How to Have the Best Charleston New Year’s Eve

couple celebrating Charleston New Year's Eve

10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1! Happy New Year! A Charleston New Year’s Eve is always magical, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate. Waking up in Charleston on January first is always a great way to start off the new year! Here’s our list of all the things you can do to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new. Start planning your holiday stay when you get a copy of our complimentary Destination Guide

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Where to Spend Your Charleston New Year’s Eve

Folly Beach Flip Flop Drop

If you’re staying on Folly Beach for New Year’s Eve, consider a night out on the town ending with the Folly Beach Flip Flop Drop. This annual event is fun for all ages, and the mature crowd takes advantage of the bars on the main street of Folly Beach. At 11:59, make sure you’re at the drop site! Just like the famous Times Square Ball Drop, a pair of massive flip flops slowly drop as attendees countdown to midnight. 

Yorktown Countdown

Ring in the new year on a boat! The Yorktown Countdown is one of the highest-rated ways to spend your Charleston New Year’s Eve, and when you go, you’ll see why. Indulge in delicious Southern cuisine, a top-shelf bar, and incredible live entertainment. A large, heated tent is stationed on the deck so you’ll keep warm, but you’re welcome to go out and revel at the Charleston skyline, harbor, and Ravenel Bridge. 

Snyder Grand Ball

If you’re looking for an excuse to get dressed up, head to the Snyder Grand Ball. Attire is black-tie optional, and this swanky event is held at the SC Aquarium. Attendees can expect a full open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and fantastic live entertainment.

Charleston Wonderland

For an over-the-top New Year’s Eve, make sure you get tickets to Charleston Wonderland. Here, everyone is a VIP! Not only does this event offer the biggest New Year’s countdown and balloon drop in the Southeast, the entertainment is also award-winning. See performances by acrobats trained by Cirque Du Soleil, enjoy live bands, dance to DJs, and more! 

Have a Relaxing New Year’s Eve at Your Beach House

Sometimes, the best way to ring in the new year is to enjoy some quality time with your friends and family. Spend the night in playing board games and watching the ball drop on TV– it’s so much more relaxing! Take a walk on the beach before the sun goes down, then settle in for a night of fun. 

Book Your Charleston New Year’s Eve Getaway Today

tabby house

Are you ready for your Charleston New Year’s Eve? Book your Lowcountry getaway today! Charleston Coast Vacations offers vacation rentals all along the coast; whether you’re looking to be on Isle of Palms or Folly Beach, we have the perfect rental for you. Browse our properties and start planning your getaway today!

Everything You Need to Know About the Charleston Reindeer Run

Charleston Reindeer Run beach scene

Located along the coast of South Carolina, Charleston is one of the hottest travel destinations right now. With world-class cuisine, an exciting nightlife scene, gorgeous beaches and marshland, and many historic sites, this charming city has tons to offer. Thanks to the area’s mild climate, it’s the perfect place to visit all year long. The summer can be hot, but the winter offers respite while still staying relatively warm. Escape the cold this holiday season and visit Charleston! There are dozens of great holiday festivities for you to participate in including the annual Charleston Reindeer Run.

Thinking of coming to Charleston? Check out our complimentary Vacation Guide for a list of things to do and see here! 

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Participate in the Charleston Reindeer Run

The Race

The Charleston Reindeer Run always takes place at the beginning of December, right at the start of the holiday season. Intended for the entire family, this event includes a 5K run through the downtown area of Charleston. The run begins at 9 a.m. on the corner of Queen Street and East Bay. Runners follow a route through downtown passing iconic areas and gorgeous, traditional Charleston houses along the way. After the race, treat yourself to a refreshing drink in the Beer Garden or grab a bite to eat at one of the many downtown restaurants. While the race itself is a thrilling way to spend the day, the most exciting part of the event is the costume contest. Throw on your best holiday getup and enter in one of the four categories: adult individual, child individual, group, and dog.

The Charities

This exciting and festive event is also a part of a greater cause. The Charleston Reindeer Run was started in 1998 and has since made a major impact on the community. The event has helped to raise tens of thousands of dollars for MUSC’s Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. The proceeds for the run are split between MUSC and the Charitable Society of Charleston, which donates large sums of money towards the hospital.

Other Great Holiday Events

When visiting Charleston for the holiday season, you’ll discover dozens of great things to do with the entire family. Don’t miss the Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park. This dazzling display of festive lights amazes visitors every year. At the event, you can also make a stop in Santa’s Village to roast marshmallows, snack on a sweet treat, and, of course, visit Santa Claus himself. Throughout the holiday season, you can also embark on a festive holiday carriage ride or visit the beautifully lit Christmas tree in the middle of Marion Square. If you’re bringing the entire family with you, be sure to plan on attending the Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade.

