It's Fall, Y'all: The Top 10 Things To Do In Charleston This Fall
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It's Fall, Y'all: The Top 10 Things To Do In Charleston This Fall

Here's your definitive guide for experiencing fall in Charleston (from a local's perspective).

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It's Fall, Y'all: The Top 10 Things To Do In Charleston This Fall

Tourists and locals alike know that autumn is a very special time in the Holy City. The warm southern air is no longer stifling, crisp oak leaves are falling and there’s a contagious cheeriness wafting in on the cool breeze. Charleston has achieved most of its fame from its range of activities to offer during the spring and summer seasons, but there are plenty of exciting options available in the fall as well. Whether you’re a fan of fun and funky craft festivals or serene hikes through nature, you’re bound to find yourself the perfect autumnal activity in Charleston. Here are the 10 best things to do in the Holy City during September, October and November:

1. Celebrate at the Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch

Just a short drive from downtown in Mt. Pleasant, this event is normally open to the public every day of October and is $10 per person (kids under two are free). The crown jewel of the Pumpkin Patch is not even the patch itself; it’s the absolutely huge corn maze people can explore (it takes up an entire corn field)! This is a perfect event for children, but it’s also ideal for the young at heart.

2. Peruse the Charleston Farmers’ Market

It happens every Saturday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. until crops are no longer plentiful (around the end of November), but it is the most magical during autumn. Since the market takes place in almost full sun downtown in Marion Square, milder fall temperatures offer pedestrians welcome relief from the heat. Plus, there are so many awesome fruits, nuts and vegetables that peak in the fall: apples, muscadine grapes, pecans, broccoli, sweet potatoes - you name it! Swing by on a cool morning with a local cup of coffee for the best Farmers' Market experience.

3. Hike a trail

The Charleston region is chock full of beautiful outdoor landscapes. What better way to experience fall in Charleston than to witness the changing of the seasons first-hand? Both Caw Caw Interpretive Center in Ravenel, S.C. and the I’On Swamp in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. offer expansive and immersive natural hiking trails. If you’re a little less outdoorsy and prefer a natural-but-short walk closer to civilization, try James Island County Park or Palmetto Islands County Park.

4. Attend the MOJA Arts Festival

This annual event offers a rich multi-day celebration of African American and Caribbean art, music and culture. It’s got a lot to offer: parades, music shows, keynote speakers, dance shows and more.

5. Stroll through Second Sunday on King Street

Another one of Charleston’s all-season staples, Second Sunday is especially nice in the fall because of the temperature change. Head down historic King Street and grab lunch outside on a local restaurant’s lively street-side patio and pop into some of your favorite shops. Along the way, you might even collect a free sample or two.

6. Be a part of the Fall Tour of Homes, History and Architecture

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see behind the beautiful wrought-iron gates of some of the city’s most affluent residents? Here’s your chance to get an insider’s view. The Fall Tour of Homes, History and Architecture takes guests on walking tours of homes in the South Battery, Legare Street, South Meeting Street and South of Broad (as well as other) neighborhoods. Depending on the package you choose, you can even go on a tour dedicated to the personal gardens of Charleston. Pick your favorite neighborhood and go explore!

7. Tiptoe the sands of Folly Beach at night

Rumor has it that Folly Beach is one of the most haunted locations in Charleston at night. Halloween is coming...don’t wait on this one! Blackbeard used to frequent Folly Beach during his most infamous raids and - who knows - his angry ghost may linger. During the month of October, handfuls of locals like to head out to Folly to catch the sunset and trek or bike out to the Morris Island Lighthouse at the northern end of the island. Not only is it a beautiful and scenic adventure, but it will also give you the creeps just in time for Halloween.

8. Spook and be spooked at Boone Hall Fright Nights

Though it has sadly been cancelled for the 2016 season, there’s nothing stopping you from returning for the 2017 event. Boone Hall Fright Nights has been the Lowcountry’s biggest and most exciting Halloween event for years. The fun takes place each year on the haunted grounds of Boone Hall Plantation and offers elaborate haunted houses, hayrides, themed horror areas and more. It isn’t for small children, but if you and yours are looking for a spooky thrill, look no further.

9. Find tranquility at Magnolia Plantation

Magnolia Plantation is extremely enjoyable in the cooler weather. At the plantation, you can stroll through manicured gardens, get a bird’s eye view from an observation tower, pet ponies or - my favorite - get licked all over by Gracie the white-tailed deer. Peacocks roam freely around the grounds of the historic mansion, so keep your eyes peeled for turquoise feathers (the peacocks make for great photo ops).

10. Get in on the Oktoberfest Festivities

There are many Oktoberfest-style celebrations in the Holy City every fall. One of the largest is held at the MUSC Health Stadium and features plenty of German food, beer, bounce castles, football and games. If you like beer, fellowship, football and good ol’ fashioned fun, attend an Oktoberfest celebration in Charleston.
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