Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens

Downtown homes and their gardens open up for once-a-year tours April 1-18.

It’s a gorgeous time of year in the Lowcountry and we can’t wait to enjoy. Here are a few of our favorite annual events.

Don’t miss the 72nd Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens. There’s no lovelier time in Charleston than spring and no better way to experience the city’s charm than by attending the Festival of Houses and Gardens. Step inside the private houses and gardens of some of the city’s most stunning properties, learn about Charleston’s distinctive architecture and history and celebrate our unique culture. The event runs from April 1-18 at various locations in downtown Charleston. Check website for details. historiccharleston.org

The Volvo Car Open, the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in North America, will host its 47th event on Daniel Island in Charleston. The highly anticipated competition features the best in women’s professional tennis, welcoming more than 100 of the top tennis players in the world to the Lowcountry. The nine-day tournament showcases a singles draw of 56 players, a qualifying draw of 32 players and a doubles draw of 16 players. In addition, the event boasts an average attendance of 90,000. The event runs April 1-April 7 at the Volvo Car Stadium, 161 Seven Farms Drive, Daniel Island. Check website for details. volvocaropen.com

Every spring, the Town of Summerville is awash in color from the hot pink azaleas, to the purple wisteria, to the delicate white dogwood. Thousands of festival-goers transcend this gracious town to take in the flowers and hospitality and attend one of the largest arts and crafts festivals in the southeast. Don’t miss the YMCA Flowertown Festival. The event runs from April 5-April 7 at Azalea Park, downtown Summerville. Free admission and free parking. summervilleymca.org/flowertown-festival-2019/

The Cooper River Bridge Run provides a world-class 10K foot race. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, April 6. The race promotes continuous physical activity and a healthy lifestyle through education and opportunity. The course begins in Mount Pleasant on Coleman Boulevard, crosses the beautiful Cooper River Bridge and finishes in downtown Charleston. The race starts at 8 a.m. You need to be in your designated corral by 7 a.m. Tickets are $55. bridgerun.com

This ragin’ Lowcountry Cajun Festival features a full day of Zydeco music, authentic Cajun and Creole food, children’s activities and more. Charleston’s best Cajun restaurants, caterers and food trucks will cook up a variety of delicious foods. Attendees will discover a variety of dishes for sale including jambalaya, alligator, etouffee, andouille sausage and of course, crawfish. The event runs from 12-6 p.m. at James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Drive, Charleston. Tickets are $15. ccprc.com/137/Lowcountry-Cajun-Festival

Charleston Honey & Bee Expo

The Bee Cause Project is promoting the benefits of local beekeeping largely in schools and at nonprofits around the Charleston area. The organization was part of the Charleston Honey & Bee Expo which will take place Sunday, April 7. 

Don’t miss the 8th Annual Charleston Honey & Bee Expo. Free honey tasting, local honey! Buy local honey, try honey cotton candy, meet the experts, guest speakers, live honey bees (enclosed in glass), educational displays, honey-inspired food offerings, bee-related merchandise, kid-friendly games and live music by the V-Tones of Charleston. The free event is Sunday, April 7 from 11 a.m.– 4 p.m. at Cinebarre Mount Pleasant, 963 Houston Northcutt Blvd., Mount Pleasant. facebook.com/events/340902239854458/

Saturday, April 13 don’t miss Plantasia 2019. It’s the ultimate plant sale and gardeners paradise destination of the Lowcountry and beyond. One of the most sought after and anticipated events of its kind in the southeast, Plantasia offers a vast array of unusual and cutting edge plants for sale (as well as tried and true favorites) set among the pastures and live oaks of the beautiful Old Towne Creek County Park in Charleston. The free event runs from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. at Old Towne Creek County Park, 1400 Old Towne Road, Charleston. chashortsoc.org/plantasia-2019/

High Water Festival takes place April 13-14 at the Riverfront of North Charleston, celebrating food, music and libations, curated by Shovels & Rope. Weekend passes $144.50 and up. 

highwaterfest.com/

Whether you’re a devoted outdoor sporting enthusiast or just beginning to explore nature’s playground, you’ll find your perfect fit for fun and fitness during the Charleston Outdoor Fest. Canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, rock climbing, slacklining, mountain biking, archery, disc golf, live music and more. The event takes place April 13 and April 14 at James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Drive, Charleston. Purchase a Try It Pass at the festival for $10. Children 12 and younger are $8 with an accompanying adult pass. ccprc.com 

Walk for Autism-Charleston is a nonprofit organization which raises funds to help many special children struggling with autism. Our primary goal is to fund scholarships for these families to help pay for the treatment and intervention of autism through behavioral and relational development programs. The walk is held during the month of April to celebrate Autism Awareness month. The event runs from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Check website for details 

walkforautismcharleston.org

The 32nd Annual Blessing of the Fleet and Seafood Festival presented by East Cooper Medical Center and Harris Teeter is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year! Participants are treated to a boat parade and ceremonial blessing of the shrimp/fishing fleet, savory seafood samplings sold by some of Mount Pleasant's best restaurants, live music, a craft show, art exhibition, Shag and shrimp-eating contests and family-friendly activities. The free event runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, April 28 at Memorial Waterfront Park, Hallman Blvd., Mount Pleasant. experiencemountpleasant.com