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How to Spend Your January in Charleston

Ah, Travelling in January -- one of the best-kept secrets and life hacks. Everyone along with their wallets and guts are just wrecked from the holidays and being around friends and family. And, if you're from a cooler clime, you can flee the dead of winter and head down south to Charleston at lower trip and accommodation fares. So, why not extend your holiday indulgences -- this time, in the form of peaceful, guided tours to take yourself and a partner, or -- just as valuable -- a ticket for yourself on a solo date with the city.

January can have this rep of being the biggest hurdle of reality, all about work, and all about tightening that belt for New Year's Resolutions. Switch that mindset to being open to new adventures, to getting back to yourself after the rush of the holidays. In addition to the year-round offerings our city has, Here's our list of things to do that are specific to January in Charleston, great for locals and visitors, alike. By the way: Happy New Year!

What to Pack:

Layers + Comfy Walking Shoes. The mornings can start off icy, cool, and grey, then warm up 20-30 degrees more in the afternoon. January is perfect for walks throughout the city, and you'll enjoy the city more with the proper gear.

No matter what, Definitely bring your swimsuit and some flip flops -- and this is whether or not you plan to do a Polar Bear Plunge! There are the occasional hot days when you can absolutely put on a swimsuit and get some sun at the beach. The ocean will feel quite chilly and have a water temperature that those from the Mediterranean or North Atlantic are not unaccustomed to. If you're fine with all that, then....

January 1st

Kick-Off of Museum Mile Month

Polar Bear Plunge!

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Jump in to a Polar Bear Plunge! On January 1st, Sullivan's Island, Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, and Kiawah have their own Polar Bear Plunges for you to kick-off the New Year. Are you a Bill Murray Fan? (We promise, this is a relevant question to this article) You'll find Folly Beach's to be endearing as their plunge is themed with a Bill Murray Look-Alike Costume Contest. Mr. Murray is one of our famous residents and a co-owner of our local, Minor League Baseball Team, the Charleston Riverdogs.

With the purchase of one $25 ticket for Museum Mile Month, you have all of January to access over 13 different tours and sites in Downtown Charleston. Entry ranges from the Children's Museum to the historic Aiken-Rhett House, The Gibbes Museum of Art, and the Powder Magazine. For locals and visitors alike, it's a great gift to give for the holidays.

Purchase your ticket online at or in person. You'll receive a very helpful map and checklist of the sites!

Food-wise, prepare a Southern New Year's Supper for Good Luck: Collard Greens, Black-Eyed Peas, Cornbread, Hoppin’ John, and Pot Likker Soup.

Throughout the US, this is also a kickoff of National Soup Month: You must have a bowl of either Pot Likker Soup or Local, Lowcountry She-Crab Soup!

January 7 - 14, Week 2

Charleston Restaurant Week!

With Museum Mile Month and Charleston Restaurant Week taking place in January, those total three ingredients that make a great recipe of: solo dates, cool temp's for being outside, and awesome deals for lunch and dinner at many of Charleston's famed restaurants.

January 15 - 21, Week 3

Charleston Comedy Festival Charleston Marathon Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service The Taste of Folly Beach, oh my!

+ Earlier part of the week, check to see if Charleston Restaurant Week is still on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service: Click here to read about this "Day On" and find a volunteer opportunity near you.

January 22- 31, Week 4

Charleston Food Truck Festival

Charleston Jazz Festival Kiawah's Comedy Festival

Lowcountry Oyster Festival

Also throughout the US: January 23rd - National Pie Day! Scope out on the menus either Tomato Pie or Pecan Pie. You can definitely make your own Pluff Mud Pie next time you're out on the marsh.

Continuous / Ongoing Throughout January

The Lights of Magnolia, a Chinese Lantern Festival at Magnolia Plantation. We recommend making a night of this: Do one lap of the lantern walk, then have dinner from one of the food trucks, and take a final lap before you head home. During the day at Magnolia, you'll be able to catch over 1,000 varieties/cultivars of Camellias in bloom.


Catch a South Carolina Stingrays Hockey Game at the North Charleston Coliseum

Catch a Football game at one of your favorite Sports Pubs - call ahead to see if they'll be showing your team.

Catch the Australian Open at either the Bay Street Biergarten or Uptown Social

Check out for a comprehensive and up-to-date list of Musical Acts and Performances in Charleston + North Charleston.

Check out the Charleston City Paper for Theatrical Productions, Community Events, Art Openings, and the Like.

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