A to Z: 26 Things to Bring to Charleston

beach charleston

Are you planning a trip to Charleston, SC? As you prepare for your adventure to this charming southern city known for its rich history, stunning coastal beauty, and southern charm, being sure to bring the correct things can enhance your trip.

Whether you’ll be perusing the historic downtown streets, relaxing by one of the many beaches, or indulging in the unique culinary scene, a well-thought out packing list is essential for ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

This article features an A-Z list of must-bring things during your Charleston visit!


Be sure to bring your appetite to savor the city’s renowned culinary scene, featuring a delightful array of Southern specialties and coastal cuisine. 

Bathing Suit

Slip into your favorite bathing suit and catch waves at one of the many beaches of the Charleston area including Folly, Sullivans, Isle of Palms, Kiawah


With a city as beautiful as Charleston, it is an absolute must to bring your camera to capture the charming and elegant coastal scenery.

Dance Moves

Be sure to bring your best dance moves to King Street and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant nightlife!


Charleston is a large city with endless amounts of adventure, so don’t forget to get plenty of rest so you have the energy to get the most out of your trip!

Fishing Rod

Bringing a fishing rod to Charleston is an absolute must to experience the thrill of fishing in its rich, coastal, Southern waters, known for its marine life and eye-catching scenery. From redfish and trout to sharks and stingrays, the Charleston waters have no shortage of thrilling species to catch inshore and offshore. 

Glasses (Sunglasses)

You may want to pack your reading glasses and sunglasses to make sure you don’t miss anything from one of Charleston’s hundreds of mouth-watering menus and historic landmarks.

Insect Repellant

Insect Repellant is essential to ward off pesky mosquitoes and the notorious no-see-ums, especially during the warm and humid months. Ensure your comfortability as you venture into the great outdoors.


A journal is never a bad idea to bring on vacation, so you can document your experience to remember and cherish forever. 


With so much to do during your trip, you’re better off planning out your days and bringing some knowledge of Charleston. Around just about every corner there is a piece of history to know and these bits of information will make your stay all the more memorable.

Lightweight Jacket

While Charleston hosts a generally warm and pleasant climate, the nights can be windy, and the winter months are chilly. Bring a lightweight jacket so the weather won’t end the fun!


Despite its touristy appeal, Charleston prides itself on its Southern hospitality and charm, so you’ll wan to be sure to bring your manners, and treat everyone with respect and courtesy as they will treat you!


The only thing that can make your Charleston trip even more enjoyable is the company of a friend! Bring a neighbor to share the lowcountry experience with!

Oyster Cravings

Oyster Cravings are encouraged in Charleston! During the months of September-April oysters are plentiful in this coastal paradise. The general rule of thumb is any month with an “R” you’ll find fresh local oysters. Dine at one of our excellent oyster bars, find a local oyster roast, or buy and cook your own from a fresh seafood market.


In Charleston, they aren’t just pets, they’re family! Be sure to check out these dog-friendly activities in Charleston if you’re planning to bring your canine companion!

Quick-Dry Clothing

Due to Charleston’s humid climate, you may want to make sure to pack quick-drying clothing, as the humidity can double your drying time! 


As lovely as the city is, flooding can be an issue, especially in the rainy season downtown, so it’s important you come prepared with a pair of rainboots to ensure you stay dry.


Sunscreen is a must year-round to stay protected from strong rays, especially if you plan on spending your time sunbathing on the beach or traversing the many outdoor attractions.


While bringing toiletries is an essential for any vacation, it is especially important in Charleston to keep yourself fresh and hygienic when breaking a sweat outside.


Charleston is notorious for occasional surprise showers, so you’ll want an umbrella handy to stay dry in case it rains.


Bringing a visor is a smart choice to shield your face and eyes from the sun, especially if you’re looking to spend your time getting active on one of Charleston’s beautiful beaches.

Walking Shoes

Between Charleston’s historic downtown, serene neighborhoods, and scenic waterfront, there’s a lot of land to cover, so you’ll want to make sure to bring your best walking shoes to stay comfortable!

Extra Clothes

Because of Charleston’s sometimes unpredictable weather, you’ll want to pack some extra clothes. You may need shorts and a tank one day, but pants and a light coat the next.


If you’re lucky enough to own a yacht, feel free to dock your boat in the marina or explore our beautiful harbor, river and coastal waters.


Are you craving a vacation, but still need to stay caught up with your professional life? Make sure to install Zoom so you can remotely stay on task and still give yourself time to venture into the lowcountry!


A trip to Charleston promises a blend of historical charm, coastal beauty, and rich history, and making sure to bring the right things will only make your trip more enjoyable. Next time you’re packing, save this list so you can have the most comfortable and prepared vacation possible!

Written by Alexis Boatner

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