From: Friday, December 1, 2023
To: Sunday, December 31, 2023
Charleston Christmas & Holiday Festival of Lights 2023
Christmas in Charleston is a magical occasion and the city is the perfect place to escape for a Winter Break. The city’s the cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and the quaint pre-Civil War-era houses are beautifully decorated to get you in the holiday spirit.
- Are you visiting for Charleston Pride parade? Stay in the Restoration Hotel, rated “Fabulous” by guests with a luxurious rooftop pool, high-end amenities and meticulous attention to detail.
- For those who want to enjoy a Christmas without the cold, Charleston is the perfect choice. Temperatures range on average a comfortable 61 degrees.
The Festival of Lights
- James Island County Park transforms into a winter wonderland each holiday season, as thousands of massive light sculptures are put up along the perimeter road that circles the park.
- The driving tour—which syncs to an on-site AM station playing holiday music—is the main attraction. There’s also a huge sand sculpture created each year, an Victorian style Sweet Shoppe, carousel, and of course, Santa Claus.
- Open Nightly 5:30pm – 10:00pm
City of Charleston Parade & The Mount Pleasant Tree Lighting
- On the first Sunday of December, 100-plus lavishly decorated floats will take over Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant ,just across the Ravenel Bridge from downtown Charleston.
- The floats will be ‘sailing’ past thousands of locals and visitors spending their evenings lining the street to celebrate the holiday season.
- This parade of holiday floats starts at 5:30pm, immediately after the lighting of the Town of Mount Pleasant Christmas Tree and the fireworks display.
Wine under the Oaks
- Visit Boone Hall Plantation in December. Admission includes wine samples, bubbles, desserts, food and wine pairing samples, wine and cooking demonstrations with some of Charleston’s finest chefs and live music.
- You can also see the plantation home decorated in all its holiday finest.
The Parade of Boats
- Gather on the shores of the Charleston harbor to watch boats of all shapes and sizes decorated for the holiday season.
- The Parade of Boats typically takes place on the second weekend in December.
- It begins about 5 p.m. on the Mount Pleasant side of the Cooper River and ends on the Ashley River about 7:30 p.m.
A Gay Christmas at the Charleston Music Hall
- Each year, Charleston Music Hall hosts some of the fiercest drag queens in a Winter Wonderland Variety Show featuring everything from comedy, to illusion, to dance and song.
Christmas on a Steamboat
- Book your spot on the Keep the Light Shinin’ Holiday Dinner Cruise with Charleston Harbor Tours. Celebrate the holiday in Low country style aboard The Carolina Queen.
- This event features a buffet dinner, cruise around the Charleston harbor and music by The Plantation Singers.
New Year Countdown
- Charleston’s largest New Year’s Eve celebration is on a giant boat in the Charleston harbor. It’s not just any boat, the site of this grand late night bash is none other than the USS Yorktown, a now-retired aircraft carrier that saw action in both World War II and Vietnam.
- Book your tickets for the annual Yorktown Countdown, and get in on a lively, outdoor nightclub type experience, complete with live bands, a DJ, hors d’oeuvres, and amazing views of the Ravenel Bridge and downtown Charleston and the fireworks display. This NYE bash is a 21 & up event, and asks guests to “Dress to Impress.”
Where to stay in Charleston?
Here are the Hotels we recommend that keep you close to all the action,
Recommended Hotels in Charleston By Booking
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We have chosen hotels in Charleston that keep you close to all the shops, restaurants & bars
5 Star – Central Location
The rooms are fitted with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a coffee machine, a shower, a hairdryer and a wardrobe. The private bathroom is fitted with a bath and free toiletries.
5 Star, Luxury
Floor-to-ceiling windows, flat-screen TV, and minibar are standard in every room at the Dewberry Charleston. Extras include an en suite with Vermont marble accents, free toiletries, and slippers. Fitness centre, and library are available
86 Cannon Historic Inn
4 Star – Great Amenities
86 Cannon Historic Inn – Adults Only in Charleston provides adults-only accommodation with free bikes, a bar and a garden. This 4-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and a concierge service. Free WiFi is available
French Quarter Inn
4 Star – Perfect Location
This historic French Quarter Inn welcomes guests with champagne at check-in, all vintage-inspired rooms have free WiFi, a 40-inch flat-screen TV, and a minibar. Guests can expect evening turndown service with a local treat.