Charleston, S.C., is a city well known for its unique qualities: its welcoming nature, coastal flavors and a dedication to delicious food and drink. Visitors to Charleston during the Thanksgiving and winter holiday season will be delighted to find that this Southern city is abuzz with travelers, joyful events and festive decorations, even if the holidays here are much warmer than they're used to!
Holiday shopping in Charleston is a memorable experience, perhaps most notably for the high level of quality you'll find among locally made goods and gifts, as well as the friendly atmosphere encountered in every festival, market and shop in town.
What's more, Charleston is a very walkable city, allowing for shoppers to stroll between various shopping districts, restaurants, hotels and neighborhoods without the need for a car or taxi.
Visitors and locals alike flood the Charleston Farmers Market each Saturday from April to December — Photo courtesy of Clare Sweeney
Charleston's shopping boroughs are spread all across the peninsula and beyond, with a variety of shops expanding over the bridges to West Ashley and Mount Pleasant. The Holy City's shopping focal points, however, are centered around central King Street (Charleston doesn't have a Main Street downtown!) and Market Street, with several hotspots forming off the beaten tourist path on Spring Street and other residential avenues.
For a true taste of Charleston's best handmade, locally grown offerings, head to the Charleston City Market, open 364 days a year from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (It's only closed on Christmas.), and the Charleston Farmers Market, operating Saturdays each week from April to December, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Charleston City Market bustles with shoppers in early Fall — Photo courtesy of Clare Sweeney
Each of these markets provides a massive variety of foodie gifts made from Lowcountry ingredients, jewelry reflective of Charleston's storied history and setting, local photography and paintings, sweetgrass baskets and much, much more.
You don't have to visit a shop or market to bring home local Charleston gifts! Head to High Wire Distilling Co. for tours, tastings and to pick up some of their popular Hat Trick Extraordinarily Fine Botanical Gin or other spirits.
Just a few blocks away, Callie's Hot Little Biscuit beckons you in for a warm and buttery breakfast of made-from-scratch biscuits. You'll become an instant fan and wish to share the wealth with others. Thankfully, Callie's biscuits and accompaniments can be shipped to any beloved foodie on your shopping list.