10 Things to Do in Charleston in August

This month is the peak of summer and at the same time represents the last weeks of the school year changeover vacation. Read this list of 10 things to see and do in Charleston in August if you are planning a sightseeing trip.

Keyvis Montilva

Keyvis Montilva

12 min read

10 Things to Do in Charleston in August

Charleston | ©Edna_million

Having a list of things to see and do in Charleston before setting foot in the city is advisable if you do not want to waste time making decisions due to lack of knowledge of what this city has to offer.

I invite you to read all the information I have compiled for you if you want to get an idea right now about what this city has to offer during the sunniest and hottest month of the year.

1. Go dancing at the Reggae Nights Summer Concerts

Artist in the Reggae Nights Summer Concerts| ©K Chanter
Artist in the Reggae Nights Summer Concerts| ©K Chanter

If there is a musical rhythm that is associated with the carefree and free atmosphere of summer, that would be Reggae. In Charleston they have it very much in mind and that is why every year they enjoy a series of concerts with this Caribbean theme.

They take place in a municipal park, one of the largest in Charleston County. In turn, as for the concert, you should know that children under 12 years of age do not usually pay any admission, while adults almost always pay a fee of $ 10 per person.

It is not usually an event until dawn, but it can extend for several hours. Doors usually open around 7:30 pm, when it is just getting dark in the summer, but usually close at 10:30 pm. Keep in mind that the music will be over by 11:30 pm.

There are always plenty of food alternatives from local vendors, as well as event apparel. Don't forget that it 's outdoors on a grassy clearing, so you'll want to bring a beach chair that you might be able to borrow from your lodging or at least a picnic-style blanket.

It's a pretty family-friendly atmosphere and therefore one of the things to do or see in Charleston in the evening when you want your kids to join in on the plan.

Details of interest:

  • Prices: it is an inexpensive event and adult tickets are usually no more than $10, while children under 12 years old get in for free.
  • Date: they start at the end of June and run until mid-August, leaving weekends as the specific days on which they are held.
  • Location: at James Island County Park.

2. Enjoy a drink at the Charleston Wine Festival

Charleston Wine & Food Festival| ©Leigh-Ann Beverley
Charleston Wine & Food Festival| ©Leigh-Ann Beverley

The ambient humidity of summer can be quite stifling for those not accustomed to an oceanic but hot climate like that of coastal South Carolina. That's why it's a good idea to make it a point to cool off at the Charleston Wine Festival' s summer version.

More than 50 types of wines are usually offered with a large repertoire of local makers complemented by a good variety of Southern-made beers and distillates.

The venue for this event may change from year to year, but the Charleston Bay Cruise Terminal will almost certainly be chosen. That's because of the fact that it's an air-conditioned facility that can keep out the ambient heat of the Southern afternoon.

There are also outdoor patios at the locations usually chosen for this event and another aspect you can't forget is that it is an adults-only event. That is to say, only those over 21 years of age are allowed access knowing that this is the minimum age for alcohol consumption within the U.S. territory.

If you are looking for other family entertainment alternatives for the same day of this event with the intention of balancing the itinerary, you can join the Charleston tour bus. It will take you and your family to visit the most iconic sites of the historic district of this beautiful city.

Details of interest:

  • Price: Ticket prices usually range from $40 to $60 per person, depending on the date you decide to purchase your admission ticket. Clearly, the most expensive rate is for those who pay the same day of the event.
  • Date: the date changes every year, but the most common is that it is held at the end of the month, on a Friday or Saturday of some of the last two weeks of August.

Buy your tickets for the Charleston sightseeing bus

3. Take a nighttime tour of the South Carolina Aquarium with Beer from Here

At Beer from Here| ©SCaquarium
At Beer from Here| ©SCaquarium

Another adult entertainment event you can enjoy when visiting Charleston during the month of August is the Beer From Here hosted at the South Carolina Aquarium.

Basically, it's an evening offering all kinds of craft beers from local companies like Holy City Brewing and Low Tide Brewing to a large group of attendees who are looking for fun in an interesting environment like the city's beautiful aquarium.

It's usually held in early August, but either way, a daytime visit here is a must if you want to impress your kids with the wonders of South Carolina's aquatic wildlife.

Another convenient aspect of planning a visit to this site is that it is right next to the pier from which boat tours of the Charleston waterfront and bay depart. This is another activity that can be purely family friendly and you won't feel so guilty about going for a more adult approach to fun on the same night.

4. Take your kids to Whirlin' Waters Adventure Waterpark

Whirlin' Waters Adventure Waterpark| ©adnan kouatli
Whirlin' Waters Adventure Waterpark| ©adnan kouatli

Since a family sightseeing trip is all about everyone having fun, it makes sense to also include in your itinerary some activity that is primarily focused on children's entertainment.

