Best Places to Shop in Charleston

Best Places to Shop in Charleston

  • Amy Byrne
  • 06/19/23

Charleston is an iconic South Carolina city, its culturally significant streets lined with stores and expansive shopping centers offering local and luxury brands. Whether searching for a centerpiece for the dining room table, a glittering ring for a night out, or original and handcrafted designs available nowhere else, here are the best places to visit when shopping in Charleston.

1. King Street / Middle King

​​Whether you are looking for high-end fashion or unique souvenirs, you will surely find something to your liking on King Street. This pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare runs north-south from Charleston’s southern extremity past NoMo to the north. Upper King is known as the Design District, Middle King is the Fashion District, and Lower King is the Antique District. When you hear a local reference King Street, they’re usually talking about Middle King, a primarily retail stretch home to various independent shops, boutiques, and art galleries.

One standout shop on Middle King is Croghan’s Jewel Box, a venerable and highly-rated jeweler situated in an 18th-century building. This company originated over 100 years ago when William Croghan opened his store on King Street, slowly expanding over the years to encompass the whole building. Croghan’s is truly a treasure trove with everything from engagement rings to birthstone pieces on offer.

While you’re there, check out Jordan Lash just across King Street — a specialty men’s clothing store with the latest brands and winsome customer service. This shop has been at the forefront of men’s fashion for years, cultivating a collection of upscale brands for a quality selection. Brands include the casual wear of Shepgear, sharp and high-end designs of Forrest Lennard, and carefully crafted accessories of Torino Leather. Men shopping in Charleston can find everything they might need from the wide selection of styles and brands available here.

2. Upper King Street

As mentioned above, Upper King is considered the Design District of Charleston. Its borders are Calhoun Street to the south and Spring Street to the north. Shoppers flock here to take home some of the best furniture and interior decor anywhere. A case in point is West Elm (stylized “west elm”), a retailer with the vast selection of a chain and the service of a much smaller operation. Not to be outdone, Mitchell Hill brings its diverse clientele design chops worthy of New York City’s Garment District. This art gallery houses over 30 nationally known artists and carries top-tier brands like Baker, McGuire, Hickory Chair, Swaim, Made Goods, Arteriors, and Julian Chichester. As if that weren’t enough, Upper King is quietly becoming one of the city’s best culinary districts.

3. Broad Street

Make a left turn off Lower King, and you’ll find yourself on Broad Street, perhaps Charleston’s most renowned art district. Broad Street is the site of Gallery Row, a collection of art galleries that coincides with Charleston’s Historic District. The 16 art galleries are densely interspersed among shops, restaurants, churches, antique stores, and pubs. Anyone who appreciates art and urban design will have a field day browsing the wares at precious galleries like Hamlet Fine Art Gallery, Ella Walton Richardson Gallery, and the Martin Gallery. While on Broad Street, check out George C Birlant & Co., an antique shop specializing in 18th- and 19th-century English furniture.

4. Tanger Outlets

Tanger Outlets of North Charleston is perhaps the best place to find a bargain in The Holy City. You can usually find what you need at its over 100 stores, and don’t be surprised if you leave with more than you intended. Tanger Outlets combines everything from clothing and accessories to home goods and electronics. Some of its more popular stores include Coach, Michael Kors, and Nike. It’s a godsend when you want to knock out several errands in one trip. A local hack is to enroll in the Tanger Club, whose members can access exclusive discounts and coupons.

5. Mount Pleasant Towne Centre

Situated in the heart of Mount Pleasant, Mount Pleasant Towne Centre is frequented by Charlestonians seeking an upscale shopping center with a mall vibe. It carries over 60 stores, varying from national chains (Lululemon, Sunglass Hut, Victoria’s Secret) to local boutiques and specialty shops. Like Tanger Outlets, Mount Pleasant Towne Centre offers discounts on a regular basis.

The Centre also includes a range of quality restaurants, so you can easily make your mall trip a day trip. Kids of various ages might appreciate its movie theater, bowling alley, and children’s play area. There are also special events throughout the year — concerts, festivals, and holiday celebrations. Most patrons drive to the mall and pay a small fee to park in the attached garage.

6. Historic Charleston City Market

Another popular shopping center in the area is the Historic Charleston City Market. This market has been an integral part of the city since 1807 and has grown to include 300+ vendors over four square blocks. This spot is open daily from 9:30 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. The city market also is open at night from Friday through Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The wares here are constantly revolving and offer an eclectic array of goods that reflect Charleston’s charm.

One of the main venues at the city market is the Great Hall, which invites people into its 18,300 square-foot corridor through a glittering set of glass doors. The hall is lined with micro boutiques offering everything from books about the city to reproduction furniture. Surrounding the market are three open-air sheds that host hundreds of vendors selling folk art, clothing, and other novelties. Sweetgrass basketry is particularly prominent and poignant to the city’s history.

Ready to shop in Charleston?

There’s no end to shopping in Charleston when searching for the latest fashions or something with a local flare. The city’s dynamic retail scene constantly gives rise to independent boutiques and art galleries centered around hot spots like King Street and Broad Street. Charleston City Market is always a hit, while shoppers looking for a conventional mall experience can make the short drive to Mount Pleasant or Tanger Outlets.

If you want to know more about Charleston’s shopping scene or are ready to search for homes in the area, contact one of the experienced agents at Andy Bovender Team for expert guidance. The team has closed over $1.5 billion in sales and consistently ranks among the best Compass teams in the Carolinas. The team’s dedicated support staff provides the best customer service at all phases of your real estate journey. Reach out to the Andy Bovender Team anytime to uplevel your search for Charleston-area real estate.

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