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contents WHAT’S INSIDE

12 love at first site


Plan a Girls’ Weekend. Plan any weekend.


Shopping, dining, beaching, relaxing. The best ways to stay and play can be found at:

My Charleston ONLINE


108 home, sweet home TIME TO PUT DOWN ROOTS Want to learn more about “My Charleston”? Visit for video tours of local communities, links to important resources and photo galleries showcasing the award-winning work of The Post and Courier’s photojournalists.

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ANDY LYONS Metro Editor The Post and Courier 843-937-4799

MATT WINTER Manager, Innovation and New Initiatives The Post and Courier 843-937-5568

GAYLE J. SMITH Director of Advertising The Post and Courier 843-937-5405,

DESERET A. SCHARETT Local Retail Sales Manager, The Post and Courier 843-937-5482

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Melanie Balog, Robert Behre, Allyson Bird, Shannon Brigham, Diette Courrégé, Prentiss Findlay, Stephanie Harvin, Brian Hicks, Paige Hinson, Diane Knich, Schuyler Kropf, Ben Morgan, Dave Munday, Doug Pardue, Erin Perkins, Bo Petersen, Fred Rindge, Gene Sapakoff, David Slade, Glenn Smith, Teresa Taylor, David Quick, Matt Winter, Warren Wise CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Grace Beahm, Leroy Burnell, Brad Nettles, Wade Spees ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC AND GRAPHIC DESIGN: Chad Dunbar, Gill Guerry, Matt Winter COPY EDITORS: Angie Blackburn, Laura Bradshaw, Tony Brown, Cindy Cloutier, Kristy Crum, Beth Harrison, Paige Hinson, Sandy Schopfer ON THE COVER: Grace Beahm, photographer for The Post and Courier, captured this iconic image during the 2011 Spoleto arts festival’s finale celebration at Middleton Plantation.

My Charleston, The Post and Courier’s guide to life in the Lowcountry is a publication of The Post and Courier, 134 Columbus St., Charleston, S.C. 29403-4800. Copyright 2011 by The Post and Courier. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without express written permission from The Post and Courier.

However you choose to get your news, The Post and Courier delivers ... 24 hours a day To subscribe: call (843) 853-POST or go to To sign up for our email newsletters: go to To get your news on the go: text alerts, mobile version and iPhone, Blackberry and Droid apps available at 8

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Y Andy Lyons is the metro editor of The Post and Courier. He reads, runs and relishes every opportunity to see a good band. He lives in West Ashley with his wife and their three children.


ou’re new to town. You’ve strolled through The Battery, browsed sweetgrass baskets in the City Market and encountered the aroma of shrimp and grits wafting from restaurants along East Bay Street. But you have questions about where to eat, what beach to visit and which mansion to tour. My Charleston has the answers. Everything you need to know is boiled down here so you can experience all the sights, sounds and flavors of the Lowcountry. Consider My Charleston a love story. A great romance begins with a first impression, charm and seduction. This magazine reflects such a spark, following the experiences of first-time visitors who fall in love with Charleston then decide to return and eventually choose to move here. The magazine kicks off with a section called Love at First Sight. It takes the same downtown

stroll you might have taken when you first reached town. You’ll find insider tips on area beaches, dining options, shopping and outdoor recreation. The second section, Act Like a Native, speaks to frequent visitors who are learning more about the city’s culture and way of life. You’ll find practical advice on planning a “girls’ weekend” getaway, golf outings and cheap family fun. My Charleston concludes with Home Sweet Home, designed for the frequent visitor who wants to move here. You’ll find information on area school districts and how Charleston’s surrounding communities differ from one another. You’ll learn where everything is located and when everything is happening. Written by the award-winning journalists of The Post and Courier and brimming with stunning photography, My Charleston brings to life the Lowcountry’s history, culture and characters. Enjoy the photos and the stories. Then experience Charleston for yourself.

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14 26 36 48 My Charleston

Beach Guide

Dining Guide


Steeped in history, beauty and Southern charm.

Which Lowcountry beach is right for you?

Top restaurants, plus notable personalities.

Nightlife, music, shopping, golf, fishing and more. THE POST AND COURIER


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Welcome to Charleston

Light dances on the water like a million tiny diamonds amid a chorus of crying seabirds and the gentle lap of waves against the beach. In the distance, the silhouettes of shrimp boats dot the horizon as they pass near the jetties with broad nets in tow.

Glenn Smith is a veteran reporter who has worked at The Post and Courier since 1999 and received numerous journalism awards for his work. He lives in downtown Charleston with his wife and their daughter. 14

It’s a scene as alluring as it is commonplace along this lowlying patch of South Carolina we call home. The sheer beauty of this place sometimes escapes us as we go about the grind of our busy days. But its simple majesty can still stop us in our tracks at times, rekindling the passion and wonder that drew us to its shores. To be sure, Charleston can be a fickle mistress, lulling us with sultry nights and then frying us with blast-furnace heat; beckoning us to her warm waters and then chasing us away

with churning tropical storms. She has a complicated history and an eccentric nature. But she does get under your skin. Who can forget their first stroll down a cobblestone street filled with antebellum homes and that feeling you’ve been transported to another space in time? Or wrestling open your first steaming bivalve at a winter oyster roast with friends? Or walking The Battery at sunset as the sky explodes into a riotous swirl of lavender and pink?

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LaNeikqua Youson (left) and her grandmother, Marilyn Dingle, and mother, Lynette Youson, make sweetgrass baskets.

There is nothing like coasting down an island road beneath a thick canopy of live oaks draped in Spanish moss. Or sliding your kayak into a blackwater river and drifting past alligators sunning themselves on the muddy banks. Or diving into the frigid (well, not really) Atlantic to celebrate New Year’s Day with thousands of other nutty revelers. At first meeting, Charleston impresses with her storied collection 16

of historic buildings and Southern charm. It’s a place steeped in history and f lush with antiquities. But she is more than a museum piece, a city freeze-dried in time. Charleston is very much a living, breathing place with a strong sense of community. In many ways, she’s a small town in disguise. It’s where they greet you with your name in the local hardware store and you can’t get through grocery shopping with-

out bumping into someone you know. It’s a place where strangers still say hello to one another when they pass on the street. The breadth of the place can sometimes take you by surprise. You can find high-end restaurants that rival the finest big-city fair and comfortable dives where greasy cheeseburgers rule the day. Runners can find a race of some kind nearly every weekend and breweries are popping up fast

enough to earn Charleston the title as the nation’s 13th best beer city in a recent survey. You may not have a clue how to cast a shrimp net or cook Hoppin’ John. You may not own a thread of seersucker or know your way around a joggling board. That’s all right. The city is welcoming, even to those “from Off.” And once that pluff mud seeps into your system, it’s hard to think of living anywhere else. ✦


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A view down Broad Street in Charleston.

An architectural gem Congratulations. You are in a place considered one of the nation’s greatest cities to visit, a place that lures millions of people — and billions of their dollars — each year.

Robert Behre was born in New Jersey, grew up in Pensacola, Fla., and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy and Dartmouth College. He began his newspaper career in Greenville in 1985 and moved to Charleston five years later. He covers local government and politics in addition to writing the Architecture and Preservation column. 18

It would be a shame not to explore its architectural wonders that span more than 300 years of recorded history. Begin almost anywhere downtown, the Lowcountry’s oldest urban place, whose earliest neighborhoods took shape in the late 18th century, while its “new” ones were planned only about 75 years ago. Move out toward towns such as Summerville, Sullivan’s Island, McClellanville and Mount Pleasant. They also have historic cores worth exploring. The former Charleston Naval Base also offers three separate historic districts worth exploring, even as its future remains in flux. Downtown Charleston offers the most, not merely in terms

of numbers of old buildings but also how compactly they’re situated. A visitor could busy himself for a week simply exploring the dozens of historic churches whose steeples still define the city’s skyline. Charleston and the Lowcountry have a national reputation for preservation, and one secret is how it recycles, re-uses and reinterprets its buildings. A bank is now City Hall. An old jail serves as a college campus. A former train depot serves as a visitor’s center. Scores of warehouses, stores and schools now serve as residences or office space – and vice versa. Walk. Ask questions. Read guidebooks and pictorial histories. Enjoy. (Pages 20-24).

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Lists are controversial; something worthy often gets left off. Case in point: Only one of the Lowcountry’s dozens of beautiful churches and synagogues appears below, though many rank among our greatest buildings (there are just too many to try to list). Still, the following provides a starting point for those wishing to explore some of the Lowcountry’s most special places.



Market Hall

Architectural wonders Charleston lacks the well-known national iconic buildings like those found in New York and Washington, but it still has scores of great architectural works worth checking out. Charleston City Hall, 80 Broad St. Built as a bank, this federal-style landmark serves as the city’s memory room but also a place where its future is still decided. Among all of this nation’s city halls, only one other (New York’s) has been in continuous use for a longer time. Dock Street Theatre, 135 Church St. This theatre was created during the Great Depression from several surviving historic buildings, including an old hotel. But it feels much older, partly 20

Charleston City Hall

because it’s on the site of the nation’s first theater. Market Hall, 188 Meeting St. The Roman temple-like building anchors the city’s historic market and currently houses the Confederate Museum on its top floor. Charleston County Courthouse, 84 Broad St. Its brick walls date from the mid 18th century, making it one of the nation’s few surviving colonial statehouses. It was recently restored to its 1792 appearance. College of Charleston campus, 66 George St. Walk through the Guard House into Cistern Yard and take in Randolph Hall and Towell Library, but also be sure to explore the brick streets where dozens of historic homes and other buildings have been

adapted for the college’s use. Fireproof Building, 100 Meeting St. Current home of the S.C. Historical Society, this is one of several area buildings designed by Robert Mills, who went on to design the Washington Monument, the Treasury Building and much more.

Historic Sites For classically minded historians who prefer to explore how this nation was shaped through armed conflict, there’s plenty to explore. FortSumter Arguably the Lowcountry’s most historic site: The Civil War began here in 1861, when Confederate forces opened fire on this fort atop a

man-made island at the harbor’s entrance. Exchange Building, 122 East Bay St. This building, now a museum, once was the city’s Custom House, City Hall and even a dungeon. It can be considered Charleston’s equivalent to Independence Hall. Powder Magazine, 79 Cumberland St. Considered by many to be the oldest surviving public building in the Carolinas, this small brick building also was one of the first Charlestonians preserved for historical reasons. Fort Moultrie, 1214 Middle St., Sullivan’s Island The brick fortification the National Park Service runs on Sullivan’s Island is a later version of the fort where Lowcountry patriots successfully repelled a British fleet

Charleston Ironwork Inspiration College of Charleston’s Knox-Lesesne House Design





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just a week before the Declaration of Independence was signed. Charles Towne Landing, 1500 Old Towne Road Site where the Carolina landed and the colony began in 1670. Now a state park that uses archaeology to tell that story. Colonial Dorchester, 300 State Park Road Just outside Summerville is a state park with the remains of one of South Carolina’s earliest towns, now a rich archaeological site.

African-American sites Charleston recently has made great strides in recognizing and interpreting its black history. More can be done, but here are some major sites (many of them new). Philip Simmons House and Blacksmith Shop, 30 ½ Blake St. The new museum at the longtime home of the late blacksmith, who is considered a national treasure. The forge in the rear is still used at times. Old Slave Mart Museum, 6 Chalmers St. This Chalmers Street property once was a compound where slaves were housed and sold for a short period just before the Civil War. Emanuel AME Church, 110 Calhoun St. Known affectionately as “Mother Emanuel,” the South’s oldest AME church has a rich history that extends back much further than its current 1891 sanctuary. Denmark Vesey House, 56 Bull St. This is the property where Denmark Vesey lived as he plotted a major (though ultimately unsuccessful) slave revolt. The privately owned house may post-date Vesey’s time. Spoleto art installation at America and Reid streets This early 1990s exhibit was created by the Spoleto Festival but later embraced – and maintained – by this longtime AfricanAmerican neighborhood. Old Marine Hospital, 20 Franklin St. Built as a hospital, this structure became a school for African American children after the Civil War and 22


Old Slave Mart Museum then, in 1892, the first home of Jenkins surviving colonial residences, this unOrphanage, which had a famous jazz altered Georgian Palladian home is a band. museum run by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. McLeod Plantation, Country Club Plantations and gardens Drive One of James Island’s few planD o w n t o w n C h a r l e s t o n h a s tations that survive in recognizable great architecture, but much of the form. Its new owner, the Charleston money that created it came from the County Park and Recreation Commiscountryside, which also has some sion, plans to open it soon. great architecture (and landscape ar- Boone Hall Plantation, 1235 Long chitecture). Point Road This Mount Pleasant plantation house is relatively new (built in Middleton Place, 4300 Ashley Riv- the 20th century), but its brick slave er Road America’s oldest landscaped cabins are unusual. Site of many spegardens, these were begun by Henry cial events. Middleton 25 years before the Declaration of Independence, which was signed by his son, Arthur. House Museums Magnolia Plantations and GarCharleston is replete with grand dens, 3550 Ashley River Road Amer- homes, but here are some that visitors ica’s first gardens opened to visitors. Its can actually enter and look around. picturesque, Romantic design stands in stark contrast to the formal geomNathaniel Russell House, 51 Meetetry found at Middleton. ing St. One of the city’s preeminent Drayton Hall, 3380 Ashley River Neoclassical homes dating from its Road One of the nation’s greatest period of greatest prosperity. A feast

for the eyes, inside and out. Edmondston Alston House, 21 East Battery St. The view of the harbor from the piazza is worth the price of admission (as is its interior). Joseph Manigault House, 350 Meeting St. This two-century-old planter’s mansion played a key role in the city’s emerging preservation movement almost a century ago. Aiken Rhett House, 48 Elizabeth St. The main house is grand, but what’s really special here is its surviving set of outbuildings, including a kitchen, carriage house, slave quarters — even the privies. Heyward Washington House, 87 Church St. George Washington slept here during his visit. (Its owner at the time, Thomas Heyward, had signed the Declaration of Independence.) Great furniture inside. Calhoun Mansion, 16 Meeting St. Built in 1876, this Italianate manor house is the city’s largest residence and proves not everyone here was broke after the Civil War. ✦

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Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island ranked No. 7 in the top 10 beaches in America named by “Dr. Beach” in 2011.

Guide to beaches

The beaches of Charleston are like a set of siblings that have little in common besides proximity.

An avid runner and triathlete, David Quick covers fitness and the outdoors for The Post and Courier and writes a “Running Charleston” blog on


Folly Beach is as laid back as the surfers, hippies and good ol’ boys and girls who flock there. Across Charleston Harbor lies its more upscale brother, Sullivan’s Island, which offers plenty of space for Mount Pleasant and downtown Charleston to spread out or play, whether it’s kiteboarding, stand-up paddleboarding or playing bocce. A short skip from Sullivan’s Island over Breach Inlet is the Isle of Palms, where families tend to gravitate to lifeguards at the Isle of Palms County Park and to large houses that act as gathering places. As if that’s not enough sand, other venues just a tad farther, or harder to reach, offer more options. On mostly private Kiawah Island, the public Beachwalker

County Park is ranked among the top 10 beaches in the United States by Florida International University professor Steven “Dr. Beach” Leatherman. Meanwhile, many Charleston residents have dual citizenship as “Edistonians” — escaping for summer weeks or weekends at slow-paced Edisto Beach. And if you have the privilege of owning a boat or, better, befriending someone with a boat, then venture to Morris, Dewees, Capers or Bull’s islands. This distinct, quirky brood actually works to our benefit becausewecanmixitupifwewant,dependingonourmoodandthe amountoftimewehave.Forlocals,manychoosehowclosethey live to each beach, which, in turn, reinforces its characteristics. We offer a primer on the sandier side of the Lowcountry (Pages 28-35):

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Surfers head out to the waves on the Isle of Palms.

By boat Dewees, Capers, Bull’s islands Known for: Accessible only by boat, this string of islands to the north of the Isle of Palms is known for boneyard beaches (named for the sun-bleached trees on beaches, wildlife and pristine beauty). Dewees is a private residential island, but the beach is public. Capers and Bull’s are part of Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. Who goes: Nature lovers, campers (Capers) and daytime partiers. No boat? Barrier Island Eco Tours runs a boat to Capers Island. Coastal Expeditions is the exclusive provider of ferry service within Cape Romain to 28

Bull’s Island. Be prepared: For bugs. If you surf on Bull’s, don’t be surprised to see a few sharks. Lifeguards, dogs, restrooms: Are you serious?

Within 30 minutes (or so) by car Isle of Palms AKA: IOP Known for: The Windjammer and “front beach,” or the commercial district on Ocean Boulevard between 10th and 14th avenues, Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms County Park. Who goes: Music lovers, golfers,

families, tourists, East Cooper surfers who don’t want to battle Folly traffic, and people from North Charleston, Daniel Island and central and northern Mount Pleasant. Special events: Windjammer Bikini Contests, Piccolo Spoleto Sand Sculpture Contest, Carolina Coast Surf Club Reunion, Isle of Palms Connector Run, beach runs, Isle of Palms Half Rubber Tournament, Independence Day Fireworks Show. Pros: Plenty of beach. Isle of Palms, which originally was known as “Long Island,” is seven miles long, easiest to reach from North Charleston. Generally plenty of parking.

Cons: The beach between 10th and 21st avenues can be crowded, especially on summer holiday weekends and at high tide. Happening bars: The Windjammer, The Boathouse at Breach Inlet and Morgan Creek Grill. Hubs of activity: Front beach and Isle of Palms County Park; fair surfing at 7th, 25th and 30th avenues; the Grand Pavilion at Wild Dunes. Dog policy: Dogs are allowed off leash 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. April 1-Sept. 14 and 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. Sept. 15-March 31, though dog owners must have a leash in hand. At all other times, dogs must be on a leash and under control,

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even in the water. Lifeguards: Yes, at Isle of Palms County Park. Public restrooms: Isle of Palms County Park at 14th Avenue and Isle of Palms city restrooms on Ocean Boulevard. Parking: Fee at the Isle of Palms city lots on Ocean Boulevard and at Isle of Palms County Park. Otherwise, park along streets, but look for no-parking signs and pull completely off the road.

Sullivan’s Island AKA: Sullivan’s or Sully’s Known for: Low-key locals, an array of activities other than surfing (except during Nor’easter storms), such as kiteboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, walking dogs off-leash in the mornings and bars that also serve food. Who goes: Professionals, 20-somethings, dog lovers during off-leash hours, residents of Mount Pleasant and people from downtown Charleston wanting to avoid the traffic and ruckus of Folly Beach. Special events: Dunleavy’s Pub Polar Bear Plunge, the Sullivan’s Island Fire & Rescue Fish Fry and Oyster Roasts, Carolina Day, Fireworks on the Fourth and the Charlie Post Classic 15K. Pros:Evenwiththeswing-spanbridge, thisbeachhastheleastamountoftraffic of the “urban” beaches, relatively easier parking and mostly a spacious beach. Least rowdy with the exception, currently, of the lighthouse area. Cons: Police are stricter about alcohol and dogs. Happening bars: Poe’s Tavern, Home Team BBQ and Dunleavy’s Pub. Hubs of activity: Stations 28-30 for an array of activity, Station 22 for families, the lighthouse for Saturday revelers and sunset photos, Fort Moultrie. Dog policy: You must have an official town dog tag, which costs $35. During summer months, dogs are allowed off-leash 5-10 a.m., not allowed 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and allowed on leash 6 THE POST AND COURIER p.m.-5 a.m. The Breach Inlet area between Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms is one of the favorite local spots for Lifeguards: None. kiteboarders to harness the wind. 30

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Folly Beach is a top destination for beach-goers in the Lowcountry.

Public restrooms: Fort Moultrie Visitor Center. Parking: Free parking along streets, but watch out for no parking signs and pull completely off the road.

& Sand Festival, Governor’s Cup of Surfing, Wahine Surfing Classic, Moonlight Mixers on Folly Beach Pier, Man of the Sand Half Rubber Invitational and Save the Light Half Marathon. Folly Beach Pros: Fun, laid back, funky, with a AKA: The Edge of America. live-and-let-live attitude. Known for: Surfing, drinking and Cons: Traffic, crowds and a tad tourbeach bars, and pier fishing. isty. Who goes: College kids, surfers, resiHappening bars: Sand Dollar Social dents of James Island, West Ashley. Club, Rita’s, Surf Bar and Taco Boy. Special events: Folly Beach Sea Hubs of activity: The Washout is the 32

premier surfing location in Charleston. Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier. Folly Beach County Park. Dog policy: Dogs are not allowed on the beach 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from May 1 to Sept. 30, but dogs on leashes are allowed at other times. Lifeguards: Yes, at Folly Beach County Park and the Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier. Publicrestrooms:FollyBeachCounty Park and Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier.

Parking: For a fee at Folly Beach County Park and Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier. Free parking along streets, but be prepared for a hike.

Farther afield by car Kiawah Beachwalker Park Known for: While Kiawah is primarily private, the county park on its west end is public and perennially gets national attention for being selected as a Top 10 beach. Who goes: Older people, residents

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Beach personalities For my third birthday, my dad, a native of Myrtle Beach, gave me a child-size boogie board and taught me how to ride the waves. Needless to say, I was raised a beach girl. One of my favorite things about living in the Lowcountry is the variety of beaches and their distinct personalities. I can always find a beach to cater to whatever mood I’m in that day. Let me help you figure out which beach is best for you.

