History is highlighted during Charleston holidays

Charleston is known for rich history, celebrated restaurants and great shopping. Keep these allures in mind, turn down the temperature a little, and it’s ready for your winter visit.

The city’s varied venues are offering packed schedules this winter. For instance, Woolfe Street Playhouse ( is the new theater home to the Village Repertory Co., an award-winning professional company.

The holidays are a special time in and around Charleston, with events including the Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park, the 30th Annual Spirituals Concert, and Christmas 1860 at the Edmondston-Alston House. Details on these and other happenings can be found on one website:

Elegance and history will be on display at Middleton Place ( Besides its Family Yuletide program, the plantation attraction’s Grand Illumination will be staged Dec. 19-20: Lighted torches in the gardens will evoke Dec. 14, 1792 as re-enactors – portraying Middletons as well as Revolutionary War soldiers – re-create the family’s celebration of its reunion at their home, and the arrival of American troops following the British evacuation of Charleston.

Other great upcoming events include the Garden & Gun Jubilee food-sport-antique shopping event (Dec. 6-8;, Charleston Restaurant Week (Jan. 8-19; www.charleston and the Lowcountry Oyster Festival (Jan. 26; www.charleston

Charleston is beloved for its world-class dining, and there are always new and interesting restaurants opening. The menu of new possibilities this winter includes Bay Street Biergarten (, Charleston Harbor Fish House (www.charlestonharbor, Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House (, High Wire Distillery (details on its Facebook page), Indaco (, Kitchen 208 (, Republic Garden & Lounge ( and Verde (

The opening of Southern Season ( is one of many highlights of the Holy City’s shopping scene this winter. Southern Season is famed in Chapel Hill for the wide variety of culinary-oriented merchandise, and there’s now a location across the Cooper River in Mount Pleasant. Renovated and better than ever, Historic Charleston City Market (www.the is a great place to find that perfect Charleston souvenir or present. Look for famed sweetgrass baskets and culinary offerings from Food for the Southern Soul (, where sauces, rubs, lunch (including a great barbecue sandwich) and more are on the menu.

There’s an organized tour for practically everything in Charleston. New options include Free Tours by Foot – a “pay what you like” tour company ( – and Your Call Private Boat Tours ( Bulldog Tours ( offers a variety of Charleston tours, including a special Holiday Walking Tour starting Dec. 1.