Stay in a historic property that has been decking the halls since the 19th-century, book a room in a modern pad defining new Christmas traditions or escape from the holiday hustle and bustle in an oceanside retreat. No matter your Christmas wish, you'll find a home for the holidays here in Charleston.
Perhaps the best time of year to check into Charleston Place Hotel is during the holidays. In the lobby you'll be greeted with twinkling Christmas trees and grand wreaths. Shoppers can enjoy on-site shopping for checking off Christmas shopping lists and coffee and cuisine options to fuel for holiday festivities around town. Charleston Place Hotel is your holiday headquarters.
A stay at the circa 1853 Mills House offers guests an opportunity to experience Christmas as it was in the 19th-century. Cozy up in the lobby with a cup of warm coffee and enjoy live jazz music surrounded by Christmas trees. Enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner on the property in the Barbadoes Room and enjoy an evening carriage ride arranged by your concierge for a chance to see how the neighboring historic homes along the scenic Battery deck the halls for the holiday.
The Spectator, a chic 41-room boutique hotel is a favorite spot to cozy up during the holidays. The twenties-era styled property offers a glam library-style cocktail bar, personalized butlers and elegant design details at every turn. A popular gathering space during cocktail hour, The Spectator Hotel is an enviable hot spot to see and be seen this holiday season or to tuck away in a book-lined lounge. Either way, you're sure to experience a sophisticated holiday getaway in this art deco destination.
With temperate weather year-round, Charleston is more known for a sandy Christmas than a snowy one. Build a sand snowman, roast s'mores and sip hot cocoa under the stars and spend your Christmas dinner surrounded by wraparound views of the ocean. The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island is ideal for those looking to get away from it all this holiday season.
Find your merry merry in a creative cocktail and delight in delicious holiday dishes. Charleston's culinary scene pulls out all the stops for the holidays serving up sips and bites that you won't want to miss.
Head over to the Cocktail Club, a speakeasy-style bar housed in a 19th-century building for a cup of cheer. We recommend the Johnny Dagger, a bourbon, curacao and walnut liqueur concoction best enjoyed by the spot's cozy fireplaces.
Dine at The Macintosh for an elevated modern American experience. A favorite seasonal menu offering is the pumpkin bread pudding served with ginger ice cream - a rich dessert, this is a great dish for sharing with your vacation party.
Situated in the lobby of the Belmond Charleston Place, the Thoroughbred Club boasts a festive holiday menu and offers live entertainment every night of the week. The pumpkin spice carajillo is the perfect after-dinner beverage to toast to the season.
Head to Circa 1886, one of Charleston's favorite fine dining restaurants, for a memorable last course. Order the Pumpkin Soufflé with Sorghum Anglaise and Chai Ice Cream for a holiday treat that won't disappoint. By the last bite, you're sure to have visions of sugarplums dancing in your head.
Holidays In The Holy City
Attend Holiday Happenings
Immerse yourself in Charleston's holiday spirit by attending the many gatherings around town this time of year.
Dazzling Light Displays
The Festival of Lights is a favorite Lowcountry tradition during the holidays. Turn up your favorite holiday tunes and drive past more than 700 shimmering light displays, enjoy festive treats from the drive-up concessions and take "I Spy" to a new level with a holiday scavenger hunt. The James Island Festival of Lights is not to be missed!
During the holiday season, the historic Drayton Hall presents the rare opportunity to experience the music of traditional spirituals during their African American Spirituals Concerts. This year, tune in virtually to hear extraordinary performances by Ann Caldwell & The Magnolia Singers!
For a holiday lights show like you've never seen, head down to the harbor to witness the Annual Holiday Parade of Boats. Enjoy holiday tunes and a delightful maritime lights show featuring a fleet of boats all decked out in holiday lights floating down the harbor.
Tour the festively decorated, historic Edmondston-Alston House by candlelight while enjoying the sounds of the Charleston Caroling Company. Then, warm up in the courtyard with a glass of hot cider while listening to Gullah Christmas stories by local storyteller Fouché Sheppard!
Peer behind the doors of private residences, marvel at heirloom decorations and learn about the history behind Charleston's most treasured holiday traditions with a tour.
Discover Antebellum Adornments
You'd be hard-pressed to find a private residence that takes their holiday decor as seriously as the Joseph Manigault House and the result is stunning. The antebellum house is adorned with magnificent live decorations from plant materials that are historically accurate to what would have been available in the early 1800s.
Pay a visit to the Aiken-Rhett House, to enjoy a dazzling display of Victorian Christmas decorations featuring trees with all of the trimmings and learn about the rise of this popular decorative tradition we still take part in today.
Lace up your walking shoes and grab your favorite holiday scarf, you're embarking on a guided tour to see the historic districts' most beautifully adorned homes and landmarks with Charleston Strolls. You'll learn the stories behind each decorative tradition and of course enjoy many photo opportunities only available to those invited behind these private gates.
A visit to the Nathaniel Russell House during the holidays is truly a festive affair. The 19th-century Federal-style home is dressed to the nines in period decor with magnificent entertaining displays including a grand table setting laden with sweets, exotic fruits and china.
Holidays In The Holy City
Give The Gift of Charleston
Make this year's Christmas gift something they'll remember by gifting treats and treasures found only in Charleston.
Mask Up, But Make it Charleston
The Goldbug Collection's Bug Mask + Chain is the perfect gift for the lady in your life that enjoys finding a little sparkle under the Christmas tree. The non-medical face-covering offers a comfortable, adjustable fit that is perfect for everyday use.
Hand packaged by Oliver Pluff & Company here in Charleston, the Taste of the Colonies Trio is the perfect gift for tea and coffee lovers and history buffs. The authentic colonial blends are a delicious nod to Charleston's history.
Brackish Bow Ties are a staple item in a dapper man's closet here in the Lowcountry. The sustainably sourced bowties are handcrafted here in Charleston and no two are alike, ensuring a one-of-a-kind gift.
Found at the Historic Charleston Foundation Gift Shop, Lost Charleston features amazing photos from the archives! Take a step back in time while browsing through pages of long gone, beloved local restaurants, annual festivals, trolley cars and more.