Unwind in a Charleston Coast Vacations Rental

tabby house

During the holidays, there’s no better way to spend some quality time with the family than with a winter getaway. If you’re planning to attend the Charleston Reindeer Run this year, you’ll need a comfortable place to stay. Charleston Coast Vacations rentals are available from Folly Beach to Dewees Island. If you don’t want to leave your furry friend at home, you can even rent one of our pet-friendly properties! Make the smart decision and book your stay with us. 

Check our availability and start planning your Charleston getaway! 

Why You Need to Attend the Flip Flip Drop on New Year’s Eve

Friends celebrate at the Flip Flip Drop

You’ve probably heard about the annual Times Square Ball Drop. Did you know that Folly Beach, South Carolina, has its own version each year? Spend New Year’s Eve on the Charleston coast when you attend the Flip Flop Drop on Folly Beach. Make it a tradition and come back year after year! 

What Is the Flip Flop Drop?

Did you ever think you could count down to the new year as a giant pair of flip flops slowly falls from the air? You can at the Flip Flop Drop! Every year, more than 1,000 locals and visitors gather together to watch the illuminated pair of flip flops ring in the new year. Then, have a night out on the town at the many bars and restaurants of Folly Beach

Everything You Need to Know About Folly Beach’s Annual Flip Flop Drop

Your Itinerary for the Night

9:30 p.m. – The Flip Flops Are Hoisted

Every year, the famous flip flops make their debut around 9:30 p.m. Then, it’s time to have some fun before they drop! Center Street is closed to traffic, and there is a DJ, live music, and family-friendly activities to enjoy. 

Many of the restaurants on Folly Beach offer special menus, drinks, and pricing for this event. There is even live music at many of these venues! Go bar hopping or out to dinner, but make sure you’re ready before midnight. You’ll want to make your way to the flip flops with plenty of time to see them drop. 

11:59 p.m. – The Flip Flops Start Dropping

There’s nothing like the energy in the air when the flip flops start to drop! Just like the Times Square Ball Drop, the flip flops start slowly dropping at 11:59. Count down to midnight as they make their way down! 

12:00 a.m. – Fireworks Show

Immediately following the drop, the sky illuminates with a fireworks show to celebrate. Stay and watch before deciding whether or not to end the night. 

Many of the bars and restaurants on Folly Beach stay open later than usual so you can continue with your celebrations. Keep in mind that after midnight is best enjoyed by adults only. 

Where Is the Folly Beach Flip Flop Drop?

The Folly Beach Flip Flop Drop is on Center Street in Folly Beach. The entire street gets shut down for this festival! 

Book Your New Year’s Eve Getaway Today

folly beach house

Ring in the new year in the Lowcountry! Charleston Coast Vacations has a variety of homes just moments away from the Flip Flop Drop. Browse our rentals on Folly Beach to start planning your holiday getaway, or opt to browse all our homes located across the Charleston Coast. We have properties that all vary in size and location, so we are sure we have the perfect one for you! We can’t wait to host you for the holidays.

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This Is Why You Need to Attend the Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade

beach after the Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade

The holidays only come once a year, and the Lowcountry is ready for them! No matter which area you choose your Charleston Coast Vacations rental to be in, there will be countless festivities you can attend. One of them is the Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade. It’s sure to get you into the holiday spirit, and it’s fun for all ages!

Everything You Need to Know About the Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade

The Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade’s name speaks for itself. It is just that– a holiday parade in Mount Pleasant filled with twinkling lights, local groups and organizations, and gorgeous floats. The entire family will love lining up to watch the spectacle! Take some hot chocolates with you or opt to get a little something from one of the restaurants lining the street to keep you warm, then sit back and relax as you get into the spirit of the holiday season. 

Where Is the Parade?

The Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade spans for about 1.2 miles down Coleman Blvd in Mount Pleasant. You may sit along the road or get a spot on the bleachers that have been set up for the parade! The road closes for the parade, so you’ll have more than enough room to set up along the side. 

When Is the Parade?

The parade is usually scheduled for a Sunday in the beginning of December. The date changes each year, so make sure you check this year’s date! The parade is from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., but you are welcome to show up early! 

How Long Does It Last?

The parade lasts for about two and a half hours. You’ll want to make sure you’re there a little early so you can tailgate with the crowd and watch the fireworks at the beginning. 

What Should I Bring?

Don’t worry about packing a ton for the parade, but make sure you are prepared. Here are our recommendations: 

  • Folding chairs– If you don’t want to be on the bleachers, folding chairs are a little more comfortable! You are able to set these up along the parade route. 
  • Blankets and extra layers– As the sun starts to go down, it gets a little chilly. Take a blanket or two, a scarf, and maybe even some mittens depending on the weather. 
  • Drinks and snacks– Tailgating the Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade is a tradition in our area! We recommend coming a little early, setting up, and getting to know your neighbors. Warm apple cider, hot chocolate, or coffee will keep you toasty during the parade. Or, you are welcome to get food and drinks at any of the restaurants located on the parade route. 