If you want a relaxed, quiet day … Go to Sullivan’s Island. In my opinion, this quaint, mostly locals island boasts the prettiest beach around. (Except for maybe Kiawah Island, but I don’t drive all the way out there.) At low tide an enormous tidal pool provides a serene place to float and look for sea life. Just be careful if you wade through the pool and out to the wide sand bar. The tide can come in faster than you think it will, and you don’t want to risk being trapped out in the middle of the ocean. If you look around a bit, you might find sand dollars. Be careful of taking the live ones. They’ll be darker in color and probably under the water. It’s just poor beach etiquette to take these. I got really angry last year when I saw a woman carrying a grocery bag full of live sand dollars. No alcohol is allowed on the beach, which keeps most of the party crowds away. If you want to bring your dog to the beach, you have to request a permit from the town, and then there are restrictions on when the dog can be on the beach and off the leash. Visit


beach access, a playground and more. You can also relax knowing the kids are safer as there is a lifeguard on duty daily between Memorial Day and Aug. 12. No alcohol is allowed on the beach, but dogs are welcome yearround as long as they’re leashed. Visit

If you’re ready to party …

Paige Hinson is a craft beer junkie and beach bum at heart. She writes Dollar Days, a weekly column featured in The Post and Courier’s Charleston Scene every Thursday. Find her on Facebook at or follow her on Twitter under the username Dorkfish85.

If you’re looking for a good spot to take the kids … Isle of Palms is the place for you. Family-friendly Isle of Palms offers plenty of activities for visitors of all ages. Front Beach, located between 10th and 14th avenues, is usually bustling with tourists and locals alike. Beachfront restaurants and bars and shops line both sides of Ocean Boulevard, giving the island an atmosphere that feels modern and old-timey simultaneously. There is plenty to do and see if you aren’t so keen on getting sandy and salty. You may want to spend your day at the Isle of Palms County Park. Parking costs around $7 per car, but there is no charge for admission. If you walk or bike there, you get in for free. The park offers dressing rooms, picnic tables and grills, chair and game rentals, outdoor showers,

Folly Beach is where it’s at. This laid-back, quirky beach town attracts local college kids not only because it’s the only beach around that allows you to drink alcohol, but also because of the peaceand-love attitude of many of its residents. Although there are plenty of restaurants, bars and shops on Center Street, Folly’s main drag, the real attraction is the sand. Folly Beach entices watersport enthusiasts of all types. You’ll likely see kiteboarders and standup paddleboarders, jet skiers and surfers sprinkled throughout the often-choppy surf. Sometimes they’ll even be joined by playful dolphins. If you’re really more into enjoying a cold beer and checking out the colorful swimsuits, sunglasses and, ahem, behavior of Charleston’s more youthful population, 10th Street, located toward the eastern end of the beach, is where you want to be. Just make sure your drink is in a paper or plastic cup and that you keep all empty cans in your cooler. Again, no glass containers are allowed. The more adventurous may want to venture farther east to the Washout, a spot local surfers flock to because of good waves. Beyond the Washout is Lighthouse Inlet, where you can get a good view of the Morris Island Lighthouse. Visit ✦

of Johns Island and tourists seeking a quieter, more convenient beach experience. Lifeguards: Yes. Dogs: Allowed on leash.

Botany Bay Known for: Boneyard beach, amazing shells, sea turtle nesting (of rare types), bicycling, natural habitats for wildlife, bird-watching, catch-and-release fishing, unspoiled, undeveloped beach. Who goes: Nature lovers, those who love to kayak, fish, canoe and hunt. Special events: Seasonal hunting, ecotours available at different times of the year. Pros: A really beautiful beach on a wildlife preserve managed by the Department of Natural Resources. Accessible sunrise to sunset. Cons: You have to park your car and walk about a half-mile to the beach. It’s about 50 minutes from downtown Charleston. No shelling. Happening bars: None Quirky facts and features: A beautiful drive via a National Scenic Byway; left on Botany Bay Road, the preserve is on Botany Bay Plantation (4,000 acres), just recently opened to the public; also located within the ACE Basin. It’s a little walk to the beach. Pack light. Dog policy: No dogs allowed on beach. Lifeguards: None.

Edisto Beach AKA: Mayberry by the Sea. Known for: Quiet vistas, uncrowded shoreline, great shelling, surf fishing and local produce. Who goes: Edistonians, plus those seeking a getaway not far from home (Charleston, Walterboro, Orangeburg, Columbia) and way beyond, too. Families flock to Edisto. Special events: Edisto Fish & Shag Fest; fishing tournaments in May, July and September; Edisto Day Bazaar; To-




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A culinary pearl

The faint hissing of oysters steaming under a wet burlap sack. A shovelful of shells spills across a plywood table. Then comes the anticipation — plump and juicy inside or a modest slip of meat?

After joining The Post and Courier in 1983, Teresa Taylor soon realized how extraordinary the food of the Lowcountry is and began the quest to enjoy it as many times and ways as possible. Fortunately, she became the newspaper’s Food Editor in 2003. 36

No matter, both are briny and delicious. They are worth the pluff mud that gets pushed under fingernails and every undignified slurp. These are the pleasures of a Lowcountry oyster roast. And that’s only talking about the oysters. I didn’t know a soul in Charleston when I moved here in October 1983. But within a few weeks, I was invited to an oyster roast on Sullivan’s Island. It was my first impression, and a big one, of Lowcountry food traditions. I came away a believer — South Carolina oysters are the

tastiest. I came home with smoky clothes, the price you gotta pay for gathering around an outdoor fire. I also came away with new friendships, a few of which have lasted all these years. People often ask, what is Lowcountry cuisine? For starters, it doesn’t shout out like the foods of Louisiana and New Orleans in spite of some similarities. Ingredients and seasonings in the Lowcountry are more hushed and subtle, but no less reverent of good taste and skilled preparation. Lowcountry natives are passionate about what they eat.




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But they are not snobs about it. I have been amazed how eager locals are to lead you to their favorite restaurants, share insider info on food finds, pass on recipes or tell you in detail how they cooked something. Charlestonians are proud of their food, and rightly so. They feel ownership. They talk about it constantly. Take shrimp and grits. One of my early friends here immediately insisted that I try this odd-sounding combination. I was skeptical. We met at the Gaslight Cafe, now long gone, near King and Queen streets. There wasn’t any fanfare made when the plate was brought around. (We were eating on a Formica tabletop, not a white linen cloth, after all.) Fresh, sweet shrimp were resting in a buttery sauce ladled over hot grits. The dish had nary a speck of tasso ham or tomato that chefs would add later on. It was simply delicious. That experience gave me a another glimpse of all of the good Lowcountry food to be discovered. In my first decade in the Lowcountry, I spent a lot of Sundays at Folly Beach in the summer. On the way home we always stopped by Viola White’s stand on Folly Road to buy our vegetables for the week. Viola didn’t like you handling the vegetables too much, and she said so. She wasn’t going to sell you anything that wasn’t Lowcountry garden fresh. So she didn’t need you to squeeze the goodness out. Eventually I was spending those Sundays at the Spells’ beach house. I worked Sunday nights and would need to leave by 3 p.m., just as Marian Spell was laying out her sumptuous afternoon dinner: say fried chicken or pot roast, butterbeans or green beans or collards, rice and gravy, cucumber salad, hot biscuits or cornbread, sliced tomatoes. She always made me a plate to take, piled high as if I was a pitiful waif, which I wasn’t. A land of plenty, and plenty of gracious hospitality — I think that is the Lowcountry way. I encountered the 38


Fresh local seafood is among the many treats that the Lowcountry offers. same generosity in many homes. I also learned early on that Lowcountry folks will travel for good food. That was the case for the Edisto Motel Restaurant in Jacksonboro. We would drive on an inky-black winter’s night down Highway 17 until the restaurant appeared like a beacon, all lit up and a line out the door. Ask longtime residents about the Edisto Motel and you’ll understand why the restaurant lives large in culinary memories. This humble place, which closed in 1998, set the quality standard for Lowcountry fried fish and seafood that continues today. That means

scarcely breaded and fried so lightly there’s no grease. Then there is nothing to stand in the way of delicious fresh seafood, and not having to ask, “Was it frozen?” Certain occasions call for certain food. It varies from family to family. In my case, guided by local customs, it’s always Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day. Always cooked in a lowtech Charleston Rice Steamer on the stovetop. Accompanied by collards and pork roast, of course. There was the late Anne Lamble’s Red Rice at Easter, made with bacon, not sausage. The rice grains stayed

separated — important to Lowcountry cooks — yet still turned out moist and tomato-ey. The Lowcountry is where I learned to love mustard barbecue sauce, steamed okra pods with butter, Celeste Albers’ baby turnips, boiled green peanuts, shrimp paste sandwiches from a tea room, Meeting Street Crab at a Christmas party. I found out that fat, sweet blueberries grow here as well as they do in Maine. That muscadines are an acquired taste. The Lowcountry is where I discovered how to buy shrimp right off the boat and throw a cast net, albeit awkwardly. How to make pickled okra and pickled shrimp, pear chutney and artichoke relish, and barbecue a pork shoulder, thanks to Jimmy Hagood. The Lowcountry is where I look forward to strawberries and soft shell crabs in the spring, tomatoes and figs in the summer, fried turkey in the fall, and the comforting warmth of chicken curry in the winter. I have seen local legends fade away, like Robertson’s Cafeteria, Henry’s restaurant, the Dock and the Cavallero. Restaurants either acquire a soul or they don’t, and those that do are defined by their sense of place as much as the quality of the meals. But new institutions are in the making, and new traditions are taking root. Restaurants that have made the area a hot dining destination in the past 10 years are demonstrating that New Charleston cooking isn’t replacing Old Charleston cooking, but complementing it. The same ingredients are still being used, only with creative spins. It seems to me that Lowcountry people have always loved most the food that is closest to home — better yet if they can harvest, catch or hunt it themselves. They were locavores years before it became a buzzword. The “cuisine” emerges from the backyard garden, the Johns Island farm and the docks at Shem Creek. Like I said, the Lowcountry is your oyster. Pry it open. Taste the magic. ✦

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Cooks prepare deviled eggs and other appetizers at Husk restaurant.

Foodie paradise Visitors want to know where to eat, but the question should be what to eat. There are so many award-winning restaurants in all areas of town that you can take your pick. Here is a sampling of the hottest spots. Husk (Downtown Charleston) Stephanie Harvin is an awardwinning writer, editor and photographer who has been covering the arts in some form for 34 years with The Post and Courier. For the past five years, she has been the editor of the newspaper’s annual Spoleto Today coverage. 40

Deidre Schipiani, The Post and Courier’s restaurant critic, described Husk’s chef Sean Brock: “From biodiversity to animal husbandry, taxonomy to gastronomy, his interest in provenance is formed by the latitude and longitude of the American South. When dining at Husk, Brock and chef de cuisine Travis Grimes want you to know you are ‘where you eat.’ ” Husk is located in the former Gibbes Museum of Art studio, which has been lovingly restored to the elegant building that it once was. Passing on your way to the main dining room up-

stairs, you will pass both the blackboard with the day’s menus on it based on local produce, and the kitchen where Brock is to be found placing greens carefully on plates. It’s Southern fare at its very finest, and based on a geographical range that means it also minimizes its carbon footprint. If you want to taste the Modern South, this is the place to go. HUSK,76QueenSt.Hours:Lunch:Mon.-Sat.11:30a.m.-2:30 p.m., brunch: Sun 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; dinner: Sun-Thurs. 5:3010 p.m. Fri. & Sat. 5:30-11 p.m. For more info: 843-577.2500 or

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SLIGHTLY NORTH OF BROAD, 192 East Bay St., Hours: Weekdays 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; Weekends 5:30 p.m.10 p.m. For more info: 843-723-3424 or slightlynorthofbroad/

The Glass Onion (West Ashley) A little New Orleans taste in Charleston has made this one of the go-to spots for local foodies, and travelers who want that out-of-the-way spot. The menu is simple, and the fare is lo-

cal, but always with a twist. Local pork belly comes with a crispy top of bacon, tomato soup is a bisque with fennel, and Sarah’s Pimento Cheese comes with pickled vegetables. Tuesdays are fried chicken night, and then there are the specials on wines and beers. The Glass Onion during any lunch or dinnerispackedwitheveryonefromkids with grandmothers to local hipsters looking for a good meal at a reasonable price. You want to leave room for the locally made peppermint ice cream or the bread pudding. One local tip: be careful getting in and out of the parking lot. THEGLASSONION,1219SavannahHwy. Daily Menu: Mon - Thur. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday brunch: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Saturday dinner: 4 p.m.-10 p.m. For more info: 843-225-1717 or



client from out of town. And you might see one of our favorite politicos seated next to you. There’s no telling how many business deals have been sealed over key lime tart. If you love the restaurant for lunch, you will come back for dinner. 43


Fat Hen (Johns Island) “Fat Hen has mined the appetites of Johns Island, Kiawah, Seabrook, Charleston and Mount Pleasant residents, and has managed to satisfy them all. Neither a bistro nor a brasserie, Fat Hen has the casual vibe of a mas (a Frenchfarmhouse)whosedecormarries whimsy with humor.” Deidre Schipani - October 2007 In some ways our restaurant critic has managed to sum up what is great about Fat Hen. The restaurant provides French food on Johns Island, and is always packed with people on their way to or from Kiawah Island. Chef Fred Neuville was a transplant from 39 Rue de Jean on John Street, and he upped the ante by reviving a small farmhouse-style restaurant on Maybank Highway. The result is French onion soup with cheese dripping over the side of the dish, a braised chicken that has its roots in coq au vin (chicken in wine), a lemon tart, imported cheeses and creme brulee with just the right crust. The Fat Hen bustles rather than hustles.

started a club, Artisan Meat Share, to sell customers his extras once every three months. A visit to Cypress is dining on a grand scale. While you may be able to sample Deihl’s flavors at the bar, the only way to fully appreciate this restaurant in all its elegance is to put on your finest bib and prepare to spend a few hours over a dining experience that will linger in your memory. CYPRESS RESTAURANT, 167 East Bay St. Hours: Mon-Thu, Sun. 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m.-11 p.m. For more info: 843-727-0111 or


Martha Lou Gadsden has been serving home-style soul food at Martha Lou’s Kitchen for 28 years.

Graze (Mount Pleasant) Not every restaurant is an icon. Some are the fresh start-ups of the year, working on icon status, one dish at a time. Such is the case with Graze in the shopping center with Whole Foods Market. (Trader Joe’s is the other landmark.) At Graze, the menu seems simple, but the attention to detail makes it worthy of attention. Like the pommes frites dusted with black sea salt and served in sculpted bowls and served with pungent roasted garlic aioli. Or try the lobster mac and cheese layered with ear-shaped pasta, smoky Cheddar and creamy Fontina cheeses. At lunch recently there was everything from a light black bean and poblano soup with lime creme fraiche to a prime rib sandwich. The key here is a light taste that never leaves you feeling too full but satisfies, whether for lunch or dinner. The flavors range from Korean to American, and like our country, mixes them up a little in the kitchen.

called a “culinary legend” and praised by The New York Times, but back when she started, Gadsden thought of her restaurant as being a place where truck drivers would like to eat. She cooked the kind of food she grew up with back in THE FAT HEN, 3140 Maybank Hwy. the days on the farm in Manning. Hours: Mon-Sat 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; Twenty-eight years after she started Sun. 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m. serving, folks make the pilgrimage For more info: 843-559-9090 or to the same building, painted gum pink with blue fish blowing bubBRAD NETTLES/THE POST AND COURIER bles. The bathroom is outside, the parking lot is rough, and no credit cards are Chef Craig Deihl Martha Lou’s Kitchen accepted. So bring the cash. You won’t (Downtown Charleston) regret it. and and garlic-and-herb-rubbed rack of If someone asks for “real Southern lamb, and some of the more contempofood,” locals always raise an eyebrow MARTHALOU’SKITCHEN,1068Mor- rary takes on food as in the crisp wasabi before sending them to Martha Lou’s rison Drive. tuna with edamame and shiitake mushFor more info: 843-577-9583 Kitchen. It’s because Martha Lou Gadsrooms. But his interest comes in chalden and her daughter Debra deliver the lenging himself with the handmade and real thing — memory on a plate — in locally sourced meats. Cypress Restaurant all its juicy glory. It started with doing his own homWhether it’s fried chicken, chitlins, (Downtown Charleston) iny but moved several years ago to GRAZE, 863 Houston Northcutt Blvd., lima beans, macaroni and cheese, Once you get over the fact that Cypress using whole animals instead of purchasHours: Mon-Thu 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5 cornbread or bread pudding, it is the Restauranthasover4,500bottlesofwine ing premium cuts of meat. He dedip.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5 kind of food that appeals to those who stackedovertwostoriestall,youcansettle cated himself to learning the French p.m.-11 p.m. want the original versions of Southern down to the menu. Chef Craig Deihl has art of charcuterie, making prepared For more info: 843- 606-2493, soul food. returned to some of the classics prepared meat products such as bacon, ham, These days, Martha Lou has been tableside like Caesar’s salad, châteaubri- sausage, terrines and pates. He even 44


FIG (Downtown Charleston)


Chef Mike Lata to win the next time he appears on “Iron Chef.” FIG, 232 Meeting St. Hours:Mon-Thu5:30p.m.-10:30p.m.; Fri-Sat 5:30 p.m.-11 p.m. For more info: 843-805-5900 or ✦

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Chef Mike Lata summed up his cooking philosophy simply in an interview with Teresa Taylor: “It could be such a minute expression, the consistency of a potato puree or the sear on a piece of steak, or salt or oil, or some little detail that could take it from being good and perfectly acceptable to being absolutely unforgettable.” He was expressing the passion for details that has put his restaurant, FIG (Food Is Good), on the Charleston map and kept it there while other chefs discovered what he already knew: serving locally grown vegetables and other foods makes all the difference in taste. Those tasteflavorsearnedhimtheJamesBeard Best Chef Southeast award in 2009. Lata was one of the first chefs locally to highlight farm-to-table flavors by using Wadmalaw Island farmer Celeste Albers. Lata is considered an inspiration to many a local chef. And we expect him

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FOOD SCENE STARS The Lowcountry’s restaurant and hospitality industry has risen to national prominence because of many talented, hard-working people. Here are a few key leaders who have made and continue to make a difference.

Mickey Bakst Mickey Bakst is in the business of making people feel good, whether in the luxurious surroundings of Charleston Grill or the plain dining area of a soup kitchen. Bakst set the bar higher for hospitality when he took over as general manager and maitre d’ of Charleston Grill in 2004. He has a natural gift of connecting with each guest as if he or she is the most important person in the room. He soon emerged not only as a man

Mitchell Crosby with a big personality, but with a big heart to match. He conceived and organized efforts to help people devastated by 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. He led a half-milliondollar fundraiser for the families of the “Charleston Nine” firefighters who perished in 2007. Two years ago, Bakst brought together chefs and restaurateurs to launch Charleston Chefs Feed the Need. Through the initiative, the first of its kind in the country, chefs and their staffs regularly prepare meals for the area’s hungry. The National Restaurant Association hailed the initiative as a model for its 400,000 members this year.

Sean Brock Whether talking about Jimmy Red corn, the virtues of Virginia lamb, canning tomatoes or his food tattoos, chef Sean Brock expresses the wide-eyed amazement of a teenage boy. It’s totally captivating. Some tried to typecast the chef as a molecular gastronomist — into the science of food — when he began cooking at McCrady’s in 2006. He did embrace modern technology to turn out such oddities as cubes of gelatin that tasted like chips and salsa and boiled peanut cotton candy. But that was just one dimension of this culinary whiz.


Charleston native Mitchell Crosby knows how to throw a party — a really nice party. He is the epitome of Southern charm and hospitality, but also has a wicked sense of humor in the “bless-her-heart” kind of way. He seems to know everyone and, remarkably, manages to stay in touch with most of them. An event planner for more than 20 years, Crosby has introduced and showcased Charleston and the

Lowcountry to thousands of people. Corporate meetings, fundraising galas, weddings and other occasions have been the canvas on which he paints a lasting impression of the city and its people. Crosby’s creative thinking led to the use of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge for 12 private events raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for nonprofit groups before the span was opened in 2005. He and Denise Barto co-produced major events for the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival for six years. They were an integral part of making the festival a success beyond expectations.

Lee Brothers Brock, with a deep reverence for his small-town upbringing and Southern food, soon was growing vegetables and herbs for the restaurant. That evolved into a passion for seed preservation — saving old-timey varieties from extinction — and heirloom crops. Along the way, he cooked twice for the James Beard Foundation and won a “Next Great Chef” episode on the Food Network . He was nominated for Beard awards numerous times and claimed its “Best Chef Southeast” title last year. Brock is set to appear on “Iron Chef America” this fall. As if that wasn’t enough, he took on opening another restaurant, Husk, in the fall of 2010. The concept is gutsy: its food is sourced from only the South, and the food determines the daily menu.

They own and operate a boiled peanut catalog from Charleston, not a restaurant. But the Lee Brothers have done more than anyone in recent years to put Charleston on the national culinary map and make it a dining destination. Matt Lee and Ted Lee weren’t born in Charleston, just raised here. No matter, they have the fierce love, memories and loyalty of native sons. As young adults, they went north, got degrees from Harvard and Amherst, and moved to New York City. And then they started writing about the South, particularly Charleston and its food. Their stories appeared in The New York Times and Travel & Leisure. They wrote a James Beard award-winning cookbook. Now the Lee brothers are celebrities,



still writing but also appearing routinely on food TV and network cooking segments. They also have introduced a line of cookware on the Home Shopping Network. The fame hasn’t gone to their heads, thankfully. They’re still personable, down-to-earth, funny as heck. They are our No. 1 ambassadors for the pleasures of Lowcountry eating.