In this case, the opportunity at hand is Whirlin' Waters Adventure Waterpark, a water park located in North Charleston that is open daily during the first half of August.

It spreads over 15 acres of land in a space that belongs to a county park and there you will find all kinds of water slides. Some are quite traditional, others are designed for races with other participants, there is an artificial wave beach and there is also a river with a mechanized current that can relax you when you are looking for a little break between attractions.

It's definitely one of the best things to see or do in Charleston with kids during a summer visit. Don't get me wrong, though, as many of the rides are just as interesting for an adult who has outgrown that adrenaline-fueled adolescent stage.

Keep in mind that in this type of establishments you cannot bring food and therefore all food consumption must be within the commercial offer of the park. However, this is not a problem, since there are several cafeterias that offer food that even the pickiest children can enjoy.

5. Experience the beautiful sunset at the Moonlight Mixers

At Moonlight Mixers| ©Holly
At Moonlight Mixers| ©Holly

Throughout the summer, Charleston hosts some pretty traditional seaside parties with the sunset in the background. They're called Moonlingt Mixers and are basically a gathering of locals at the Folly Beach fishing pier.

They are always given with the musical mixes of a DJ who knows how to combine beach and ambient music with a couple of pieces of yesteryear worthy of a good dance. The Foggy, a dance style typical of the last century in the American South, is the protagonist among adults and seniors who attend this event annually with their family and friends.

Attendees are invited to bring their own folding chairs, but are prohibited from bringing their own coolers, much less their own beverages. This is due to the fact that each night of the Moonlight Mixers during the month of August they have their own bars for the purchase of drinks and cocktails. As well as sodas and packaged juices for the little ones in the house.

Regarding the duration of the event, you should know that participants usually arrive around 6:30-7:00 pm and do not leave the pier until 10:00 pm. Remember that the goal is to enjoy the moonlight over the tide and the beautiful sunset that precedes it.

6. Enjoy a day of boating at Sullivans Island

Sunset and Boating at Sullivans Island| ©Steve Hammer
Sunset and Boating at Sullivans Island| ©Steve Hammer

At the southern end of the Charleston metropolitan area, facing the Atlantic Ocean and outside the immediate vicinity of the bay, lies Sullivans Island. Its long, white sandy beaches make it a suitable destination for a weekend getaway during your August visit to the city.

Renting a boat to take you to some of the island's piers is a good idea if you want to live an experience similar to the one you have in Miami with the sandbars and the keys of Vizcaino Bay. But the truth is that you can also get there by road, through the Ben Sawyer Bridge.

There is a trail for a route among vegetation and wildlife called Sullivan's Island Nature Trail. Fort Sumter Historical Park is another nice spot on the island to take your kids for a skating session or just to appreciate the ocean views from a different perspective.

7. You can also go for a day at the beach at Isle of Palms

On Isle of Palms| ©april burkwhat
On Isle of Palms| ©april burkwhat

Right next to Sullivans Island is Isle of Palms, which is a very similar island when it comes to natural charms.

There you can find other equally captivating beaches, but you will also be surprised by the wide range of hotels available if you decide to stay a night outside Charleston to enjoy a more beachy atmosphere.

The Wild Dunes Golf Course is a course of dunes and grass that can be very entertaining if you enjoy this sport or at least if you are interested in observing how the millionaires of the area live in this privileged neighborhood of the city.

When you go back to the historic center it is also advisable that you book some of the best guided tours of Charleston. For you have to prioritize the fact that the architectural beauty of this part of the city is what defines the interest of most tourists who fall in love with this quiet and cozy southern city.

Book the best guided tours in Charleston

8. Escape from the heat inside the Charleston Museum

The Charleston Museum| ©CarolinaTravelCarl
The Charleston Museum| ©CarolinaTravelCarl

The Charleston City Museum represents a perfect balance between an institution that seeks to comprehensively educate the visitor about all the cultural, natural and historical aspects of the site where it is located.

It is believed to be the oldest museum in the entire country, since its foundation is traced to the year 1773, even before the beginning of the war of independence by the colonies would be transformed into a federal union.

There are exhibits that are devoted to the natural history of South Carolina, there are others that focus on the details of the Civil War and there are also a few rooms dedicated to a didactic and fun education for the youngest visitors of the home.

It is open every weekday during the month of August, from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday and open at noon on Sundays. During this month it can be your best ally to escape from the heat knowing that inside there is air conditioning.

