If you’ve ever been to Charleston in the summertime, you know how scorching it can get. And the humidity doesn’t help . . .
So here are a few of our Charleston-related packing tips to ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable experience in the Lowcountry:
For the ladies on a trip to Charleston, definitely pack lightweight sundresses + shorts + tanks + T-shirts: You need an outfit for each day in Charleston because you will sweat if you’re outside. There is no getting around that!
One to two “nicer” outfits for the evenings: Overall, Charleston is a casual city; you will rarely find a restaurant with a strict dress code (it’s always good to double check, but there are very few). It’s a good idea to bring one or two “nicer” outfits, in case you do plan on going to a swanky bar or restaurant.
For the gentlemen, shorts and T-shirts during the day will be just fine! If you’re going to be out on the water, consider bringing a Columbia Performance Fishing Gear shirt. They’re super lightweight and great for hot Charleston days!
One pair of nice sandals + one pair of comfy, casual flip flops: If you’re visiting Charleston to soak in some Lowcountry culture, go shopping, or simply explore the city and its surrounding attractions, you’ll definitely want a pair of comfortable flip flops that you can walk for hours in—trust me, you don’t want blisters by the end of the day.
For the evening, you can whip out your nice sandals!
For the ladies – leave the straightener at home and opt for some surf / beach spray instead: The humidity is a foe to almost every type of hair out there. We suggest ditching the hair straightener for a beach / surf spray to add some texture to your hair and embrace whatever curl or wave you’ve got going.
Sun protection: The sun is extremely powerful in Charleston—even on a cloudy day. Make sure to pack SPF 30 or higher for your face and body. Also pack a pair of sunglasses and a hat—especially if you plan on lounging on the beach or in a boat (such as The Schooner Pride!).
Raincoat: The Lowcountry is known for its afternoon thunderstorms, so make sure to pack a raincoat and umbrella, just in case.
Lightweight sweater if you’re going to restaurants or plan on being on the water: The temperature on the water is usually a few degrees lower than it is on land, so make sure to bring a sweater if you’re going on a boat in the evening. Also, restaurants crank up their air condition, so even if it’s hot outside, you could find yourself freezing inside!
Camera: Charleston is celebrated for its famous landmarks, beautiful Spanish-moss-covered live oaks, dazzling sunsets, spectacular architecture, and breathtaking harbor. So make sure to either bring your camera or your camera phone!
Room in your suitcase for souvenirs! Whether it’s an article of clothing from one of King Street’s boutiques, a handmade work of art from the Charleston City Market, or some Gullah spices and recipe book, it’s almost a guarantee you won’t leave Charleston without a few souvenirs.
Feel free to bring the pup! Charleston is an extremely dog-friendly city, so if you’d like to bring fido, just check with your hotel or house rental and bring him / her along! A variety of restaurants also offer outdoor seating that is dog friendly.