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The Perfect Charleston Christmas

If you love the holidays, you can't miss out on the Southern Christmas spirit Charleston has to offer. There are plenty of festivities you wont want to miss during your visit!

Parades & Light Displays

Charleston is full of Christmas spirit that attracts thousands of visitors each year to the city. It's the perfect place to enjoy the joy and magic of the holiday lights and festivities.

James Island Festival of Lights

This event is one of the biggest around town spanning 3 miles long with over 2 millions lights throughout it. While you are driving through the lights, you have to make sure to stop and check out the sand sculpture, ride the holiday train and explore the enchanted walking trail. After these activities, check out Santa's sweet shop, the gift shop, and roast some marshmallows by the fire.

Goose Creek Celebrate the Season Lights

Photo Credit: @CelebrateTheSeason

Hop in the car and drive through thousands of twinkling light displays sponsored by local businesses. What's even better is all of the proceeds support local charities.

SC Aquarium Aglow

Photo Cerdit: @scaquarium

Watch the aquarium come alive with tens of thousands of sparkly lights and immersive displays throughout the aquarium. You won't want to miss out on the holiday joy. There

Charleston Holiday Boat Parade

Photo Credit: @CharlestonBoatParade

You can't miss out on this Lowcountry Christmas tradition. Locals deck out their boats with twinkly lights and holiday decor, making their way down the Cooper River through the Charleston Harbor and finish at the Ashley River. This event starts at dark around 5:30pm on December 10th. Here are some of the best viewing spots:

  • Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina

  • Mt. Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park Pier

  • SC Aquarium area

  • Joe Riley Waterfront Park

  • The Battery area

Folly Beach Christmas Parade

Photo Credit: @charlestonguru

On December 10th at 12pm, join the crowd on Center Street to watch as magical floats, antique cars and marching bands show their holiday spirit. At the end of the parade make your way down to Folly River Park to see Santa and enjoy some goodies. Road closures will start at 9am to prepare for the festivities.

27th Annual Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade

On December 11th at 5:00pm, make you way to Coleman Boulevard between Live Oak Dr. and Patriots Point Rd. for the kickoff of the parade with a spectacular firework show, followed by some awesome floats, lights, music and local street performances. Make sure to check out the road closures starting at 4pm.

Holiday Shopping

Photo Credit: @momcollective

Whether you are downtown, or just out exploring the Charleston area, make sure to stop by and check out some of the local artists and vendors around town for your holiday gifts!

  • Downtown

    • Charleston City Market

    • Holiday Market in Marion Square - December 10, 11, & 17

    • Miracle on Market Street - December 16-18

  • North Charleston

    • Firefly Distillery's Holiday Market - December 17

    • Holy City Holiday Market - December 17

  • Mount Pleasant

    • Holiday Market & Craft Show - December 10


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