Charleston is a wonderful place to live and visit during the winter, because it features the best of both worlds! You have an excuse to bring your winter clothes out of the attic and enjoy a few weeks of chilly sweater weather so that you actually get to feel like you’re experiencing winter. Plus, you get to balance that with the peace of mind of knowing you don’t have to worry about shoveling snow out of your driveway. Except for this year’s recent historic winter storm, you’re much more likely to build a snowman out of sand than out of any actual snow in Charleston.
When it’s too warm for skiing, but too cold to go swimming, many people ask: what fun things are there to do during the winter in Charleston? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite cold-weather activities in the Holy City that are sure to keep your social calendar nice and toasty!
The SC Aquarium has been a staple of Charleston for more than 10 years now. The aquarium features more than 60 exhibits filled with everything from fish to sharks to otters. You can even take a visit to the Sea Turtle Hospital to see where staff nurture and rehabilitate injured sea turtles before releasing them back into the wild. One of the biggest draws of the aquarium is its Great Ocean Tank, a 385,000-gallon tank which features ocean creatures, including a 220-pound loggerhead sea turtle named Carretta! The aquarium is a fun and informative way to beat the chill for both adults and kids alike.
Many people are unaware that Charleston is home to more than 20 performing arts spaces, theatres, and acting companies. Everything from small, independently-produced plays to national touring companies are represented in the Holy City. You can laugh your way through an improv show, see a local adaptation of a classic at the nation’s oldest theatre (Dock Street Theater), or see a Broadway show at the state-of-the-art Gaillard Center. All of these venues are within just a few blocks of each other.
Charleston is a historically rich city that is full of civics lessons pretty much anywhere you look. Perhaps its most well-known historical landmarks is Fort Sumter, the official starting point of the Civil War. To get to Fort Sumter, you take a short 30-minute ferry ride from either Patriot’s Point in Mount Pleasant or Liberty Square in downtown Charleston. Once at the fort, you get one hour to enjoy a self-guided tour around the fort’s grounds and museum. The winter is a great time to visit the fort, as tour groups tend to be much smaller so you get a much more intimate experience than going during the busy summer months. Just don’t forget your jacket, as it can get pretty windy!
Most locals will agree that tasting, sipping, or gulping various craft beers is an enjoyable activity to experience all year round. With more than 25 craft breweries (and more on the way!) in Charleston, participating in a brewery tour can be a fun and different way to explore the city. You can do a self-guided tour by picking a few breweries and trying a flight at each (don’t forget the DD!), or you can do an official tour with one of the many brewery tour companies in Charleston, which include a driver and transportation!
Winter in Charleston is one of the few times that you can experience the city’s outdoor area without all its notorious heat and humidity. As such, many festivals and fairs happen during the winter months! You can attend everything from an Oyster Festival, to a Wine and Food festival, to Charleston’s own Fashion Week. These events take place all within just a few weeks of each other!
In addition to its rich cultural history, Charleston is also known for its rich culinary scene, as well. Whether you’re hungry for shrimp & grits, sushi, pho, steak, pizza, or anything in between, there’s a fantastic Charleston restaurant waiting to satisfy your palate. Not sure where to eat? Take advantage of the dining specials at various restaurants around town during Charleston Winter Restaurant week! It’s the perfect excuse to try those restaurants that have been on your list without breaking your budget.
Whether you’re relocating to Charleston or looking to upgrade within the city, our knowledgeable and friendly team of agents are here to help you find your next home! Contact us today to get started on your Charleston real estate search.