Top things to do in Charleston in January
Just because winter is here doesn’t mean that’s an end to the tourism scene. In fact, January is a great time to travel. Ticket prices often drop and the crowds are much less after the hubbub of the holidays is over. Charleston is a thriving hotbed of entertainment, cuisine and history and because of our mild coastal weather (average temperatures in the high 50’s), you can enjoy it all year long! There’s a reason Conde Nast Traveler readers tapped Charleston as the most popular city in America for eight consecutive years!
Simply stated, it’s an amazing place to visit. On that note, we wanted to share some of our top recommendations of things to do in Charleston in January. Let’s get started!
1. Culinary Tour
Enjoy a culinary tour with Charleston Culinary Tours! The perfect way to see the city, meet new friends, partake in the rich cultural history, and to enjoy the absolutely delicious local fare, a culinary tour is definitely the way to go. We have many options to fit every budget, taste and style. From our most popular downtown Charleston tour to something more off the beaten path like our King Street tour, it will be hard to choose just one! We look forward to helping you select the best tour for you!
2. Lowcountry Oyster Festival
Recognized as one of the top events in the area, the ever-popular Lowcountry Oyster Festival is arriving on January 26. So, what can you do with 80,000 pounds of oysters? This festival will show you with delicious eats, oyster shucking and oyster eating contests. Other activities include live entertainment, a children’s area, wine & beer.
3. Charleston Jazz Festival
With over 100 local, regional and national jazz artists coming together for the four-day Charleston Jazz Festival, this is something you don’t want to miss. Enjoy a number of performances and events! Festival begins January 23.
4. Carolina Stingray Ice Hockey
Catch a Carolina Stingray ice hockey game. With games running through March and family discount ticket options, this is a fun and affordable way to enjoy an afternoon or evening. A fairly recent team (formed in the 1990s), the Stingrays are the first professional ice hockey team in South Carolina. During their first season, the team drew huge crowds and remains popular to this day. In fact, averaging 9,151 fans a game during their first season, they could claim one of the largest fan crowds in minor league hockey.
5. Historic Charleston City Market
The ever-popular Historic Charleston City Market for visitors and locals alike is housed in historic Market Hall, built in 1841 and designed by Edward B. White. Market Hall fronts four full blocks on one-story market sheds that are occupied by a varied arrangement of over 100 vendors selling clothing, jewelry, crafts, artwork, spices, and silver, as well as prints and paintings of Charleston. It is open 364 days a year from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. Bonus? It’s free!
6. The Battery
Perfect for an afternoon or morning stroll, The Battery promenade is so named for the defensive structure it provided during the Civil War era. Here the Ashley and Cooper Rivers meet to form Charleston Harbor. Scenic and peaceful, this area provides views of the harbor on one side and historic mansions on the other. If you have some down time, this is a perfect option.
7. King Street
Historic King Street is a must-see, but particularly on the second Sunday of the month, the area really comes alive as the street is transformed into a pedestrian-only area from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Shop, eat and enjoy street vendors and musicians while drinking in the atmosphere and spirit of the community in this area. Named after King Charles II of England, this street is more than 200 years old!
Of course, all of the hospitality and charm from the south exist in Charleston and grand plantations are a part of the scene. An important part of the economy during the Civil War era, plantations were largely run by slave labor. Luckily, with the abolition of slavery, this practice came to an end, but the homes remain as stories from the past and are well worth a visit. Check for a list of plantations and information about each check here. Be sure to hit Boone Hall Plantation, one of America’s oldest working farms.
We know you have a choice when you travel and we feel honored to spend time with every visitor who decides to use our guide services when visiting our great city. Our professional and educated guides are friendly and chock-full of information about local restaurants and historical sites. They are happy to give recommendations for other places to visit as well as insider tips so you can enjoy the city like a local. Be sure to call ahead to schedule early as many of our popular tours reach capacity. We look forward to seeing you soon! Happy travels!