What to Expect When You Arrive:
●Genuine smiles. If you've booked a hotel, such as the Charleston Place, Kings Courtyard Inn or the Andrew Pinckney Inn, it's likely that the door will be cheerily held for you as you enter. This won't just be because it's part of someone's job. That door is held because it's what a person does when they are truly happy to see you and want you to be as happy and comfortable as possible. That's the way South Carolinians tend to greet their guests, and they're very happy to have you here.
●A noticeable slackening of the neck and shoulder muscles. People often say, "Things move along at a slower pace in Charleston." That's not really true. The city is buzzing with financial, commercial and other professional activity every day. There's nothing slow about that. The "slowness" that is detected is actually some sort of supernatural elixir that seems infused in the Lowcountry air.
●It's HOT! But here's the thing: It's not really that bad. You'll be surrounded by art, music, crafts and excitement.
What to Wear:
Yes, the heat is overshadowed by all of the wonderful Spoleto things happening around you, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't dress accordingly. There's also a touch of formality that takes over the sartorial senses on the peninsula.
The Best Way to Get Around
Here's a tip: biking is better. No fumbling with keys, no circling for parking spaces - and best of all, you'll get everywhere much faster than your friends with automobiles.
If biking isn't practical for you, the city has a large fleet of pedicabs, which is the next best thing. Or maybe the best, depending on how hot it is!
You've planned your arrival and wardrobe, but have you booked the most important tickets? The festival website does a great job of breaking down the events, explaining what to expect and showing you the possibilities. They also have a festival blog to keep you updated on the latest information.