Tourism season is finally winding down. As flocks of sightseers head back home, the real fun begins for locals! Now is the perfect time to plan your own Charleston fall staycation. We’re consistently ranked the #1 city in the U.S, and one of the top 15 cities in the entire world. Millions of visitors pour into Charleston every year to learn about our rich history, sample our delightful cuisine, and take in the natural beauty and architecture of the Lowcountry. We are immeasurably lucky to live here.
As a busy mom on-the-go, when was the last time you took a weekend to immerse yourself in Lowcountry culture and have a little fun? There is never a shortage of exciting things to eat, see, and do. So, hire a babysitter for the weekend, grab your bestie, and head out to play tourist in your own town. You won’t regret it!
Whether you’re looking for upscale, casual, or eclectic spots, I’ve got you covered!
Here are my top local recommendations for an authentic two-day fall staycation in Charleston:
Day 1: Downtown Day of Fun
Top 3 Picks for Morning Coffee:
Morning Activity: Ride Bikes on the Battery! Hop on a public Holy Spokes bike and pedal around The Battery, White Point Gardens, and Colonial Lake! Don’t forget your camera- Fall is the best time of year for gorgeous foliage and breathtaking views.
Top 3 Picks for Breakfast/Brunch:
Early Afternoon Activity: Visit a museum or take a tour! Did you know Charleston was originally Charles Towne, named after King Charles II of England? The Lowcountry is full of history, and there is so much to learn about our roots.
Do you have a specific site or period of Charleston history you want to dive into? Schedule a fully custom guided excursion with the fabulous Leigh Handal at Charleston Raconteurs.
Top 3 Picks for Museums:
Top 3 Picks for Lunch:
Late Afternoon Activity: Shop til you drop! Snag something special at one of these fantastic local shops:
Favorite Local Shopping Spots:
- Finicky Filly
- Spartina 449
- Sugar Snap Pea
- Blue Bicycle Books
- The Charleston City Market
- Shoes on King
Top 3 Picks for Evening Cocktails/apps:
Top 3 Picks for Dinner:
Evening Activity: See a show at one of Charleston’s beautiful performance halls.
Top 3 Picks for Shows:
Top 3 Picks for Wine and/or Nightcap:
Day 2: Island Day: Fun in the Sun!
After an action-packed day downtown, wind down with the low-key, relaxing vibe of James Island and Folly Beach.
Morning Activity: SUP or Kayak at Coastal Expeditions.
Top 3 Beachy Lunch/Brunch Picks
Early Afternoon Activity: Beach Day at Folly! Head out to Folly Beach County Park for easy parking, restrooms, concessions, and umbrella rentals. Grab a Lowcountry book and hang out with your toes in the water.
Top 3 Charleston Authors
Top 3 Picks for Beachy Happy Hour:
Top 3 Picks for Casual Beachy Dinner:
Charleston Staycation Tips and Logistics:
Don’t forget to make your Staycation dinner reservations via OpenTable or Resy!
Things to Bring:
- Hat and Sunscreen
- Change/cash for parking downtown/at Folly
- Phone/Camera to document and share your Staycation
PLUS, check out these freebies, coupons, and discounts just for Charleston residents. Local ID required.
Next time you have an urge to get away, don’t underestimate looking in your own backyard. Save yourself the driving hassle and hotel money, and plan a Fall staycation! Charleston will never disappoint. Next time, take the kids along!