With historic and resort communities, Charleston can be an ideal vacation spot anytime of year. The most popular time to visit the city is in the spring, when the weather is comfortable, flowers are blooming, and festivals are frequent.
Summers can be humid, with high temperatures and a chance of rain. The beach communities, however, peak in the summer, when visitors rush to the shore for sunbathing and water activities. Autumn can be a pleasant time to visit, with slightly cooler temperatures. In the winter, the city is the least crowded, prices are lower, and the weather is cool and mild.
- high season: March to May
- low season: November to February
- shoulder season: June to October
Charleston benefits from a temperate climate throughout its four seasons. Spring brings warm weather, with average high temperatures jumping from 66 degrees in March to 80 degrees in May. Temperatures are directly affected by the city's close proximity to the ocean, and are typically a few degrees cooler on the coast than inland. The months of June through September see the highest humidity and the greatest amount of rain. Hurricane season runs from June through November. July is the hottest month of the year, with temperatures averaging 89 degrees, but the heat rarely reaches above 100 degrees. Things cool down in the fall, with average high temperatures dropping from 83 degrees in September to 68 degrees in November. Winters stay fairly mild, with average highs leveling off to around 59 degrees.
Weekends in the high season tend to be the busiest times to visit, but spring events are also popular. Festivals attract crowds, including the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in February; the Cooper River Bridge Run and the Lowcountry Cajun Festival in March; the Historic Charleston Foundation's Festival of Houses and Gardens and the Flowertown Festival in March and April; and the Family Circle Cup in April.
Hotels, shops, and attractions remain open year-round.
When to Save
The low season can be the least expensive time to visit, when airlines and hotels reduce their prices and offer package deals. The most expensive time to visit is over a high-season weekend. Airfare and hotel discounts are available for midweek visits, especially for stays in the spring or fall.
Information provided by the Charleston Area Convention and Visitor Bureau.