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 & Watches

    Ring the doorbell for fine new jewelry and antiques at this Charleston institution that's been facilitating proposals, weddings, and anniversaries...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Historic Charleston Foundation Shop

    Downtown Historic District | Household Items/Furniture

    Bring home products inspired by Charleston furniture, china, and decorative accessories. These authentic Charleston mementos, including bags...Read More

  • 4. Worthwhile

    Lower King | Souvenirs

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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. Berlin's

    Lower King | Clothing

    Family-owned since 1883, this Charleston institution has a reputation as a destination for special-occasion clothing. Expect preppy styles,...Read More

  • 7. Charleston City Market

    Market | 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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  • 8. 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

  • 9. Choice Collectibles

    Antiques & Collectibles

    On the site of the former Ritz Theater, Choice Collectibles is as retro as the sign for the theater's box office displayed over the cash register...Read More

  • 10. Jacques' Antiques

    Lower King | Antiques & Collectibles

    French imports make up much of the selection here, and the rest are either European or English from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Decorative...Read More

  • 11. Page's Thieves Market

    Antiques & Collectibles

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

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