Charleston South Carolina in March: A Travel Guide


If you’re contemplating a visit to Charleston South Carolina in March, you’re in for a great time. I had the pleasure of exploring this vibrant Southern city during early March, and it was a low-stress, slow pace trip. The pleasant weather, bustling streets, and warm southern hospitality all contributed to making it a trip to remember.

In this travel guide, you’ll find everything you need to make the most of your time in Charleston. I provide recommendations on where to stay, where to eat, and top sights to see. Consider this your ultimate companion for planning the perfect trip to the Holy City in March! Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply seeking a good time, Charleston truly has something for everyone.

So pack your bags and get ready to kick off a memorable adventure in one of the most picturesque cities in the United States!

Weather in Charleston South Carolina in March 

Charleston South Carolina in March offers a mild winter, especially as the season transitions into spring. There are plenty of sunny days which creates an ideal atmosphere for exploration. Average temperatures range from the high 50s to the high 70s Fahrenheit. Because of this, you’ll enjoy comfortable conditions for outdoor activities like strolling along the historic King Street, or enjoying live music at Marion Square. 

While occasional rainfall is possible, March typically sees fewer rainy days compared to the humid summer months or hurricane season. This will allow you to make the most of your visit without worrying about weather conditions. You can go for tours of historic homes, savor culinary delights from food trucks and outdoor dining areas, or take in the picturesque sights along the Charleston Harbor. If you’re someone who worries about weather conditions, simply check local weather data the week leading up to your trip to prepare.

Where to Stay During Your Charleston Vacation 

When it comes to finding the perfect accommodation for your Charleston vacation, you’re spoiled for choice with an array of options scattered throughout the city. Below is one that I recommend because of my great experience.

Luxury Option: HarbourView Inn Hotel

Nestled in the heart of downtown Charleston, the HarbourView Inn Hotel offers guests an unforgettable and upscale stay. Firstly, the property is located just steps from the Charleston Harbor. Other nearby iconic landmarks include the riverfront park (Waterfront Park), Rainbow Row, and the historic Charleston City Market just to name a few. For this reason alone, this boutique hotel provides the perfect home base for exploring the city’s treasures. As you step into the elegant lobby adorned with sophisticated decor and warm accents, you’ll immediately get a warm welcome from the hotel’s attentive staff. During our stay, the staff were truly ready and willing to help with my mom and I’s every need!

Accommodations at HarbourView Inn Hotel

Each of the HarbourView Inn’s luxurious guest rooms and suites boast charm and sophistication. Rooms feature plush bedding, marble bathrooms, and breathtaking views of either the Charleston Harbor or the city skyline. After a day of exploring Charleston’s cobblestone streets and historic homes, retreat to the hotel’s rooftop terrace for a relaxing evening. From there, you can overlook the waters of the harbor with a complimentary cup of coffee or glass of wine in hand! 

Amenities at HarbourView Inn Hotel

My mom and I really enjoyed the property’s complimentary amenities. These include a gourmet continental breakfast, a daily afternoon wine and cheese reception, and an evening turndown service which is included for all guests. We chose to have our breakfast delivered to our room each morning so we could turn on the in-room electric fireplace and watch the news for the day. Options include a breakfast croissant sandwich, homemade quiche, freshly baked goods, cereal, toast, fresh fruit, parfaits, muffins, tea, coffee, and juice.  It was a great way to start the day! The property also offers valet parking for an additional fee. 

Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway with your significant other, want to enjoy a memorable family vacation, (or a girls trip with your mom like I did) this waterfront gem is the best place to stay in Charleston!

How to Get to Charleston South Carolina in March

The easiest and quickest way to get to Charleston is to fly. The Charleston International Airport offers and recieves non-stop flights to dozens of destinations with Air Canada, Alaska Air, American Airlines, Allegiant, Avelo, Breeze, Delta, Frontier, Jet Blue, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country, and United. If you already live in the Southeast region of the U.S., Charleston also makes for a great road trip destination! Residents in states like North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Arkansas could make the drive within a day or two (with stops along the way of course). I recommend searching for flight deals at least three months in advance if you’re visiting during the off season (fall and winter months). Book six months in advance if you plan to travel to Charleston during the high season (spring and summer months). You can find great deals on sites like Expedia, Skyscanner, and WayAway.

