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Living in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties

JB Charleston Living in Charleston Berkeley and Dorchester Counties

The Lowcountry boasts plenty of entertaining activities — music, sports, theater, museums, parks and shopping. Test out the aerial course at Wild Blue Adventure Park, for instance, or tee off at one of the world-class championship golf courses in Kiawah Island or Isle of Palms. Don’t miss the Parade of Boats or Festival of Lights during the holiday season. View snakes in their natural habitat at the Edisto Island Serpentarium. And be sure to check out the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point.


Residents of Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties will enjoy a variety of annual events, festivals and community gatherings.

Charleston Wine and Food Festival

Each spring, this four-day event showcases many vendors and shops from the Charleston area. The heart of the festival is the Culinary Village and Grand Tasting Tents in Marion Square Park. Tickets are available through the website.

Christmas Parade & Festival

The Christmas Festival includes a holiday market, children’s activities, craft and food vendors, live music and more. North Charleston’s Christmas tree outside the front entrance of the Felix C. Davis Community Center will be lit by Santa Claus during the festival. The Christmas Parade begins at the corner of Montague and Mixson avenues, proceeds down Montague and around Park Circle, turning right onto Buist to conclude.

Coastal Carolina Fair

Since 1957, the Coastal Carolina Fair has raised money for local charities while also providing family-oriented entertainment for Lowcountry residents and visitors. In 2015, more than $800,000 was raised for over 90 organizations. For 10 days at the end of October, you can sample delicious fair food, ride on over 60 rides, catch a concert, check out exhibits and more.

Festival of Lights

Every holiday season, James Island County Park puts up over 700 displays and more than 2 million lights along a 3-mile driving tour. For those who’d rather not drive, there’s a 54-passenger train ride through the park, along with marshmallow roasts, carousel rides and musical concerts.

Flowertown Festival

The spring blaze of azaleas, honey-scented wisteria and dogwood signal that it’s time for this gracious town’s annual three-day flower festival of arts, crafts, entertainment, good food and Southern hospitality to benefit the Summerville Family YMCA.

Fourth of July Festival

The festival features musical guests, children’s activities, food trucks, craft vendors, a laser light show and Lowcountry’s largest Fourth of July fireworks show.

Lowcountry Oyster Festival

Join the thousands who gather in January for the world’s largest oyster fest, the Lowcountry Oyster Festival. Held every year at Boone Hall Plantation, just outside of downtown Charleston, bivalve connoisseurs consume over 80,000 pounds of oysters at this single-day event filled with shucking and eating contests, plus live music, wine, beer and food from some of the area’s best restaurants.

North Charleston Arts Festival

The festival in early May includes approximately 200 high-quality performances, exhibits and activities by local, regional and national artists. From music to dance, literature to theater, visuals arts to media arts, the nine-day festival offers something for everyone.

Parade of Boats

Boats bedecked with lights sail in formation along a route from Mount Pleasant to Charleston in this December event. The sparkling aquatic parade ends with a bang with a fireworks display over Charleston harbor.

Spoleto Festival

One of the nation’s major performing arts events, the Spoleto Festival was founded in 1977 by composer Gian Carlo Menotti. The yearly springtime talent extravaganza presents emerging and established artists in the visual arts, opera, classical music, jazz, soul, bluegrass, theater, chorale and dance in more than 120 performances over 17 days and nights. Visit the website for more information.

Veterans Day Tribute

The Department of Defense and the Veterans Day National Committee selected North Charleston as one of two regional sites in the state for the past six years. Each year, more than 500 veterans in attendance are honored on Veterans Day. Visit the website for more information.


JB Charleston Living Arts

Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester county residents enjoy a wealth of artistic endeavors, from theaters to music to dance and more.

Charleston Ballet

497 La Mesa Road
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Enjoy exciting performances, from the fascinating classical dance and music of India to Romanian folk dances. Performances are held in Mount Pleasant in a new location just around the corner from where the ballet used to perform.

