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A Historic Charleston Hotel near the City Market

Experience a Historic Charleston Gem: The City Market

As one of the top Historic Charleston boutique hotels, Andrew Pinckney Inn has plenty of great amenities, but perhaps none greater than it’s amazing location in the heart of 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 offering everything from traditional Lowcountry crafts to the best in modern artwork, jewelry, apparel and more.

The market is just a short walk from Andrew Pinckney Inn … in fact; we’re so close you can even catch a glimpse of it from the rooftop terrace.

Charleston City Market

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 everything you need to know about visiting the market.

If you can’t wait to get here and are ready to reserve your Historic Charleston hotel, click below to reserve your room at Andrew Pinckney Inn today.

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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.”

Charleston City Market 1865

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.

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.

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.

There’s also plenty of jewelry, souvenirs, specialty shops, toys and of course the Lowcountry’s famous locally-made sweetgrass baskets.

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.

Charleston Sweetgrass Baskets

Events, parking & Historic Charleston info

Charleston City Market near our boutique hotel

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 the Charleston City Market via e-mail.

If you’re staying at 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.