Charleston Restaurant Week
Charleston Restaurant Week | Jonathan Boncek
Charleston Restaurant Week | Jonathan Boncek

Everything You Must Do in Charleston This Fall

Although it’s sad to bid summer adieu, the transition to fall in Charleston is made easier by the fact that there’s so much to look forward to: The “r” months mean you can eat oysters again, there’s less humidity, football is back, and festival season are starting to ramp up once more. So unpack your scarves and get ready to experience the best that autumn in Charleston has to offer.

Charleston Restaurant Week
Charleston Restaurant Week | Andrew Cebulka

Experience restaurant week

If you’ve been dying to try that new restaurant that just opened, or simply hoping for a deal to try one of those “special occasion” (read: expensive) restaurants in town, now’s the time. Various restaurants throughout the Holy City offer fabulous prix fixe lunch and dinner menus so that you can try without the big impact on your wallet.
What it costs: Prices vary by restaurant

Fill in the blanks, Cards Against Humanity-style

Let your freak flag fly, because Cards Against Humanity is way more fun and hilarious if you allow yourself to be kind of a terrible person. Play with your friends (or make new friends) and enjoy beer specials at The Brick every third Wednesday.
What it costs: Free

Laugh with Trevor Noah

The South African comedian who’s been making us laugh since Jon Stewart’s retirement brings his signature dark humor to the North Charleston Performing Arts Center.
What it costs: Tickets start at $40

Send off weekend at Tradesman Brewing

After three-and-a-half years on James Island, the folks at Tradesman Brewing are moving downtown(ish). Join them for a weekend of food trucks, football, and great beer as you pour one out for the old brewery location.
What it costs: Free

Kick off Hatch green chile season

Texas pitmaster John Lewis celebrates the harvest season of his favorite ingredient with a giant party at Lewis Barbecue. Various restaurants around town will be providing green chile snacks, and Revelry Brewing will be debuting its Made From Hatch beer.
What it costs: Free

Eat a big gay brunch

This fundraising event to support Charleston Pride will feature a four-course brunch, DJ Trevor D, raffles, and more.
What it costs: $150

MOJA Arts Festival

Every year, the MOJA Festival celebrates the impact of African-American and Caribbean culture in Charleston. Expect to see lots of music, theatre, dance, food, and crafts at the festival, which celebrates its 34th year with events at various locations around the city.
What it costs: Prices vary by ticketed event, ranging from free to $35

Drink beer for a good cause

Because the only thing better than drinking beer is drinking beer for a good cause. Help the Sea Island Habitat for Humanity in their annual fundraiser that features local craft beer, live music, and great food to help raise money for their next build.
What it costs: Free to attend, $10 for five beer tastings

Pick out the perfect pumpkin

Fall is in full effect, and that means it’s time to pick the perfect pumpkin to carve in preparation for Halloween. Visit the Boone Hall Pumpkin Patch -- now officially open -- and features hundreds of pumpkins, jump pillow, monster hayride, petting zoo, and corn maze.
What it costs: $10 (with pumpkins priced by the pound)
East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club
East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club Speakeasy Party | East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club

Celebrate Oktoberfest

Take a trip to Bavaria without ever leaving Charleston at MUSC’s annual Oktoberfest event! It’s a full day of German beer, German food, and German dancing, so better break out those lederhosen. There’ll also be a viewing party for the Panthers/Patriots game, if you’re into that sort of thing.
What it costs: $10 in advance, $13 on the day of the event

Feel the blues

Legendary blues titans Taj Mahal and Keb' Mo' have been influencing each other's music for years, but it wasn’t until 2017 that they came together and made a collaborative album. See the fruits of their labor live on stage.
What it costs: $20-$85

Attend the Home Team Tour

Country fans rejoice! Grammy-nominated artist Thomas Rhett is bringing his Home Team Tour to the North Charleston Coliseum, with special guests Dan + Shay and Walker Hayes.
What it costs: Tickets start at $26

See how the other half lived

At the 41st annual Fall Tour of Homes, History & Architecture (presented by the preservation society of Charleston), you’ll get an opportunity to step inside history and get a peek at how the upper class of Charleston society lived in some of the city’s most impressive homes. Think of it as a chance to be nosy without having to feel bad about it.
What it costs: $40-$50

Enjoy a night in Italy

Holy City Hospitality Group is making you an offer you can’t refuse: Italian fare at Vincent Chicco’s (with optional wine pairings), followed by a screening of The Godfather at Charleston Music Hall.
What it costs: $8 for the movie, $43 with the dinner, and $58 with the wine pairing.

