Most northerners will find Charleston balmy but beautiful any time of year, but the unquestionable high season is spring. People flock to Charleston from April through June to enjoy weather that’s comfortably warm and sunny, and to stroll the downtown historic district while the city’s renowned gardens are in bloom. The biggest event is the Spoleto Festival in May and June. More than 30 years old, the annual art and music gathering wraps up downtown Charleston for more than two weeks. Home and garden buffs should come in mid-April, when the Garden Club of Charleston leads house and garden tours through normally private residences.
Summer and fall offer a good alternative to the spring high season, but plan some beach or water park time in July and August, when the weather is downright sweltering. Charleston still draws big crowds around holidays like Labor Day, Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July—all usually offering little festivals or community gatherings in the park.
The winter low season sees far fewer crowds, and the weather can be cool and rainy, though not freezing (temperatures generally hover around 60 degrees). Especially popular is Christmastime, when the picturesque historic district is draped in a cloak of holiday lights and gracious living is at its most quaint.