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Autumn Activities in Charleston

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Autumn is arguably the best time to visit Charleston. Warm weather without humidity means fewer bugs and fewer tourists. Also, nothing accents the charming streets of this iconic southern town as much as the turning of the season’s leaves.

History Tour of Charleston

Do you have a passion for Lowcountry? Or do you simply just want to ignite a new passion? Discover the city on foot with a Charleston History Tour. From food recommendations to factoids, our experienced guides have over 130 years of experience combined.

You’ll walk through time, from 1670 up until the Charleston Modern Renaissance period. Sites include the French Quarter, Rainbow Row, Old Exchange Building, Saint Philip’s Church, Saint Michael’s Church, Fort Sumter and White Point Gardens aka “Battery.” Tours embark from City Hall.

Legare Farms Pumpkin Patch

300-acre Legare Farms on the Stone River, just south of Charleston, was built in 1725. They pride themselves on fresh, natural food and unique theme events year long. This includes evenings catered to students of all ages, from elementary school to college. They also feature family nights with “Almost Full Moon” hayrides. During October, the Pumpkin Patch operates Fridays from 5-to-8 p.m., Saturdays 10-to-8 p.m. and Sundays 1-to-6 p.m.

Plantation Fright Nights

Facebook photo: Boone Hall Fright Nights

Magnolia Plantation 

Explore Charleston’s most visited plantation and Travel + Leisure Magazine’s, “America’s Most Beautiful Gardens.” Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, it is the oldest public garden in the country and the oldest public tourist attraction in the state. The rich historical site has survived through the centuries, including the American Revolution and the Civil War periods.

In the month of October, they also throw a family fright night that’s appropriate for kiddies of all ages.

Boone Hall

Feeling spooky? Check out Friday Fright Nights at Boone Hall. Attractions include Undertaker, The Playground and Scary Tales Haunted Hayrides.

Carriage Ride

Since the 1600s, this company has been owned and operated by local Charelstonians — and is the only company in the city to do so. Their motto? “Give us sixty minutes and we’ll give you Charleston as you’ve never experienced it before.” What better way to see the seasons change?

Football Game

Fall in South Carolina means football! And there’s no better way to absorb yourself in local culture than going to a game. Join locals and Bucky the Buccaneer at a CSU Charleston Southern Buccaneers football game!

Cozy Up in a Coffee Shop

Facebook image: Kudu Coffe & Craft Beer

Locally-owned-and-operated, Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer is in the heart of downtown Charleston. 

It’s famous for its beautiful courtyard, extensive coffee selection and craft beer program. But you won’t find wifi here; the establishment prohibits work and is meant for relaxation only. Kudu roasts their own coffee on a Diedrich IR-12 and offers over 20 craft beers on tap. They’ve also teamed up with local bakeries to provide fresh pastries, sandwiches, teas and fruit juices.

Or, enjoy the natural sunlit ambiance at Second State Coffee. This is a creatives haven and joint to experiment with unique selections of “creative lattes” from brown sugar to lavender. Make sure to check out their merch store and coffee subscription service that delivers freshly roasted coffee to your door!

Great people, great service and five-star reviews all around, what isn’t to like at City Lights Coffee? This cozy artsy coffee house is nestled away on Market Street with an infinite selection of deliciously flavored syrups plus vegan and gluten-free options. Just in time for fall make sure to try their legendary ginger turmeric chai! 

Check Out a Festival

Facebook image: Preservation Society of Charleston

MOJA Arts Festival

Don’t miss Charleston’s 36th Annual MOJA Arts Festival that celebrates African-American and Carribean Arts September 26th through October 6th. Moja in Swahili means “one” as the festival brings everyone together. Most of MOJA’s events are free and include visual arts, classical music, dance, gospel, jazz, poetry, R&B music, storytelling, theatre, children’s activities, traditional crafts, ethnic food and workshops for the community.

Fall Tours of Homes & Gardens

Beautiful Charleston homes and gardens are open to the public in the fall. Learn about both interior and exterior architecture. You’ll be sure to fall in love with their southern charm.

Charleston IFF

The Charleston International Film Festival (CIFF) brings people together through the art and science of film. It is an all-genre international film competition dedicated to showcasing art and talent of emerging filmmakers across the globe. The festival aims to promote the exchange of ideas and greater cross-cultural awareness. Festival passes include feature films, shorts and workshops.

Oktoberfest

Facebook image: St Matthews Lutheran Church

Don’t miss Oktoberfest Charleston, hosted by The Community Outreach Center at Saint Matthew’s Lutheran Church. “Saints and sinners Willkommen!” On October 12  from 12-to-6 p.m. celebrate Oktoberfest lowcountry style!

This community event in the heart of Charlestown will include authentic German food, beer from Holy City Brewing, live music from Hans Schmidt German Band, children games in the Kinderzone, face painting and so much more! Admission includes your meal and one non-alcoholic beverage. 

Celebrate Halloween

Graveyard at the Circular Church of Charleston

A few more activities to check out in Charleston during the Halloween season are Provost Dungeon, Poogan’s Porch, Charleston’s Alleys and Hidden Passages, Battery Carriage House Inn, Saint Michael’s Graveyard, Mercantile and Mash and King Street Cookies.

Provost Dungeon has house pirates and soldiers from the Revolutionary War. There are rumors this included Stede Bonnet and even Blackbeard. Chains still hang on the walls from executions and torture and visitors claim they swing on their own. 

Poogan’s Porch is one of the oldest restaurants in Charleston serving lowcountry cuisine and it’s not only haunted by one but two spirits. Diners report encounters of a terrier ghost dog named Poogan playing at their feet.

Charleston’s Alleys and Hidden Passages are complex, dark, narrow and haunted. Try not to get lost, many people believe that pirates and sailors still roam the passageways. 

Saint Michael’s Church is the oldest church in Charleston. Make sure to venture into the graveyard to catch some famous ghosts including governors, elite, and signers of the United States Constitution.

Well into the night, make sure to warm up with a juniper and sage latte at Mercantile and Mash and pick up pumpkin cookies at King Street Cookies before embarking on a haunted car ride.