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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Ann Long Fine Art

    South of Broad | Art Galleries

    Serious art collectors head to Ann Long Fine Art for neoclassical and modern works. This world-class gallery features outstanding, albeit pricey...Read More

  • 5. Berlin's

    Lower King | Clothing

    Family-owned since 1883, this Charleston institution has a reputation as a destination for special-occasion clothing. The store, which for...Read More

  • 6. Charleston City Market

    Market | Shopping Neighborhoods

    This cluster of shops, covered stands, and restaurants fills Market Street between Meeting and East Bay Streets. Sweetgrass basket weavers work...Read More

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  • 7. Charleston Renaissance Gallery

    South of Broad | Art Galleries

    This gallery carries museum-quality art—in fact, more than half of the beautifully framed works are sold to museums. We recommend a visit nonetheless...Read More

  • 8. Gallery Chuma

    Market | Art Galleries

    This gallery showcases Gullah art, ranging from inexpensive prints to original works by artists like Jonathan Green. The vibrantly colored paintings...Read More

  • 9. George C. Birlant and Co.

    Lower King | Antiques/Collectibles

    You'll find mostly 18th- and 19th-century English antiques here, but keep your eye out for a Charleston Battery bench (seen at White Point Garden...Read More

  • 10. Jacques' Antiques

    Lower King | Antiques/Collectibles

    As the name suggests, most of the antiques here are imported from France, and the rest are either European or English from the 17th to the 20th...Read More

  • 11. Page's Thieves Market


    Specializing in furniture—especially tables, desks, and chests—this antiques market frequently hosts auctions on weekends. There's also plenty...Read More

  • 12. Wells Gallery

    Art Galleries

    Showcasing the talents of many fine artists dating back centuries (including 18th-century naturalist Mark Catesby), this gallery at the Sanctuary...Read More

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