Dick Elliott

Kevin Mitchell

Angel Postell

Dick Elliott was one of the first businessmen to recognize Charleston’s culinary appeal and the potential of its restaurant industry. Twenty-two years after leaving corporate life to become a restaurateur, Elliott and his Maverick Southern Kitchens continue to be a powerful force in Charleston. Elliott got his start as owner of the Colony House, the grande dame of Charleston fine dining. He was wise enough to hire South Carolina native Frank Lee as chef. Lee was one of the chefs who early on celebrated local ingredients and regional cooking when Slightly North of Broad (SNOB) opened in 1993. Elliott, a keen recruiter of talent and believer in staff development, went on to open more restaurants. Some made it, some did not. Today, the Maverick stable includes SNOB, High Cotton in Charleston and Greenville, and the Old Village Post House in Mount Pleasant. Maverick also owns Charleston Cooks!, a kitchen retail shop and hands-on teaching kitchen, another showpiece of Charleston’s culinary scene.

Charleston’s chef corps is hungry for diversity. Kevin Mitchell is trying to change that. Hired in 2008 as the first African-American instructor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston, Mitchell quickly emerged as a role model for students. He had helped found the national Black Culinarian Alliance earlier in his career. Mitchell established the Bridging Culinary Awareness chapter at the school in 2010 with goal of promoting diversity and opportunity among culinary students. Mitchell has a finger in several other pots, too. He has worked with the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival as a host dine-around chef. He was a judge this year at the National Pro-Start Invitational, a culinary competition for high schoolers, held in Overland Park, Kan. Mitchell also was one of only three Charleston chefs named to the Founders Council of the inaugural Atlanta Food & Wine Festival this year; the others were Sean Brock of McCrady’s and Mike Lata of FIG.

Within seven years, Angel Passailaigue Postell has given the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival an identity that rivals other culinary festivals across the country. That’s no small feat considering there was no money and plenty of skeptics when it started up. Postell, a native Charlestonian and the daughter of a former state senator, hatched the idea of a festival with Circa 1886 chef Marc Collins in the summer of 2004. She helped form a grassroots organization but had no plans for a leadership role. She already was head of a successful public relations company. But as planning progressed for the first festival in 2006, so did the need for a full-time administrator. Postell reluctantly accepted the challenge. The inaugural festival and its 8,000 attendees worked well enough for an encore. The second one drew even more interest and an over-capacity crowd. The festival hasn’t looked back since. More than 20,000 came this year to eat and sip around Charleston. The economic impact rose to $7 million.

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A musician practices her trumpet before the Spoleto orchestra takes the stage during the Spoleto Festival Finale at Middleton Place.

Most popular things to do Stephanie Harvin ✦ The Post and Courier

For the rest of the year, here’s what you of performances. Such greats as Yo Yo need to tell your friends about the big- Ma, Trombone Shorty, and Ray Charles gest events of the year. have played here, and at least one or two You know you’re a native if you can answer these events are either American premieres or Spoleto Festival USA correctly: new works. Charleston has a world-class performBut there is also fun for the famA. Who was Gian Carlo Menotti? ing arts festival in Spoleto Festival USA, ily with the giant sandcastle building B. What event requires at least 80,000 shoes? which has been going on for 35 years, contest on the Isle of Palms and the C. What is the best party in Summerville? and Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the regionChildren’s Festival and parade on the D. What is the right weekend to experience Christmas in Charleston? al festival that runs at the same time. first weekend. About a third of the Together, the festivals produce more events are free, including some wonYou’re acting like a native if you answered: than 900 events during 17 days during derful organ performances in the cool A. A crazy Italian composer who founded Spoleto Festival USA. the last week of May and the two weeks of the afternoon at historic churches. B. The Cooper River Bridge run. of June in downtown Charleston. Whether you want to just dip a toe in C. The Flowertown Festival in Summerville. Chamber music, opera, jazz, theatre the arts, or go for a full immersion expeD. The second weekend after Thanksgiving; go get yourself some boiled peanuts. and bluegrass are just a few of the types rience, Spoleto and Piccolo are the way 48


to find a little art for everyone.

Cooper River Bridge Run You know you are a native when you’ve had friends ask to spend the weekend — so they can compete in the Cooper River Bridge Run. And then they ask for one tiny little favor: Drop them off at the start so they won’t have to find a place to park in Mount Pleasant. This is a true test of friendship because this is the biggest event of the year, and all 40,000 people who are competing in the 10K walk and run have to get to Mount Pleasant with their color-coded bib and find their place before the 8 a.m. start. So here’s a hint: get the coffee going and get them over that bridge early, like 5 a.m. The race is the only time the Cooper River Bridge is closed to traffic for all those pounding feet, and if you want to meet them at the finish line in downtown Charleston, you will need to get back downtown to find a parking space. But it is all worth it. The view of Charleston Harbor from the bridge is spectacular, and your friends will remember you for life for providing them with the great Southern hospitality that comes from being a friend and cheering them on — even if you watched them on a TV monitor with your eighth cup of coffee.

Southeastern Wildlife Expo Affectionately called SEWE, it can be the coldest weekend of the year in Charleston, but that never stops the hunters from coming from the bushes to view some of the world’s best nature artists. The annual Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, which often is Valentine’s weekend, is a great excuse to come to the city to eat, drink, and appreciate all kinds of furry and feathered friends. There are art venues all over downtown stuffed with sculptures, paintings, drawings, and photographs of just about any animal you could see anywhere in the world. Jack Hanna has been known to cruise through the ballroom of Charleston

Place with an eagle perched on his shoulder, and conservation groups meet to discuss ways to preserve endangered species. If you need that painting of a leopard to finish your living room, this is the place to find it — just make a restaurant reservation early.

Flowertown Festival After the bridge run, there’s still plenty to do. Always held the same weekend as the Cooper River Bridge run is the Flowertown Festival in Summerville. The gazebo at Azalea Park is the center of the action for all types of crafts booths, food vendors and small musical events. It’s a great family time, especially if it coincides with the full bloom season for all the flowers. Of course, you will be joined by 200,000 or more of your closest friends, according to tourism estimates, but that shouldn’t slow you down. Strollers, walkers and families out to enjoy the day can explore the heart of Summerville, with it’s revitalized downtown and friendly artisans. If you don’t takehomeasouvenir,youwillatleasttake home good smells and good memories.

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Christmas in Charleston One of the best-kept secrets of our area is just how much there is to do around Thanksgiving and Christmas in Charleston. Palmetto trees carry fairy lights, there is a Christmas parade in a different small town just about every weekend and churches come alive with love and the sounds of heavenly choirs. If you can only come for one weekend, it should be the one with the North Charleston Christmas Festival, the Charleston Christmas parade and the Parade of Boats in the harbor. That’s all the first weekend in December, and in between festivities, you can visit with Santa and do a little of your holiday shopping. Don’t forget to buy some benne wafers as a special treat for someone back home who longs to be in Charleston but isn’t lucky enough to live here. ✦

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And when you’re on the scene, take Charleston Scene with you! Visit our mobile site at 49




Charleston events

FAMILY CIRCLE CUP Here in the Lowcountry, something fun seems to be going on every day. Here are our picks for the biggest and best 2012 events in the greater Charleston area. All dates are subject to change.

Paige Hinson ✦ The Post and Courier

POLAR PLUNGE: Jan. 1. Sullivan’s Island. Jump-start the new year and help raise money for Special Olympics by taking a quick but freezing dip in the Atlantic Ocean.

TION: Feb. 17-19. Downtown Charleston. The “largest wildlife art and nature event in the nation,” the annual expo features demonstrations, vendors, parties, special guests and more.

SOUTH CAROLINA RESTAURANT WEEK: Jan. 12-22. Greater Charleston area. In honor of South Carolina Restaurant Week, local restaurants offer discounted menus, giving area residents a chance to eat at a favorite place or try somewhere new.

CHARLESTON WINE + FOOD FESTIVAL: March 1-4. Downtown Charleston. Discover Charleston’s renowned culinary scene during the Lowcountry’s premier food and wine event that includes celebrity chef appearances, wine and beer tastings and much more. www.

LOWCOUNTRY OYSTER FESTIVAL: Jan. 29. Boone Hall Plantation, Mount Pleasant. One of the largest oyster roasts in the Lowcountry, the annual festival offers thousands of oysters as well as live music and oyster-eating and shucking contests.

FESTIVAL OF HOUSES AND GARDENS: Mid-March to mid-April. Downtown Charleston. Go inside some of Charleston’s finest homes and gardens during the city’s peak blooming season.

LOWCOUNTRY BLUES BASH: Feb. 1021. Charleston. Enjoy 10 days of music from local and national blues artists performing in bars, hotels, restaurants and other venues in the Charleston metro area.

CHARLESTON FASHION WEEK: March 20-24. Marion Square, downtown Charleston. Emerging and veteran designers alike converge on Marion Square to showcase their most fashion-forward looks during one of Charleston’s up and coming new festivals.




30-April 1. Azalea Park, downtown Summerville. Celebrate spring at the annual Flowertown Festival, which features more than 200 vendors, crafters and artisans. Proceeds benefit the Summerville YMCA. COOPER RIVER BRIDGE RUN: March 31. Mount Pleasant and Downtown Charleston. This 10K race, one of the largest in the Southeast, attracted more than 40,000 runners and walkers in 2010. The race begins in Mount Pleasant, spans the Ravenel Bridge and ends in Marion Square. FAMILY CIRCLE CUP: March 31-April 8. Family Circle Tennis Center, Daniel Island. Watch some of tennis’ hottest stars battle it out for $1 million in prize money during nine days filled with a variety of activities. LOWCOUNTRY CAJUN FESTIVAL: April 1. James Island County Park, James Island. Celebrate Cajun culture while enjoying zydeco music and authentic Cajun and Creole food. CHARLESTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: April 11-15. Down-

town Charleston. Become acquainted with Charleston’s film community during four days of the best in local, short, feature-length, documentary and classic films. BLESSING OF THE FLEET: April 29. Pier at Waterfront Memorial Park, Mount Pleasant. The annual festival typically features shag dancing and shrimpeating contests, a blessing of the fleet ceremony, live music, local seafood, craft and art shows, childrens’ activities and more. NORTH CHARLESTON ARTS FESTIVAL: May 4-12. North Charleston. The North Charleston Cultural Arts Department hosts an annual celebration of the arts that features dance and theater performances, photography, crafts, fine art, activities and more. GREEK FESTIVAL: May 11-13. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, downtown Charleston. Enjoy authentic Greek cuisine, folk dancing, music, church tours, wine, beer and much more. SPOLETO FESTIVAL USA: May 25-June


HARBORFEST: Mid-June. Downtown Charleston. This week-long festival celebrates everything boating and typically features tours of tall ships, boating-related activities, family events, parties, sailing lessons and much more. ROCKVILLE REGATTA: Aug. 4-5. Bohicket Marina, Rockville. The annual regatta, which began in the 1800s, happens during the first weekend in August and features two days of sailboat racing and reveling. Each night after the day’s races, the 1,000-plus spectators and competitors bring Rockville to life with drinking and dancing. 843-768-1280.

Architectural Antiques & Design Discover Architectural Treasures from the Past Garden Elements * Antiques * Design

MOJA FESTIVAL: Sept. 28-Oct. 7. Downtown Charleston. Celebrate AfricanAmerican and Carribean culture and art during 10 days of dance, music, literary and visual arts, theater, children’s events and more. TASTE OF CHARLESTON: Oct. 5-7. Charleston, Mount Pleasant. The spotlight is on Charleston’s culinary scene again during this annual three-day event, which includes an Iron Chef competition between local chefs, a “Taste of the Arts” stroll on Gallery Row and the main tasting event at Boone Hall Plantation. COASTAL CAROLINA FAIR: Oct. 25Nov. 3. Exchange Park Fairgrounds, Ladson. The 55th annual fair continues to offer 10 days of rides, concerts, competitions, exhibits and more.

BBQ CHAMPIONSHIP AND BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL: Sept. 2. Boone Hall Plantation, Mount Pleasant. Barbecue, brews and bluegrass are the highlights of this fun festival, which features an annual barbecue cook-off, top names in bluegrass, games and children’s activities and more.

HOLIDAY FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS: Nov. 9-Dec. 31. James Island County Park, James Island. This 3-mile driving tour takes visitors to about 600 lighted displays. Guests also may enjoy train rides, marshmallow roasts, a sand sculpture, photographs with Santa, walking trail and more.

CHARLESTON RESTAURANT WEEK: Sept. 5-16. Greater Charleston area. Like South Carolina Restaurant Week, local restaurants offer discounted menus, giving area residents a chance to eat at a favorite place or try somewhere new.

TURKEY DAY RUN AND GOBBLE WOBBLE: Nov. 22. Downtown Charleston. Work up an appetite for a Thanksgiving feast during this 5K run and walk that begins on Meeting Street, continues past The Battery and ends on King Street. An after-party follows the annual race. ✦

1011 St. Andrews Blvd, Mon - Sat 10am - 5pm (843) 571-3389

Roumillat’s Antiques & Auctions 10,000 sq ft Open Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm Estate Interiors Auction: 1st & 3rd Saturuday 10am. AFFORDABLE antiques & décor American, English, French: Old & New


PICCOLO SPOLETO: May 25-June 10. Greater Charleston area. Spoleto USA’s companion festival, presented by the city of Charleston, focuses more on local and regional artists, musicians and performers and offers inexpensive and free performances throughout the Charleston area.

FALL TOURS OF HOMES AND GARDENS: Sept. 20-Oct. 21. Downtown Charleston. The spotlight is on Charleston’s amazing architecture during the 35th annual event presented by The Preservation Society of Charleston. Each weekend, tour homes and gardens in several of Charleston’s finest neighborhoods.

2241 Savannah Hwy. Ph: (843) 766-8899

Shipping Available Free Gift Wrap Personal Dedications plus the best prices in town on quality CUSTOM FRAMING for all art!

Huge selection of both framed & unframed: canvas prints, paper prints, posters, & mini cards… all ready to go!

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10. Downtown Charleston. Charleston’s world-renowned arts festival celebrates its 34th year of bringing premier musicians, performers and artists to the Lowcountry to highlight the best in opera, theater, dance, poetry, music, fine art and more.



Local music running strong Glenn Smith ✦ The Post and Courier

Located somewhat off the beaten tour path, Charleston has pulled in some noteworthy national acts in recent years, with artists from Bruce Springsteen to Prince and Phish paying a visit. But it’s still the local clubs and regional artists that give the Holy City its vibe. It’s a town where you can still see a show for 10 bucks and watch someone like Widespread Panic’s guitar virtuoso, Jimmy Herring, lay down some licks from just a few feet away. Or hear a rising talent like Sarah Cole shred some blues on a sidewalk stage. There are plenty of options. If you’re looking for household names, check out schedules at the North Charleston Coliseum and the Performing Arts Center. If you’re more in the mood for hyper-local, take in a barn jam at Awendaw Green (4853 Highway 17 N., Awendaw) in a bohemian, woodsy setting. Charleston’s most recognizable homegrown exports are Hootie & The Blowfish, whose 1994 debut sold more than 16 million copies, and the now-defunct Jump, Little Children, who enjoyed some national success. But the area is also the adopted home of the Columbia-signed Band of Horses and a number of other artists on the brink of making it big, from rockers Dangermuffin and Crowfield to singersongwriter Cary Ann Hearst and rapper Righchus. If you play your cards right, you can catch some of these up-and-comers for free at various events around the Lowcountry. The Charleston area always 52

seems to have one festival or another going on. And whether music is the main draw or not, most events have some auditory component. For the most part, be prepared to be up late if you’re looking to catch some tunes. Most clubs don’t really start rocking until after 10 p.m., and a good headliner might keep you waiting until 11 or so before taking stage. Plan accordingly, so your ultimate beer moment doesn’t pass you by while you’re still waiting for the main act. The Charleston Pour House (1977 Maybank Highway, James Island) has the fattest schedule of regional bands and emerging local artists, with stalwarts like Taj Mahal thrown in on occasion. It’s a fairly intimate space with good sound and better suds, featuring a mix of jam bands, alt-country, funk and more. For the thrifty and early-to-bed crowd, the Pour House also offers free music on the back deck many nights from 6 to 9. It’s a great spot to suck down a frosty Coast HopArt, nosh on a Cuban sandwich and hear some fresh sounds. Downtown, the Music Farm (32 Ann St.) is a funky space in an old railroad depot that has been hauling in a mix MARIE RODRIGUEZ/CHARLESTON SCENE of regional and national acts for two decades. Govt Mule, Snoop Dogg, Dan Lotti of the Folly Beach-based band Dangermuffin plays at the Charleston Pour House on James Island.




Ann Caldwell and Charlton Singleton are part of a thriving jazz scene in Charleston.

In the Village Square Shopping Center, West Ashley off of Sam Rittenberg Blvd. 526 Pecknel Music

insula’s Remedy Market (162 C Spring St.) which offers locavore-oriented music and grub, along with the occasional food truck rodeo. ✦


rg be ten Rit m Sa 171


Serving Music Lovers in Charleston since 1977



1660 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. M-F 9am-6pm; S- 9am-5pm


Drive-by Truckers, Iggy Pop and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band are among the many artists who have played there. The place got a facelift a few years back and some audio upgrades that improved the room’s warehouse-like sound. The Farm has a lot of energy, but it’s not a place for the claustrophobic on sell-out nights, when just reaching the bathroom can be an arduous trek. The nearby Charleston Music Hall (37 John St.) arguably has the best acoustics in town and an upscale feel with lots of wood and exposed brick. The schedule is a little light and sporadic, so you have to keep watch for shows. The Charleston Jazz Orchestra has become an anchor act, and the hall has played host to Gregg Allman, Steve Earle, Keb Mo and several other luminaries. East of the Cooper, The Village Tavern (1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Mount Pleasant) continues to promote local talent in a cozy space that got a reboot last year after appearing as if it might go the way of Myskyns, Cumberlands and a host of other classic clubs that bit the dust. Farther out on Isle of Palms, The Windjammer (1008 Ocean Blvd.) mixes local favorites like Sol Driven Train and Fowlers Mustache with traveling headliners such as Buddy Miller, Uncle Kracker and The Wailers. As with the island itself, the summer months tend to be the most hopping. Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ (1205 Ashley River Road in West Ashley and 2209 Middle Street on Sullivan’s Island) serves up tasty blues, rock, bluegrass and more at its two locations. West Ashley residents can also amble up the road to find some good tunes at The Tin Roof (1117 Magnolia Rd.). The full list of local watering holes that feature music is just too crowded to enumerate here. But from the Sand Dollar on Folly Beach to Jimbo’s Rock Lounge in West Ashley and The Mill in North Charleston, there’s always somewhere to catch a band. And keep an eye on rising players such as the pen-

(843) 766-7660 53



For more images from Charleston’s lively nightlife scene, visit

Sizzling nightlife “You know, Charleston invented the cocktail party.” This anecdote is repeatedly sprinkled into conversations in between sips of bourbon and the shifting of five-inch heels at many a gathering downtown.

While most writers have a drinking problem, Erin Perkins has the drinking solution. After she clocks out of the office, she checks into the social scene, online and downtown. Follow her tweets at 54

While the truth of the statement is yet to be determined, the fact remains that Charlestonians love to celebrate with spirits, and our bustling nightlife is more than proof. Are you new to town and not sure where to go? Let me help you have a good time. The bars and restaurants are always hopping in the Holy City, but you need a guide to navigate the scene. Determining the genus and species of every bar on the peninsula would be a daunting task and therefore,

it’s easier to classify the bar attendee. Instead of analyzing personality, background or a go-to cocktail, I’m using what I know — fashion. To speak in idioms, one should not judge a book by its cover, but birds of a feather do indeed flock together (there’s a reason you always want to steal your best friend’s clothing), so fashion is a good indicator of where you may feel comfortable ordering a drink. Take a look in the mirror and tell me what you’re wearing.