Events in Charleston South Carolina in March

Visiting Charleston, South Carolina in March is not just about pleasant weather and scenic views. It’s also a time when the city comes alive with exciting March events and festivities! From culinary celebrations and lively speakeasies, to cultural parades and outdoor markets, there’s no shortage of live entertainment options to enhance your vacation.

Charleston Wine + Food Festival

The Charleston Wine + Food Festival is a premier event that celebrates the local food of the Lowcountry. Held annually in early March, this festival brings together top chefs, acclaimed winemakers, and food enthusiasts from around the world for a weekend of tastings, demonstrations, and exclusive dining experiences. Here you can enjoy the vibrant food scene of Charleston as you sample delicious dishes, sip on fine wines, and discover the unique flavors that define Southern cuisine.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Taking place in mid-March, this lively parade features colorful floats, marching bands, and Irish dancers through the streets of downtown Charleston. Whether you’re of Irish descent, or simply looking for some fun, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade offers a memorable experience for all ages. Don your best green attire, grab a pint of Guinness, and join the crowd in cheering on the procession. The route winds its way through the historic streets of the Holy City of South Carolina.

10+ Things to do in Charleston South Carolina in March

March is a good time to explore the culture and natural beauty of Charleston and its surrounding area. Below are 13 experiences to enjoy during your visit to this captivating city.

1. Firefly Distillery

One of the most fun things you can do in Charleston is to visit Firefly Distillery. Here you can sample a variety of handcrafted spirits, including their famous sweet tea vodka. Take a tour of the distillery to learn about the art of spirit-making and enjoy live performances while sipping on refreshing cocktails in the charming Lowcountry setting. If you don’t have time for a tour, tastings are just $15USD and last less than 30 minutes. (The best part is that you can taste up to 8 vodkas and rums…and they give a generous pour of each!)

2. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

Step back in time and explore the enchanting Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, one of the oldest plantations in the South. It’s best to take a guided tour of the grounds, to learn the history of the home and the lush gardens adorned with azaleas and camellias. You can take a scenic tram tour of the property, and visit the historic plantation house to learn about its dark but storied past. It’s a great spot for history and flora enthusiasts, and a popular  spot for grade A Instagram photos!

3. Shop on King Street

Treat yourself to a shopping spree along King Street, Charleston’s premier shopping destination. It’s lined with a diverse array of boutiques, galleries, and designer stores. From fashion and jewelry to antiques and souvenirs, you’ll find everything you need to indulge in a little retail therapy done Southern style. If shopping isn’t your forte, you can opt to take a 90 minute bus tour around the city to hop on and off where you like!

4. The Charleston Tea Garden

Discover the art of tea cultivation at The Charleston Tea Garden. It’s the only tea plantation in North America! Take a guided garden tour of the lush tea fields, learn about the tea-making process, and sample freshly brewed teas. If you don’t have time for a tour, stop to enjoy the panoramic views of the scenic Lowcountry landscape and sample some tea brews.

5. Sunset Boat Tour

One of the best ways to experience the city is by the beauty of Charleston’s waterfront aboard a sunset boat tour. On a sunset sail, you will cruise along the harbor and watch the sky come alive with vibrant hues at sunset. You can sit back, relax, and soak in the breathtaking views of historic landmarks like Fort Sumter and the Ravenel Bridge. If you choose, you can often do it with a beer or champagne in hand. If you want to do an earlier tour, there are numerous companies that offer afternoon dolphin sails (also with on-board drinks!)

