Early bird tourists heading into Lowcountry

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Local businesses are seeing tourists come to Charleston earlier than usual. A local realtor on Folly Beach said the streets have been filling up with vacationers since January.

"They're lining the streets, going to the beach, dining at all our restaurants. It's been perfect weather and I think that's helped draw them in," said LaJuan Kennedy.

The high temperature on Wednessay was 75 degrees and Thursday should be about the same. On the same date last year, it was 65 degrees. Charleston has already seen temperatures in the 80's and it's the first week of March.

Kennedy says the weather has kept Fred Holland Realty busy in the "shoulder" season.

'We usually have to fight to get business this time of year, but it's been busy this year. The end of March is already booked up," Kennedy said.

Downtown Charleston is seeing the affects of the early bird vacationers as well. One store on Market Street has had people in and out more often than usual.

"They're buying flip flops, T-shirts, summertime things. Last year it was hard to get anyone in here especially at night. This year has been steadily improving since February," said Erin Grady, employee at the Five and Dime General Store.

While the weather is drawing crowds, it's not Charleston's only appeal this year. The national spotlight has been shining on the city. Charleston was ranked number one city to visit in the U.S. this year. Many national networks have been doing segments on the Holy City catching peoples' attention from all over.

"It has everything to do with it. People are coming in from all over. I've never met a person who said they didn't like Charleston," Kennedy said.

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