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If you don’t already have enough phenomenal reasons to visit the Charleston coastal area during the holidays, let’s give you some more. Thanksgiving in the Lowcountry offers some of the best weather days. It is not humid but generally the temperature is ideal for enjoying a morning jog or a glass of wine on a balcony. You can enjoy a morning walk on the beach, play some tennis, enjoy a sunset at the marina and so much more. Thanksgiving is generally not as crowded as summer but an array of entertainment, recreation, and Southern cuisine options remain open. Charleston and its beaches, whether you visit Kiawah, Seabrook or Folly, are wildly beautiful places to make memories that will last a lifetime. It is the perfect place to break tradition or build the foundations of a new tradition.

With that in mind, we have compiled a Thanksgiving bucket list for you to integrate into your holiday plans. Remember, as well, whether you are looking for a small villa or large home, we have various rental options for you and your loved ones.

  1. Enjoy a Luxury Buffet. The Sanctuary Hotel hosts a lavish Thanksgiving celebration with seating between 11-4pm in the Grand Oaks Ballroom. The feast includes culinary stations, seafood displays, holiday meats, other traditional favorites, decadent desserts and pastries for dessert. The Sanctuary also hosts a Children’s Thanksgiving Buffet during the same time. Please call (843) 768-6253 for more information and reservations.Seabrook Island Club offers club members, their guests, and rental guests, an incredible buffet of seafood, carving stations, desserts and more. Contact 843-768-7849 for more information on reservations.If you prefer to stay home and enjoy a Thanksgiving feast with family and friends at your rental property, there are a number of to-go options. The Hamby offers gourmet catering. The Seabrook Island Club also offers an advanced order to-go option between 12-4pm with pick-up times on the half hour in the Carolina Room. Call 843-768-7849 for more information.The Sanctuary Hotel also offers pies to-go. Villa Resort Pastry Chef Shannon Lee and her team are crafting stunning, flaky pastry creations to adorn any holiday table. Pies are specially boxed and ready to pick up. Select from Pumpkin, Pecan and Apple-Crumble or order one of each. Advance ordering is required.
  2. Dine in Downtown Charleston. Skip the food prep and enjoy the company of loved ones while dining in Charleston. Many acclaimed downtown restaurants offer Thanksgiving dining. Magnolia’s, Poogan’s Porch, Hall’s Chophouse, Hank’s Seafood, 82 Queen, High Cotton, 5Church Charleston, Penninsula Grill, Charleston Grill, Rodney Scott’s BBQ, Burnwell Stone Fire Grill, and other restaurants offer Thanksgiving day dining options.
  3. Rise & Shine for an Annual Run. On Thanksgiving morning, Seabrook Island and Kiawah Island both offer morning races for beginners, competitors, and families. Kiawah’s Turkey Trot is organized through The Sanctuary Hotel. Information on Seabrook Island’s Turkey Trot is shared closer to the upcoming date on the Tidelines Blog.
  4. Take a Self-Guided Tour of the Area. Plan a self-guided tour of some of Charleston’s historical, romantic or most picturesque spots. Stroll along the Battery. Walk Legare Street, Rainbow Row, the Old Slave Mart Museum, the Dock Street Theatre, and past Charleston City Hall. Visit the Angel Oak Tree on John’s Island.
  5. Enjoy an Oyster Roast. Right outside the gates of Kiawah Island is Mingo Point. An area that offers some of the best Lowcountry sunset views our Charleston area gas to offer. Mingo Point Oyster Roast and BBQ is Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s a treasured family favorite and a ‘must-do’ on your Charleston, Lowcountry Tradition Bucket List. The oyster roast is generally held on the Friday following Thanksgiving. Guests of all ages enjoy live music, crafts, fresh oysters roasted over an open fire, along with other BBQ specialties such as ribs, pulled pork, smoked chicken and Lowcountry Boil.
  6. Build a Castle. Enjoy a family-friendly competition on the beach. Head over to the beautiful sandy beach in front of Kiawah Island’s Sanctuary Hotel to engage in a friendly competition. Each family is given one hour to build a Thanksgiving themed sand sculpture. Prizes are awarded to the top three teams. Feel free to bring your own sand sculpting tools but please not that metal shovels are not permitted in compliance with the town ordinance of Kiawah Island.
  7. Stop by a Fall Festival. On Thanksgiving evening from 5:30-8pm, a bluegrass band entertains folks at the Fall Festival. There are other activities, entertainment, food, and drink. All of this takes place at Night Heron Park on Kiawah Island.
  8. Shop at the Market & King Street. What better place to start your holiday shopping than downtown Charleston? Shop the downtown historic city Charleston Market open both in the day and evening. Discover unique finds from local artisans. Whether you are looking for art, clothing, sweetgrass baskets, jewelry or gourmet foods, the market has an array of fine gifts. Window shopping on King Street is guaranteed to put you in a festive mood for the holidays.
  9. Tree Lighting. The Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah lights their Christmas Tree the day after Thanksgiving. Enjoy the sound of local carolers singing holiday favorites while sipping seasonal beverages in the lobby. Afterwards, head to the Grand Lawn for the tree lighting ceremony. Executive Pastry Chef Jordan Snider’s anticipated, annual chocolate display will be unveiled as well.The Seabrook Island Club lights their Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving too.
  10. Sample the most acclaimed Coconut Cake around and a Carriage Ride. A trip to the area is made complete with a taste of the famous coconut cake from the Peninsula Grill. You can also order one of these incredible cakes for pickup or mail delivery. There’s nothing more romantic than an incredible dessert and a ride around the Holy City to take in the décor and festive sights. Enjoy the city streets lined with live oak trees and Spanish moss, flickering gas lanterns, breathtaking architecture, cobblestone streets, and much more. Palmetto Tours offers both private and public carriage rides throughout the day and evening.