6. Charleston City Market

This historic market dates back to the 18th century and is one of the best activities you can do while in Charleston South Carolina in March. You can browse through rows of craft vendors selling handmade local artwork, jewelry, clothing items, and local produce. My mom and I purchased a small hand-woven sweetgrass basket from a vendor whose family had been making them for generations! Finally, don’t pass up grabbing a bite to eat from one of the food vendors offering Lowcountry delicacies. My mom and I’s favorite were the chocolate covered Key Lime Pie from Kermit’s, and the pimento cheese biscuits from Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit!

best things to do in Charleston South Carolina in March Charleston City Market

7. South Carolina Aquarium

If you’re looking to dive into an underwater adventure, then visit the South Carolina Aquarium! Here, you can explore fascinating exhibits showcasing marine life from the state’s coastal waters and beyond. From playful otters and majestic sea turtles to colorful coral reefs, there’s plenty to see and learn at this family-friendly attraction. The aquarium even has a sea turtle rehabilitation center for injured and orphaned sea turtles before releasing them back into the wild. It gives you all the good feels!

8. Fort Sumter National Monument

One of the best things you can do in the city — especially if you are a history buff — is to Delve into Civil War history at Fort Sumter National Monument. This is the site where the first shots of the American Civil War were fired. You’ll first take a ferry ride to the island fortress. Guided tours will allow you to explore the historic grounds and gain insight into the events that shaped the nation’s history.

9. White Point Garden

Within the hustle and bustle of the city is a serene oasis known as White Point Garden. This picturesque park is located at the tip of the Charleston Peninsula. Take a leisurely stroll along the Waterfront Promenade to admire the historic cannons and monuments. If you have the time, you can even enjoy a picnic amidst the shade of towering oak trees.

10. Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Marvel at the architectural beauty of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, a stunning Roman Catholic cathedral that serves as a prominent landmark in Charleston’s historic district. Inside boasts intricate stained glass windows, ornate altar, and majestic domed ceiling. My mom and I really enjoyed taking a moment for quiet reflection and prayer. 

11. Joe Riley Waterfront Park

For panoramic views of the Charleston Harbor and the Ravenel Bridge, head to Joe Riley Waterfront Park. This scenic oasis is nestled along the Cooper River. You can take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade, relax in the shade of the majestic oak trees, and snap photos in front of the iconic pineapple fountain.

12. Nathaniel Russell House

Explore the grandeur of the Nathaniel Russell House. This historic mansion dates back to the early 19th century. Take a walking tour of the restored interiors to admire the exquisite furnishings and decorative arts. Learn about the lives of the affluent families who once called this architectural masterpiece home.

13. Philadelphia Alley

Wandering down the quaint cobblestone streets of Charleston is a relaxing and historic activity that locals and tourists alike enjoy. One of the most notable hideaways is Philadelphia Alley. This charming thoroughfare is steeped in history and folklore. Named after the city of Philadelphia, this atmospheric alley is lined with historic buildings, hidden gardens, and secret passageways. Taking a guided hidden alleyway and historic sites tour is a perfect way to catch a glimpse into storied Charleston’s past.

Where to Eat During Your Charleston Vacation

Exploring Charleston South Carolina in March is just about sightseeing (even though that is important, too). In fact, it’s also about savoring the diverse culinary delights that the city has to offer! And believe me, there are plenty to be explored! You can take a guided foodie tour, or choose to taste test on your own — there’s no wrong way! From fresh seafood to Southern comfort food and artisanal desserts, Charleston’s dining scene is sure to impress your taste buds. Below are some of my favorite places to dine in the Holy City: 

1. Hyman’s Seafood

You’ll get a true seafood feast at Hyman’s Seafood. This downtown Charleston institution is known for its fresh catch and lively atmosphere. You can order classic dishes like shrimp and grits, or fresh crab cakes while soaking in the vibrant ambiance of this family-owned restaurant. Fun fact: many celebrities have dined at Hyman’s throughout the years. Each table has a gold plaque in front of each seat indicating where celebrities have enjoyed their meals! Be sure to look down to see which one shared the seat you’re sitting in!

2. Magnolia’s

If you want to enjoy an upscale dining experience, Magnolia’s is the place to go. Here, Southern hospitality meets contemporary cuisine. You can sample innovative dishes crafted with locally sourced ingredients. My mom and I ordered the famous she-crab soup and the fried green tomatoes over creamy grits. I also recommend the Lowcountry bouillabaisse! Take in the  sophisticated setting reminiscent of Charleston’s historic charm while you dine.

