Frequently Asked Questions
Do your house and garden tours sell out? Can we purchase
tickets once we arrive in Charleston?
We will happily sell tickets to any of our tours as long as they are available. Many tours do sell out, so we recommend purchasing tickets well in advance. Please be advised that we have a no refunds policy. Read more on the Ticket Sales and Exchange Policy page.
Where do we park? Where is the nearest restroom?
The closest parking and restrooms will vary by tour. We are proud that Charleston is a “living” city, and our tours take place in residential neighborhoods. Therefore,
public facilities and vendors within those neighborhoods are limited by city ordinances. Please take advantage of the restrooms at the Festival Ticket Office, 108 Meeting Street,
prior to your tour.
Will the house and garden tours take the entire three hours allotted?
Our tours are self-paced, so it is possible for a tour to take less than three hours. We advise that you begin promptly at the start time so that you can see everything offered on that particular tour.
May we take pictures on tour?
In accordance with South Carolina state law and to protect the safety and security of
our homeowners, photography is not allowed in the houses and gardens on tour.
What is your refund policy?
All sales are final. All events go on as scheduled, rain or shine. There are no cancellations or refunds. If you are unable to use your tickets, these options are available to you:
Donate your tickets to Historic Charleston Foundation. Unused tickets may be donated back to the Festival as a tax-deductible contribution. Documentation regarding your tax-deductible gift will be provided.
Exchange your tickets. Unused tickets can be exchanged within the 2016 Festival for a processing fee of $10 per ticket plus any difference in price (conditional upon availability and approval). No refunds are given for exchanges to lower-priced tickets.
Inquiries regarding unused tickets for the 70th Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens in 2017 must be made by April 28, 2017.
What happens if it rains?
Our tours go on rain or shine. If weather is a concern, please feel free to bring an umbrella.
If we want to attend two of your events in a row, will we have enough time to get to the second event?
Most, but not all, of our events take place within close proximity to one another, so it is generally easy to walk from one event to the next. Call the Festival Ticket Office, 843-722-3405, for information regarding specific event locations.
What flowers are in bloom during the Festival?
Springtime in Charleston is beautiful, and you should expect to see various flowers in bloom throughout the Festival. While nature’s timeline is not exact, camellias are often in bloom as the Festival begins. Azaleas typically begin their blooming period at the end of March and last into April. Many varieties of roses are in bloom during the Festival, especially in April. Other blooming plants, flowers and trees that you might see include wisteria, narcissus, Confederate jasmine, cherry, redbud and dogwood trees.
Are tours and events wheelchair accessible?
Most of the Festival events held in public venues are accessible, and personal walkers and wheelchairs are welcomed. Please be aware that the private, historic houses and gardens on tour are unable to accommodate wheelchairs. Call the Festival Ticket Office, 843-722-3405, for questions regarding accessibility at specific special event venues. There are local bike taxi and pedicab companies available for hire that can assist with transportation services in historic downtown Charleston.
May children attend Festival events and tours?
Children are welcome and encouraged to attend many of the Festival special events with tickets purchased for them. However, the afternoon and evening house & garden tours and Glorious Gardens tours are designed to provide an engaging experience for adults. Therefore, children must be at least six years of age or older, well-supervised, and have individual tickets purchased for them in order to enter the private houses and gardens on those tours. Because of the risk to private property and collections, neither strollers, car seats, back packs, or children strapped in any manner to an adult may enter the private residences and gardens on tour. Adults with children under six may participate only if one adult waits outside with the child while the first adult goes through a property, and then assumes responsibility for the child upon exiting so that the second adult may enter. Volunteers will maintain a place in line for families who must wait with a child until a partner returns.
What other information is helpful to know?
To avoid a line when picking up your tickets at the Festival Ticket Office, please consider picking them up between the hours of 9:00 am and 11:00 am or between 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm as these tend to be less busy times. (Ticket office is located in The Shops of Historic Charleston at 108 Meeting Street, corner of Meeting and Chalmers streets.)
You might consider bringing a water bottle if it is a warm day.
Tours may cover six to eight city blocks, sometimes over cobblestone streets, uneven sidewalks, and stairs. Comfortable, flat-soled shoes will make your walk easier and protect the beautiful floors of historic houses.
In consideration of other guests, please turn off cell phones at all tour and event sites, including both private houses and gardens.