As for ticket prices, they are changeable, but the common thing is that there are discounts for children. Therefore, it is likely that an adult will end up paying about 12 dollars, while a teenager about 10 and a child under 13 years of age will pay about 8 US dollars approximately.

Another cultural and historical learning activity that might interest you is to schedule some South Carolina plantation tours from Charleston. This is due to the fact that the slave-era agricultural cultivation centers are one of the major historical landmarks of the region's dark past during the 19th century.

9. Visit the Angel Oak

At Angel Oak Park on Johns Island| ©Irina Dimulescu
At Angel Oak Park on Johns Island| ©Irina Dimulescu

Oaks without any debate are the trees of choice when it comes to some of the iconic vegetation of the southern United States. Walking through a park is a very pleasant experience if you enjoy the simple act of observing and admiring them as the wonder of nature that they are.

So right in the geographic center of Johns Island, another section of the Charleston suburbs, is the Angel Oak, which happens to be the oldest oak tree east of the Mississippi River.

The beautiful tree is approximately 65 feet tall. In addition, its shade can reach an estimated 20,000 square feet on some days of the year. Therefore, the summer season of August is a great time to visit it, considering the solar incidence of the month and how pleasant it would be to be under the shade of a tree as magnificent as this one. At no other time of the year does this tree offer such impressive shade over the park's panorama as in the month of August.

This is why this stop is convenient if you take into account that it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a true natural wonder without having to pay a single penny to do so.

It is located inside a park that was created exclusively for the conservation of this magnificent specimen. Therefore, you will only be able to visit from 9 am to 5 pm every day of the week, except on Sundays, when the opening time is extended until 1 pm.

10. Take a nighttime tour of Charleston's haunted jail

Charleston Haunted Jail| ©ProfReader
Charleston Haunted Jail| ©ProfReader

The locals know it as the Old City Jail. It is one of the oldest spots, architecturally speaking, in the city.

In turn, during its operations, from 1803 to 1939, it housed all sorts of criminals such as pirates, Northern officers in the Civil War and local swindlers.

It is believed to have ghosts of every imaginable type and a couple of innkeepers who allegedly poisoned their guests in the 1800s are a perfect example of the apparitions said to swirl around this spooky place.

You should keep in mind that it is a perfect attraction to visit in August due to the fact that you are more likely to be accompanied by other tourists and that reduces the fear you might feel about finding yourself in a place as scary as this one. Plus, there's the fact that August is a month when this sort of museum usually offers tours that even go into the wee hours of the morning.

That's because the sky gets dark around 9 pm and this makes the whole experience a little more special, knowing that midnight is the time when most paranormal events start to unfold.

For that reason it is an excellent idea for you to take part in some of the best ghost tours in Charleston if you feel any kind of interest in the culture of the forbidden and spiritualism. You should keep in mind that within the United States, this is a city that stands out for the fact that it is home to a number of recorded spirit apparitions like few others.

Get the best ghost tours in Charleston

What is the weather like in Charleston in August and what to pack?

Charleston in August| ©edna_million
Charleston in August| ©edna_million

August is the hottest month of the year and specifically in Charleston it reaches maximum temperatures of about 33 degrees Celsius, while minimum temperatures usually hover around 24 degrees Celsius. At the same time, the American South is characterized by quite humid summers and even more so in coastal cities like this one.

So it is advisable to travel with comfortable and breathable clothes in your luggage, but you can not forget a couple of formal clothes in case you have to visit a place that is quite elegant.

Charleston tourist crowds and prices in Charleston in August

Money in Dollars| ©Karolina Grabowska
Money in Dollars| ©Karolina Grabowska

August is the busiest month of the year in Charleston. That means you're more likely to encounter groups of people when visiting the attractions on your itinerary.

However, one thing that makes a difference with this theme is that Charleston is not an overly large tourist epicenter within the U.S. East Coast. As such, you'll never encounter the lines or delays that cauterize other major metropolises during summer vacations.

Prices in Charleston in August will not be excessive, but it is not the cheapest month of the year either, just because it is the high season, touristically speaking.

Is it advisable to travel to Charleston in August with children?

Getting to know Charleston| ©robynfreaks
Getting to know Charleston| ©robynfreaks

Charleston is quite a family atmosphere that is intensified even more in August by the fact that children are out playing and having fun because of the existence of school vacations. Which will end at the end of that same month, as in many other places in the northern hemisphere.

So traveling with children to Charleston during the month of August is not only advisable, but preferable if you are the type of person who hates to wait in lines. It's also if you're someone who knows your child likes to enjoy a day at the beach or a visit to a city park. For those are two things that abound in the entertainment offerings during this important time of the year.