3. Bitty and Beau’s Coffee

Start your day with a heartwarming cup of coffee at Bitty and Beau’s Coffee, a beloved café known for its mission to create job opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Savor specialty coffee drinks and freshly baked pastries while supporting a worthy cause in the heart of downtown Charleston.

4. Fleet Landing

Enjoy waterfront dining at its finest at Fleet Landing. This charming restaurant is housed in a historic naval building overlooking the Charleston Harbor. Even better, it’s located a short 3-minute walk from the HarbourView Inn! You can feast on fresh oysters on the half shell, and pair it with one of their specialty cocktails. My mom and I ordered a pick-three basket with fried oysters, a bowl of she-crab soup, and chilled blue crab dip. Be sure to enjoy the panoramic views of the harbor and watch the boats sail by while you dine!

5. Brown Dog Deli

Grab a delicious sandwich at Brown Dog Deli, a cozy eatery specializing in gourmet sandwiches and wraps. Don’t miss their signature Folly Beach Wrap, filled with fresh ingredients like turkey, bacon, avocado, and spicy mayo, or try the TikTok Caesar Wrap for a unique twist on a classic favorite. My mom and I went to the location on Calhoun Street which is a little out of the way, but it’s a nice walk from downtown past the College of Charleston. You can also take an Uber if you are short on time. 

6. Carmella’s Cafe and Dessert Bar

After a savory lunch, satisfy your sweet tooth at Carmella’s Cafe and Dessert Bar! This charming spot offers an array of decadent desserts and artisanal cocktails. My personal recommendation is to order yourself a slice of homemade cake or pastry along with a specialty coffee or craft cocktail. 

7. Tinto y Crema

You don’t have to go far to get your hands on authentic gelato in Charleston. In fact, you can find it at Tinto y Crema located directly next door to the HarbourView Inn! This adorably aesthetic treat shop serves gelato, sorbeto, frosé, tipsy floats, tea, coffees, and small plates. I recommend ordering a frosé with a champ floater alongside a single stroopwafel for a sweet afternoon snack. 

Visiting Charleston South Carolina in March: Helpful Tips

Before you start your journey to Charleston South Carolina in March, here are some helpful tips! These tips will help ensure a smooth and memorable experience.

Pack clothes for layering. Locals in Charleston typically wear upscale casual items. As a visitor, it’s important to dress the part! Pack things like cotton long sleeve shirts, linen pants or casual cotton items, or linen dresses for dining out and exploring. For unpredictable March weather, bring a lightweight rain jacket or windbreaker, a sheer cardigan, and a compact umbrella.

Wear comfortable walking shoes. Charleston is a very walkable city, but the uneven cobblestone streets and long walking distances can cause blisters and sore feet. Pack worn-in shoes with good traction. If you don’t have a pair, I recommend these ones from Kizik!

Transportation Tips

It’s fine to take a guided tour. However, but be sure to spend time walking around on your own as well. If you are short on time, the horse and carriage tours stop at most of the city’s main sights within an hour.

Finding parking can be difficult and rather expensive. In fact, having a rental car is not necessary if you only plan to stay downtown or close to the city limits. Uber is widely available, and there is also a free DASH CARTA shuttle system that makes stops at select points throughout the city.

Renting a car should really only be considered if you’re planning day trips to Folly Beach, the Angel Oak Tree on John’s Island, or Savannah. My mom and I decided to do a day trip to Savannah, so I booked a compact car through Skyscanner. We conveniently picked the car up at the Enterprise Rent-a-Center on Savannah Highway on our way out of town.

Conclusion: Visiting Charleston South Carolina in March

Visiting Charleston South Carolina in March presents a charming fusion of mild weather, fun events, great food, and cultural richness. In this old South city, you can create unforgettable memories and experience true Southern charm! As one of my personal favorite cities in the South, I can attest that there will be endless wonders and adventure awaiting you in this magical city. 

Did you plan your trip to Charleston using any recommendations from this post? If so, I would love to hear about your experience! Email alex@eccontessa.com with the subject “Charleston in March.” 

Considering a trip to another U.S. state or city other than Charleston? Check out my other U.S. travel guides for helpful tips on transportation, safety, and top attractions!