Dock Street Theatre

135 Church St.
Charleston, SC 29401

Home to the Charleston Stage, the city’s resident professional theater, more than 120 performances can be seen each season in this historic 1809 venue, which features modern lighting and sound. The original Dock Street Theatre opened in 1736 as the first building in America built exclusively to host theatrical performances.

Gallery Row

Broad Street
Charleston, SC

Enjoy the galleries in this shopping and art district, purchase fine art or sit down to a meal in one of the memorable restaurants. The merchants association hosts a “First Friday” event each month, as well as various other events.

North Charleston Coliseum & Performing Arts Center

5001 Coliseum Drive
North Charleston, SC 29418

Whether you want to watch puck action with the South Carolina Stingrays, enjoy the Best of Broadway series or see ballerinas on tiptoes in “The Nutcracker,” the North Charleston Coliseum & Performing Arts Center is the place to do it.

North Charleston POPS!

5001 Coliseum Drive
North Charleston, SC 29418

The North Charleston POPS! is a fully professional orchestra dedicated to bringing music of a popular nature to the Lowcountry. The North Charleston POPS! combine an orchestra with other genres of music and vocalists, as well as video delights.


JB Charleston Living Museums

Learn about South Carolina’s history and cultural contributions by visiting any one of the many local museums.

Aiken-Rhett House Museum

48 Elizabeth St.
Charleston, SC 29403

Built in 1818, this town house complex showcases antebellum Charleston and has been preserved since 1858. The museum’s audio tour will help visitors exploring the home get a taste of 19th-century life in the city. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, with the last tour every day at 4:15 p.m.

Berkeley Museum

950 Stony Landing Road
Moncks Corner, SC 29461

The Berkeley Museum is a 5,600-square-foot exhibit building at the Old Santee Canal Park. The museum traces the area’s history back 12,000 years. From the Native Americans to the battles of the famed Brig. Gen. Francis Marion during the American Revolution to the planters who settled the area, the museum provides an entertaining and lively perspective on Berkeley County’s history. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Drayton Hall

3380 Ashley River Road
Charleston, SC 29414

This is the only plantation on the Ashley River that is still almost completely historically intact. With professional guided tours as well as interactive tours via DVD, Drayton Hall is open daily except on major holidays. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with the first tour starting at 9:30 a.m., and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, with the first tour starting at 11:30 a.m.

Patriots Point

40 Patriots Point Road
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Patriots Point Development Authority was established in the 1970s to develop a naval and maritime museum on Charleston Harbor with the World War II aircraft carrier, USS Yorktown, as its centerpiece. It’s also home to the Patriots Point Museum and a fleet of National Historic Landmark ships, the Cold War Memorial and the only Vietnam Experience Exhibit in the U.S., the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and the agency’s official Medal of Honor Museum. The USS Yorktown boasts one of the largest education and overnight camping programs in the nation, with more than 40,000 school-age children attending these programs each year. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily, with exceptions on federal holidays.

The Charleston Museum

360 Meeting St.
Charleston, SC 29403

Founded in 1773, this museum is often referred to as America’s first museum. Permanent exhibits include displays on Egyptian history, historic textiles and Charleston’s role in the American Revolution and Civil War. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The Hunley Warren Lasch Conservation Center

1250 Supply St.
North Charleston, SC 29405
843-743-4865, ext. 10

The Hunley — the world’s first successful combat submarine— in its 90,000-gallon conservation tank, is available for tours 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tours include facial reconstructions of the Hunley crew, artifacts extracted from inside the submarine, the legendary gold coin that saved the Hunley captain’s life and more.

The North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Education Center

4975 Centre Pointe Drive
North Charleston, SC 29418

Established in 2007, the North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Education Center is conveniently located just minutes from Charleston International Airport and adjacent to Tanger Outlet Mall. The Fire Museum blends fire-fighting history and hands-on education into one remarkable experience for the entire family, all in one unforgettable destination. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.


