Charleston

One-of-a-kind boutiques make up an important part of the contemporary Charleston shopping experience. Long-established Christian Michi anchors the corner of Market and King; its window displays are like works of art, and its innovative and European designs are treasured by well-heeled, sophisticated clients. Some department stores cater to younger shoppers, and high-end shops sell either their own designer fashions, or carry names that are found in Paris, New York, and South Beach, like Kate Spade in the Shops at Belmond Charleston Place.

The number and quality of shoe stores on King Street is surprising for the city's size. Family-owned shops like Berlin's are city institutions. Newer shops like Sugar Snap Pea are popular with families.

The Upper King District is interspersed with clothing boutiques and restaurants. The revival of this neighborhood has sparked a new wave of home-fashion stores; long-term antiques hunters, accustomed to buying on Lower King, have been lured uptown as well. Charleston has more than 25 fine-art galleries, making it one of the top art towns in America. Local Lowcountry art, which includes both traditional landscapes of the region as well as more contemporary takes, is among the most prevalent styles here. Such innovative artists as Betty Anglin Smith and Fred Jamar, a Belgian known for his whimsical nighttime cityscapes, can give you a piece of Charleston to keep close until your next visit. Collectors will find nationally and internationally renowned work in such exquisite galleries as Ann Long Fine Art and the more contemporary Martin Gallery.

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  • 1. Blue Bicycle Books

    Upper King | Books/Stationery

    Look for out-of-print and rare books, including hardcover classics and a large selection of Lowcountry fiction and nonfiction, at this locally...Read More

  • 2. Croghan's Jewel Box

    Lower King | Jewelry/Accessories

    Ring the doorbell for fine new jewelry as well as antiques at this shop, a Charleston institution that's been facilitating proposals, weddings...Read More

  • 3. Earthling Day Spa

    Market | Spa/Beauty

    With a Southeast Asian design, this soothing spa has an extensive menu of treatments that includes an Indian herbal rub, a Thai detox ritual...Read More

  • 4. Hampden Clothing

    Lower King | Clothing

    One of the city's trendiest boutiques attracts the young and well-heeled, who come here for an edgier, New York–influenced style. Hot designers...Read More

  • 5. Historic Charleston Foundation Shop

    Market | Household Items/Furniture

    Bring home superb replicas of Charleston books, furniture, china, and decorative accessories. These Charleston mementos, including bags of Carolina...Read More

  • 6. Martin Gallery

    South of Broad | Art Galleries

    In a former bank building, this light-filled, grand space is the city's most impressive gallery. It sells works by nationally and internationally...Read More

  • 7. Robert Lange Studios

    Market | Art Galleries

    The most avant of the contemporary galleries, this striking, minimalist space is a working studio for Robert Lange and other exceptionally talented...Read More

  • 8. Worthwhile

    Lower King | Gifts/Souvenirs

    Designer women's clothing, shoes, and jewelry make it fun to shop at this boutique in a 19th-century historic home. You can also find artsy...Read More

  • 9. Seeking Indigo

    Upper King | Spa/Beauty

    This 6,000-square-foot spa provides a delightful, delicious sensory overload. Behind the carved wooden Indonesian doors, a tranquil day spa...Read More

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