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Wanna know one of my new favorite places in the U.S. to road trip? The location may surpise you! 🇺🇸 

I recently spent a few adventurous days in Summersville, West Virginia with @visitgreatersummersville with @wvtourism, and found *so much* to love about this little slice of #AlmostHeaven. It may be small in population, but it packs a mighty punch when it comes to nature, outdoor activities, and an impressive local food scene. Not only is it home to the largest lake in West Virginia, it boasts two state parks, great hiking trails, and is less than a 30 minute drive from the newest National Park in the U.S.: New River Gorge National Park and Preseve. 

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2. Visit the Almost Heaven Swing at Summersville Lake State Park. This is the newest state park in the area. While it’s still under construction, there are some great trails, and of course, one of West Virginia’s famous (and Insta-worthy) swings!
3. Have brunch at @vaultonmain. It’s located in downtown Summersville in the stunning former Nicholas County Bank building from 1923. Order the French toast and shaved steak breakfast burrito. 
4. Spend a day at Battle Run Public Beach. The longest beach in West Virginia at 1,000 feet, the area has picnic tables, restrooms, grills, volleyball nets, and plenty of space for lounging. 
5. Enjoy a wine slushy flight from @gaddambrewing. This super fun brewery serves up craft beer, premium coffees, real fruit smoothies, and super cute wine slushy flights. They also offer live music and country line dancing on select nights. Bonus: it’s family-friendly!

Which of these activities would you enjoy first? Let me know below and stay tuned for part 2! #WVTourism #WVTourismPartner
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A visit to Yosemite National Park really is like living in a dream 🥺

I recently spent a week in eastern Central California exploring @yosemitenps for the first time, and I must say it definitely earned a spot in my personal “Top 3 U.S. National Parks” category!

Some can’t miss spots in the park that are highlighted in the reel:

- El Capitan / El Capitan Meadow 
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- Half-Dome
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- Hetch Hetchy (road is open year round, but may close intermittently due to snow depending on the time of year)

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𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝟒 𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐢𝐧 @charleston.travel ::

(You’ll want to SAVE this for your next trip!)📌

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟏:
- Check into the @hvicharleston. Here you can enjoy a complimentary wine and cheese reception, milk + cookies at night, and a made to order breakfast in the mornings!
- Grab a sweet pick me up at @tintoycrema next door 
- Stop for pics at Rainbow Row
- Walk to White Point Garden + The Battery
- Visit Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
- Have a late seafood lunch at @fleetlanding 

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟐:
- enjoy complimentary breakfast at @hvicharleston (order the ham + cheese quiche or croissant!)
- take the free DASH bus from the hotel to Liberty Square to visit the @southcarolinaaquarium. They have an amazing Sea Turtle Rescue Center! 
- eat lunch at @browndogdeli (I recommend ordering The Folly Beach Turkey Crunch Wrap or the Fried Green Tomato BLT) 
- tour the Nathaniel Russell House and/or the Edmondston-Alston House (it survived hurricanes, the earthquake of 1888, and the Civil W*r!)
- eat dinner at @magnoliaschs. Order the fried green tomatoes and southern egg roll!

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟑:
- enjoy another breakfast at @hvicharleston! You can order it as early as 6am.
- Board a boat to @ftsumternps. This historic Fort is marked as the spot where the first battle of the Civil W*r was fought. Reservations required. 
- take an Uber to @fireflydistillery to try their Sweet Tea Vodka, Banana Pudding Moonshine, and their Chocolate Pecan Whiskey. Dont pass up a boozy moonshine milkshake (for 21+) and a Rocket Burger from @rocket_burger_chs food truck!

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟒:
- enjoy an iced coffee and a breakfast sandwich at @carmellasdessertbar (just a few blocks from @hvicharleston)
- stroll through the @charlestoncitymarket. It’s been around since the mid 1800’s!
- eat late lunch at @hymans_seafood. Don’t pass up their hush puppies and crab cakes. They were voted Best in Charleston for a reason! 

Click on the link in my bio to read my full “4 Days in Charleston” guide (yes, there’s more!) on my blog to help you plan the ultimate Charleston vacation.
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