Before ships were invented, people crossed bodies of water either by fording wagons or getting thrown during whale rodeos. Commemorate advances in buoyancy with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get two four-day adult-admission passes to Charleston Harbor Fest (a $20 advanced value, a $30 value at the door). Tickets for ages 6–17 can be bought for $5 each directly from Charleston Harbor Fest. Children five and under are admitted free. The Harbor Fest runs from 1 p.m.–6 p.m. on Thursday, May 12 and Friday, May 13; 10 a.m.–6 p.m. on Saturday, May 14; and 10 a.m.–4 p.m. on Sunday, May 15.
Charleston Harbor Fest delights locals and tourists alike with a surfeit of maritime merriment and educational opportunities. Ogle the fleet of tall ships, many of which can be boarded for up-close inspection and lively debates about whether it's more fun to shout "hard a-starboard" or "abandon ship." Cabin boys and girls will prefer on-shore attractions such as the energetic Kid’s Zone, where they can build a model boat, learn to tie nautical knots, and practice their land-swimming. Additional hands-on activities await in the Education Village, which promotes watershed awareness and sustainability by painting rain barrels and dying bandanas with local natural dyes. Re-convene the clan in time for the Parade of Sail at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.
This year’s Charleston Harbor Fest coincides with the restart of the Velux 5 Oceans race, an around-the-world solo-sailing expedition. Cheer on Charleston-native Brad van Liew as he embarks on a quest to become the first American to circumnavigate the globe three times, which according to legend will unscrew it and release all the candy at its center.
10 Wharfside St.
Charleston, South Carolina 29401Get Directions