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6 Charleston Fall Activities You Don’t Want to Miss

a plant in a pot on the side of a building

Beautiful Charleston, SC, may seem like a summer town with its palm trees and pastel buildings. But this historic port city truly comes to life in the fall, when the weather is perfect and the excitement of the upcoming holiday season is in the air. 

South Carolina’s abundance of live oak trees make the city a wonderful place to spot some fall foliage in the Lowcountry. Plan your visit between late October and early November to see the brightest colors. You don’t want to miss a chance to explore Charleston in the fall. Keep reading for our top 6 Charleston fall activities. 

Get Spooked on a Ghost Tour

Locals and visitors alike consider Charleston to be one of the most haunted destinations in the United States, and there’s no better way to celebrate Spooky Season than with a ghost tour. You might meet the ghost of Lavinia Fisher, America’s first female serial killer, or the Gray Man, a hooded spectre who is said to warn residents of impending hurricanes. 

From the Old City Jail and Battery Carriage House Inn to the Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon, haunted locales can be found around every corner in historic Charleston. Book a ghost tour to get into the spirit of the season!

Do Your Holiday Shopping Early

The Charleston City Market is one of the most popular places to visit in the fall. Established in 1804, this historic market is one of the most visited in the country. 

It spans several blocks and is home to eateries and boutiques selling jewelry, Christmas ornaments and decorations, Charleston souvenirs, and handcrafted wares. There’s a good chance you’ll get to stop by on a walking tour, but be sure to set aside time to explore on your own!

Visit the Charleston Farmers Market

Head to Marion Square in the heart of Charleston’s Historic District on Saturday morning for the popular Charleston Farmers Market. Open from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the Farmers Market is the perfect place to do some people watching and sample amazing local produce and treats like crepes and baked goods. 

From delicious food truck bites to fresh flowers and fruit, the Farmers Market is the place to be on a Saturday morning. There’s even live music and a big lawn where you can sprawl out with a picnic blanket and enjoy your snacks.

a large balloon in the air

Don’t Miss the Charleston Hot Air Balloon Festival

The Charleston Hot Air Balloon Festival and Polo Match is the most anticipated fall festival in the area. This family-friendly (including dogs!) event draws thousands of guests to watch the rainbow hot air balloons take to the sky. There’s also a polo match, The Victory Cup, and many food and alcohol vendors to make the festival more enjoyable. You can even purchase hot air balloon and helicopter rides!

Get Lost in a Corn Maze

Every year, Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens delights visitors with its 8-acre corn maze. On site, you’ll also find a pumpkin patch, tractor hay rides, a petting zoo, food vendors, and fun fall activities for all ages.

If you have extra time, consider touring the plantation home and grounds, founded in 1681. The impressive live oaks and spectacular architecture make Boone Hall a must-see destination in the Charleston area. 

Take a Carriage Ride

Even if you’ve never been to Charleston, you probably recognize the city’s iconic horse-drawn carriages from photos. Horse-drawn carriage rides are a Charleston tradition you don’t want to miss, and fall is the perfect time of year to experience the magic for yourself.

Old-fashioned carriages and elegant horses parade along the cobblestone streets, past stately mansions, churches, and lush parks and gardens. Anyone can appreciate the spectacle of this method of transportation. These tours are the ideal way to get to know the city, and they are even more enjoyable in the cooler fall weather. Cozy up with someone special or share the experience with your family!

Enjoy the best of Charleston this fall! Looking for more fun things to do? Browse walking tours, food tours, pub crawls, and more.