Like most cities, Charleston has its share of chain stores in local malls and strip shopping center, but its many local boutiques offer you a unique shopping experience. You can find national stores such as Old Navy and Bed Bath and Beyond as well as outlet shopping nearby, but you have plenty of opportunities to benefit local entrepreneurs and find just what you need in virtually any area of the city. Forbes Magazine rated Charleston as one of the 10 best shopping districts in the country, with much of the action centered around King Street. There you can walk from store to store on a street that offer the ambience of copper outdoor lighting, bluestone sidewalks, and 18th and 19 century storefronts and break up your shopping with a cup of coffee or a meal at one of the restaurants along the way.
Shopping, Fit for a King
King Street, which offers the best all -round shopping in the area with stores to meet every shoppers budget, has three main shopping areas that will provide you with anything from candles to fashions to antiques.
At the southern end near the mansions of the Battery, addresses 114-198 between Broad Street and Market Street, Lower King features clothing boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops. Shops of note include George C. Birlant and Company which offers old clocks, antiques, silver and finery from estate, RTW Charleston, a fashion-forward clothing store for women, and Ibu Movement, that offers global textiles and fashions made by hand by women artisans around the world. Lower King was once noted mainly for its antique shops and galleries, but now a variety of retailers dot the area.
Middle King, the blocks between Market Street and Calhoun Street numbered 200 – 388, has a high concentration of clothing stores that range from national chains such as Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, and Jos. A. Banks to local stores such as Ben Silver’s Menswear, Jordan Lash Men’s Clothing,319 Men, Worthwhile, Anne’s, Hampden’s Women’s Clothing, and Kids on King Upscale Boutique. To complete the look, you will find Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, Copper Penny Shooz, Goorin Brothers Hat Shop, Jackson Davenport Vision, Croghans’s Jewel Box For beautiful jewelry and gifts. You can even met you virtual needs at the Apple Store.
Sitting between Calhoun Street and Spring Street from 401 – 698, Upper King is the area’s design and decor center. Home stores such as West Elm, Siematic kitchen design, and Encore Architectural Salvage, lighting specialists Ro Sham Beaux and Circa Lighting, and Objective Design and Mitchell Hill décor and gallery line the streets. As with other areas of King Street, additional retailers populate the area including an Antiques and Interiors Market with over 15 booths and offer artwork, design accents, gift items, and more.
More Downtown Shopping
To supplement the main shopping area on King Street, Charleston also features The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place, in upscale mini mall located in the lobby level of the Belmond Charleston Place Hotel. You can get your fill of high end retailers such as Louis Vuitton, Calypso Saint Barth, L’Occitane, and Gucci and take your purchases back to your room before you hit exciting world of King Street just outside your doors.
At the Old City Market only nearby Meeting Street, you can get a glimpse into the essence of life in the lowcountry in addition to being able to shop at hundreds of booths. Set in once was what once a slave market in pre Civil War Charleston, the market offers clothes, leather goods, toys, and regional souvenirs such as sweetgrass baskets. Based on a craft developed in West Africa, basket making by local artisans uses sweetwater grass and Palmetto leaves from the area to create a useful souvenir of beauty.
Fueling Your Shopping
Browsing the unique clothing stores, art galleries, and design stores of King Street is bound to create an appetite in most shoppers. While you can find a Chipotle and a Five Guys on King, the many local eateries allow you a chance to sample some genuine lowcountry cuisine to make your trip complete. On Upper King, for example, you’ll find Virginia’s on King, for an amazing brunch it showcases popular Lowcountry favorites, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits for sweet or savory biscuits, olive pimento cheese sandwiches, and other regional treats, or the Swamp Fox Restaurant for Southern cuisine all day long. For more casual dining, there are sports bars like Charleston Beer Works, breweries like Closed for Business, and a variety of ethnic restaurants ranging from Italian (Indaco) to Thai (Basil). When you want upscale dining, the Macintosh, the Charleston Grill, or 492 will fill the bill.
Souvenirs From Baskets to Copper Outdoor Lighting
A trip to Charleston’s King Street and other shopping venues will yield wonderful memories as well as unique shopping finds that might include anything from a piece of local art to a stylish piece of clothing to a sweetgrass basket. If you love the ambience of the area, you can even bring home outdoor copper lighting for the outside of your home. Lantern & Scroll, makers of reproduction lighting, offers many styles seen around Charleston and a whole lot more. We specialize in gas lamps and electric lanterns that recreate the magic of historic Charleston wherever you live.