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Holidays in the Holy CityCHECK INTO CHARLESTON

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.

  • Holiday Headquarters

    Perhaps the best time of year to check into Charleston Place Hotel is during the holidays. In the lobby you’ll be greeted with a grand holiday display between the grand staircases complete with a fully operational train replica, 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.

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  • Traditional With All The Trimmings

    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.

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  • Luxe Winter Hideaway

    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.

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  • Seaside Sanctuary

    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 coco 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.

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Holidays in the Holy CitySIP & SAVOR SEASONAL FLAVORS

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.

  • Speakeasy Sips

    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.

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  • Pass The Pudding Please

    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.

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  • Pumpkin Spice Spirits

    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 carajjillo is the perfect after-dinner beverage to toast to the season.

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  • Sweet Finish

    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.

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Holidays in the Holy CityATTEND 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 over 700 shimmering light displays, stroll through Santas’ village to roast marshmallows, visit the big man himself and marvel at a 50-ton holiday-inspired sand sculpture. The James Island Festival of Lights is not to be missed!

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  • Sounds of the Season

    Head to the beautiful and historic Circular Church at 150 Meeting Street to experience the sounds that define Charleston ranging in style - as the name suggests - from Gospel to Gershwin to holiday classics.

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  • Seaside Spectacle

    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, delicious foods and of course a delightful maritime lights show featuring a fleet of boats all decked out in holiday lights floating down the harbor.

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  • A Christmas Classic

    Head to “America’s First Theatre” to see the Dickens holiday classic come to life on the stage. The theater has been putting on this production annually for many years now and has become a Charleston tradition for holiday revelers.

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Holidays in the Holy CityTOUR & EXPLORE

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.

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  • Trees With All The Trimmings

    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.

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  • Holiday Walking Tour

    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.

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  • Historic Holiday Hosting

    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.

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Holidays in the Holy CityGIVE THE GIFT OF CHARLESTON

Make this year’s Christmas gift something they’ll remember by gifting treats and treasures found only in Charleston.

  • Shiny Stocking Stuffer

    The Gold Bug Shining Star Ring from Croghan’s Jewel Box is the perfect gift for a lady in your life that enjoys finding a little sparkle under the Christmas tree. A signature Charleston piece, the ring is the perfect souvenir to remember your Charleston Christmas giveaway.

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  • Tasty Trio

    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.

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  • One-of-a-Kind Gift

    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.

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  • Entertainer Essentials

    Inspired by the coastal environment of the Carolinas and the treasured tradition of sweetgrass weaving, this bottle stopper from Coastal Touch is a beautiful addition for any bar cart or entertaining space.

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Published annually, the official Charleston Area Visitors Guide is full of gorgeous photography, insider tips, maps, and resources to help you plan your Charleston vacation.

Published annually, the official Charleston Area Visitors Guide is full of gorgeous photography, insider tips, maps, and resources to help you plan your Charleston vacation.