Top Events

Spoleto USA, May/June

MOJA Arts Festival, September/October

Gullah Festival, May

Euphoria, September

Lowcountry Oyster Festival, January

January

Temperatures remain low, and snow is possible. In 2018 Charleston saw significant snowfall for the first time since the '80s, and everybody was on their sleds in the streets.

Lowcountry Oyster Festival

Rain or shine, 80,000lb of bivalves will be consumed at the Lowcountry Oyster Festival at Boone Hall Plantation every January. There are also shucking and eating contests, live music, beer, local food and more beer.

Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week is a statewide affair in January, when hundreds of restaurants all over South Carolina feature special menu items, promotions and deep discounts.

February

Winter is on its way out, and temperatures start to climb (particularly in the Lowcountry). You can still find good deals on hotels, though.

Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival

An Iron Chef competition, live entertainment and lots of regional seafood eating define this yearly event on Hilton Head Island. For more visit www.hiltonheadseafoodfestival.com.

March

The best time to see the Oconee Bell, a unique wildflower endemic only to the gorges in the Blue Ridge escarpment. It blooms from mid-March to early April.

National Shag Dance Championships

The longest continuously running shag dance competition in the US has been held every March in Myrtle Beach since 1984. More at www.shagnationals.com.

April

South Carolina's wildflowers pop and the climate is mild, making this month ideal for hiking, cycling and golfing. Farmers markets start up in Charleston.

Indie Grits Festival

Held over three days in April, the Indie Grits Festival is Columbia's answer to SXSW, celebrating art, tech, film, food, music and more around the city.

World Grits Festival

Three days of grits-centric celebrating in the little town of St George, with a rolling-in-the-grits contest, grits meals, grits grinding and a grits eating contest (http://worldgritsfestival.com).

ArtFields Competition

ArtFields Competition is a massive art festival in tiny Lake City. More than 400 works are displayed all over town.

May

Summer attractions like water parks open their doors again, and Greenville's awesome Saturday Market gets going. Lots of flowers are in full bloom. Bring your sunhat and bathing suit!

World Famous Blue Crab Festival

Each May, the World Famous Blue Crab Festival draws 50,000 people to the Little River waterfront just north of Myrtle Beach for art, food, music and revelry.

Hell Hole Swamp Festival

Named after an actual swamp in Jamestown, this festival is held each May and includes a tobacco-spitting contest, arm wrestling and a 'Redneck Run' (www.hellholeswampfest.com).

Gullah Festival

Held in Beaufort over Memorial Day weekend, the Gullah Festival is the states's largest celebration of the history, culture, language and accomplishments of the Lowcountry's African Americans. Expect art, music, exhibits, presentations, workshops, dance and regional cuisine.

June

The heat and humidity sets in for summertime, and beaches beckon in the Lowcountry. Meanwhile in the Upcountry, rafting and lake activities pick up.

Spoleto USA

The performing-arts extravaganza Spoleto USA takes place over 17 days in May and June, with operas, dramas and concerts happening all over Charleston. It's South Carolina's largest event.

September

Temperatures drop in September, making Lowcountry outings more pleasant. In the Upcountry the leaves are changing and broad-winged hawks are migrating through. Children return to school, meaning accommodations prices drop and crowds thin.

Euphoria

Euphoria is Greenville's big food and wine throw down, with four days of tastings, cooking demonstrations, wine seminars, multi-course dinners, celebrity chef sightings, live music and general revelry.

October

Thousands of ospreys, falcons and other raptors migrate over the Lowcountry, with flocks dipping and rising over the salt marshes and the coast. Bring your binos.

MOJA Arts Festival

Charleston's MOJA Arts Festival is held over the last weekend in September and a week in October, with spirited poetry readings and gospel concerts celebrating African American and Caribbean culture.

November

The most budget-friendly time to visit, when temperatures begin to drop and the rains come a little more frequently. Still, this is a lovely time to visit Charleston and tour the city.

Greenville Craft Beer Festival

The Greenville Craft Beer Festival draws an intoxicating array of microbrewery samples from all over the South. There's also music, food and 'beer college' classes.

December

Things pick up again during the holidays, with a hoard of Christmas and New Year's events, and prices temporarily rise. Temperatures continue to drop.