OK, maybe not right now because you’re probably on your lunch break or reading this late at night online, but think about the next time you’re going out to see and be seen. Let’s determine where you land. What are you wearing tonight? If you’re popping the collar on that Brooks Brothers polo and you’ve finally upgraded from pleated khakis to flat fronts — make your way to Midtown Bar and Grill (559 King St.). In this “Southern, casual” cuisine restaurant/ bar you’ll be greeted by highlight reels of the game you were tailgating for earlier or an acoustic guitarist strumming Tom Petty’s greatest hits. It’s on upper King Street,sothere’splentyofparkingforyour SUVs. Alternatives: If the line is around the block, head to Salty Mike’s Deck Bar (17 Lockwood Dr.) or O’Malley’s Bar and Grille (549 King St.) for more of the Croakies-wearing crowds. Are you still stuck in that three-piece suit or conservative wrap dress from the workday? Gominglewiththeotheroverworked professionals at the Blind Tiger Pub (36-38 Broad St.). Upon moving to Charleston, I read this was the place to pick up a young Republican, which may hold true, but you’re more likely to find lawyers that were finally able to unchain themselves from their desks and the South of Broad set (I don’t ask political affiliation upon first meeting). Alternatives:Ifyouskippedlunch,Carolina’sRestaurant(10ExchangeSt.)hasgreathappy hourspecialsonfoodanddrinks. There’s less of a crowd because it’s a restaurant, but you’re hungry, so it doesn’t matter. Spent all afternoon bidding on a vintage cat sweatshirt to go with your skinny jeans or cut-off jorts? When you’re done with the bike polo match, ride your fixed-gear Fuji to Recovery Room Tavern (685 King St.) for a PBR and some tater tot nachos. If the full bike rack out front isn’t enough indication, this is a hipster bar. The tattooed bartenders are friendly and the jukebox is filled with ironic tunes that you and your friends can dance to or laugh at. Alternatives: If you’re willing to huff

it up to the Neck, The Tattooed Moose (1137 Morrison Dr.) has some great sandwiches to make the trip worth it or stay downtown and visit AC’s Bar and Grill (467 King St.). Those comfortable walking shoes and fanny pack full of Charleston maps may not be all the rage in Paris, but being a hard-core,sight-seeingtouristcomesata sartorial price. The best place to unwind after a day of touring South of Broad homesistheRooftopBar&Restaurantat theVendueInn(19VendueRange). Take in the sky-high views of the peninsula as you enjoy the breeze off the harbor and recount what the carriage driver told you aboutthathouseonMeetingStreet.AlterGRACE BEAHM/THE POST AND COURIER natives: 82 Queen (82 Queen St.) for their historic courtyard and ambiance. Are most of your days spent studying in pajamas, but tonight you decided to dryer-iron your best “going out” shirt? College kids tend to flock to Silver Dollar (478 King St.) for cheap drinks and loud booty-shakingbands.Alternatives:Ifyou can’t afford the cover, head to Big John’s Tavern(251EastBaySt.)orJohnson’sPub & Pizzeria (12 Cumberland St.). Does your wardrobe look like it was pulled straight from the pages of Vogue or GQ ? Do you like your suits bespoke as well as your beverages? Then Belmont Lounge (511 King St.) is the place for you to show off your best street styles. This cozy, dim-lit prohibitionera style bar has a small patron capacity but is highly capable of creating cocktails. Alternatives: The Gin Joint (182 East Bay St.) can concoct you a cocktail that will have you wondering which secret ingredient made it taste so good. Likeashotoftequila,myrecommendations are to be taken with a grain of salt. These are merely suggestions; feel free to wear what you like to any of our bars and restaurants. I am as comfortable in a cocktaildressatthemostelegantenoteca as I am at the grungiest dive bar in town. Charleston is said to be the friendliest JANNA DOTSCHKAL/THE POST AND COURIER city in the nation, so we’ll welcome you at whichever watering hole or posh pub Bar patrons have a good time at O’Malley’s Pub (top) and The Recovery you decide to grab a drink at. ✦ Room in Charleston. 55



A golfer walks on the practice green of Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course, the site of the 2012 PGA Championship.

A sporting soul It’s early. We are not sure if Rory McElroy will have to fight off a Tiger Woods attack at the Ocean Course or if the Williams sisters are ready to claim more titles on Daniel Island. But if Charleston spectators are not having enough fun, the Lowcountry sports scene is about to hit an excitement peak. Sports columnist Gene Sapakoff has covered the Final Four, NBA Finals, World Series, Super Bowl and once caught a bass on James Island. When not running marathons, Gene enjoys reading intriguing novels. 56

The 2012 PGA Championship, one of golf’s precious majors, is due on Kiawah Island in August. At the Family Circle Cup, top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki will defend her 2011 title in April. Baseball’s Charleston RiverDogs will host the 2012 South Atlantic All-Star Game in July. That’s just the glitz. Routine exhibition match appearances by Major League Soccer and English Premier League teams

add to the Charleston Battery’s regular spring and summer schedule at Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island. The South Carolina Stingrays hockey carnival lasts all winter and then some. The ECHL franchise has claimed two Kelly Cup championships and its community service commitment last season included pink ice for breast cancer awareness. Reliable? The RiverDogs may play in the low-level Class A


Team Directory Charleston Battery Sport: Minor league soccer League: United Soccer League Second Division Season: March to September Venue: Blackbaud Stadium, Daniel Island Tickets: 843-971-GOAL Website: Charleston RiverDogs Sport: Minor league baseball League: Low-level Class A South Atlantic League Affiliation: New York Yankees Season: April through August Venue: Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park, Charleston Tickets: 843-577-DOGS Website:


Fans watch the Family Circle Cup tennis tournament on Daniel Island.

South Atlantic League but their zany promotions – see National Laundry Day and Go Back to Ohio Night – draw national attention. They also have quite a Major League alumni list: Carl Crawford, Josh Hamilton, Rocco Baldelli, B.J. Upton, Delmon Young and Phil Hughes have played at The Joe since 2000. The Citadel football program is trying to bounce back from a disappointing 2010 season but has an attractive 2011 home schedule including games against Furman, Wofford and Appalachian State within the traditionally powerful Southern Conference. Citadel basketball is best known for alum Pat Conroy’s book, “My Losing Season.” But the Bulldogs play at cozy McAlister Field House, a venue with old-school charm and modern amenities. The Bulldogs’ baseball program

also hit hard times in 2011 but don’t expect Fred Jordan and the guys to stay down for long; The Citadel won SoCon regular season and tournament titles in 2010 and just added former Citadel and Major League pitcher Britt Reames to the coaching staff. Bobby Cremins, the former University of South Carolina forward and Georgia Tech head coach, leads the College of Charleston at John Kresse Court in spiffy Carolina First Arena. The Cougars are looking to build on their 2011 NIT appearance. College of Charleston slugger Daniel Aldrich is back after winning the TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby in Omaha. Charleston Southern continues to improve and make schedule upgrades in football, basketball and baseball. ✦

Charleston Southern Conference: Big South Venues: CSU Stadium (football), Buccaneer Ballpark (baseball), The Buc Dome (basketball) Tickets: 843-863-7678 Website: College of Charleston Conference: Southern Venues: Carolina First Arena (basketball), The Ballpark at Patriots Point (baseball) Tickets: 843-953-COFC Website:

The Citadel Conference: Southern Venues: Johnson Hagood Stadium (football), McAlister Field House (basketball), Joseph P. Riley Jr. South Carolina Stingrays Park (baseball) Tickets: 843-953-DOGS Sport: Minor league hockey Website: League: ECHL 2012 FAMILY CIRCLE CUP Affiliation: Washington Capitals Dates: March 31-April 8 Season: October to April Venue: North Charleston Coliseum Tickets: 2012 PGA Championship Tickets: 843-744-2248 Dates: August 9-12 Website: Tickets:

Rec Sports Each department has age requirements and sport-specific registration dates typically months in advance of the start of each season. Most departments allow for non-resident participation at a higher fee. Departments often have info on travel and other advanced leagues. City of Charleston (includes James, Daniel islands) Contact: 843-724-7327 Website: Goose Creek Phone: 843-569-4242 Website: Moncks Corner Phone: 843-719-7900 Website:

Mount Pleasant Phone: 843-884-2528 Website: North Charleston Phone: 843-740-5814 Website: Summerville Phone: 843-851-5211 Website: 57



Sucker Jeans, Mary Mojo, BITON and Gwynn’s displayed their new lines at 2011’s Charleston Fashion Week.

Fashion beacon of the South When I first moved to Charleston, I called my best friend back home. “Help me! They consider Target a department store here!” 58

Erin Perkins ✦ Special to The Post and Courier I wasn’t sure if I could survive without the giant malls and sprawling shopping districts I was accustomed to, but all of that has changed. Despite my first impressions, this city has steadily grown its sartorial offerings to become a fashion beacon of the South. Charleston Fashion Week, local designers and one-of-a-kind boutiques have built a fashionable foundation for the city to keep us up to date with the latest trends and style offerings. Charleston’s main shopping district

consists of a stretch of King Street from Calhoun to Queen, with a sprinkling of boutiques tucked into side streets. It may be small, but it’s full of local gems and some big names to fill in the gaps. King Street is anchored by the clothing mega-brands Urban Outfitters and Forever 21, places to go when you need low-priced trends and don’t care if you see 15 other people in the same shirt as you.Ifyou’dliketofindsomethingmore unique and still stylish at a low price,



308 King Street

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Your Feet Are Going To Love You Be Stylish Old Gringo, Lucchese, Frye, Ugg, Ariat

Hang Out Olukai, Rainbow, Sanuk, Reef, Toms

Feel Good Dansko, Ecco, Naot, Mephisto, Birkenstock, Clarks

Date Night VanEli, Sofft, Cole Haan, Brassboot

Get Going MBT, FitFlop, New Balance, Asics, Brooks


Get Outside Keen, Merrell, Sperry, 5 Fingers, Tilley

West Ashley | S. Windermere Shopping Ctr. | (843) 763-1000 Mt. Pleasant | Northcutt Plaza | (843) 856-0003 Downtown | 320 King St. | (843) 965-5270 Hilton Head | Fresh Market Shoppes | (843) 842-3322


Phillips Shoes 59


try House of Sage (51 George St.), Haute Hanger (307 King St.) or Willy Jay’s (300 King St.). If you have a bit more wiggle room in your wallet and also want to pick up a cocktail dress, look to V2V (295 King St.) or Copper Penny (311 King St.). Readersofstylemagazinesmayalready knowoneofthelocalfashionista’sfavorite boutiques,HampdenClothing(314King St.). With styles from the hottest new labels, this clothier will keep you looking like you just stepped off the runway. If your tastes tend to be more esoteric and avant-garde,thenWorthwhile(268King St.)willprovideforyourdiscerningclothing needs. If you are looking for truly one-of-a-kind pieces, check out Library: Archives of Fashion (341 King St., Suite B), where they sell tremendous vintage finds that no one else will have. For the lady who may have a bit more money in the bank and several balls to attend, there are RTW Ltd (186 King St.), Christian Michi (220 King St.), Finicky Filly (303 King St.) or Berlin’s for Women (114KingSt.).Anyoftheseboutiquescan dress you in the latest finery for any society function or weekend in the country. Of course, our fellows should be as well-dressed as the ladies, and there are plenty of options for the dapper dresser here. For the more conservative gentlemen, there is M Dumas & Sons (294 King St.), Grady Ervin & Co. (313 King St.) or Berlin’s (114 King St.). If your tastes lean toward modern Americana, there’s Billy Reid (150 King St.) or Indigo & Cotton (79 Cannon St.). And yes, we have local street style websites and blogs (for instance, The Post and Courier’s Charleston Scene at; Charleston Magazine’s Style File at blogs/style and So be dressed in your favorite finery and ready to pose any time you’re headed to your next destination in Charleston. Intheconstantbattlebetweenbuyinggroceries or a new pair of shoes, Erin Perkins choosestosurviveonpassedhorsd’oeuvres. Follow her fashion musings at erperkin or 60


Holiday shoppers check out the goodies displayed at Croghan’s Jewel Box in downtown Charleston.

A shopper’s paradise Warren L. Wise ✦ The Post and Courier

If you are looking for places to shop, there are plenty of them to please any budget. From the ritzy boutiques and antiques shops of King Street in downtown Charleston to the deals at Tanger Outlet Center at International Boulevard and Interstate 526 in North Charleston, treasures can be found throughout the metro area. Two large shopping malls, Citadel Mall on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard in West Ashley and Northwoods Mall on Rivers Avenue in North Charleston, complement an array of shops found at Mount Pleasant Towne Centre on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard, Azalea Square on Main Street in Summerville and Freshfields Village between Kiawah and Seabrook islands. A stroll through the exclusive Shops at Charleston Place

near the City Market is always a nice diversion from crowds on the street. Loads of other quaint stores are scattered across the metro area in shopping centers and stand-alone shops from Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant to Savannah Highway in West Ashley, and from Main Street in Summerville to Folly Road on James Island and St. James Avenue in Goose Creek.

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There are way too many great places to mention in this space, but here are a few: Search for gifts at places such as the Coastal Cupboard in Belle Hall Shopping Center on Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant or repair the soles on a pair of shoes at Peter & Sons Shoe and Luggage Repair at South Windermere Shopping Center in West Ashley. Look through consignment shops in Avondale in West Ashley or visit the many stores at Seaside Farms in Mount Pleasant. For those looking to fix up their homes and get their hands dirty in the garden, there are Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores, Home Depot, True Value Hardware and several nurseries, including local favorites Hyam’s Landscaping and Garden Center on Folly Road and Abide-A-While Garden Center on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. Car dealers are scattered throughout the metro area with concentrations on Savannah Highway in West Ashley and Rivers Avenue in North Charleston. Others can be found on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard in Mount Pleasant, U.S. Highway 17A in Summerville and U.S. 52 in Moncks Corner. For souvenirs, try the City Market on Market Street in downtown Charleston. You also will find sweetgrass basketmakers weaving new treasures there as well as along roadside stands on U.S. Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant. For art lovers, a full palette of shops on Broad Street, King Street and others areas in downtown Charleston offer paintings, prints and sculptures. For menswear, try the long-established Berlins or Ben Silver on King Street or any of the national chains scattered throughout the Lowcountry. For toys, locally owned Wonderworks in St. Andrews Shopping Center in West Ashley and Belle Hall Shopping Center in Mount Pleasant offers unique and educational items. For sporting goods, try Half-Moon Outfitters and The Sportsman’s Shop as well as some of the national chains 62


Shoppers in downtown Charleston get a special treat in the fall when a portion of King Street closes to vehicular traffic during “Second Sunday” events. Many restaurants take advantage of the events to offer outdoors dining for shoppers. such as Dick’s or Sports Authority. Looking for tires, try Gerald’s. It’s always a great day there, as their popular ads proclaim. Locally owned Hay Tire is a popular bet as well. For shoes, Bob Ellis on King Street has been around for decades and has a national reputation for designer heels. Dozens of grocery stores dot the metro area, but if you are looking for unique, try Earth Fare at South Windermere Shopping Center in West Ashley or Whole Foods on Houston Northcutt in Mount Pleasant. Harris Teeter, Publix, Piggly Wiggly, Bi-Lo, Food Lion and Walmart also can stock your cupboards. Discount warehouse stores Costco and Sam’s Club are also good bets.

Looking for a special compound that large pharmacy chains can’t mix, try Pitt Street Pharmacy in the Old Village ofMountPleasantandPalmettoCustom CompoundingindowntownCharleston. Tucked away gems include Beba Luxe women’s apparel on Maybank Highway, Burbage’s Grocery on Broad Street and Gwynn’s in Mount Pleasant. For furnishings, Southeastern Galleries offers upper-end designs while GDC Home is more midpriced. The best thing about shopping in Charleston, according to Helen Hill, executive director of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, is that it appeals to all interests. “One of the main things visitors like

to do when they come to Charleston is go shopping,” she said. “All of our surveys show that. It’s because of the really unique retail mix in our area. You can do everything from discount shopping at Tanger to luxury and rare antiques. We run the gamut of what visitors are interested in.” Another thing that makes Charleston unique is the thriving presence of local products. From specialty foods to barbecue sauces, Charleston’s 4 million visitors a year and newcomers alike can always find something off the beaten path. “They are mixed in very well with national retailers,” Hill said of the local specialties. ✦

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Woods and water I love history, great restaurants and Southern charm as much as the next guy. But that’s not why I live in Charleston.

Matt Winter is editor of Tideline, a boating and fishing magazine published by The Post and Courier. For detailed articles on fishing around Charleston, visit 64

I live here because I love the sight, smell and sound of the saltwater marsh. I love sitting in a tree stand while the piney woods come alive at first light and wading through flooded timber to our favorite wood duck hole. I love the harmonics of twin outboard motors running at 5,000 rpms and the sound a reel makes when a big fish ends a slow day of fishing. Bordered by the Atlantic, fringed by coastal estuaries and blessed with true wilderness areas, the Lowcountry is a paradise for those of us with an insatiable desire to be outdoors. Whether you’re a local in search of that next adventure or a visitor considering a do-it-yourself hunting or fishing trip,

here are a few tips to help get you started. We’ll start with inshore fishing, head out to nearshore reefs, run offshore and then head back to the hill for a little hunting advice. Enjoy, and stay safe out there.

Redfish Redfish, aka spot-tail bass and red drum, form the backbone of the local inshore fishery. Catches range from tiny “puppy drum” in saltwater creeks to 40-plus-inch “breeder reds” at the Charleston Jetties and nearshore reefs.

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fast-movingwaterandoftengatheratambush points along a riverbank. Many trout anglers fish live mud minnows, finger mullet or shrimp under a float. Others prefer artificial lures. Top-water plugs can draw explosive trout strikes at dawn and dusk, but the standard trout lure of choice continues to be a ¼-ounce jig head rigged with a soft-plastic grub. This time-honored combination is deadly. When the bite is hot in the fall, a couple of experienced anglers can catch dozens of trout in short order. Pro tip: When using a jig/soft plastic combo, cast toward shore and retrieve the lure with just enough speed to keep it bouncing off the bottom.

Redfish will hit a variety of baits, including shrimp, menhaden, mullet and quartered blue crabs. Spoons, soft-plastic grubs, top-water plugs and a number of fly patterns also work well. In the winter, anglers pole their boats into the flats to sight-cast to redfish congregating in the shallows for warmth and protection from hungry dolphins. In the spring and summer, reds are plentiful throughout coastal estuaries. Look for spot-tails around docks, creek mouths and in flooded marsh grass during extreme high tides. In the fall, fishing gets even better as reds fatten up on migrating shrimp. As temperatures cool, many anglers hit the beach for hot surf-fishing action. Pro tip: Concentrate your efforts in the shallows and right along the marsh grass during higher tides. Redfish often follow the rising tide and hunt in waWho doesn’t love flounder? These fasters so shallow that their tails and backs cinating flatfish make for superb table break the surface. fare and can be caught inshore from spring through fall. Bigger flounder move out to nearshore wrecks and reefs in the wintertime. Many anglers use a simple Carolina rig consisting of a light egg sinker on the mainline followed by a swivel, about 18 inches of 20-pound leader and a hook. Mud minnows are the bait of choice for flatfish, though finger mullet and shrimp work just fine. Slowly work these rigs along riverbanks and around dock pilings, oyster beds and creek mouths. Fishing for speckled seatrout can be a Protip:Whenaflounderstrikes,you’ll ton of fun. These feisty, beautiful fish often feel a thump on the line, then nothstrike hard, fight well and produce ing. Give the fish a few seconds to relight-tasting, flaky white fillets. position the bait in its mouth, then set Troutseemtopreferrelativelycleanand the hook.


Speckled seatrout



Many of the cobia found off our coast are big fish, some topping out at more than 60 pounds. These brown-andwhite brutes are curious, often approaching an anchored boat. A popular and productive cobia fishery has developed south of Charleston in sounds and inlets near Beaufort, where the fish are thought to arrive en masse to spawn. Pro tip: Many cobia catches are incidental, but if you’re targeting these bad boys, bring along plenty of tackle and bait. Sometimes, they’ll only hit pink bucktail lures. Other times, they’ll only want live fish, or live crabs, or cut bait. You just never know.

Locals take no small amount of pride in their sheepshead fishing skills, and for good reason. These beautiful, stucture-oriented fish are notoriously tough to hook. Built to chomp barnacles off pilings and rocks, sheepshead sport a mouthful of funky teeth. The sheepshead fishery heats up through the fall and winter, with anglers concentrating their efforts at dock pilings, rock jetties and nearshore reefs. Most anglers use fiddler crabs for bait, though shrimp and clam meat work well. A typical sheepshead rig consists of a few splitshot weights, about 18 inches of leader and a small, sturdy hook. Pro tip: To hook a sheepshead, you must maintain tension on the line. Slowly move the bait straight up and Like souped-up, super-sized versions down along pilings. Set the hook when of Spanish mackerel, kings rank as you feel a light tap or some resistance. one of the most sought-after targets of small-boat anglers. A basic live-baiting king trip starts inshore, with anglers cast-netting for menhaden. With a live well filled with bait, anglersheadtotheshippingchannelorto any one of the many well-known trolling grounds in 40 to 80 feet of water. Using wire rigs with multiple treble hooks, a crew will deploy up to a halfdozenlinesatstaggereddistancesbehind their boat. “Bump-trolling,” continually edging the boat in and out of gear, keeps the lines from getting tangled. Pro tip: Big, lively baits are key to catching trophy king mackerel. To Cobia move into Lowcountry waters avoid pulling the small treble hooks on in late spring, with prime time arriving a nice mackerel, anglers set drags light in May and June. Though occasionally and drive the boat toward a hooked fish. caught inshore, most cobia are landed Once boatside, keeper kings are almost at nearshore reefs and near the shipping always gaffed. channel buoys.

King mackerel



few Atlantic sharpnose and those neatlooking bonnethead sharks. Shark fishing is fun and easy. Rig up just about any live or cut bait on a stout Carolina rig, then cast it along a bank, into the surf or down in a deep hole. Sooner or later, some kind of shark or ray will pick it up. Pro tip: Big bonnetheads are plentiful around Charleston. The cool thing about fishing for bonnetheads is that you can target them by using Big and plentiful but derided by some quartered blue crabs for bait. Other anglers as trash fish, amberjack present sharks usually will ignore the crab, one of the Lowcountry’s most under- but bonnetheads (along with big redrated fishing opportunities. fish) love it. Spared the fishing pressure applied to other species, AJs seem to be doing quite well at most nearshore reefs and wrecks. Fish heavier than 20 pounds are common, with some trophy specimens reaching 100 pounds or more. AJs will hit just about anything, from trolled ballyhoo to heavy knife jigs, cut bait and even big streamer flies. Pro tip: AJs are suckers for a little teasing. If you’ve got a school around your boat, dip the tip of a rod in the water and cut figure eights. The commotion can trigger a feeding frenzy. Throwing a few Recent changes to federal fishing rules live menhaden into the fray will fan the have turned bottom-fishing on its head. flames. New limits and closed seasons have touched a number of species, including gag grouper, red snapper and black seabass. Anglers can participate in the fishery, but they should use circle hooks and visit for the latest changes. In general, anglers can find black seabass from live-bottom areas in 60 feet of water out to the artificial reefs in about 90 feet. Vermilion snapper and gray triggerfish also school around underwater structures in the 80- to 120-foot depth. Gag and scamp grouper can be found in about 60 feet of water, The waters around Charleston are though the fishing is better from 90 filled with myriad shark species, from feet out to about 240 feet. Despite 500-plus-pound great hammerheads the popular belief that grouper are offshore (above) to 10-foot-long tigers mostly found around wrecks, many at the reefs and fat blacktips at the inlets. seasoned bottom-fishermen look for Inshore, anglers can always count on a




these tasty fish in live-bottom areas with relatively low-profile pieces of bottom structure. Frozen squid remains the go-to bait for bottom fishing, though cigar minnows and a variety of live baits can improve success when targeting specific species. Pro tip: Small, sturdy hooks are key to catching triggerfish. A trigger school often shows up on a depth-finder screen as a chevron-shaped collection of blue fish marks.

