What to Pack for Your Visit to Charleston

dress (another similar style here) | espadrilles | bag (sold out – similar here)

Charleston is truly a destination city, receiving Travel + Leisure’s ranking of #1 on their Best U.S. Cities for 9 straight years in a row, among many other accolades. It is not hard to see why once you’re here – from the history, the architecture, the food, weather, and beaches, it is the ultimate southern coastal destination to visit.

The spring and summer months in Charleston are truly my favorite. It’s difficult to put into words, but visiting during this time is nothing short of magical. You will fall in love with the historical section of downtown Charleston known as “South of Broad” (where these photos were taken), with the beautiful Lowcountry architecture, secret gardens and alleyways, and the window boxes filled with beautiful flowers. There is something special and unique to see on every corner, and it really is the epitome of ‘southern charm’!

The time of year you visit will have a lot to do with what you may be packing, but being that we are on the cusp of the spring season, I’m focusing on the spring and summer months for this blog post.

The main thing I consider when packing are that the pieces I bring are comfortable but that they appropriate for the setting I’m in. In my opinion, you cannot go wrong with packing what I consider to be “staples” for Charleston: sundresses, flat sandals, a wedge heel for evening, and the perfect bag that can be worn from day to night.

The months of April and early May usually offer mild temperatures with lower humidity, but once late May rolls around, temperatures start to climb and the humidity levels go up, all the way through September. With this in mind, I really prefer that the dresses I wear during these months offer a comfortable fabric of cotton or linen, when possible. The one I’m wearing here was a Tuckernuck find and is currently on sale!

When I pack for a trip, I try to pack shoes that can be worn with anything to avoid taking up too much space in my suitcase. I would recommend bringing a flat sandal, and then a wedge heel for evening. Stay away from stiletto heels, as Charleston is known for its cobblestone streets and brick pathways, which makes it almost impossible to walk (comfortably) in that type of heel.

One of my favorite pairs of wedge heels that I own are these espadrille wedge sandals. I’ve had these in my closet for years, and they are a comfortable choice that really works well with a sundress.

Finally, bringing a small bag is ideal, since you’ll likely be walking a ton and will want to avoid bringing a heavy tote bag! There are so many cute purses out there, but I really love the Mini Lady Bag by Neely & Chloe. The one I’m wearing was from their collaboration with Charleston blogger Julia Berolzheimer and is unfortunately sold out, but they just released a brand new collaboration with Dondolo which offers the prettiest patterns on their classic Mini Lady Bag.

If Charleston is in your travel plans this year, I wish you the best time on your visit to our beautiful city! I’ve written several blog posts about things to do and places to see around Charleston, so if you’re interested, I’ve included the links below!

Things to Do in Charleston in the Summer Months

Our Favorite Parks in Downtown Charleston

Favorite Dog Friendly Restaurants in Charleston

Charleston in Bloom

Christmastime in Charleston

Thank you for reading!


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