The Charleston City Market has been around since the early 19th century, making it one of the oldest public markets in the country. Originally known as the Centre Market, it was a convenient place for local merchants to sell their goods. Today, there are more than 300 of these local merchants selling everything from art to artichokes in the four-block area around Market Street. The market is open every day except Christmas beginning at 9:30 a.m. The sheds close at 5:00 p.m., but the Greek Revival-style Market Hall stays open an hour later for shoppers who want to linger a bit longer.
If you’re a night owl, the Charleston City Night Market is the place for you. Held on Friday and Saturday nights between April and December, this outdoor market features local artisans and small businesses. The market opens at 6:30 p.m. and doesn’t close until 10:30 p.m.
See what happens when the sun goes down:
While you can buy many mementos that remind you of your visit to the market, handwoven sweetgrass baskets are a one-of-a-kind Charleston souvenir. More than fifty Gullah artisans can be found at the market carrying on the centuries-old tradition of basket weaving. For other authentic handmade products, look for sheds with ceramic tiles marked with the words "Certified Authentic: Handmade in Charleston.”
The market is within walking distance of most hotels in the historic city center, but the free hop-on, hop-off trolley stops in the area and there’s plenty of available parking for those driving in from out of town.
Cover image by Reid Platt from Pixabay