Dolphin Dolphin are to Charleston’s offshore fishery what redfish are to its inshore fishery. Pound for pound, no other fish means as much to the offshore fleet. Every year, unbelievable numbers of these fast-growing, neon-colored fish migrate north off our coast. For the past few years, the dolphin fishing’s been hottest from late April through May, with bigger fish (30 to 50 pounds) typically moving through first. But dolphin are common well into summer and fall, and even have been known to show up just 12 miles or so from shore during the hottest months. It’s tough to pick the dolphin’s greatest attribute. Its willingness to hit just about any lure or bait? Its acrobatics when hooked? Its abundance and great taste? All of the above. Pro tip: Look for temperature breaks, current upwellings or rips, weed lines and anything f loating. Some boats spend hours catching dolphin around a single piece of floating debris.

Wahoo They don’t jump when hooked, and you’ll probably never seen them actually hit a lure. What wahoo will do, however, is put a serious hurting on whatever poor fish happens to get in front of its crazy jaws. And if they’re on the end of your line? Get ready for an impressive display of speed. Shaped like a torpedo and adorned with blue tiger stripes, wahoo tend to hang out along the ledge, where the water depth drops relatively quickly from about 140 feet deep to more than 200. Wahoo can be caught virtually yearround off Charleston, including during colder months. Fish in the 30- to 50-pound range are common, and some 80-plus pounders are caught most years. Most are caught by anglers trolling offshore lures rigged with ballyhoo. Though wahoo are often incidental (and very welcome) catches, offshore crews targeting these toothy fish incorporate wire into their rigs to avoid cutoffs. Pro tip: Try dark colors for wahoo. They seem to like black and red trolling lures, especially.

Tuna Let’s get this out of the way: If you’re looking for yellowfin tuna, Charleston’s not your best bet. The yellowfin bite has dropped off to practically nil in recent years, with some folks blaming international overfishing, others a change in yellowfin migration. Whatever the case, thank goodness 67


for blackfin (above). These smaller tuna still grow to about 30 pounds or so off our coast, and in recent years some offshore crews have figured out how to fill their fish boxes with these sleek, hard-fighting fish. The blackfin bite seems to be hottest in spring, though they can be caught throughout the year. Some anglers troll ballyhoo with light leaders to compensate for the tuna’s great eyesight. Others drift-fish on the ledge using deep-dropping “knife” or “flutter” jigs. Still others cast top-water plugs to schooled up blackfin. Charleston also sports a healthy bonita population, though anglers generally consider them undesirable. Giant bluefin are rare, but wintertime catches do happen. Pro tip: Blackfin love to hang around structure, so stick to the ledge. Some say the blackfin bite turns on once offshore water temperatures reach 69 degrees.

such popular spots as the Georgetown Hole, Edisto Banks and the 226 Hole. Boats can and have achieved a “superslam” out of Charleston, catching blue marlin, white marlin, swordfish and sailfish all in one trip. The marlin bite gets going in late spring and runs strong through June and July. The sailfish bite stays hot throughout the summer; in recent years offshore anglers have reported a fall bonanza of sails. Trolling for blues and whites usually involves a mix of bigger trolling lures and standard lure-ballyhoo rigs. Sails prefer smaller lures or “naked” ballyhoo. Crews fish for swords mostly at night, dropping big rigged squid and other baits down into deep water. Though anglers generally keep legal swordfish, most other billfish are released (except a few blue marlin during big-money tournaments). Pro tip: Most crews serious about billfish run a number of teasers, including dredges that trail a collection of teaser baits and mimic a school of small fish.

They say horse racing is the sport of kings, but billfishing can’t be far behind. Most billfish trips take place about 50 miles or more off Charleston at 68

Wild turkeys Once a rare sight in South Carolina, wildturkeyshavereboundedthroughout the state. With huge tracts of protected lands,theLowcountryhaslongprovided a refuge for these magnificent birds. Every spring, the open piney woods and hardwood bottoms crackle with sound of early-morning gobbling. Turkey hunters take to the woods in droves, driven to test their calling skills and to match wits with crafty old toms. Turkey hunting is limited to a spring season, and hunters may only take gobblers or jakes (young males). Pro tip: You might not think it, but turkeys sure do love water. They often roost over swamps and cypress ponds, and don’t mind sloshing through wet hardwood bottoms all day. A great pair of water-proof boots may be the most underrated turkey-hunting tool.

Duck hunting Deer hunting


Hunters can take deer with a rifle, shotgun or bow, and since its season starts so early, South Carolina is one of the few states where hunters can take a buck in velvet. Whentheseasonstartsinmid-August, bucks usually are still in their bachelor groups. They soon break up and start establishing individual domains. This pre-rut in early September is a great time to take a trophy buck. As the weather cools and days shorten in mid-October, the rut begins and hunting gets better and better. Pro tip: Prepare yourself for some serious bug action. The locals joke about mosquitoes being our state bird, but it’s not far from the truth. An added bonus: chiggers and ticks are voracious in late summer. Do yourself a favor and stock up on bug spray, Bug Tamer gear and a ThermaCELL.

A large whitetail population, liberal bag limits and a season running Aug. 15 through Jan. 1 make South Carolina a deer hunter’s dreamland. Hunters can dog-drive or still hunt deer, and in coastal areas, baiting is legal on private lands. Publ ic hu nt i ng oppor t u n it ies abound, including in the Francis Marion National Forest north of Charleston and other wildlife management areas to the south.

Though bigger ducks and geese sometimes make an appearance, most duck hunting around the Lowcountry revolves around resident and migrating wood ducks, ringnecks, and blue- and green-winged teal. Look for woodies in flooded timber, teal in coastal impoundments. Pro tip: Wood ducks are incredibly beautiful and relatively plentiful. Hunters all over the world would jump at the chance to bag one of these beauties. With a little research and a small investment in licenses and stamps, even a novice hunter should be able to find success in the swamps of the Francis Marion Forest.

More hunting Deer, ducks and turkeys not enough for you? You can also go after bobwhite quail, marsh hens, dove, wild pigs, coyotes and even alligators. For more information and regulations for all types of hunting and fishing, visit ✦

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The Sea Cloud landing provides a launch site for canoes and kayaks on Ocella Creek at Botany Bay Plantation on Edisto Island.

Outdoor adventures Get your boots on — wet or dry. And get out there. That’s all there is to say about a landscape that climbs from surf paddling to its own secret El Capitan hiking trail. Here’s a sampling of outdoor explorations. Nearest ‘out there’ wilderness Bo Petersen has nearly 25 years experience writing for daily newspapers in the Southeast. He is the author of “Soldiers’ Stories,” a collection of the accounts of World War II veterans. He is a kayaker and plays guitar upside down and backwards. 70

Wambaw Creek. Francis Marion National Forest, McClellanville. One hour from Charleston. This paddle is as primitive as it gets, so far back in the Wambaw Swamp Wilderness that it once was used by wildlife officers to release “problem” gators. It’s not unusual to come around a tight bend and have several hundred pounds of armored reptile swat into the water just off your bow. Owls slip out from the woods and land in limbs overhanging the creek. Wild pigs snort in the bottoms. Hawk, falcon and

swallow-tailed kites sweep by. One local outfitter swears she has twice seen panther, supposedly extinct in this part of the country. Huge cypress haunt the banks. Wambaw can be paddled as out-and-back stretches or all at once from Still Landing to Hampton Plantation on the Santee River.

A ‘look at that’ gem El Lieutenant. Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, Caesar’s Head State Park. 4 hours. A tough, 6-mile-or-so, out-and-back hike crosses streams





The painted bunting is among the many species that make Botany Bay a birder’s paradise .

Keep an eye out. Gators are a common sight in the Lowcountry wilderness.

Richard Porcher paddles along the bank of Wambaw Creek in the Francis Marion National Forest.

along a jagged rock trail on the Blue Ridge Escarpment and works its way to a rock outcropping. The rock, as tall as a football field is long, bears an eerie resemblance to the iconic El Capitan peak in California’s Yosemite Valley. It’s demanding and scenic enough that Backpacker Magazine included the trip as the South Carolina day hike of choice in a recent edition.

South Carolina. The centuries-old farm is a vista of hardwoods and pine stands, crop fields, salt marshes, hummock islands and a maritime forest beach with its own “boneyard” — a ghost forest of dead trees in the surf at high tide. It includes a three-mile motor tour trail nicely suited to peddling, past 19th-century brick and tabby structures. It also has 20 more miles of trails for hiking, biking, birding and horseback riding, fishing ponds and a “throw” launch into Osceola Creek for paddle-powered boats. Watch for painted buntings.

are prized, open and free camping for paddlers, but so are the Lake Marion dam release-dependent sandbars of the Upper Santee River. The Blue Ridge in the Upstate is replete with state park, business and back country camp sites. Berkeley Blueways is putting together an overnight paddling camp trail around the cypress cove rim of Lake Moultrie. For the more adventurous, there’s open sea expeditions to Capers Island in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge or Otter Island in St. Helena Sound Heritage Preserve; both require permits from S.C. Department of Natural Resources. There are camp sites along the Palmetto Trail through woods and wetlands of Francis Marion National Forest. But, ssssh. Don’t tell anyone else. (Besides, it’s not even in the state.)

The ‘I don’t want to play that hard’ trip Botany Bay Plantation Wildlife Management Area. Botany Bay Road. Edisto Island. One hour. One of the coolest, casual, off-road summer bike trips around, mostly because at the end you can hop off into the Atlantic Ocean. A 5,000-acre oceanfront plantation that was willed by its former owner to the people of

The ‘best’ camping Various. Can’t help you here; it depends too much on individual taste. The black willow sandbars of the Edisto River

Black Mou nta i n Ca mpg rou nd, Busick, N.C., is a Pisgah National Forest fee-paid site just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in a cove at the foot of Mount Mitchell, the tallest mountain in the East. Simple, quiet and deepwoods enough that owls haunt the tent sites at night and precautions are taken for black bears. Rest rooms, showers, prized trout fishing along the South Toe River and tubing farther down. Hikers can pick among any number of spectacular trails from the half-mile Devil’s Den Forest Walk through the steep cove to the 13-mile, 4,000 feet up and down summit of Mitchell itself (not for the queasy.) ✦ To watch a video tour of a Lowcountry wilderness by Bo Petersen, visit

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CAROLINA CRITTERS Bo Peterson ✦ The Post and Courier

They’re out there — bald eagles, sturgeons, wild turkeys, right whales, coyotes, wood storks, swallow-tailed kites, minks, painted buntings, gray foxes, even skinks. The Lowcountry is one of the richest places in the region, if not the country, to find exotic and

even deadly wildlife. The list of cool critters is almost endless — there are 39 species of shark alone. A lot of Lowcountry wildlife has the “whoa” factor — that stop-you-in-your-tracks awe when they appear. Here’s where to spot a few.


Eastern diamondbacks THE POST AND COURIER

Don’t go looking. One of the most venomous snakes in North America and the largest rattlesnake in the world, the diamondback is longer than you are tall and as big around as a muscled forearm. It’s so camouflaged that, if you look away it can’t be immediately picked out again when you look back. It’s an ambush predator that likes to hang in cover near where its prey runs. Surest sighting bets: Pineland, wiregrass, oak woods and lowland palmetto.

Wild pigs Believed to be the descendants of escapees from Colonial farms, feral hogs are the scavenging Roto-Rooters of the swamps, digging in after roots and chewing through crops across the state and country. It’s open season on them, and more than 35,000 are hunted down in the state each year — more than 4,000 in the tri-county area. Careful, when they feel cornered they will charge, bite and slash with their tusks. Surest sighting bets: Wetland bottoms, particularly in northern Charleston and southern Georgetown counties. You’re more likely to see family groups of sows and piglets than lone males.




Believe it or not, Kiawah Island appears to have the core population of the dog-size wildcats. More than 30 inhabit the tony beach resort, including a number that are radio-tagged for study. They are secretive, well camouflaged and hard to spot but have gotten used to living nose-to-nose with people. Surest sighting bet: Yellow eyes staring back from the brush or a flash chasing a squirrel through an island parking lot from heavy cover nearby.


Squirrels WHITE SQUIRRELS are a variant of the common gray squirrel. The epicenter of the Lowcountry population is the Yonges Island area, but they have been reported as far as Ladson and Moncks Corner. SurTHE POST AND COURIER est sighting bets: Drive slowly around neighborhoods near the tip of Yonges Island or golf the back nine of the Links at Stono Ferry. FOX SQUIRRELS are larger and more graceful than the common gray squirrel, with brown fur and a black mask like a raccoon. Surest sighting bets: Naval Weapons Station in Goose Creek, Pine Forest Country Club in Summerville, pine plantation savannahs. BLACK FOX SQUIRRELS are startlingly dark fox squirrels that look like a cross between a tiny black bear and a skinny raccoon. Surest sighting bets: Around the nature center in the private reserve on Spring Island near Beaufort, pine savannahs.


Alligators The prehistoric reptile is part of the charm of Lowcountry ponds, brackish marshes, rivers, blackwater creeks, occasional drainage ditches, swimming pools and the ocean surf. More than 100,000 are basking somewhere. Surest sighting bets from land: Impoundments at the end of Lodge Road; Donnelley Wildlife Management Area in Green Pond, where they lie sideby-side by the dozens in the mud flats in warm weather; Cypress Gardens in Berkeley County.

Black or brown widow spiders The venomous arthropods are so commonplace that any number of them could be around your home. Look for cottony, almost patternless webs and egg sacs that look like spiked white balls.


Lowcountry water lovers report 50 or more sightings per year of the ponderous, seal-like creature with the puppy-dog face. Surest sighting bets: Near docks, particularly where a freshwater spigot runs; roaming estuaries and tidal rivers much like dolphins. You’ll see the snout first as they surface to breathe.



Black bears A few hundred of these 300-pound hunks of muscle and fur are estimated to live in the coastal counties. Most of them are found above the Santee River in Williamsburg, Georgetown and Horry counties. But a sustained population also lives in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. Surest sighting bets: Black bears like deep woods, such as in the Francis Marion National Forest, but usually are spotted only briefly, usually crossing roads.

AP 73



History & Culture Charleston’s bellicose past and its current cast of characters.


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The East Battery is a favorite spot for tourists and locals to soak up some of Charleston’s charm.

History, charm, beauty The first cruise ships called on this harbor in 1670, carrying two boatloads of English colonists. These folks were looking for a better climate than the one they endured up North, cheaper real estate and, of course, great seafood.

Columnist Brian Hicks came to The Post and Courier in 1997. A former S.C. Journalist of the Year, he is the author or coauthor of five books, including Raising the Hunley and Toward the Setting Sun. A native of Tennessee, he lives in Charleston with his wife and their two sons. 76

They bypassed the peninsula in favor of West Ashley, apparently keen on larger yards. And there they established Charles Towne, the Lowcountry’s first gated community. People have been coming here in droves ever since, and none of them ever want to leave ... unless they are stuck in traffic on U.S. Highway 17 two days in a row. Now, if you weren’t born here, you can never be a native. Even among the natives, there are class distinctions — things that go back to whose families were on those first two boats. But you can become a local. People do it every day. For most, it starts innocently enough.

You come to Charleston, probably for a long weekend, just to see this town that everybody’s talkin’ about. There is no way, you think, that any place is so great. You’ll see it all in three days. Then you get here. The architecture is gorgeous, the waterfront sublime, the food addictive. And the people are just so relaxed and charming and quirky — kind of like characters in a Pat Conroy novel, but without all the dangerous eccentricities. Or so you think. By the time you check out of the hotel, you are thinking about moving here.



The steeple of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church dominates the skyline as a sailing class navigates the waters of Charleston Harbor.

It has been that way for 341 years. In 1776, the British tried to stop us from becoming independent (a drama re-enacted by the city of Charleston and the town of James Island in court every few years). As a result, one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War was fought just outside the harbor, as men on Sullivan’s Island fended off the British Navy. Folks from the North tried to take over again in 1861, but the locals held them off ... for a while (that same year, the Yankees took Hilton Head — and hold it to this day). The point is, to know Charleston is to love it, and want to stay forever. For me, it happened in 1992. Someone in Tennessee described Charleston as “a cleaner New Orleans,” and I had to see for myself. At the time, the city was still digging out from under Hugo. The St. Philip’s steeple was still encased in scaffolding, and Folly Beach was so eroded that, at high tide, it was smacking up against the Holiday Inn. But still t here was somet hing about this place. I came back twice within the year. I happened to be here in 1996 when the National Park Service verified that Clive Cussler’s dive team had in fact found the Hunley. Once I figured out what the Hunley was, I


Tourists enjoy a carriage ride in downtown Charleston. began making plans to move here. The combination of history, charm and natural beauty was just too much to resist. People here are proud to live in the most beautiful city on the East Coast. As such, some people — most of them from Columbia — say we are a little too snooty. The joke is that we think the Ashley and the Cooper come together to form the Atlantic Ocean. That’s meant to chide us for thinking Charleston is the center of the universe. Well if it’s not the center, it’s definitely in the neighborhood. ✦

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A Revolutionary War re-enactor plays a fife at Middleton Place.

Guide to war history Brian Hicks ✦ The Post and Courier

Just about everyone who comes to Charleston knows about our recent unpleasantness, which is just one of several local euphemisms for the Civil War. What some don’t realize is that the city has some pretty remarkable Revolutionary War history as well. A week before the Declaration of Independence, the British Navy tried to invade the city but was repelled in one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. In 1780, the British laid siege to the city, eventually capturing it and holding lo80

cal traitors to the crown in the dungeon of the Exchange Building. That building is where South Carolina later ratified the U.S. Constitution. And of course, Washington slept here — for nearly a week. Charleston’s role in the Civil War is certainly more high profile. South Carolina became the first state to se-

cede from the Union with a vote taken in the city. In fact, between December 1860 and April 1861, Charleston was the focal point of the country’s growing crisis. The first shots of the war were eventually fired on Fort Sumter from James Island. The city remained WADE SPEES/THE POST AND COURIER a Southern stronghold until the final This deerskin-and-wood drum was months of the war, and many of those used in the Revolutionary War.

HISTORY & CULTURE historic sites still survive. Here’s a look at some of the best attractions with ties to Charleston’s two wars:

Revolutionary War Fort Moultrie, 1214 Middle St., Sullivan’s Island. This 19th century fort is the descendent — and built near the site of — Fort Sullivan, the Palmetto log fortress that repelled the British Navy’s attempted invasion on June 28, 1776. The fort was renamed for Sullivan’s commander, William Moultrie. The current fort is the third to occupy that part of the island, and the National Park Service interprets the city’s Revolutionary history there. Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, 122 East Bay Street. Opened in 1771 as the Royal Exchange and Custom house, this is the center of the city’s Revolutionary history. South Carolina elected its members to the 1st Continental Congress in this building and declared its

Learning the language Speaking in Charleston is an acquired tongue. Legare, “Legree.” Huger, “Ujee.” Muckenfuss, “Muckenfuus.” Horry, “Orry.” Pilaf, “purlo.” Combahee, “Cumbee.” Cooper, “Cupper.” Rantowles, “Rantowels.” Barefoot, “barefooted.” Hominy, “homny.” Sesame, “benne.” You have to swim your way through a Lowcountry boil of vernacular and Native American, English, French, Spanish, West African and Rosetta-Stoneknows-what-else — all of it simmered for a few centuries in a Madeira brine. Here’s the primer’s main lesson: Gullah and Geechee, the Sea Island language/dialect of West Africans who were brought in slavery, which has been passed down through generations and seeps into

today’s Lowcountry conversations. Queen Quet, of St. Helena, Chieftess of the Gullah/ Geechee Nation, explains the difference between the two this way: Gullah — a language of African words, phonetic structure and syntax Geechee — a bridge from Gullah to English, or a pidgin Gullah. Borrows English words and uses African phonetic structure and syntax. Gullah is an oral language without a written structure. A newcomer is more likely to hear Geechee than Gullah, Queen Quet said. People who can speak Gullah normally won’t in front of people who don’t. “If you hear it, treasure that experience,” she said. Example Hunnuh mus tek cyare de root fa heal de tree*. (You must take care of the root to heal the tree.) — Bo Petersen

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Fort Sumter National Monument in Charleston Harbor.


The Powder Magazine, one of Charleston’s oldest buildings.

independence from Britain there, too. Locals stored confiscated tea in its basement (as opposed to throwing it in the harbor, like those guys in Boston) and some patriots were later imprisoned there once the British took control of the city in 1780 (hence the Provost Dungeon in the building’s current title). Later, the state ratified the U.S. Constitution in the Exchange’s Great Hall.


The Provost Dungeon at the Old Exchange.

