart Museum.
The enslaved people kidnapped in Africa were auctioned to the highest bidder in this building. In 1865, the city banned public slave auctions, so they began to be held behind closed doors in buildings like this one. Today, it houses the Museum of African American History.
WATERFRONT PARK AND THE CHARLESTON PINEAPPLE
Walk east, and you’ll soon find Waterfront Park, a park that stretches along the Cooper River.
The most striking is the Pineapple fountain, the fountain in the shape of a pineapple. Take a look, and you’ll find representations of this fruit all over Charleston.
The story goes that when the captains returned to the city after sailing the seas, they brought exotic pineapples and placed one of these fruits at the entrance of their home.
It is how they signalled to friends and acquaintances that they had returned and that their home was open to visitors, and this, too, is how the pineapple became a symbol of Charleston and hospitality.
The Waterfront Park is a great place to enjoy a morning of good weather, with a pier that goes into the river and several swings where you can sit and rest.
THE CHARLESTON DOLPHINS
And also… From there you can see dolphins! Before visiting Charleston, we had no idea that a very active community of bottlenose dolphins lives in its waters near the ocean .
Finding them was one of the most exciting parts of the trip, a gift from nature that reassures us that the animals should always be seen in the wild (Charleston has an aquarium, but we will never recommend these places in our guides).
During the trip, we were lucky that the dolphins were active and we saw them in both rivers, both the Cooper and the Ashley, and from different places, but none from as close as from the docks of Waterfront Park.
RAINBOW ROW, CHARLESTON FROM POSTCARD
From Waterfront Park, head back through the streets to the most colourful spot in Charleston: Rainbow Row, a quaint collection of 13 pastel-painted Georgian houses.
When built, they faced the river (the city had been reclaiming land from the water) and served as a merchant’s home and shop.
Over time, the houses fell into disrepair. Until, in the 1930s, a city resident decided to buy a few of the buildings, restore them and paint the facades.
Other neighbours joined the initiative, painting the homes in pastel tones to repel the suffocating heat that South Carolina has in summer, and the result is the postcard image you have in front of you.
THE SOUTH OF BROAD MANSIONS
Although Rainbow Row captivates, the rest of the neighbourhood where it is located made us fall in love even more.
It is the historic neighbourhood of South of Broad, which, as its name suggests, extends south of Broad St, along the banks of the Ashley and Cooper rivers.
In this place, wherever you look, you come across imposing mansions built by merchants and plantation owners, dreamy porches, and lush gardens.
Walking along the river along East Battery Street, you’ll find some of Charleston’s most spectacular mansions. Some, like the Edmonston-Alston House, offer guided tours.
Although we recommend you move away from the river and immerse yourself in the streets of the neighbourhood (Atlantic St, Church St.), pay attention to the details of the doors and porches. An oasis of tranquillity where abundance is breathed and where buildings are sold! For millions of dollars!
In recent decades, institutions like the Historic Charleston Foundation have worked tirelessly to restore and preserve the city’s incredible architecture, and today the streets are glorious again.
THE WHITE POINT GARDEN
Taking advantage of the fact that you are in the south, go to White Point Garden, a beautiful park that was fortified to defend the city during the American Civil War.
Several cannons and mortars can still be seen today ( when we were there, there were also a few people waving Confederate flags), though the park’s greatest charms are its tranquillity and ocean views.
If the day is clear, you can see the silhouette of Fort Sumter, the fort where the Civil War began in 1861, on the horizon. It is a national monument open to the public and, if you feel like it, you can buy tickets and arrive by ferry from Liberty Square, as we will tell you later.
FOUR CORNERS OF THE LAW AND WASHINGTON SQUARE
Head north again through the pretty streets of South of Broad until you reach the intersection of Broad St and Meeting St.
This place is known as the Four Corners of the Law, ‘the four corners of the law’, since the City Hall, a church, a courthouse, and a post office stand at the intersection’s four corners.
You can enter City Hall and St Michael’s Church for free if you feel like it. Afterwards, stop at pleasant Washington Square, dominated by a statue of President George Washington.
