Best of the Holy City Shopping

05 Jul 2024

Voted on by our readers, these award-winning attractions, top-notch shopping and services have helped make Charleston the #1 Best City in America. Use this guide to discover (or rediscover) what makes Charleston such a great place to live, work and play. We’ve got recommendations from locals for everything from the best antique store and best family-friendly attraction to the best spot to grab a martini. Cheers!

By Sophia Rodriguez, Daria Smith, Denise K. James, Maddie Cleland and Beverly Barfield

Best Antique Store

Terrace Oaks Antique Mall

For over 30 years, Terrace Oaks Antiques on Maybank Highway has been a destination for all types of antiques. The shop’s 10,000 square feet features over 60 vendors, and the stock of collectibles changes every day. Whether you’re looking for furniture, estate jewelry, porcelain sets or vintage books, find one-of-a-kind items to treasure.

Best Art Gallery

Robert Lange Studios

Robert and Megan Lange’s Queen Street studio eschews the cold, austere aesthetic of so many art spaces. Exposed brick walls, leather chairs, and a rope swing provide the perfect backdrop to spark the creative juices. Visitors encounter everything from classic portraits painted in miniature to bright to whimsical pop art to intricate and hyperrealist perspectives.

Best Boat Dealership

Butler Marine of Charleston

Whether you want to take your family out for some marine sightseeing or you’re looking for a smaller craft for solo fishing trips, Butler Marine offers a full lineup of new and used boats. This longtime West Ashley dealership carries a huge selection as well as offers dry-stack boat storage.

Best Bridal Store

Gown Boutique of Charleston

Buying a wedding gown isn’t just buying a pretty white dress — it’s about brides making treasured memories with the people they love. The dedicated staff at this Mount Pleasant boutique makes sure each bride who walks through the door feels beautiful and valued. Customers can create a wish list from the store’s large inventory prior to their in-person appointments.

Best Children’s Apparel

Southern Belles

Babies and toddlers shouldn’t have to skimp on style — and at Southern Belles, they don’t have to. Your child will look picture-perfect in flowered rompers, smocked styles and accessories. This Mount Pleasant clothier is the perfect place to create a baby registry filled with stylish picture frames, local children’s books, toys and more.

Best Consignment – Clothing

Reinvented Upscale Resale

Located in West Ashley’s fashionable Avondale district, Reinvented Upscale has helped local women revamp their wardrobes with its quality merchandise since 2006. The shop has everything from dresses and fur coats to hats worthy of the Kentucky Derby. Customers can always rest assured they will be in style.

Best Consignment – Furniture

Mount Pleasant Mall

This Johnnie Dodds Boulevard mainstay is billed as “Charleston’s largest resale co-op mall” for good reason. Over 100 vendors showcase high-end home furnishings and décor, with new consignments arriving weekly. The mall can consign, auction or outright purchase estate items. With 40 years’ experience, customers know they’re in good hands.

Best Event Venue

Lowndes Grove

Lowndes Grove in downtown Charleston provides an airy, refined setting on 14 acres of live oak groves, complete with panoramic coastal views from the private dock that stretches deep into the Ashley River. The meticulously-restored Main House boasts 1700s architecture with period furnishings, sunny terraces, and a sweeping piazza.

Best Florist

Tom's Florist

Tom’s Florist has helped numerous Lowcountry residents celebrate life’s special moments with their lush floral arrangements and thoughtfully-crafted gift baskets since 2013. The shop offers free floral consultations and same-day delivery in the Summerville area. You’re sure to brighten someone’s day with an elegant Halcyon Heart bouquet or the decadent spa basket from Tom’s Florist.

Best Formal Wear

M. Dumas & Sons

This upscale King Street clothier has been styling men into the best versions of themselves since the early 20th century. M. Dumas has a curated selection of the highest-quality name-brand slim- and classic-fit tuxedos, textured twill shirts, dress shoes and oxfords. Or you can pick up wool suits or upscale jackets for semi-formal occasions.

Best Frame Shop

McGregor's Gallery Custom Framing

When it comes to framing, no job is too big or too small for McGregor’s Gallery on Wappoo Road. This locally-owned and operated neighborhood mainstay prides itself on custom and commercial picture framing for any and every budget. They can also clean and patch aged paintings so you can treasure your memories even more.

Best Furniture Store

Nadeau - Furniture With a Soul

Tommy Nadeau has cultivated relationships with independent artisans who create timeless pieces with clean lines and superior craftsmanship. Both the Mount Pleasant retail storefront and the warehouse in North Charleston are filled with handmade rattan seater sofas, stone-top tables and everything in between. Visit Nadeau to inject a little soul into your home.

Best Garden Store

Flowertown Garden Center

This longtime Summerville business is a serene space reminiscent of a botanical garden. The center’s 3.7 acres are dotted with vibrant hibiscus, cheerful snapdragons, fragrant gardenias, gorgeous Japanese maples and fresh herbs. Flowertown’s wind chimes, wrought-iron furniture and fountains make it a one-stop shop to turn your backyard into an oasis.