Channel your inner nerd

Yelp Charleston is hosting their annual (free) blowout party, and this year it’s Comic Con-themed. Everyone is encouraged to dress up (there will be prizes for most creative costumes), enjoy free food, drink, and entertainment in order to raise money for We Are Family, a local charity that helps LGBTQ youth.
What it costs: Free, but you have to make a Yelp account and RSVP

Pretend to be a pirate for the night

Charleston RumFest is an annual event that invites rum lovers to enjoy an evening of cocktails, rum tastings, and food pairings from some of the best rum distilleries in the world.
What it costs: $75

Explore the Latin American Festival

Celebrate the music, attire, and cuisine of Latin America at this annual family-friendly festival.
What it costs: $10

Mangia at the Summerville Italian Feast

Nosh on authentic Italian cuisine from the Lowcountry’s best Italian restaurants, taste imported Italian wines, and celebrate Italian culture in Hutchinson Square in downtown Summerville.
What it costs: Free to attend

Rock out at Nash Bash

A country music super concert set at The Joe, featuring headliner Joe Nichols, and special guests Jerrod Niemann and Chase Bryant.
What it costs: $20-$100

Enjoy Follypalooza

This annual festival takes over Center Street on Folly Beach and features live entertainment, food and art vendors, carnival games, activities, and more in order to raise money for local cancer patients.
What it costs: $5 in advance, $10 at the door to attend

Visit a speak-easy

The East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club is hosting a speak-easy-themed party to help benefit East Cooper Community Outreach. Enjoy an evening of 1920s inspired fun with heavy hors d'oeuvres, open bar, swing dancing, silent auction, and more.
What it costs: $100 (includes food and open bar)

Sing along to '90s nostalgia

If you’re a millennial, you grew up to the hits of Third Eye Blind, like “Semi-Charmed Life” and “How’s It Going To Be.” Twenty years later, they’re bringing the hits on tour and donating $2 from every ticket sold to Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
What it costs: Tickets start at $33

See Charleston's own Darius Rucker live

Earlier this summer, Hootie & The Blowfish sold out the stadium. Now’s the chance to see more of Darius’s solo work, like “Wagon Wheel" and “Homegrown Honey” live in concert.
What it costs: Tickets start at $54

Grab some fried Oreos at the Coastal Carolina Fair

The key to a good time is lots of fried food and spinning carnival rides, right?
What it costs: $8-$10, depending on when you purchase the tickets

Run/walk to James Island

Featuring both a 10K run/bike and a 5K run/walk, the James Island Connector Run is an annual event that raises money for the Gavalas Kolanko Foundation.
What it costs: $35-$85

Go to Hogwarts for the night

Enjoy Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on a 40-foot, HD screen as the Charleston Symphony Orchestra performs every note of John Williams’ fantastical score live on stage. Broom and robes optional.
What it costs: Tickets start at $69
Lowcountry Hoedown
Lowcountry Hoedown | Christina Pradham

See thousands of Christmas Lights

The 28th annual Holiday Festival of Lights, often voted one of the best in the country, is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.
What it costs: $20 per vehicle for between one to 15 guests

Eat all the oysters for The Hunley

All you can eat oysters and BBQ, cash bar, plus a silent auction to raise money for Friends of The Hunley.
What it costs: $45

Swing yer partner around at the Lowcountry Hoedown

Break out your cowboy boots and get ready to do si do down to the bus shed for the Lowcountry Hoedown. Dance to local bluegrass bands, try your hand at the mechanical bull, and experience local Southern distilleries, breweries, and restaurants.
What it costs: $50

Party for the Parks

The annual fundraiser that helps raise money for Charleston Parks Conservancy is back this year with a Cuban theme! They’ll be transforming Colonial Lake into Cuba’s famous seaside street, Malecón, with Cuban-inspired food, music, art, entertainment, and more!
What it costs: $85-$250

See a sharp-dressed band

ZZ Top brings their Tonnage Tour to the Holy City this November. You might want to start growing out your beard now.
What it costs: Tickets start at $49

Get your (other) buzz on

The Charleston Coffee Cup is an annual one-of-a-kind tasting experience for coffee addicts. This year’s event will feature dozens of premiere roasters and coffee shops, one-on-one talks with roasters, a VIP lounge with five distinct lounge areas, latte art competitions, and more.
What it costs: $20-$65

Be a taste tester at a BBQ throwdown

Back for its sixth year, the Smoke on the Harbor BBQ Throwdown is a fully sanctioned Kansas City Barbecue Society event that brings in pitmasters from all over the country. Get tasting tickets that let you taste chicken wings and pulled pork from different vendors, while listening to live music, a cocktail competition, and more.
What it costs: $10 ($5 if you bring five canned goods for donation), $2 per 1-ounce sampling ticket

Break out your seersucker suit for Steeplechase of Charleston

In addition to the races, there will also be a women’s “hat contest,” a “best dressed” contest for the men, and a “best tailgate” contest.
What it costs: Tickets start at $40

Rock out to SUSTO

One of Charleston’s most successful bands comes home for a show at The Music Farm. You’ll want to see them now so you can brag about “seeing them before they were famous” when they hit it big.
What it costs: $13-$15

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Sydney Gallimore is a food writer from Charleston, South Carolina who wears flip-flops all year long. Follow her adventures @Sydney_Inc.