1770 and was used again during the visited the city as part of his Southern Revolutionary War. It is Carolina’s old- tour. est public building and offers a good glimpse of what life was like in colonial Charles Pinckney National Historic Charlestown. Site, 1254 Long Point Road, Mount Pleasant. This National Park Service Heyward-Washington House, 87 site preserves all that remains of Charles Church St. This house dates back to Pinckney’s plantation, “Snee Farm.” 1772 and was the home of Thomas Pinckney was a principal author and Heyward Jr., a signer of the Declaration signer of the United States Constituof Independence and an artillery officer tion, as well as a member of the Conwith the South Carolina militia dur- tinental Congress and a governor of Old Powder Magazine, 79 Cumber- ing the Revolutionary War. The home South Carolina. This park interprets land St. This building served as the was rented to George Washington his life, as well as that of the slaves who city’s powder magazine from 1713 to in May 1791, when the president worked on his plantation. 82

Civil War Fort Sumter, Visitor Education Center, 340 Concord St. This federal fort, built to defend the entrance to Charleston Harbor, was still incomplete when Maj. Robert Anderson and his men moved into Sumter from Fort Moultrie a week after South Carolina seceded from the Union. On April 12, 1861, Confederate troops fired on the fort. It was the first battle of the Civil War. Confederates took control of the fort two days later and held it until the Confederates abandoned Charleston in February 1865.


Moultrie and used it in defense of the that battle, Confederates were outnumcity throughout the Civil War. bered 3-to-1 but repelled Union forces attempting to cross the island to invade Fort Lamar Heritage Preserve, Charleston. Fort Lamar Road, James Island. This little-known park preserves the site of H.L. Hunley at the Warren Lasch the old Tower Battery, later Fort La- Conservation Center, 1250 Supmar, which was the scene of the battle ply St., Building 255, on the forof Secessionville in June 1862. During mer Navy Base, North Charleston.

The world’s first successful combat submarine sailed from Sullivan’s IslandonFeb.17,1864,andsanktheUSS Housatonic four miles offshore. The sub was discovered in 1995 and raised in 2000. Since then, scientists have been studying and restoring this unique vessel and the artifacts recovered with it. ✦


Fort Moultrie, 1214 Middle St., Sullivan’s Island. On Dec. 26, 1860, Maj. Robert Anderson ordered his men to evacuate this fort after learning that South Carolina militia men had it surrounded. He moved his company of 80-plus men to Fort Sumter, which South Carolinians considered an act of war. Confederates took control of Fort

where to

next? mobile >


Dining. Shopping. Attractions. More. At your fingertips wherever and whenever you want it. Go to: 83



Darius Rucker

Lowcountry characters Charleston is known for its array of colorful characters, including those who are home-grown and those who have only recently taken up residence.

Schuyler Kropf covers North Charleston and military issues. He has been with The Post and Courier since December 1987, covering a wide array of beats, including the S.C. Legislature, courts, politics and the effort to raise and restore the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley. 84

Some of the newcomers have been so readily entrenched in the city’s fabric that there’s a chance you might see some shopping for dinner in local grocery stores, including the former “Catch Me If You Can” con man or funny favorite Bill Murray. Plus, there are rock stars, current and former athletes, and less-assuming figures like “Tony the Peanut Man” who live here year-round. Here are just a few notable characters with roots here or second homes along the coast: Q Jeffrey Wigand, the real life doctor and consultant who helped blow the lid on Big Tobacco and was played by Russell Crowe in the Hollywood film “The Insider.” Q University of North Carolina Tar Heel basketball coach Roy Williams. Q CBS News journalist Martha Teichner. Q Actor Bill Murray, who is part-owner of the Charleston

RiverDogs minor league baseball team and sometime participant in the annual Cooper River Bridge Run. Another RiverDogs co-owner, Gene Budig, former president of baseball’s American League, lives on the Isle of Palms. Q Tony the Peanut Man, aka Anthony Wright, is Charleston’s most famous peanut seller. His recipe for success: “Nuts have been real good to me.” His trademark is a hat made of woven sweet grass. Q Darius Rucker, former lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish, who is now leading a prosperous country music career. Some of the Blowfish are here too. Q Bobby Cremins is coach of the College of Charleston Cougar basketball team. Q Pundit Stephen Colbert, leader of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” is a James Island native. Q Medal of Honor recipient James Livingston lives in Mount Pleasant.



Anthony Wright, or Tony the Peanut Man, entertains RiverDogs fans.



Catherine Bell

Stephen Colbert

Q Catherine Bell of the locally produced TV show “Army Wives” became a Charleston resident early in the series’ now-popular run. Q Retired U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings lives on the Isle of Palms. Race car driver Kyle Petty is his neighbor. Other racing figures include Kevin Harvick and Ernie Irvin. Q Atlanta Falcon star receiver Roddy White graduated from James Island High School. Q Houston Texans majority owner Bob McNair and wife Janice own a 13,000-square-foot oceanfront house on Kiawah Island.

Q Political columnist/commentator George Will has a residence on Kiawah Island. Q John Huey, editorial chief of the Time Inc. constellation of magazines, has a home in Sullivan’s Island. Q Frank Abagnale, subject of Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed 2002 film “ Catch Me if You Can,” now runs Abagnale & Associates, which advises businesses on avoiding fraud. He and his family live in Charleston on Church WADE SPEES/THE POST AND COURIER Street. Q Actress Reese Witherspoon’s first After catching Joe Riley’s ceremonial first pitch, Bill Murray, actor and marriage to Ryan Phillipe took place part owner of the Charleston RiverDogs, twirls the surprised Charleston in Charleston. ✦ mayor at the team’s 2011 home opener. 85



The fountains at the end of Vendue Range, off East Bay Street, give many a chance to beat the heat.

Family fun . . . Charleston-style With its opulent accommodations and decadent cuisines, Charleston can be a playground for the wealthy and those with extravagant tastes. So where does that leave families who want to explore the Lowcountry and not be forced to sell the minivan just to afford it? There are plenty of free — or almost free — family-friendly activities on the Charleston peninsula and slightly beyond. A fountain of free fun

Shannon Brigham is the editor of Lowcountry Parent magazine and a Savvy Shopper columnist. After working in various roles at a newspaper group on the Florida Gulf Coast, the Lowcountry native returned home to be closer to her friends and family. 86

and other animals close up. The Ambrose family farm is a great place to teach children about nutrition by letting them pick their own fruit. You-pick offerings include seasonal strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and tomatoes. It starts the first week in April with strawberries and closes when the blueberry crop is finished, usually in late June to mid-July. Keep in mind the farm is closed when it’s raining. The Ambrose family farm is located at 2349 Black Pond Lane Throw on some overalls on Wadmalaw Island. For more information, visit www.stonoKids can visit a real working farm and see goats, chickens or call 843-559-9999. Waterfront Park is a popular way to stay cool for out-oftowners and residents. This city park is an eight-acre linear park and pier along the Charleston Harbor. The park combines impressive fountains, well-manicured lawns, a walking and jogging path and a long pier with picnic tables and swings. Best of all, the park is free. The park is at Concord Street and Vendue Range.


See how the settlers lived

Like really big trees?

Visit Charles Towne Landing. Walk or bike the nature trails and check out the otters in their own habitat or release your inner pirate on The Adventure, a reproduction of a 17th century coastal trader. This cargo vessel was used to carry supplies, provisions, commodities and livestock between New Amsterdam (now New York) and Barbados in the West Indies. Charles Towne Landing is also a great place to throw down a blanket and have a picnic under a majestic oak tree. Cost is $7.50 per adult; $3.75 seniors; $3.50 ages 6–15; and free for children 5 and younger. Charles Towne Landing is located at 1500 Old Towne Road in Charleston. For more information, visit or call 843-852-4200.

The Angel Oak is estimated to be 300 to 400 years old. Located on Johns Island, the tree is 65 feet tall and has a circumference of 25.5 feet. It provides 17,000 square feet of shade. Its largest limb is 89 feet long. Kids get a first-hand opportunity to learn about the value of conservation and nature. There are picnic tables at the park and a gift shop that sells unique Charleston items. There aren’t many restrictions, only that people aren’t allowed to climb on the tree and high-heeled shoes aren’t permitted around its root system. The tree is located at 3688 Angel Oak Road, on Johns Island. Hours are Monday through Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday 1–5 p.m. Admission to the park is free. For more information, call 843-559-3496.

ENJOY, LEARN, SHARE Hobbyists and families alike are invited to experience over 1200 ft of model railroads – we are open to the public.

Tuesday & Thursday – 5:00 to 9:00 PM Saturday and Sunday – 1:00 to 5:00 PM

Located in the Citadel Mall next to Dillard’s R59-569956

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Angel Oak is on Johns Island


The replica trading vessel Adventure resides at Charles Towne Landing. 88


Try a hockey game. The Stingrays’ season begins in October.


Christ Our King Catholic Church Christ Our King Parish aspires to be a Christ centered, joyful, faith-filled Catholic Community. By becoming vibrant witnesses to the Gospel message through Eucharistic participation and reaching out in love, respect and support for all, we seek to promote the kingdom of God on earth.

Visitors Cordially Welcome!


Rev. Msgr. James A. Carter, P.A. 1122 Russell Drive, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 (843) 884-5587 C11-569179


Bee City is located about an hour from Charleston in Cottageville. Originally a honeybee farm, the 6-acre “city” has grown to include a petting zoo complete with deer, monkeys, ringtail lemurs, wallabies, alpacas and llamas plus a few chickens and goats. It also has a nature center that features South Carolina snakes, along with alligators, fish, turtles, lizards and frogs. And there’s also a nature trail families can discover. It is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday during the summer and Fridays and Saturdays, September through May. Be sure to buy some honey, beeswax candles or skin cream in the gift shop. Admission is $4. For more information, call 843-835-5912 or

Catch a game Familiesthathaven’tbeentoaCharleston RiverDogs game are really missing out. The RiverDogs’ philosophy is that fun is good — and they deliver. The RiverDogs’ season runs April through September. General admission tickets are $5. Sunday home games offer special savings. On Family Sundays, families can play catch in the outfield before the

game. Also, kids 12 and younger eat free and parking is free. Visit or call 843-5773647.

Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.

Hibben United Methodist Church Cool down on the ice There is nothing more exciting than taking in a hockey game with the kids. The Stingrays’ season is October through March. Games are held at the North Charleston Coliseum. Ticket packages sell for as low $10 a month. For more information, call 843-744-2248 or visit

Sunday Morning Worship Services Traditional 8:15 and 10:30 • Contemporary "The Well" 10:45 Nursery Provided Co-pastors: Jim and Kathryn Hunter 690 Coleman Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 843.884.9761 •



Short road trips

The beauty of Botany Bay Botany Bay Plantation is a 4,630-acre tract located on Edisto Island and is managed by S.C. Department of Natural Resources as a part of its Wildlife Management Area program. Families can explore maritime forests, salt marshes, tidal creeks, freshwater ponds and hammock islands. There is no admission cost to visit. Botany Bay Plantation is located on S.C. Hwy. 174, Edisto Island. For more information call 843953-9300 or and search “Wildlife Management Areas.” ✦

Your resource on faith communities in the Lowcountry

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Taking a cruise When my sister chose a cruise as her high school graduation trip and invited me to join her, I was not thrilled.

Kristy Crum had insatiable wanderlust until she discovered Charleston. She is now content to spend the rest of her life climbing trees at Waterfront Park, swing dancing at local jazz clubs and watching the sunrise at Sullivan’s Island. 90

My fears of sitting on a stuffy ship playing bingo all day were put to rest the moment I stepped aboard the 70-ton “floating city” complete with water slides, dance clubs and spectacular views of endless blue water and cloudless skies. I now consider cruising to be the best way to travel. (Where else does $100 per night cover accommodations, unlimited food, entertainment and transportation between destinations?) For slightly over a year now, Carnival has offered weekly five-, six- and seven-day cruises from Charleston to the Bahamas and Bermuda on the recently-renovated Fantasy. This the perfect getaway for locals or those not wanting to drive or

fly to Florida. Below are a few tips to ensure smooth sailing out of the Holy City.


Book in advance. If traveling with a large group, book your cruise 12 to 14 months before your departure date, advises SeaMaster Cruises agent Gerlind Sievert. This will allow you to choose adjacent staterooms and group dining arrangements. Sievert recommends small groups and individuals book early as well, in order to find better fares. As long as the final payment has not been made, Carnival will refund the deposit if you decide to cancel. Visit to book cruises out of Charleston.

ADVICE FROM LOCALS Sail during the off season. Prices drop significantly if you are willing to sail in January or September. You will pay a premium to sail during the summer months or around Christmas and New Years Eve. According to the Carnival website, the cost of a five-day cruise jumps from $229 in January to $559 in July for an interior stateroom. The off season also offers cooler temperatures for exploring the Bahamas.


Choose an interior stateroom. The Carnival Fantasy does not offer balconies, and (besides the price) the only difference between an interior stateroom and an oceanview room is a porthole. The ship’s public upper decks provide incomparable views of the surroundings, so pack an alarm clock (since it’s easy to oversleep in a room with no windows), and forgo the porthole. With a wide selection of onboard and shore activities, you won’t be spending much time in your room anyway.


Sign up for “Your Time” Dining. When you book your cruise, you will have the option of choosing Early (6 p.m.), Late (8:15 p.m.) or Your Time Dining. Early and Late Dining provide you with a nightly reservation; Your Time Dining allows you to arrive at the dining room anywhere between 5:45-9:30 p.m. You will be seated on a first-come, first-serve basis, but I have never had to wait more than 10 minutes to be seated. The flexibility is also nice when you are exploring the ports.

of citizenship. I’ve found that a money belt keeps everything organized and accessible. Also, the Carnival Fantasy uses a cashless credit system on board. Upon arrival, you will be issued a “Sail & Sign” card that functions as a credit card, boarding pass and room key. A money belt is a good place to keep this all-important piece of plastic.


Avoid parking fees. Parking at the Charleston cruise terminal will cost $15 per day for a standardsize vehicle, which can add up quickly. Fortunately, more than 50 hotels in the Charleston area offer vacation packages that include complimentary parking and shuttle service to Union Pier.


Arrive at the terminal at noon on your departure date. The embarkation process for the Carnival Fantasy takes place between DAVID SLADE/THE POST AND COURIER noon and 3 p.m. Attendants will take your (previously tagged) luggage and Passengers gather aboard the Carnival cruise ship Fantasy. transport it to your stateroom, and after you receive your Sail & Sign card, you will be allowed to board the ship. Head up to the Lido Deck to enjoy your first meal. Boarding early will give you a chance to explore the ship before you set sail.


Shoreexcursionsaren’ttheonlyoption. Some of my best experiences at cruise ports have been renting a Jet Ski in Key West and a scooter in Nassau. Neither of these was a shore excursion offered by the cruise ship. But exploring the islands on your own requires some research ahead of time. There have been times when I found myself wandering around a bad area of town for hours, Check in before you arrive at wishing I had booked a snorkeling exUnion Pier Terminal. After you cursion with the cruise line. book your cruise, visit the Carnival website to print cruise documents and Enjoy the staff. Talking with luggage tags. This will be one less line the wait staff is one of my fayou’ll have to stand in when you arrive vorite parts of cruising. They often at the terminal. hail from countries such as Indonesia and Romania, and interacting with Buy a money belt. Several times them makes me feel like I’m traveling during the embarkation process, the world instead of just sailing about each traveling passenger will need to 50 miles off the coast of the United show cruise tickets, photo ID and proof States. ✦

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*Ships Registry: The Bahamas and Panama

Carnival reserves the right to re-instate the fuel supplement for all guests at up to $9 per person per day if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $70 per barrel.





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Anna Cline and her daughter Bridget watch a scuba diver swim with the fish at the South Carolina Aquarium.

Quick trip guide Paige Hinson and Kristy Krum âœŚ The Post and Courier

Charleston offers an overwhelming amount of attractions, but what if you only have time for a quick day trip? Here’s how to make the most of your short amount of time in the Holy City. Where do I park? LEROY BURNELL/THE POST AND COURIER

Rainbow Row is on East Bay Street. 92

ing garage locations and prices (also see map The city of Charleston has several public on Page 24). parking decks at convenient spots around the There are also plenty of metered parking peninsula. Visit spots, but they can be hard to find when tourmap/parking.html for a map showing all park- ist season is in full swing.


What’s the best way to get around Charleston? Walking, if you’re able and willing. Charleston is a pedestrian-friendly city, and walking gives you the opportunity to take in the sights, sounds and smells (for better or worse) of our historic city. But if walking isn’t your style, The Bicycle Shoppe on Meeting Street and Charleston Bicycle Company on East Bay Street offer daily and hourly bike rentals. There are also bike taxis whose drivers will be happy to give you a lift.

I love to shop! Where else should I go? King Street is the shopping Mecca of Charleston, offering a variety of merchandise and brand names. The lower end, toward the Battery, is known as the Antique District, while the middle area, parallel to the City Market, is the Fashion District. Above Calhoun Street, in the area known as Upper King, is the Design District, where you’ll find home furnishings WADE SPEES/THE POST AND COURIER and boutiques. Crowds listen to music and wander between the food tents at the Charleston Farmers Market.

Where should I start?

The aquarium is a treat for children and adults. It takes visitors on a journey from mountain habitats to Lowcountry marshes via beautiful and lifelike exhibits. You’ll see an albino alligator that looks like it came straight out of your nightmare, a gigantic tank full of sharks and other large fish and a peaceful touch tank that holds horseshoe crabs, stingrays and more.

If you’re visiting on a Saturday, we suggest heading straight for the Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square. It’s open 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays, and it offers some of the best produce, plants, art and handmade gift items you can find in Charleston. Plus, you can get a real sense of the community, as locals and tourists mingle in the square. You can get fueled up for your day by grabbing a bite to eat from one of the I hate fish. large variety of food vendors peddling What else can I do? everything from Vietnamese street ta- A: You can visit Fort Sumter and see cos to Nutella and strawberry crepes wheretheCivilWarbegan.Sincethefort (Paige’s favorite). is only accessible by boat, you’ll need to visit Spirit Line Cruises, located next to the aquarium at 360 Concord St. FerI want to do something ries to the fort depart at different times educational. Suggestions? depending on the time of year, so you’ll From Marion Square, head down need to visit Spirit Line’s website at www. Calhoun Street to Aquarium Wharf, to check times. a waterfront complex that houses the Trips to Fort Sumter generally take at South Carolina Aquarium. least 2½ hours, so plan accordingly.

I’m interested in taking a walking tour of Charleston. Where do you suggest I go? While Charleston has no shortage of tour companies, you can explore the city yourself for free. Take a walk down East Bay Street, where you can meander through gorgeous Waterfront Park, ogle the houses on the famed Rainbow Row and enjoy amazing views from Battery Park. After leaving Battery Park, make your way up Church Street to Market Street, where you can get some shopping done at the City Market.

I’m worn out and ready for a cocktail. Where do you suggest I go? It depends on what type of atmosphere you’re looking for. Charleston has a vibrant nightlife scene which offers everything from swanky clubs to gritty dive bars. On East Bay and Market streets, be

prepared for younger, touristy crowds packing into spots like Wet Willie’s, Light, Market Street Saloon and Purple Tree Lounge. If you’re looking for a quieter place to have a drink, Mercato on Market Street has live jazz every night, as does Charleston Grill at the Charleston Place Hotel. For a more casual evening, check out Tommy Condon’s Pub on Meeting Street or Johnson’s Pub on Cumberland Street. King Street’s nightlife is dominated by college kids going to places like Mellow Mushroom, King Street Grille and Charleston Beer Works. Charleston’s newest nightlife trend is speakeasy-type bars like The Gin Joint on East Bay Street and the Cocktail Club on Upper King. In the end, your best bet is to just get out and walk around the peninsula until you find the spot best suited for you. ✦ 93



A day of shopping on King Street and a surprise dinner with your girlfriends — what could be better?

Girls’ weekend

Ladies craving a weekend getaway with their best gal pals will find one-of-a-kind shops and tasty treats in downtown Charleston.