Best Gift Store

Two Cumberland

Two Cumberland is for the modern Southern woman with the effortlessly chic vibe. This boutique with three Lowcountry locations offers elevated, on-trend clothing, shoes and accessories for any and every occasion—including those times you just want to lounge luxuriously around the house. They also have a variety of home gifts.

Best Hardware Store

Royall Ace Hardware

Longtime residents know that Royall Ace on Ben Sawyer Boulevard in Mt. Pleasant is the place to go for all your hardware needs. The store’s product lines are tailored to meet the community’s needs and this Lowcountry institution has been a family affair since it opened its doors in 1976.

Best Home Accessories

GDC Home

Since 1978, GDC Home has built a strong following with those who want their homes to exemplify the coastal elegance of the Charleston area. All three Lowcountry showrooms contain one-of-a-kind pieces that hail from around the world including furniture with natural materials like driftwood and teak for a laid-back, coastal chic vibe.

Best Jewelry Store

Polly's Fine Jewelry

Polly’s has been “where Charleston gets engaged” for over 30 years. Each glittering ring, necklace, bracelet and earring is painstakingly handcrafted by artisans. Elegant pieces from top brands dot the display cases, but their design specialists can make your love’s dreams come true with a custom piece as well.

Best Lighting Store

Lowcountry Lighting Studio

Transform your dim hallway, your poorly lit study or your screened-in porch with this Clements Ferry Road studio’s elegant indoor and outdoor lighting options plus shades, fans and geometric mirrors. You’ll find everything from bronzed, dramatic chandeliers and boho-chic pendant lights to the most quintessential Charleston light source of all: gas lanterns.

Best Lingerie Store

Bits of Lace

This locally owned, upscale boutique offers luxury-brand underwear, high-end-yet-feminine lingerie and soft-as-a-cloud sleepwear from a host of global brands in all sizes. This Mount Pleasant shop can also host your next bridal lingerie shower, where a bridal party can gather for private shopping and customized fitting services with champagne and charcuterie.

Best Luxury Car Dealership

Baker Motor Company

The lots at Baker Motor Company are filled with Mercedes, Porsches, Maseratis, Land Rovers, Cadillacs and Buicks. All dealership locations have a full selection of new, pre-owned, rental and electric vehicles, coupled with on-site, quality auto maintenance and repairs and a long reputation of stellar customer service and competitive financing.

Best Men’s Apparel

M. Dumas & Sons

M. Dumas & Sons is a Charleston institution since the days of World War I. This upscale King Street clothier features a curated mixture of brands, apparel and accessories—including its own line of Palmetto tree-logoed polo shirts—that can transform any man into the most confident version of himself.

Best Outdoor Furniture

Palm Casual Patio Furniture

Locals know that having an inviting yard is just as important as what’s inside their homes. And Palm Casual is the premier producer of stylish, eco-conscious and functional outdoor furniture. The factory floor has a bevy of weather-resistant materials in many colors, styles and finishes to make your backyard an oasis year-round.

Best Shoe Store

Phillips Shoes

Phillips Shoes has been the right fit for generations of Lowcountry dwellers. The Mount Pleasant and West Ashley locations carry over 60 brands of quality, durable footwear, such as Dansko, Olukai, Teva, Birkenstock, Vionic, Aetrex and Hoka. The company is also a good corporate citizen who partners with many local charities.

Best Shopping Center

Mount Pleasant Towne Centre

This manicured, open-air shopping center boasts over 65 local and national retail shops. Towne Centre has a range of eateries, from the high-flying SAVI Cucina + Wine Bar to Condado’s build-your-own taco concept. The summer calendar is loaded with family-friendly events including th Regal Palmetto Grande Cinema’s PG Summer Movie Express.

Best Specialty Pet Store

The Wild Pet Stores

The Wild is the local darling of natural pet food stores with its holistic, nature-centered nutrition approach and self-service pet washing stations. The stores provide a large selection of raw, fresh pet foods, chews and treats, all responsibly sourced. It also contains a natural pharmacy, with team members providing individualized nutrition advice.

Best Toy Store

Under The Almond Trees

This King Street baby gear boutique researches the ever-steady stream of new baby products and only stocks the highest-quality items from reliable brands. From convertible car seats to durable strollers to stylish toys and clothing, parents can breathe easy knowing their gear is from a curated selection and offers a baby registry.

Best Women’s Apparel

Styledwell Boutique

Styledwell Boutique sells chic ensembles at an affordable price point. Whether you need resort wear, ruffled cottagecore dresses, dynamically-patterned matching sets, summer totes and layered, stackable jewelry, step inside this West Ashley shop for chic, breezy pieces that will make heads turn wherever you go.

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