Piccolo Spoleto (Little Spoleto), a spotlight for regional talent, runs concurrently with its parent festival. Low-cost or free events include an outdoor concert by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, a reggae block party, and a smattering of children's activities.
Wander the 19th-century brick buildings of the City Market, which has withstood hurricanes, earthquakes, and Civil War bombardment and now offers everything from antique silver to local spices. Visit the “basket ladies,” masters in the Low Country craft of sweetgrass weaving.
Where To Eat
Break for lunch at Jestine's Kitchen. Start with a plate of fried green tomatoes, end with a slice of Coca-Cola cake, and in between pick anything on the menu. It's all delicious, and as Southern as a drawl.
Dine at FIG, from Zagat-heralded chef Mike Lata. The menu changes seasonally, but if they have it, go for the braised lamb shoulder with ricotta gnocci, or the ultrafresh local red snapper with braised artichokes (eatatfig.com).
Where To Stay
The French Quarter Inn, with its magnificent marble lobby and wrought iron staircase, has classic old-fashioned European charm, including silver service breakfast delivered to your room (fqicharleston.com).
A converted circa-1901 warehouse with 18-foot ceilings and massive heart-of-pine beams, the Ansonborough Inn is a warm, inviting place to call it a night (ansonboroughinn.com).