There’s something special about celebrating the holiday season in Charleston and it’s more than just our warmer weather! While you can trade your heavy coats and snow lined streets for palm trees and mild temperatures to experience an unforgettable holiday season in the Holy City, that’s really just the beginning.  With fall festivals, oyster roasts, parades, light displays, and black tie affairs, Charleston has got everything you need to enjoy the holidays with friends and family.


The holiday season happily kicks off in early November when the city comes alive with glittering lights and bows adorning our many street lamps. Before you begin feasting on a home cooked meal or take-home sides from one of our area’s esteemed restaurants, burn a few calories by joining the Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble 5k held annually at Marion Square. This 5k run takes you through historic Downtown Charleston and through the gorgeous homes in the South of Broad neighborhood along The Battery. After the race, Celebrate with other race participants in Marion Square to celebrate with free drinks and food.

Many of the area’s top local restaurants host a Thanksgiving feast or offer take-home sides that will help save your sanity from having to cook Thanksgiving dinner by yourself. With milder temperatures around the mid-60s, many families in the Charleston area love throwing Thanksgiving either al fresco on their porch, or pack it as a picnic to enjoy at the beach!

One of the many perks of a celebrating Thanksgiving in a private rental is having a full kitchen onsite, complete with everything you need to throw your very own Thanksgiving feast. Create new holiday traditions by hosting Thanksgiving at one of our many  luxury vacation rentals on Folly Beach. After an afternoon of stuffing yourself silly and cheering your favorite football team, take a walk along the beach to burn off a few of those extra calories.

Holiday Festivities in December

No matter how you celebrate the holiday season, you can kick-off your holiday of choice with the sparkle of the Holiday Festival Of Lights at the James Island County Park, the Holiday Parade Of Boats on Charleston Harbor, and the Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting in downtown Charleston. Just make sure you pack your favorite sweaters and mittens as the evening temperatures can definitely get chilly in the Holy City!

Want to celebrate the season with your toes in the sand? Have a holly, jolly time at Folly Beach! A beloved tradition, held on the second Saturday in December, Folly Beach residents decorate parade floats and vehicles to throw their own Christmas parade. Beginning on Second Street and West Ashley Avenue, the parade makes its way to Center Street, spreading Christmas cheer to all who are near.

Ring in the New Year


There’s more than enough options when it comes to celebrating New Years Eve in the Holy City, it’ll be hard to decide which to attend! Watch the ball drop from Marion Square, from onboard the USS Yorktown, or the annual Grand Ball at the South Carolina Aquarium. On Folly Beach, watch the Flip Flop Drop over The Tides from Center Street or dance the night away at Blu at The Tides. Stay in and get cozy  from the comfort of your own private vacation home while you watch the ball drop in Time Square on the TV.

The fun doesn’t stop just because the new year has rung in. Don your best Bill Murray clothing on January 1st and be prepared to run into the ocean for Folly Beach’s annual “Bill Murray Look-a-Like” Polar Bear Plunge! An annual tradition, participants dress as their favorite Bill Murray character and literally run into the chilly Atlantic Ocean. Proceeds from the event benefit local charities and many participating restaurants and bars will be waiting to welcome you into the warmth with a much deserved coffee, cappuccino, or even an Irish Coffee to sip!

There is so much to see and do to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year in Charleston. Start planning your trip by booking one of our luxury vacation rentals and then let our Concierge team handle all the details. We’ll help ensure your holidays in the Holy City deliver once-in-a-lifetime memories. We can’t wait to see you and ring in some holiday cheer.