Experience one of the gems of Historic Charleston during your stay in our downtown Charleston hotel!
As one of the top boutique hotels in Charleston, Andrew Pinckney Inn has plenty of great amenities, but perhaps none greater than it’s amazing location in the heart of historic Charleston.
We are centrally located near many top restaurants, sights and attractions, including one of the most iconic spots in the Holy City, the Charleston City Market.
The City Market has been a central part of life in Charleston for more than 200 years and now features more than 100 different vendors hawking everything from traditional Lowcountry crafts to the best in modern artwork, jewelry, apparel and more.
You won’t find better accommodations closer to this vibrant hub of southern charm, as the market is just a short walk from our downtown Charleston hotel … in fact, we’re so close you can even catch a glimpse of it from Andrew Pinckney Inn’s luxurious rooftop terrace.
If you’re looking to learn more before you set out to experience everything Charleston City Market has to offer, take a quick look below for more information on the history, the vendors and everything you need to know about visiting the market.
If you can’t wait to get here and are ready to reserve your downtown Charleston hotel room today, click below to reserve your room at Andrew Pinckney Inn.
Charleston City Market History
Historic Charleston built its first public market in 1692 at the corner of Broad and Meeting streets, although a formal brick building wasn’t built at the site — about four blocks from the current location — until 1739.
During the 18th century, the “beef market” was replaced with a better structure while additional markets were established for fish and for general merchandise along Queen and Tradd streets.
The stage was set for the current market in 1788 when Revolutionary War general Charles Cotesworth Pinckney donated a strip of recovered marshland that stretched from the Charleston Harbor to Meeting Street. This land was set aside for the establishment of a “Centre Market” and
Pinckney stipulated that the land remain in use as a public market into perpetuity.
The first sheds were built around 1790, and from the turn of the century up through about 1830 the low buildings that stretch from Market Hall to the waterfront gradually began to sprout up housing meat, vegetable and fish markets.
During this time, vendors were known to throw scraps into the streets, often buzzards that gained the nickname “Charleston Eagles.”
In 1838, the Masonic Hall which had stood on the corner of Meeting and Market Streets was claimed by fire, paving the way for the current Charleston City Market Hall building to be built in its place.
Constructed in 1841 the building was designed by Edward Brickwell White, who received $300 for his plan. The Greek-Revival style design was a copy of the Temple of the Wingless Victory in Athens, Greece.
Today, this building plays home to the Confederate Museum while vendor sheds stretch out behind it all the way to East Bay Street.
By the early days of the twentieth century, the number of food merchants using the Market had dropped dramatically.
Around this time there was an effort to replace the market sheds between East Bay and Anson Street and many of the buildings were renovated or reorganized in 1906.
In the fall of 1938, a series of tornadoes swept through Historic Charleston, killing 32 people, injuring 100, and destroying $2 million in property, including extensive damage to the Charleston City Market.
Since the 1970s, the area on both sides of the market have housed many small and unique shops, as well as a variety of eateries which today includes Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., TBonz, Kaminsky’s, Wild Wing Cafe, Mad River Bar & Grill, Barbara Jean’s, Mercato and Grill 225.
Following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, the building was restored by the City of Charleston and repainted to its original colors — which included strong ochre coloring and bright green ironwork — much to the displeasure of many locals, including the mayor of Charleston.
As one of the oldest markets in the country, Charleston City Market is part of a permanent exhibit “Life in Coastal South Carolina c. 1840” featured at the American History Museum of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
Vendors at Charleston City Market
The market’s vendors set up at the crack of dawn each morning and are open for business until at least 6 p.m. each evening — often later in the summer and on weekends.
Some of the products you’re sure to find on sale include the Arts & Crafts, Children’s Clothing & Accessories, Clothing & Accessories, Collectibles, Food Items & Products, Fragrances, Great Hall Shops, Home Goods and Decorative Items and Accessories.
Alongside the basket weavers — many who speak Gullah to entice you to buy their goods — you’ll also find Market Vendors selling locally-grown fruits and vegetables.
There are plenty of great places to sample that it’s impossible to choose a favorite, but a few well-known vendors worth checking out include:
This shop creates handcrafted candles with fragrances that are carefully blended to mimic the aromas found in your favorite wines. They take discarded items into beautifully designed and functional products. www.rewinedcandles.com
This booth is located between State and East Bay streets making unique handmade ladies clothing from around the world including Pashmina, scarvas, shawls, ruanas and more.
The Spice & The Spoon
Herbs and spices hand-blended and hand packed in this Historic Charleston spicery. Each blend is made with only the finest ingredients. www.thespiceandthespoon.com
Paul Silva Art Gallery
A mixture of traditional mediums like oils and acrylics with the evolving art technology. www.paulsilvaart.com
Dantes925 Silver Gallery
Located in the Charleston City Market for more than 30 years this double booth near East Bay and South Market streets offers a large selection of chains, bracelets, rings, pendants, charms and Charleston rice beads. www.dantes925.com
Events, parking & Historic Charleston info
Servicing as the cultural center of Historic Charleston, the city market often plays host to local events of all sorts.
Beginning each May visitors to the market can experience Evening Art Market events where where vendors of all types sell handmade products ranging from paintings and sculptures to photography, prints and much more.
These events each have a featured local artist and take place from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org via e-mail.
If you’re staying at the Downtown Charleston hotel the Andrew Pinckney Inn, there’s no need to worry about parking, but if you happen to be looking for a place to keep your car there’s plenty of inexpensive parking nearby (see parking garage map.)
If you have specific questions on the market or need more information than is listed here you can alway call the front desk at Andrew Pinckney Inn and one of our friendly staff will be available to help you.
You can also check out Charleston Visitors Center at 375 Meeting St. or by calling (843) 853-8000 or go straight to the source for more information from the Charleston City Market website.