Experience the intimate charm and elegance found only beyond Charleston’s private garden gates and historic thresholds during Historic Charleston Foundation’s 71st Annual Spring Festival of Houses & Gardens.

Set amid the historic ambience of the city’s Old & Historic District, this series of award-winning tours showcases Charleston’s distinctive architecture, history, gardens and culture. These tours provide a rare opportunity for guests to go inside the private houses and gardens of some of America’s most beautiful historic residences, dating to the 18th century.

Charleston has been renowned for three centuries as “a city set in a garden.” The Festival is set during the peak of the city’s blooming season, and tours feature seven to ten properties each day in one of eleven neighborhoods, dating from the American Colonial period, through the antebellum and Victorian eras, to early 20th century. Beautiful architecture and lush gardens are woven throughout the historic neighborhoods of Charleston, which has consistently been named among the ten most courteous and friendly cities in America.

Exciting special events are planned throughout the Festival. Beginning on March 24 and running through April 20, are the Food for Thought events where guests enjoy an educational talk, light lunch, and a brief guided walk or experience that relates to the day’s topic. Topics range from “Nothing of Artistic Merit:” Charleston Silver and Its Legacy, to “Adorned for the Dead:” Mourning Jewelry in Early Charleston, and many more fascinating talks by local historians and experts.

Special musical concerts are one of the most popular special events. On March 19 and April 16, “Spiritually Yours Celebration” will be performed at First Baptist Church and Unitarian Church respectively; and on March 24 and April 12, The Plantation Singers Celebration will be held at the Circular Congregational Church.  Check the schedule for other wonderful musical celebrations throughout the Festival.

Experience Lowcountry charm with Live Like a Local events. From “Wine by the Water” to “Charleston Window Boxes” to “Circa 1886 Wine Tasting;” these fun events will give you a true taste of Charleston life.

For more information about these and all of the exciting events planned for Spring Festival of Houses and Gardens, call 843-722-3405 or visit www.historiccharleston.org.