THE CIRCULAR CONGRESSIONAL CHURCH AND ITS CEMETERY
Continue north on Meeting St, and you’ll find another church, the Circular Congressional Church. Behind the building is a peaceful Spanish moss-covered cemetery, the oldest in Charleston.
If you like music, this church is home to one of Charleston’s most beloved shows, the Sounds of Charleston. It is a concert that mixes the city’s thousand and one musical styles, from jazz to gospel, and songs from the Civil War.
Keep going up Meeting Street, and in a few minutes, you will arrive at the starting point of this first day of the route through Charleston, the City Market.
To end the day, you can stroll down King Street, Charleston’s quintessential shopping street. The most central section, Middle King Street, is a succession of clothing chains, restaurants, and cosmetic stores.
CHARLESTON ROUTE: DAY 2
To start the second day of the route through Charleston, we suggest a place that made us fall in love and where, despite its central location, we hardly found visitors.
It is the neighbourhood of Harleston Village, west of the French Quarter and north of South of Broad.
Start by having breakfast in one of its cafeterias. We recommend Black Tap Coffee, tiny but with delicious coffees and pastries.
THE OLD CITY JAIL
Walk a few yards until you find the gloomy Old City Jail, Charleston’s jail until 1939.
Its walls housed pirates and enslaved people who plotted a rebellion and hung as prisoners from the Civil War.
If you enjoy paranormal stories, the Bulldog Tours company organizes night tours inside the prison to discover its most haunted side.
COLONIAL LAKE AND THE NEIGHBORHOOD MANSIONS
Head over to Colonial Lake, a serene lake frequented by locals, and from there, wander through the neighbourhood to enjoy its architecture. Harleston Village is a quiet residential area with streets dotted with trees and incredible antebellum mansions before the Civil War.
The facades are bathed in a thousand and one soft colours, and through the doors, porches and tranquil gardens can be sensed. Some of the homes in the neighbourhood that blew us away were 149 Wentworth St (occupied by the celebrated Circa 1886 restaurant) and 60 Montagu St (the Gaillard-Bennett house).
COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON
Next stop: the College of Charleston, one of the oldest universities in the United States.
On the corner of Wentworth and Glebe St, you will see a few houses adorned with large letters of the Greek alphabet. These are the typical American fraternities that we have seen so many times in movies ( fraternities for them, sororities for them).
Head north on Glebe St, and you’ll soon enter the university campus, where various college and student buildings share space on the charming pedestrian streets.
It is one of those places where, for a moment, you wish you were a student to walk by every morning.
MARION SQUARE AND UPPER KING STREET
The neighbouring streets are full of student residences, libraries, and small shops. Walk in the direction of bustling King St, with its restaurants and clothing stores, and follow it until you reach Marion Square.
Former home of the Citadel of Charleston, today this square is a green lung where a famous farmers market is installed every Saturday. We agreed with him and took the opportunity to buy southern food at the stalls and enjoy it in a space with tables.
Keep going up against King St, and you will see that this street transforms to the north of the square. Instead of the chains on the south side, on Upper King St, you will find restaurants and local businesses that ooze character, from breweries to burger joints and coffee shops. A good place for drinks or dinner!
Did you know? A famous scene from Noah’s Diary (The Notebook) was shot at the old American cinema on Upper King St. Other locations for the film in Charleston where the College of Charleston and the High Cotton restaurant.
THE AIKEN RHETT-HOUSE
Walking east on Ann St, you’ll come to a pretty tree-lined promenade called Wragg Mall. Walk down it, and eventually, one of Charleston’s most significant historic mansions emerges: the Aiken-Rhett House.
After searching for information on different historic homes, we chose this one, managed by the Historic Charleston Foundation, and the visit was well worth it.
It is a tour with an audio guide that begins at the back of the house and shows something that is not always taught in-depth in this type of mansion: the slave quarters, where the enslaved people lived, and their daily lives.
Then, you go into the house’s different rooms, each one more elegant, and discover the history of the family. The visit lasts about 1 hour.
After leaving the museum, we dedicate ourselves to strolling through the neighbouring streets: Alexander St, Chapel St. The houses are a little more modest than in other neighbourhoods, but there are still thousands of facades and porches so photogenic that it is difficult to move forward.
