Charleston souvenirs, handmade crafts, locally made goods, and historic tours are completely unique to the area, and make for perfect gifts for your loved ones who have a special place in their hearts for Charleston. Whether their longing to bring back memories of their childhood trips to Charleston or miss living in the Lowcountry, your loved ones will love these Charleston gift ideas.
See below for our top picks for holiday gift ideas that scream “Charleston!”:
Sweetgrass Baskets (shown above): Nothing says Charleston like a handmade sweetgrass basket! This is literally the ultimate Charleston gift and is perfect to fill with goodies and wrap into a gift basket.
Here’s a little history lesson for you on the sweetgrass basket and why it’s such a significant Charleston icon:
During the time of the Atlantic Slave Trade, slaves were taken from West Africa and brought over to the Lowcountry to work on rice fields. They brought with them unique talent and artistic ability in weaving baskets. The first African-inspired baskets seen in the Lowcountry were during the late 17th century when the baskets were used in the harvesting and production of rice and other crops found throughout the Lowcountry. Beginning in the 18th century, the baskets produced by the slaves were beginning to be used as a form of art. The baskets that we see in the market today are the result of skills that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Sweetgrass baskets can be purchased at The Charleston City Market.
Oyster Roasting Gear: Whether you live in Charleston or have visited during the colder months, we’re all familiar with the traditional oyster roasts that happen on a weekly basis around Charleston. So, if you’ve got some friends who always ask you if they can borrow your shucker or glove for an oyster roast, get them their own this holiday season (it’s a subtle hint that you’re tired of them using yours all the time, right?)!
Image above taken from the Charleston Shucker Company website, where you can purchase Shucker gift buckets.
Charleston Tea or Firefly Vodka: Made locally in Charleston, Charleston Tea and Firefly Vodka are the perfect gift for tea-lovers or vodka-lovers. In fact, tea from the Charleston Tea Plantation is one of a kind as the Charleston Tea Plantation is the only tea garden in the country! Firefly Vodka can be purchased at the Firefly Distillery on Wadmalaw Island. Charleston Tea can be purchased at the Charleston Tea Plantation just down the road from the Firefly Distillery on Wadmalaw Island.
Image above taken from the Firefly Vodka website
Gullah Mixes: Not only are Gullah mix bags super colorful, but the mixes inside are exceptionally tasty! From salsas to jellies to boils and batters, there’s a wide selection of fantastic Gullah mixes to choose from. My personal favorites are the She Crab Soup mix, Fried Green T’madas Batter, Lazy Aftanoon Crab Dip, Hush Dem Puppies Batter, and Ya Mama’s Buscut Mix. Mmmmm, MMM!
Harbor Tour + Carriage Ride Gift Certificate: For the history-buffs in your life, take them back in time on a surf and turf tour through Charleston’s rich history with a gift certificate to a Harbor Tour + Carriage Ride combination ticket. The ticket includes admission to the celebrated 90-minute historic tour around Charleston harbor aboard the classic 85-foot Carolina Belle, as well as admission to a one-hour horse-drawn carriage tour throughout downtown Charleston.
During the 90-minute historic Charleston harbor tour, guests hear interesting local stories and witness over 75 historic landmarks, including Fort Sumter, the USS Yorktown, historic homes on the battery, and the Ravenel Bridge, as well as have the opportunity to see dolphin, pelican, and other marine creatures.
The Palmetto Charleston carriage tour, on the other hand, takes visitors through historic downtown Charleston where licensed and humorous guides showcase the city of Charleston in all of its glory.
And for even more holiday gift ideas that scream “Charleston!,” visit the Charleston City Market (open daily) or Charleston Farmer’s Market (open Saturday mornings in Marion Square).