A native of Baton Rouge, La., education reporter Diette Courrégé (left) loves running, eating and watching her LSU Tigers. Reporter AllysonBirdgrewuponFolly Beach,graduatedfromtheUniversityofSouthCarolinaandplaysonthelocalrollerderby team,theLowcountryHighrollers. 94

Leave your car keys at the hotel; you won’t need them. This idyllic city is ideal for any woman who wants to escape, indulge and make some new memories.

a visit to the Farmers Market, which operates every Saturday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. between April 9 and Dec. 18. in Marion Square. It’s the perfect spot to savor the morning. Nosh on a delicious brunch, lisFarmers Market ten to live music and meander through loWe suggest starting your Saturday with cal vendors’ stands. You’ll find everything


from fresh produce to handcrafted music or a great view. art. We took a break at The Vendue Rooftop Bar (19 Vendue Range) across from Lunch break Waterfront Park. Up on the top deck we From the Farmers Market, you’ll enjoyed a mango mojito and some great be within walking distance of two of tales from our bartender of a few girls’ our favorite lunch spots in Charles- weekends gone awry against a Charleston, Five Loaves Cafe (43 Cannon ton Harbor backdrop. Cheers to that. St.) and Cru Cafe (18 Pinckney St). Five Loaves has a creative, reasonably Dinner time priced selection of soups, salads and Wander just down the waterfront sandwiches in a relaxed atmosphere. from the Rooftop, and you’ll hit Fleet We recommend one of the many half- Landing (186 Concord St). A charming sandwich, half-salad combinations. If seafood restaurant in a retired 1940s you want more upscale fare, try Cru Navy building, Fleet Landing offers Cafe. You can’t beat the location — a both indoor tables and booths and quaint and historic Charleston single outdoor dining on the harbor with a home — or the comfort food inside. view of the Cooper River Bridge and the aircraft-carrier-turned-museum Shopping Yorktown. High-end international brands For visiting ladies in search of Southand local boutiques live side by side ern cuisine, we suggest Hominy Grill GRACE BEAHM/THE POST AND COURIER on King Street, Charleston’s fashion (207 Rutledge Ave.) where the handdistrict. College students, tourists painted exterior proclaims, “Grits are Downtown Charleston is a shopper’s paradise. and downtown socialites pass in the good for you.” Bring your appetite, and streets, making their way toward elec- think pimiento cheese, she-crab soup, tronics, surf gear and bow ties. Start corn bread and iced tea. at Calhoun Street, and take a slow stroll. By the time you reach Market Dancing Street, you’ll step from one era to the If you’re not too worn out, put next, trading modern retail for antique on a su m mer d ress (t he Sat u rstores. day night uniform of Charleston women) and f lip-f lops (everyone Bake shop pit stop does it) and head out. Trio Lounge Perhaps the ultimate relaxation is (139 Calhoun St.) is a fun place to enjoying a fine pastry while sitting in dance without coeds spilling beer the tucked-away walled garden at Sug- on you. But if you’d rather socialize ar Bakeshop (59½ Cannon St.). Sugar than dance, we’d suggest The Gin delivers all the standards — chocolate Joint (182 East Bay St.), which has a chip cookies, red velvet cupcakes and trendy atmosphere and classically pecan tarts — plus the Lady Baltimore made cocktails that give a nod to special on Thursdays: sherry-soaked the pre-prohibition era. fig and raisin cupcakes topped with Don’t forget about rickshaws for getmeringue icing. We hear the lemon ting around town and back to your curd cupcake is the best-seller among home or hotel, and don’t be afraid women. to stop and ask for directions. Give Charleston one girls’ weekend, and Afternoon cocktail we’re sure you’ll find an excuse to do After all that shopping and eating, you it again. ✦ deserve a drink … Er, just go with it. Charleston’s bars famously don’t overTo watch a video tour of a girls’ night out charge you for a good cocktail, and in Charleston by Diette Courrege and Aloften the experience comes with free lyson Bird, visit R24-568450 95



The Ocean Course on Kiawah Island is ranked as one of the best in the United States. Kiawah will host the 2012 PGA Championship in August.

Lowcountry golf Maybe the best thing about golf in Charleston is what there is to do in the area for those who DON’T play golf.

Ben Morgan ( left) is The Post and Courier’s distribution manager. A native of Texas, he enjoys fishing, reading and photography. He has two grown children and lives in Goose Creek with his wife. Fred Rindge is The Post and Courier’s deputy sports editor. He and his wife live in West Ashley and are the proud parents of four children. 96

If you’re vacationing with your family, it’s likely not everyone enjoys chasing a little white ball around a golf course. Fortunately for you, Charleston offers great compromise. Many vacation destinations use golf as a chief selling point to attract potential visitors, but in Charleston, golf isn’t very high in the batting order of chamber of commerce inducements. The area’s reputation as the home of many terrific golf courses is often dwarfed by its

distinction as a sanctuary of fascinating history, fine dining and shopping and fabulous beaches. So, after sending your non-golfing loved ones on their way to enjoy the myriad Charleston attractions, you get to spend the next few hours guilt-free, playing 18 holes among the live oaks and waterways of the Lowcountry. American golf teed off in 1786 in Charleston at Harleston Green, which was the first golf course in the United States




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and was located on peninsular Charleston. Harleston Green no longer exists, but it paved the way for golf in the Lowcountry and the rest of America. Charlestonoffersitsresidentsandguests a variety of high-quality entertainment options. Its collection of golf courses are equally impressive and varied. The course you choose may be tucked away within the Charleston community, visited mostly by locals, or it might be ranked among the world’s best. Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course is not only among the newest golf courses in the area, it’s also one of the best around. Selected as the site of the 1991 Ryder Cup before it was even built, Hurricane Hugo in 1989 put those plans in jeopardy, but construction was completed on time and the Ocean Course hosted what wouldbeoneofthebestRyderCupsever. The Ocean Course has since been the site of the 2007 Senior PGA Championship and will host the 2012 PGA Championship. Yeah, it’s a little pricey (somewhere in theneighborhoodof$250),butitmightbe hard to pass up the opportunity to play a golf course that hugs the Atlantic Ocean, has been the site of top golf championships and is among the best ever built. Golf Digest in 2011 ranked the Ocean Course the fourth greatest public course in the U.S. and the 26th best overall in America. Golf Magazine in 2009 ranked the jewel of Kiawah Island the 27th best in America and 47th in the world. The Ocean Course is one of a handful of golf layouts on Kiawah Island. Wild Dunes on Isle of Palms and Seabrook Resort on Seabrook Island also have courses bordering the Atlantic. Inland, a number of courses are more friendlytoyourwalletandarealsosetalong areawaterways.Formany,selectinganonresort course provides a lot more bang for your vacation buck. And you wouldn’t be the first golfer to strike your golf ball and then grab your camera to take a snapshot of the Lowcountry beauty. ✦

To watch a video tour of local golf courses, visit 98

Charleston-area golf courses Golf Course Berkeley Country Club Charleston Municipal Golf Course Charleston National Country Club Coosaw Creek Country Club Crowfield Golf and Country Club Dunes West Golf Club Golf Club at Wescott Plantation Kiawah Island-Cougar Point Kiawah Island-Oak Point Kiawah Island-Ocean Course Kiawah Island-Osprey Point Kiawah Island-Turtle Point Legend Oaks Golf Club Link at Stono Ferry Miler Country Club Patriots Point Golf Links Pine Forest Golf Club RiverTowne Country Club Seabrook Island-Crooked Oaks Seabrook Island-Ocean Winds Shadowmoss Plantation Golf Club Wild Dunes-Harbor Course Wild Dunes-Links Course

Location Moncks Corner Charleston Mount Pleasant North Charleston Goose Creek Mount Pleasant North Charleston Kiawah Island Kiawah Island Kiawah Island Kiawah Island Kiawah Island Summerville Hollywood Summerville Mount Pleasant Summerville Mount Pleasant Seabrook Island Seabrook Island Charleston Isle of Palms Isle of Palms


Phone Number 843-761-4880 843-795-6517 843-884-8463 843-767-9000 843-764-4618 843-856-9000 843-871-1235 843-266-4020 843-266-4100 843-266-4670 843-266-4640 843-266-4050 843-821-4077 843-763-1817 843-873-2210 843-881-0042 843-851-1193 843-849-2405 843-768-2529 843-768-2529 843-556-8251 843-886-2164 843-886-2180

The Charleston touch Smart golf course designers route their layouts to incorporate the beloved live oaks that add so much beauty and charm to the Lowcountry and area golf courses. Live oaks are found along the Atlantic Coast from southeast Virginia and North Carolina to Florida, west along the Gulf Coast to Texas and Louisiana. The name live oak comes from the fact that these trees remain green and “live” throughout winter. Geddes


Charleston-area golfers

Charleston-area firsts

Few top professional golfers honed their skills on Charleston-area courses, but there were two: Beth Daniel is a native of Charleston who won 33 LPGA events, including the 1990 LPGA Championship. Jane Geddes, who moved to Summerville at age 16, won 11 times on the LPGA Tour, including two majors: the 1986 U.S. Open and the 1987 LPGA Championship.

As one of the first settlements in America, Charleston has been home to a number of firsts in the United States, including the following: First public library (1700) First major slave insurrection (1739) First public museum (1773) First golf club (1786) First ice transported commercially (1799) … From New York City to Charleston First shot fired in Civil War (1861)

9280 University Blvd., North Charleston, SC 29406

The Meeting Street Inn offers distinctive lodging in the heart of Charleston's historic district. Located opposite the bustling City Market, the Inn is surrounded by Charleston's finest restaurants, boutiques and antique shops. Everything that is unique to the "Holy City" is no more than a pleasant stroll from your front door!

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The Indigo Inn, the Charleston Inn of distinction, recipient of AAA's prestigious Four Diamond Award since it opened in 1979, offers superior accommodations and lodging in the heart of the City's historic district featuring 40 luxurious Charleston hotel rooms. No detail is overlooked in providing our guest with the opportunity to experience the charm of Charleston.



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Your hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Emerson Read invite you to journey back in time as you enjoy the ambiance and history of Charleston. The Lamboll House Bed & Breakfast Inn, built around 1739 for Mr. Thomas Lamboll has maintained its original charm and atmosphere. The Inn is located just off the Battery in the heart of the historic district offering two large guest bedrooms with private baths and French doors leading onto the third floor piazza which has a distant view of the harbor overlooking the tree tops. We look forward to having you as our guests!

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Want to combine sightseeing and exercising? The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge offers one of the best and cheapest views in town.

Penny pinching, lavish spending A visit to Charleston can be done from on the very cheap to the high-end luxurious and expensive. The good news is there is something to do in every price range, from dining to shopping, sightseeing to sport. Here are just a few options: Is there a unique place to just stroll? Where is a good place to stay and Downtown Charleston south of Calhoun still get the Charleston experience?

Schuyler Kropf (left) covers North Charleston and military issues. He has been with The Post and Courier since December 1987, covering a wide array of beats, including the S.C. Legislature, courts, politics and the effort to raise and restore the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley. Doug Pardue is an award-winning journalist and The Post and Courier’s quick-response enterprise editor. He lives on James Island with his wife. 100

Street is full of history and is really more of an open-air museum. You can park streetside in any of the neighborhoods, or pay to leave your car in one of the parking garages.The Battery and the adjacent park known as White Point Gardens would be a good place to start. Some groups and homes offer tours, including the private Calhoun Mansion on Meeting Street, telephone: 843-722-8205.

There are hotel chains available both in the city and outside the main downtown area that are still considered close in. If you’re a young rustic traveler, the Not-so Hostel has two locations downtown. Dorm rooms begin at $23 a night 843-722-8383. Most bed and breakfasts are all within walking distance of shopping, dining and sightseeing. On the more exclusive end, U.S. News & World



The Wentworth Mansion in downtown Charleston.

Report’s recent listing of the “Best Hotels in the USA” had four Charleston sites makethelistof86topproperties.Among them: the Wentworth Mansion, The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, thePlantersInn,andCharlestonPlaceby Orient-Express. Wentworth Mansion, at 149 Wentworth St., scored the highest of 127 metro Charleston hotels and inns. Rooms average $373 a night.

I’d like to try fishing. What are my options? Marinas around the region are home to offshore charter businesses with trips of varying prices. Inshore guides favor taking fishing trips for schools of red drum that prefer the local estuaries. The pier at Folly Beach, operated by the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission, is also a family fun option. Poles can be rented for a fee and bait is available on-site. The pier reaches more than 1,000 feet into the Atlantic

Ocean. Phones: 843- 588-FISH(3474) or ship to be held in August at Kiawah Pleasant side. The view from the walk843-795-4FUN(4386). Island’s Ocean Course. way peak, 186 feet above the water, includes a panorama of the city, harbor What’s an out-of-the-way I like antiques. and the distant beaches and islands. The workout is only moderately strenplace for a quiet walk outside Where should I look? King Street, below Market Street, is uous depending on your conditioning the city besides the beaches? Magnolia Cemetery, off Meeting the more exclusive antique shopping and the outside temperatures. Street in the Neck Area north of the district. Also, various local flea markets Where can I best get city, is full of history and is casually are scheduled throughout the year, ofdecorated by a spread of moss-draped ten held at the Gaillard Auditorium on the Charleston Civil War experience? oaks. Many Confederate dead are bur- Calhoun Street downtown. ied here, including crews of the ConfedTicket-requiring tour boats to Fort erate submarine Hunley and its chief I like to work out. Any way Sumter leave daily from both downarchitect, Horace Lawson Hunley. town Charleston, near the South Caroto combine sightseeing, power-walking and running? lina Aquarium, and in Mount Pleasant I like golf. The best place to achieve both is to from the Patriots Point Maritime Mutackle the giant Arthur Ravenel Jr. seum. The fort is operated by the NaWhere should I play? Take your pick. The Charleston area Bridge linking Charleston and Mount tional Park Service, and rangers are on has close to 30 private, semi-private Pleasant. Locals banded together ahead hand to answer questions and provide and public courses. Most are open of the 2005 completion to demand the details on the opening shots of the war year-round, with varying greens fees span be outfitted with a designated jog- and life in the fort afterward. For visitor and park information, depending on season and time of day. ging and cycling path. contact the Visitor Information & Many golfing enthusiasts are looking Parking is available on both sides of Park Headquarters 843-883-3123. ✦ forward to the 2012 PGA Champion- the bridge but is easiest on the Mount 101

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Tens of thousands of runners and walkers participate in the 2011 Cooper River Bridge Run.

Get out for fitness

Much has been made about the overall increasing obesity rate in the U.S. and in South Carolina in particular, but Charleston’s climate provides an ideal way to stay fit year-round.

An avid runner and triathlete, David Quick covers fitness and the outdoors for The Post and Courier and writes a “Running Charleston” blog on Melanie Balog, digital editor for the newspaper, has logged 22 marathons and several Lowcountry road races. 104

We’reluckythatwehavesomanyplacestobike, walk and run throughout the area. Watersports are a great way to combine exercise with getting together with friends or family. Yes, if you’re coming from one of the northern climates and you’re here in the summer months, you will probably need some time to acclimate to the heat and humidity. But that’s a small price to pay for being able to run over the Cooper River

Bridge in a T-shirt and shorts in December.

Running, cycling, swimming The Charleston area boasts 50-plus road races, 10triathlonsandoneannualopen-waterswim.It has a half dozen specialty stores and three clubs —CharlestonRunningClub,CoastalCyclistsand CharlestonTriathlonClub—cateringtotheneeds of local weekend warriors.


swim along the Mount Pleasant Shore- Favorable kiteboarding conditions can line, including a swim under the Coo- be found on Sullivan’s Island, Edisto Isper River Bridge. The 2011 event drew a land,KiawahIsland,FollyBeachandIsle record 488 finishers. Other open water of Palms. swims are rumored to be in the works. Stand-up paddleboarding, in which someone stands up on an longboard on Board sports steroids and then paddles, has become a While the waves aren’t great along the sensation in the Charleston area during South Carolina coast, the surfing tradi- thepastfewyears.Relativelyeasytolearn, tion in the Lowcountry dates back to the stand-uppaddleboardingprovidesagreat 1960s. Its epicenter is Folly Beach, home workout for your core and a great way to the Southern South Carolina district of to see the area from the water. The anthe Eastern Surfing Association, an array nualShemCreekStand-UpPaddleboard ofsurfingcompetitionsandshopsandthe Shootout in July draws experienced and bestsurfingspotinthearea,TheWashout. novice paddlers, kids and adults. While the crescendo of the local surfing contest season is the ESA’s Gover- And more nor’s Cup of Surfing in early August, the There’s always something new to try: excitement builds more when a tropi- scuba diving, kayaking, and the outdoor cal storm or hurricane sweeps just far climbing wall at James Island County enough away to create decent waves. The Park are just some of the many other height of hurricane season is late August outdoor fitness opportunities to explore. DAVID QUICK/THE POST AND COURIER and all of September. So get out there! ✦ Dean Johnson paddleboards.


The major events, in order of occurrence,includetheCharlestonMarathon, Half-Marathon and 5K in January; the Cooper River Bridge Run on March 31; the five triathlons of the Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series May-August; the Turkey Day Run on Thanksgiving Day; Komen Race for the Cure in October; and Kiawah Island Marathon and HalfMarathon in December. Meanwhile, the most popular places to run are the bike/pedestrian lane of the Cooper River bridge, the secondary roads and beaches of Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island and Folly. Cyclists gravitate to the roads of the Francis Marion National Forest, Johns and Wadmalaw islands, and the barrier islands of Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s and Folly. Group rides frequently originate from local bike shops and gyms. The Lowcountry Splash, with its motto “Get Under It,” is a 2.4 mile open-water 105



Make sure to try some boiled peanuts. The salty, little morsels are a Lowcountry favorite, and South Carolina’s official state snack food.

How to blend in Gene Sapakoff ✦ The Post and Courier

To an extent, we are all tourists. We all love Charleston, and most of us enjoy exploring the wonderful nooks and crannies the Lowcountry has to offer. But that doesn’t mean veteran residents or newcomers, or tourists, have to look or act like a tourist. A primer: Dos and Don’ts

Do … Eat lots of shrimp and grits. Don’t … Eat imported shrimp. Or instant grits. Do … Get in the water. Beach, kayaking, paddle boarding, boating. Don’t … Get in the pluff mud. 106

Do … Buy boiled peanuts. Don’t … Wager on carriage horses. Do … Eat pralines and buy sweetgrass baskets. Don’t … Put unwrapped pralines in sweetgrass baskets.


To fit in, another food on the “To Do” list is shrimp and grits.


Dress code Q&A Q: Are fanny packs still fashionable? A: Only when you’re home alone. Q: What kind of tan blends best with Charleston backdrops? A: Something between Hawaiian Tropic contest winner and sunburns requiring immediate medical attention. Q: When is it appropriate to wear my “Myrtle Beach, USA” T-shirt? A: When in Myrtle Beach. Q: What did The Most Interesting Man In The World wear while visiting Charleston? A: Khaki. Which he invented.

Quick quiz 1. When parking at the beach, do you? A. Pay to park. B. Park several blocks away forcing a long walk along hot asphalt. C. Make friends with someone who lives right near a great beach hangout. 2. When grocery shopping in the

summer, do you: A. Load up two carts with snacks, beverages and toiletries. B. Three carts. C. Make extra trips just to avoid that “beach house” stigma. 3. Taking in a Charleston RiverDogs baseball game, are you on your way to? A. Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. B. Riley Park. C. The Joe. ANSWERS: 1. C; 2. C; 3. C. SCORING: 3 correct – Congratulations! You have lived in the Lowcountry for at least 4.7 years; 2 correct – OK, but you obviously still don’t have a Pig Card; 1 correct – Oops! The moving van is probably stuck on the New Jersey Turnpike; Zero – Just keep thinking … “This is a process.”

appetizers at one great place, dinner at another, dessert at a third.

Driving tips The two simple rules: 1. Horn etiquette The light turns green but the vehicle in front of you doesn’t move.? Blast the horn? No, that’s so up North. Wait patiently until the next green light? No, too “country polite.” You have those nice folks behind you to think about. The correct non-touristy response is a three-second count to a light tap on the horn, followed by a wave and a “That-happens-to-me-all-the-time” smile.

2. Turtle maintenance You come upon a yellow-bellied slider crossing the road. Eating out Pull out a crossword puzzle ’til the Rookie way to take a visitor to dinner little critter crosses the road? downtown: Find a nice restaurant. Or hit the gas? Veteran way to take a visitor to Neither. dinner downtown: Beverages and Calmly apply the brake, shift into

park, turn hazard lights on, get out and carefully carry the turtle to safety (firmly picking up from behind the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock spots under the shell to prevent a spin snap). Caution: Stay safe; do not attempt on interstates or in other heavy traffic.

Conversation starters “Gee, Dan, this Harbor dredging thing just gets more and more fascinating.” “I disagree; ’91 Spoleto was the best.” “How ‘bout those Gamecocks/Tigers/Bulldogs/Cougars?”

What not to say “What’s with that smelly marsh?” “A crabcake omelet, are you kidding?” “Reminds me of Charleston, West Virginia!” ✦ To watch a video of how to blend in in Charleston featuring Gene Spakoff, visit

Terrace Oaks Antiques has been the leader in the Charleston area for multidealer antique shops. We were the first antique mall to open and, after 20 years, we are still going strong. Thank you to all of our customers for your continued patronage! Owned and operated by Camille B. Wish 2037 Maybank Hwy (Hwy. 700), Charleston, SC 29412 Mon-Sat 10AM-5:30PM 843.795.9689 R34-571956 107

home, sweet home TIME TO PUT DOWN ROOTS


Lowcountry communities Get to know the neighborhoods of downtown Charleston and take a closer look at surrounding communities.


Schools and colleges Learn more about local schools and the opportunities for higher education. GRACE BEAHM/THE POST AND COURIER


C00-575402 109


Dorchester County

Berkeley County

Contact: 843-832-0103 Population, 2010: 136,555 Square miles, 2000: 574.73 Persons per square mile, 2010: 237.6 Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2005-2009: $164,100

Contact: 843-719-4234 Population, 2010: 177,843 Square miles, 2000: 1,097.72 Persons per square mile, 2010:162 Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2005-2009: $143,000 Bonneau



Contacts Awendaw: 843-928-3100 Bonneau: 843-825-3385 Charleston: 843-577-6970 Edisto Beach: 843-869-2505 Folly Beach: 843-588-2447 Goose Creek: 843-797-6220 James Island: 843-762-7744 Jamestown: 843-257-2233 Hanahan: 843-554-4221 Harleyville: 843-462-7676 Hollywood: 843-889-3222 Isle of Palms: 843-886-6428 Kiawah: 843-768-9166 McClellanville: 843-887-3712 Meggett: 843-889-3622 Moncks Corner: 843-719-7900 Mount Pleasant: 843-884-8517 North Charleston: 843-554-5700 Ravenel: 843- 889-8732 Ridgeville: 843-871-7960 Rockville: 843-559-7072 Seabrook: 843-768-9121 Summerville: 843-871-6000 St. George: 843-563-3032 St. Stephen: 843-567-4480 Sullivan’s Island: 843-883-3198

Goose Creek Hanahan North Charleston

West Ashley Ravenel Hollywood Meggett

Sullivan’s Island

James Island

Folly Beach

Charleston County Rockville Seabrook

Edisto Beach


Isle of Palms

Contact: 843-958-4000 Population, 2010: 350,209 Square miles, 2000: 918.51 Persons per square mile, 2010: 381.3 Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2005-2009: $231,100


Where You Live! 1000 BONIETA HARROLD DR / CHARLESTON, SC 29414 / 843.789.4676

Woodfield St. James 900 Channing Way, Goose Creek, SC 29445

Where you live is a decision you can stop pondering. Woodfield South Point truly has it all. We’re located within a short drive of every place you’d want to be, and situated beneath a canopy of Charleston’s signature live oak trees. Stop in and see for yourself all that Woodfield South Point has to offer.



