BROWSE THE CHARLESTON CITY MARKET
Since 1788, the Charleston City Market (or, as the locals call it, The Market) has provided residents with a place to exchange their wares. The current Great Hall dates back to 1841, though it was renovated to fully enclose it and include air conditioning. Trust us — you’ll appreciate some cold air on those hot summer days! Situated between East Bay and Market Streets, Charleston City Market is one of the oldest marketplaces in the United States and often considered the most popular attraction in the city.
Sweetgrass Baskets: A Cultural Treasure
The Market is the very best place to experience the beauty of art form perfected here in Charleston: Gullah sweetgrass baskets. Originally crafted by plantation slaves from West Africa for the purpose of winnowing rice, these baskets have been elevated to an art form over the past 300 years. Gullah descendants have passed down this art form in their families for generations, harvesting sweetgrass, palmetto, and pine needles for use in their creations. No trip to Charleston would be complete without one of these beautiful baskets as a souvenir. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and talk with these artisan basket weavers.
Day and Night Markets
Day or night, The Market has something for everyone. The Day Market is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and includes the three open-air sheds (the original market) as well as the Great Hall. It’s open every day of the year except Christmas, so no matter what time of year you visit, you’ll be able to stop by. Keep an eye out for the green and white “Certified Authentic Handmade in Charleston” seal if you’re looking specifically for locally produced items. If shopping has worked up an appetite, you’re in luck! The City Market is a great place to try some Southern specialties.
The Night Market offers a way to extend your shopping fun into the evening on Friday and Saturday evenings from April through December. Hours are from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. You’ll often find live entertainment to add to the festivities. Best of all, 100% of items at the Night Market are made in Charleston, so you’ll know for sure that you’re supporting local artists in their hometown. Look for bath and body items, clothing, paintings, sculpture, glass art, jewelry, home décor items, Christmas gifts, metalwork, woodworking, photography, and the iconic sweetgrass baskets. The Night Market is a fun way to immerse yourself in the lively culture of Charleston.
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