JB Charleston Living Parks

The Charleston area has a multitude of parks and recreational areas to enjoy, on land and by the sea. Check your community’s parks and recreation listings to see more of what your local area has to offer.

Butterfly Garden

4800 Park Circle
North Charleston, SC 29405

The Park Circle Butterfly Garden is next to the Felix C. Davis Community Center in the middle of historic Park Circle. This hidden gem in the middle of the city offers a special place to enjoy a picnic or to just kick back and relax. See the most butterflies during spring and fall visits but don’t miss the nearby farmers market during the summer months.

Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge

5801 Highway 17 N
Awendaw, SC 29429

Cape Romain’s beautiful beaches, salt marshes and maritime forest draw more than 277 species of migratory birds. There are hiking trails, beachcombing, fishing and hunting, as well as picnic areas and covered shelters. The refuge is accessible only by personal boat or ferry, which can be arranged through Coastal Expeditions at 843-881-7684.

Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site

1500 Old Towne Road
Charleston, SC 29407

This 664-acre site, off of the Ashley River, is home to an exhibit hall, rental facility, a natural habitat zoo, ongoing archeological excavations, 7 miles of trails, dozens of picnic tables, a replica tall ship, six fireable replica cannons and more.

Folly Beach

State Highway 174
Folly Beach, SC 29439

The closest beach to the city of Charleston, Folly Beach is a 7-mile-long barrier reef with a fishing pier and lighthouse. Enjoy a walk on the beach or try the waves — Folly Beach is famed as one of the best surfing destinations on the East Coast.

Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center

340 Concord St.
Charleston, SC 29401

Situated in Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter National Monument is where the Civil War began. The Visitor Education Center on Sullivan’s Island is the main ferry departure point for the fort, with transportation available daily. The center itself has exhibits on the events leading up to the Civil War, and National Park rangers are on hand to answer questions.

Givhans Ferry State Park

746 Givhans Ferry Road
Ridgeville, SC 29472

Givhans Ferry State Park is the perfect place to take a float down the serene Edisto River, the longest free-flowing blackwater stream in North America. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the Great Depression, the park is part of the 56-mile-long Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Trail, and is at the end of a popular 21-mile downstream paddle from Colleton State Park.

Riverfront Park

1001 Everglades Ave.
North Charleston, SC 29405

Riverfront is open to the public year-round and is a favorite destination for residents and visitors. On the banks of the Cooper River, the park is adjacent to the historic homes once occupied by naval officers stationed on the Charleston Naval Base. It is surrounded by grand oak trees and river vistas. Bordered by Noisette Creek, the park also boasts a contemporary performance pavilion and meadow.

Wannamaker County Park

8888 University Blvd.
North Charleston, SC 29406

A nature-oriented park with over 1,000 acres of woodlands and wetlands, this is a great family getaway. There are miles of paved trails, picnic sites and the nearby Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark, with its seasonal, island-style water play on more than 15 acres.


From malls and major department stores to unique boutiques and souvenir shops, there’s something for every taste and budget.

Charleston City Market

188 Meeting St.
Charleston, SC 29401

Part of Charleston for more than 200 years, the Charleston City Market is open daily with vendors selling everything from clothing and food to souvenirs and artwork.

Citadel Mall

2070 Sam Rittenberg Blvd.
Charleston, SC 29407

Citadel Mall is home to many well-known department stores and specialty shops, and includes a 16-screen IMAX theater, play area and food court.

Freshfields Village

165 Village Green Lane
Kiawah Island, SC 29455

Located at the crossroads of Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns Island at the end of Betsy Kerrison Parkway, Freshfields Village is a hub of shops, businesses, art galleries and restaurants, as well as weekly events such as Music on the Green.

Mount Pleasant Towne Centre

1218 Belk Drive
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

This upscale shopping center in Mount Pleasant has more than 60 national and local retail stores, including a 16-screen movie theater.

Sports and Recreation

JB Charleston Living Sports and Recreation

Whether you’re looking to take in a round of golf or cool off with a trip down a waterslide, Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties offer a variety of recreational opportunities.