Book Your Holiday Getaway Today

charleston coast vacations home

Spend the holiday season in the Lowcountry this year! Make new traditions with your family or friends when you stay with Charleston Coast Vacations. We have rental homes located all across the Charleston Coast, so we’re sure we have the perfect one for you. Browse our vacation rentals to choose your favorite, then book your stay! We can’t wait to host you for the holidays! 

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Why You Need to Go to the James Island County Park Festival of Lights

christmas lights at the James Island County Park Festival of Lights

There are certain traditions that we all look forward to during the holiday season, and attending the James Island County Park Festival of Lights is one of them. Even though our winter weather is usually mild in the Lowcountry, you’ll feel the holiday spirit in the air when you attend an event like this. Millions of twinkling lights create displays for you to walk and drive through– it’s the perfect way to celebrate the season. 

What Is the James Island County Park Festival of Lights?

Christmas lights have always been a tradition around the holiday season, but you probably haven’t seen them like this before. Every winter, the James Island County Park transforms into a winter wonderland. Start with the three-mile ride through the light displays, then head to the walking portion for even more lights and festivities. In all, you’ll see more than two million twinkling lights on these displays, and they captivate visitors of all ages! 

It’s More Than Lights

After you’ve enjoyed the driving portion of the festival, it’s time to park and walk around. Warm up in front of one of the fire pits, and make sure you purchase a stick with marshmallows so you can roast them! Then, get a cup of hot chocolate to keep you warm as you explore the rest of the festival. You can shop at Santa’s Attic, see local art, ride the festival train, and even tell Santa your wish list. Check out all the things you can do at Santa’s Village and Winter Wonderland!

When Is the James Island County Park Festival of Lights?

The festival starts on November 15th and ends on December 31st from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The lights are on rain or shine, but we recommend checking the weather so you can enjoy the walking portion, too!

Admission

Admission to the festival is charged per car. The pricing is as follows:

  • 1-15 guests: $20 per vehicle or $15 per vehicle Monday through Thursday with the donation of a canned food item
  • 16-30 guests: $40 Monday-Thursday, $50 Friday-Sunday
  • 31+ guests: $100 Monday-Thursday, $150 Friday-Sunday.

Local tip: All attendees must have an actual seat in the vehicle. You can not have anyone ride in the trunk or double up on seats. 

Book Your Holiday Getaway Today

charleston coast vacations home

There’s no place like home for the holidays, and Charleston Coast Vacations will be your home away from home. Events like the James Island County Park Festival of Lights create traditions that you’ll want to come back to year after year. Plus, when you stay in a vacation rental, you can bring all of your traditions with you. Cook your typical holiday dinners in your rental’s fully equipped kitchen, open presents in the living room, and make your rental your home during this special time of year. Browse our vacation rentals to start planning your stay!

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You Need to Ruffle Your Feathers at the Charleston Turkey Trot This Year

racers at the Charleston Turkey Trot

We all look forward to the holidays, and like everywhere else, the Charleston area has traditions rooted in the season. When Thanksgiving comes along, we all look forward to the Charleston Turkey Trot, also known as the Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble 5K. Make this your own tradition when you stay with Charleston Coast Vacations! 

Everything You Need to Know About the Charleston Turkey Trot 

The Charleston Turkey Trot has been a Lowcountry tradition for more than 100 years! Although it has changed a lot over the last century, the concept stays the same– a race on Thanksgiving day. Thousands of people have made this their own holiday tradition, and you can too! Plus, it’s a great way to burn off that turkey dinner. 

History of the Event

This holiday event was started all the way back in 1914, but it has changed and evolved over the years. What started as a footrace has evolved into a 3.1-mile run and walk– the Gobble Wobble. In 1978, the Charleston Turkey Trot was reinvented to the event we know and love today. Now, it’s one of the largest 5Ks in the nation!

The Course

The original Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble started in Charleston and ended in Summerville, but now, you’ll go in a loop downtown. The racecourse conveniently starts at Marion Square before heading south on Meeting Street past some of our favorite Charleston landmarks. Then, you’ll get to turn left onto South Battery to run past gorgeous historic homes. After, you’ll loop back onto our beloved King Street. 

After the Event

For some, the afterparty is the best part of the Charleston Turkey Trot. Congratulate yourself and mingle with friends, family, and other racers as you sip on free beer and visit the vendors. 

Time to Register! 

Registration is easy! If you’re a planner, you can register in advance online. Otherwise, you’re welcome to register in person at the registration tent on the day prior to the race or on the morning of the race. The tent is located on Marion Square– you can’t miss it! 

Book Your Thanksgiving Getaway Today

charleston coast vacations home

There’s nothing like being home for the holidays, and you’ll feel right at home during your stay with Charleston Coast Vacations. Each of our vacation rentals has everything you need for the getaway of a lifetime, and what’s better than a walk on the beach after your Thanksgiving meal? Participate in our Lowcountry traditions like the Charleston Turkey Trot, cook your dinner in your vacation rental, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Browse our properties to start planning your stay today!

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