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Visitors to the downtown historic district will be bombarded with all kinds of kitsch – souvenir t-shirts, sugary fudge, shot glasses. Little boys selling handmade straw roses work the local parks and plazas. Careful shoppers will find plenty of lowcountry treasures, from authentic Gullah baskets to antebellum jewelry.

Shopping in Charleston

Ben Silver

The men's shop Ben Silver has been anchoring the south end of King Street for nearly 30 years. One of the Silver sales associates calls the store's style "preppy and conservative, but with more color." True enough, because amid the blue blazers and custom-made blazer buttons, one can find an array of vividly striped regimental ties, the house specialty.

149 King St., SC, 843-577-4556 or 800-221-4671,
Tags: shopping | menswear


This men’s and women’s designer clothing boutique is so trendy it’s intimidating, with its glossy wood floors and sleek minimalist displays. It’s your best bet for hip labels like Zac Posen and True Religion.

275 King St., SC, 843-805-8462
Tags: shopping | expensive | trendy

Charleston Candy Kitchen

Employees pass out free samples of pecan pralines outside this sweet-smelling, downtown storefront, luring guests in to buy bagfuls of Southern treats like penuche fudge and sesame wafers.

32 North Market St., SC, 843-732-4626
Tags: family | budget | shopping

Charleston City Market

You can’t miss this bustling outdoors market, a Charleston institution since the late 18th century. Vendors hawk souvenirs like sweet grass baskets, local art, and candies to huge crowds of tourists.

75 Calhoun St., SC, 843-973-7236
Tags: family | shopping | moderate | great value | things to do

Charleston Crafts Cooperative

From hand-dyed silk shawls to carved walking sticks to stained glass ornaments, this coop sells a variety of well-made crafts from local artists. With rotating displays, the store functions as a craft gallery as well.

87 Hasell St., SC, 843-732-2938,
Tags: shopping | moderate | editor pick | things to do

Hampden Clothing

Hampden Clothing stocks women's fashion by designers whose goods are not often seen in the Southeast-Alexander Wang and Adam Lippes, to name just two. This is cutting-edge stuff.

314 King St., SC, 843-724-6373,
Tags: shopping | designer

Historic Charleston Reproductions

This genteel boutique sells jewelry and home and garden accessories inspired by Charleston architecture or modeled after items from historic plantations, as well gift items like soaps and dishes.

105 Broad St., SC, 843-723-8292,
Tags: shopping | expensive | smart splurge

Magar Hatworks

Milliner Leigh Magar has attracted national attention for her new twist on an old-fashioned craft. Magar Hatworks welcomes visitors only by appointment, but it's worth calling ahead to schedule one. Magar is a master of jaunty silhouettes and fabrics, and it's hard to resist touching the feathers and felt on the finished hats lined up in her shop.

57 Cannon St., SC, 843-345-4483,
Tags: shopping | hats

Mary Helen McCoy Fine Antiques

Mary Helen McCoy Fine Antiques stocks museum-quality 18th-century French antiques, and everything in the shop bears a deep, lustrous glow. The merchandise is pricey, but one can stroll around and consider it a free museum visit.

120 King St., SC, 843-577-6445,
Tags: shopping | expensive | antiques

Nina Liu and Friends

On the cobbled streets of the French Quarter visitors will find the eccentric art gallery Nina Liu and Friends. This is not the reassuring, buttoned-down Charleston of old guidebooks; Liu has an eye for ceramics and anything with great texture, as evidenced by Jeff Kopish's rusted metal "canned fish" wall hangings, made from discarded garbage can lids and encrusted with pottery shards. A guest can admire them from the surprising comfort of a couch constructed entirely of recycled cardboard.

24 State St., SC, 843-722-2724
Tags: shopping | gallery | unusual

The Shops at Charleston Place

This high-end mall on the ground floor of the posh Charleston Place hotel is the place to come for Gucci bags and Godiva chocolates.  

130 Market St., SC, 843-722-4900,
Tags: shopping | expensive


Worthwhile is a shop that, like Charleston itself, resists being labeled. Women's clothing, mostly in black and gray, mixes with children's games, heavy art tomes, and stylish housewares.

268 King St., SC, 843-723-4418,
Tags: shopping | home | clothing | books

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