Charleston RiverDogs

360 Fishburne St.
Charleston, SC 29403

The Charleston RiverDogs are a minor league baseball team that plays in the Class Single-A South Atlantic League and are an affiliate of the New York Yankees. The name originates from an urban legend that sailors in Charleston would notice large rats on the banks of the nearby Cooper and Ashley rivers and would call them “river dogs,” and was chosen in a name-the-team contest held at local Piggly Wiggly outlets in 1994. Catch one of their thrilling games at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park.

Edisto Island Serpentarium

1374 Highway 174
Edisto Island, SC 29438

Open since 1999, the modern indoor facility and beautifully landscaped outdoor gardens house a wide variety of reptiles native to the southeastern United States. The reptiles in the outdoor gardens are not displayed behind glass but are viewed by visitors who look over low-walled enclosures to observe the snakes living in streams, climbing in trees or basking on stumps or logs. Alligators and turtles swim and play in large outdoor ponds in the outdoor gardens, while other reptiles bask in the large indoor solarium.

Family Circle Tennis Center

161 Seven Farms Drive
Charleston, SC 29492

Family Circle Tennis Center is a tennis center on Daniel Island with 17 courts, including the 10,200-seat Volvo Car Stadium (previously named the Family Circle Magazine Stadium). Between 2001 and 2015, it hosted the WTA Tour’s Family Circle Cup, which was promoted as the Volvo Cars Open beginning in the 2016 season. Programs and lessons are available for children and adults. Visit the website for more information.


Step to the tee among stunning mountains, rolling hills or beautiful beaches. South Carolina offers nearly 500 golf courses across the state with temperatures that allow play year-round. A variety of public and country club courses are available in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties. In fact, Charleston has a wide array of golf courses to choose from, starting with the obvious selection of resort courses – five at Kiawah Island, including the Ocean Course, site of the 1991 Ryder Cup and 2012 PGA Championship, and two each at Seabrook Island and Isle of Palms’ Wild Dunes Resort – but also ranging to lesser-known greens offering easier access and good value. Mount Pleasant offers a trio of upscale designs: Charleston National, designed by famed architect Rees Jones; Dunes West Golf Club (designed by Arthur Hills) and RiverTowne Country Club, a onetime private club designed by Arnold Palmer and former host to Annika Sorenstam’s eponymous LPGA tournament. For a full list of public and private courses in South Carolina, visit

Palmetto Trail

The Palmetto Trail is South Carolina’s longest pedestrian and bicycle trail and largest trail construction project — 500 continuous miles once completed. It will extend from the Oconee State Park to the Intracoastal Waterway in Charleston County. The multiuse recreational trail consists of 26 connecting passages that showcase the unique history, culture and geography of the Palmetto State. Each passage is designed for a weekend’s enjoyment on the trail. Visit the website for an updated trail map.

South Carolina Aquarium

100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, SC 29401

The South Carolina Aquarium has thousands of native animals and plants to view in 60 habitats and the 385,000-gallon Great Ocean Tank. Visitors can feed stingrays, tour the sea turtle hospital or enjoy the antics of river otters at play. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Open 9 a.m. to noon Christmas Eve. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark

8888 University Blvd.
North Charleston, SC 29406

Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark is located within North Charleston Wannamaker County Park and offers seasonal, island-style water play packed into over 15 acres. Some of the attractions include the Big Splash Tree House with 66 interactive play elements and the Big Kahuna wave pool. For more information on hours and ticket prices, visit Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark’s website.

Wild Blue Adventure Park

1595 Highland Ave.
Charleston, SC 29412

The Wild Blue Adventure Park is a unique offering in Charleston. The aerial course is a vast system, designed at three levels of difficulty and the explorer’s gateway course consists of seven elements for the youngest guests. Navigating obstacles and even swinging from tree to tree make it easy to channel your inner Tarzan. Visit the website for more information.

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