LIBERTY SQUARE AND THE FORT SUMTER VISITOR CENTER
It is a good time to head to Liberty Square, a complex along the Cooper River where ferries leave for Fort Sumter.
This fortification is located on a small island at the gates of the ocean and has gone down in history because the American Civil War began there with a battle in April 1861.
We decided not to go there since we had little time, and we had already visited similar forts in other places in the United States (such as Fort McHenry in Baltimore ).
We recommend the visitor center, which is free and with a fantastic exhibition, to understand the history of Charleston and why the confederate states decided to secede from the Union.
In addition, from the docks at Liberty Square, we could spot several dolphins swimming in the Cooper River!
And, to finish this second day of the route through Charleston, how about going back to the center and enjoying those places you might have missed yesterday?
Instead of going down East Bay Street, which in this section is nothing special, we recommend you go down the beautiful Anson St.
From there, you choose the next destination. Maybe you want to walk around King Street and its shops, go back to the City Market, rest again in Waterfront Park, and lose yourself in the charming streets of South of Broad.
WHERE TO EAT IN CHARLESTON
Charleston is a world-class dining destination, and there are plenty of renowned restaurants for seafood or southern cuisine.
Here is a compilation of places to satisfy your appetite. In the first place, we will recommend the ones that we tried, and, to complete the list, restaurants that we had written down because we had read recommendations.
If none convinces you, stroll along King St, Meeting St or Market St, and you will surely find somewhere appetizing among its thousand and one options.
- BasicKitchen. A spacious, bright and very welcoming place for a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner. We also loved their smoothies.
- Black Tap Coffee. Small but very nice cafeteria, with a local atmosphere and a variety of sweets for breakfast.
- Brown Dog Deli. Great deli with a casual atmosphere and very good prices. They have a huge sandwich menu and many vegetarian options.
- Miner. Very spacious and reasonably priced Mexican restaurant for lunch or dinner in downtown Charleston without breaking the bank. We liked everything we ordered.
- Mellow Mushroom. If you have a craving for pizza, this original pizzeria chain is to die for. In Charleston, it has a location on King St.
- Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer. Place next to Marion Square that mixes a cafeteria and a brewery, with a great patio for good weather days.
- Le Farfalle. Italian restaurant with an original touch in a quiet and untouristy area, perfect for a romantic dinner. Everything we tried we liked.
- Poogan’s Porch. A popular southern restaurant inside a historic home. Ideal for brunch or traditional dinner.
- Jestine’s Kitchen. Another popular southern food restaurant (when we passed by for dinner, the lines reached the street).
- Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar. Restaurant specializing in seafood, although it was recommended to us to go for a drink because it is located by the water, very close to the Waterfront Park, and has good views and atmosphere.
- Queen Street Grocery. A mix between a supermarket and a cafeteria, ideal for having a breakfast sandwich, some crêpes, or a bowl of fruit.
Charleston uses the US dollar as the local currency.
Exchange rate of United States dollar (USD) September 27, 2021
1 United States dollar = 80.28 Argentine peso
100 United States dollar = 8,027.54 Argentine peso
1 Argentine peso = 0.01 United States dollar
100 Argentine peso = 1.25 United States dollar
Install the exchange rate app
It cannot be easy to calculate the exchange rate yourself. Install an app on your phone that will show you the exchange rate updated every day. Type the cost in local currency, and the app will automatically show you the price in Euros.
Pay with your debit card.
Paying with a debit card is cheaper than with a credit card. It is also more affordable than using cash, because in the latter case, your bank may charge you an extra cost. However, within the eurozone, you do not pay any extra for withdrawing money from an ATM.
Bring a credit card.
In addition to a debit card, you should also carry your credit card. In this way, if they do not accept the debit card, you can use the credit card.
Withdraw money from an ATM
You can find ATMs near your location through different applications such as:
MasterCard ATM Hunter
Time difference Charleston
In Charleston time is 04:05 pm on Monday, September 27, 2021. It is 1 hour earlier than in Argentina. The Charleston time zone is America / New_York and the Greenwich Mean Time is UTC-04.
Best time to visit Charleston South Carolina