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Call 853-POST or go to C51-575124 111


The cross at the top of Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist on Broad Street.

Downtown Charleston Glenn Smith ✦ The Post and Courier

Known as the Holy City for its abundance of churches, Charleston has survived devastating hurricanes, fires, earthquakes and two wars fought on its soil. It has basked in prosperity, endured poverty and reinvented itself several times, morphing from a bawdy port town into a cosmopolitan city while still retaining its distinct character. 112


Charleston got its start in the 1670s when a group of colonists landed here and built a fortified settlement along the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers. Some 300 years later, the peninsular city comprises 20 densely packed neighborhoods, each with its own look, flavor and offerings. At the tip of the peninsula lies a residential enclave known to locals as “South of Broad” for its geographical position to Broad Street. With its stately mansions and buildings dating to the 1700s, the area includes some of the peninsula’s


priciest real estate. The neighborhood is home to the Battery seawall; Rainbow Row, a historic collection of 18th-century townhomes on East Bay Street painted in pastel hues; and White Point Garden, where visitors can inspect cannons and monuments beneath a canopy of oak trees. The best way to see the neighborhood is on foot. Take note that there are no public restrooms in this area and most nonmetered, on-street parking in the city is limited to two hours or less. At the other edge of the neighborhood is the so-called Four Corners of Law at Meeting and Broad streets, bounded by City Hall, the county and federal courthouses and St. Michael’s Episcopal Church.

in recognition of the city’s French settlers and the French Huguenot Church they founded. The area boasts the stylish Dock Street Theatre and the Powder Magazine, a circa 1713 structure on Cumberland Street that is among the oldest surviving buildings in South Carolina. Nearby Chalmers Street is the city’s longest cobblestone road, paved with stones that once served as ballast to stabilize empty ships. A short walk away is Waterfront Park, built in the aftermath of 1989’s Hurricane Hugo. The park offers a popular fountain for cooling off and sweeping views of Charleston Harbor. The French Quarter abuts the City Market, which once served as the city’s grocery store and an extension of its port. It now mainly caters to tourists, French Quarter/Market area with vendors selling everything from ROBERT BEHRE/THE POST AND COURIER Just north of Broad Street lies the sweetgrass baskets to jewelry and hot Charleston’s Rainbow Row, a collection of 18th-century townhomes that French Quarter neighborhood, named sauces. form one of the city’s most iconic streetscapes.

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Neck Area

CITY OF CHARLESTON ✦ City Hall: 577-6970 ✦ Police: 577-7434 ✦ Fire: 724-7386 ✦ Ombudsman: 724-3745 ✦ Visitor Information: 853-8000 ✦ Website: home/home.aspx

Wagener Terrace


West Side


Elliottborough Cannonborough

Garden District

10 11

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

East Side




Ansonborough 12 13

Harleston Village

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5 4

The Battery Rainbow Row Four Corners of Law Waterfront Park City Market S.C. Aquarium Marion Square Hampton Park The Citadel Joseph P. Riley Jr. Stadium Brittlebank Park College of Charleston Medical University of South Carolina

French Quarter 3


South of Broad 1 114



Ansonborough/Garden District On the other side of the Market lies Ansonborough, named after the British lord and sea captain who supposedly won its lands in a card game in the 1700s. Ravaged by fire in 1838 and mired in slum conditions in the 1950s, Ansonborough bounced back to become a model of historic rehabilitation. Ansonborough is just across East Bay Street from the Aquarium Wharf area. There, visitors can sample marine life at the South Carolina Aquarium or hitch a boat ride — for a fee — to Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began. A walk up busy Calhoun Street from Aquarium Wharf will take you to the Mazyck-Wraggborough neighborhood, also known as the Garden District. Visitors can relax in the shade of oaks in Wragg Square or take a short walk to the Charleston Museum, founded in 1773, making it the oldest museum in the country. The Garden District lies next to the East Side, originally known as the Village of Hampstead. The neighborhood, ringed by the city’s largest concentration of public housing, has struggled with drug dealing and violence but maintains a tight-knit spirit of community. The Garden District is also close to Marion Square, a popular gathering spot that plays host to sunbathers, the successful Wine + Food Festival, the Charleston Farmers Market and many other events.

King Street and beyond The square serves as an entrance to the bustling King Street corridor. The lower portion has antiques stores, upscale boutique shops and eateries oriented to the college crowd. Upper King is filled with an eclectic mix of trendy restaurants, hip nightclubs, clothing stores and other shops. The surrounding neighborhoods of Radcliffeborough, Cannonborough, Elliottborough and the West Side have seen a surge of reinvestment in the


A seaturtle swims in a tank at the South Carolina Aquarium. past decade. They, along with Harleston Village, are home to a mix of fulltime residents and students attending the nearby College of Charleston and Medical University of South Carolina. Just beyond MUSC lies the Ashley River. A good vantage point and picnic spot is Brittlebank Park on Lockwood Boulevard. The park is just down the street from Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park, a stadium better known as “The Joe.” It’s home to the Charleston RiverDogs baseball team, a Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees. Travel north on the peninsula and you will find yourself in the Neck Area, a roughly two-mile stretch that connects the city with North Charleston. The Neck features a largely industrial landscape peppered with businesses, rail lines, interstate crossings and isolated neighborhoods. ✦

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Shrimp boat Winds of Fortune passes by Alhambra Hall during the Blessing of the Fleet in Mount Pleasant.

East of the Cooper East of the Cooper ranges from the sprawling Francis Marion National Forest to the towering Arthur Ravenel Bridge, from the glitzy Family Circle Cup tennis tournament at Daniel Island to sleepy Sullivan’s Island, where Edgar Allen Poe put pen to paper. Prentiss Findlay is a long-time reporter for The Post and Courier who has won several South Carolina Press Association Awards. He is a Georgia native who has lived in Mount Pleasant and on Sullivan’s Island. He currently calls James Island home. He has two teenage children. 116

Progressively designed subdivisions with a small-town feel such as I’On and nationally recognized educators such as Wando High School Principal Lucy Beckham are some of the selling points of Mount Pleasant, where the population has doubled in the past 20 years. The nearly 68,000 people who call Mount Pleasant home can lay claim to residing in “One of the Best Places to Live” as rated by Money Magazine last year.

Mount Pleasant attractions include the aircraft carrier Yorktown at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum and Charles Pinckney National Historic Site commemorating a principal author and a signer of the Constitution.

Great views The town Memorial Waterfront Park offers stunning views of the Cooper River Bridge. The scenic grounds of


Alhambra Hall on the harbor in the Old Village are a favorite place for relaxation. The spot also is popular for wedding receptions, so much so that brides-to-be camp overnight for a coveted reservation. A new public boardwalk is planned on Shem Creek, home to restaurants, inns and shrimp boats. Amid such scenery, the town has acres of shopping at locations such as Towne Centre on U.S. 17, where drivers can stop to purchase handcrafted sweetgrass baskets sold by the roadside. Mount Pleasant’s success has come at a cost. Bumper-to-bumper traffic stacks up on U.S. 17, particularly during rush hour. To ease the congestion, two major road construction projects are under way. Charleston County, though, has an $83 million remedy in progress. Three miles of the highway are being widened from four lanes to six lanes from the Ravenel Bridge to Interstate 526. The project is expected to be finished late next year. Meanwhile, the town has begun a $42-million effort that will widen from four lanes to six lanes about six miles of U.S. 17 from the Isle of Palms connector to Darrell Creek Trail. The work is expected to take two years.

Beaches and birds The commercial sprawl of U.S. 17 in Mount Pleasant leads to the Isle of Palms connector, with its picturesque marsh and dramatic view of the Atlantic Ocean. Isle of Palms has miles of beaches and a boardwalk with shops, restaurants, inns and nightclubs. In contrast, Sullivan’s Island is more of a residential island, although it has a commercial district with shops and dining. The National Park Service offers plenty for history buffs at Fort Moultrie, from which Fort Sumter can be seen in Charleston Harbor. The Sullivan’s Island lighthouse is the last major lighthouse built by the federal government. A few miles to the north on U.S. 17,

East Cooper attractions MOUNT PLEASANT Charles Pinckney National Historic Site Boone Hall Plantation Memorial Waterfront Park The Old Village Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum Congressional Medal of Honor Museum Shem Creek SULLIVAN’S ISLAND The Edgar Allan Poe Library Fort Moultrie Sullivan’s Island lighthouse NORTHERN CHARLESTON COUNTY Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center The Center for Birds of Prey. Francis Marion National Forest Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge

growth edges its way toward Awendaw, which is next to the Francis Marion National Forest and Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. The town is home to the Sewee Visitor & Environmental Education Center run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It has exhibits featuring forest to sea ecosystems, a live endangered red wolf viewing area and a mile-long hiking loop. Awendaw is also the locale of The Center for Birds of Prey. Injured birds of prey and some shorebird species are treated there. The center has educational programs for students and adults. Farther north is picturesque McClellanville with its roots in shrimping and its schools, homes, churches, shops and docks. It has undergone massive renovation since Hurricane Hugo struck in 1989. The Village Museum tells an area history that includes the Seewee Indians, the French Huguenot settlement at Jamestown and the Santee plantations. ✦

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Magnolia Plantation is one of many historic sites along the Ashley River.


West of the Ashley It’s only 30 miles from the heart of the Charleston peninsula to the county line at the Edisto River, but in that short distance you’ll find everything from city streets to riverside fishing shacks and oceanfront golf courses.

David Slade covers business and writes a personal finance column for The Post and Courier. He’s a Pennsylvania native with family roots that extend throughout South Carolina. He moved to the area in 2004 after several decades of regular visits.


West of the Ashley River, suburbs extend in every direction in a mix of long-established neighborhoods and modern subdivisions, commercial crossroads and strip malls. Beyond the bedroom communities are barrier islands, historic plantations, working farms and small towns. It was west of the Ashley where settlers first landed in 1670, at what is now Charles Towne Landing, a 664-acre state-owned historic site. Charles Towne Landing is also home to the closest thing the Charleston area has to a zoo, the 22-acre “animal forest.” The Ashley traces its headwaters to Dorchester County near Summerville, and Ashley River Road (S.C. Highway 61) follows the river’s path, past apartment complexes and subdivisions to the historic, grand plantations that once sent products

down the river with the tides. Beyond the plantation district extends a broad patchwork of farm,swampandforest.Ruralandcricket-quiettoday,thearea is subject to extensive development plans. U.S. Highway 17 (Savannah Highway) is the main road through West Ashley to points south. Beyond the strip malls and car dealerships and past the city limits are the country towns of Ravenel, Hollywood and Meggett, and communities including Yonge’s Island and Adams Run. Charleston County’s Caw Caw Interpretive Center on U.S. 17 near Ravenel offers a glimpse of the area’s past, with former plantation rice fields carved from Cypress swamp, and wild-growing tea from a 20th- century tea farm. Closer to the city, James Island is home to Charleston’s well-

regarded and affordable municipal golf course and James Island County Park, which helped launch the area’s embrace of off-leash dog parks. The island is also home to historic McLeod Plantation, and a government marine research center built where the first shots of the Civil War were fired from Fort Johnson. James Island is a gateway to Johns Island, one of the largest sea islands on the East Coast, and to Folly Beach, which is notable for its surfing and permissive rules about drinking on the beach. Folly is also known for its close-up view of the Morris Island Lighthouse, accessible at the east end of the island. Johns Island, part rural community and part growing suburb, is known for its live oak-draped scenic roadways and farming communities. Angel Oak Park is home to an immense live oak tree said to be the oldest living thing east of the Mississippi River.

Across Johns Island is Kiawah Island, named for the Indians who lived there before the arrival of European settlers. Today, the island is a gated residential and resort community known for topqualitygolfcoursesandpristinebeaches. One tip of the island is home to public Beachwalker Park, with access to the entire Kiawah beachfront for a small fee. It has been named one of the nation’s Top 10 beaches. Edisto Island, popular as a quiet family beach getaway, marks the end of the 250-mile-long Edisto River. The Edisto is among the nation’s longest free-flowing blackwater rivers and is a destination for canoe and kayak enthusiasts. The river flows into the ACE Basin, a 350,000-acre ecological treasure bounded by the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto rivers, where cypress swamps bleed into saltwater marshes and on to the ocean. ✦

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The North Charleston Coliseum and the Performing Arts Center have attracted more notable acts and events in recent years.

North Charleston Schuyler Kropf ✦ The Post and Courier

Situated north of downtown Charleston, the mostly blue-collar city of North Charleston was incorporated in 1972 under the driving force of its first mayor, John E. Bourne Jr. Today, more than 75 different neighborhoods and communities bind together the city that is home to an estimated 94,000 people, making it one of the three largest municipalities in the state. It is also considered the retail shopping headquarters of the Lowcountry, anchored by the multistore Tanger Outlet Mall. Mayor Keith Summey — only the third mayor in 120

the city’s history — is in his 16th year in office and regularly promotes North Charleston as “a great place to live, work or play.” Historically, North Charleston was widely identified as an industrial hub and the home of the former U.S. Naval Base and Shipyard along the Cooper River, which thrived for most of the last century.

Since the yard closed in the 1990s, several of North Charleston’s older neighborhoods are seeing a renaissance with an emerging social scene centered around the Olde Village of Park Circle. It’s a fourblock area of businesses, eateries and bars off East Montague Avenue where sidewalk dining is encouraged. The adjacent Park Circle neighborhood, with its mix of young and old residents, is one of the city’s more desirable housing sites. Also nearby is the modern Oak Terrace Preserve area — billed as an attractive and environmentally friendly neighborhood to the northwest of Park Circle. In 2010, the Home Depot Foundation honored Oak Terrace for being a leader in sustainable community development. North Charleston’s most focal gathering site is along the water at Riverfront Park, north of the former Navy shipyard and along the Cooper Riv-


THE PHILOSOPHY UNDER WHICH WE WORK The primary responsibility of DCI is to perceive, initiate and provide comprehensive patient care. We serve society by providing care for patients with end-stage renal disease. Our goal is complete patient rehabilitation. We recognize the patient as an individual resulting from his/her genetics, life experience, habits, beliefs, emotions; and as a member of his/her family, and the community. The patient deserves the highest standard of care possible regardless of race, status or creed. The application of comprehensive care is on a personal level. We become acquainted with our patient as a person and seek to understand his/her problems and needs – physical, emotional, spiritual and social. Through a team approach, each staff member performs functions within his or her capabilities in his or her defined role based on the specific needs of the individual patient. Patient care is assessed, planned, implemented, and evaluated with the consistent aim of improving care and finding more efficient and effective methods for delivery of care. Realistic goals which promote safe, therapeutically effective and individualized care for each patient are defined in the patient care plan. These goals adhere to quality standards of care within the framework of defined policies and procedures. The team strives to provide the highest quality of patient care possible through the utilization of available human and material resources. There is however, a further responsibility to which DCI is devoted. DCI was established as a non-profit corporation, hopefully to generate funds for research in order that the methods for treatment of ESRD patients might be improved. We are not content to dialyze the next group of patients in the same imperfect way that the last group was dialyzed without at least making the attempt to better the patient’s lot through research. As a corollary to this, education of ESRD health care professionals is another goal to which DCI resources are dedicated to support. DCI’s philosophy has always been a commitment to patients. Patients complete a financial profile which aides the social workers in directing them to community services to assist them. Patients are also assisted in acquiring and maintaining primary and supplemental insurance. No patients are turned down or away from the facility based upon lack of primary or secondary insurance. DCI endorses the patient’s right to choose the facility and the mode in which the patient’s ESRD should be treated, i.e., dialysis or transplant. To help insure that those patients desiring transplant may be offered this form of treatment, DCI currently actively supports three organ procurement agencies and also contributes to research to improve methods of immunosuppression. We are a service organization. The care of the patient is our reason for existence. H. Keith Johnson, MD - Chairman of the Board


The Park Circle neighborhood in North Charleston is widely considered to be one of the coolest places to live in the Lowcountry.

er. After the Navy pulled out in the 1990s, the new park for the first time gave residents access to a waterfront that had been off limits because of the military’s needs. Every year, thousands gather there for the city’s Fourth of July celebration that features a day of music, food and fireworks. The water f ront is ex pec ted to soon host an offshore gambling casino venture. City Council passed an ordinance in 2010 approving the area as a casino boat departure point. That means the gaming tables can open once the boats leave the state’s territorial limit. Efforts are currently under way to begin the cruises on a daily basis, possibly as soon as fall 2011. South of Riverfront Park is the Warren Lasch Conservation Lab, home to the restoration effort of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley. The vessel became the world’s first successful attack sub when it sank the Union blockade ship Housatonic off Sullivan’s Island on the night of Feb. 17, 1864. It was recovered four miles off shore in

2000 and brought to the new lab. For the immediate term, the Hunley sits in a cold water bath as scientists explore the best methods to preserve the sub and the belongings of the eight men who perished inside that night. For an entrance fee, visitors can view artifacts connected to the sub and climb a raised viewing platform that allows a view down into the sub as it undergoes restoration. Eventually the sub will go on display in North Charleston as part of a permanent museum. Because the Hunley conservation project is a working lab Monday through Friday, public access is limited to Saturday and Sunday visitations. For information and tour pricing visit or call 843-722-2333. The city also is home to the North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Education Center. The site, near the Tanger Outlet Mall and the North Charleston Coliseum, covers the history of the fire-fighting industry. It includes 18 restored vehicles, some dating to the 1800s. Call 843-740-5552. ✦

1411 King St. Charleston, SC 29403 Phone (843) 723-7227 Fax (843) 723-7404 C33-572781

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Floaters cool off as they make their way down the Edisto River.

Dorchester County


Azalea Square, 464 Azalea Square Blvd., Summerville

James Island doesn’t have a Target, but Summerville does. The massive, $42-million shopping center off North Main Street is the biggest shopping destinaWhat makes Dorchester County unique is a spread of one-of-a-kind tion in Dorchester or Berkeley counties — and one of places and pleasers that surprise newcomers and delight everyone else. the bigger ones in the Charleston area — with a halfmillion-square footage of retailers, restaurants and a Here’s a sample: movie theater complex. Technically in Berkeley County, the mall is minutes from downtown Summerville Playground Plantation Gahagan Park, Tubing on the Edisto River and its historic shopping district. The two nearby des515 W. Boundary St., Summerville The black willow and sandbar-lined stream, the lon- tinations give the place a something-for-everyone feel. One acre, $250,000 to build. Designed working with gest free-flowing blackwater river in the world, runs elementary school students in the county and con- theentiresouthernborderofDorchesterCounty.Hunstructed with donations and volunteers, it features dreds if not thousands of people float it on weekends Camp meetings original kid designs such as a finger maze and zipper during the summer — a modern, often partylike verCamp meetings are part of the rural region’s distincslide, handprint tiles and a bookworm booth. sion of an old country cooling-off tradition. tiveheritage—weeklongretreatsamongcongregation Bo Petersen ✦ The Post and Courier



families who have known each other since those first churches opened their doors as log cabins. The meetings are an 18th century tradition that began as an autumn religious revival for farm families who came in wagons after the harvest. Families “camp” in board cabin “tents” they own, cooking on wood stoves. Preaching is the meetings’ centerpiece, with morning and night services in the open-air tabernacle in the field in the middle of the ring of cabins. Today, as in old times, the week also is a festive indulgence of homespun cooking, a reunion of kith and kin. It says a lot of what you need to know about camp meetings that they’re always been and still are a place of courtship. The meetings are open to the public. An invitation into a family tent is considered a cachet. Few campgrounds remain outside Dorchester County, but the county is home to four: Q Indian Field Campground, Indian Field Circle near St. George. Its meeting takes place the last week of September. GRACE BEAHM/THE POST AND COURIER Q Cypress Campground, Myers Mayo Wooden boats are used for touring the glassy swamp at Cypress Gardens. Road near Ridgeville. Second week of October.45 Q St. Paul Campground, St. Paul Road near Harleyville. Second week of October. Q Shady Grove Campground, Camp Meeting Circle near Rosinville. Third The rapidly growing towns and cities north of week of October.

Berkeley County

The Cypress meeting, the oldest of the four Dorchester County meetings, is said to have started with a visit by Francis Asbury in the 1700s. Asbury and other Methodist circuit riders popularized the meetings while preaching through the semi-wilderness of Colonial times. Indian Field is the best known and largest campground, with 99 cabins. St. Paul and Shady Grove meetings have their own singular heritage; they were founded in the 1800s by freed slaves. ✦

Charleston in Berkeley County are known as bedroom communities. But they’re good for playing as well as sleeping. Dave Munday of The Post and Courier, a West Virginia native, has worked as a copy editor and covered the automotive and real estate industries, religion and crime.

Goose Creek, the county’s biggest municipality, takes the lead in recreation. The city has miles of paved bike and walking trails, and they’re well off the roads for safety. You can see them running alongside Goose Creek Boulevard and St. James Avenue, for instance. Sports fields are scattered throughout the city. The biggest is the Felkel Field Sports Complex on Lucy Drive in the

Beverly Hills subdivision, with seven lighted ball fields, a concession stand and press boxes. The massive Crowfield Plantation boasts a host of amenities, including a city golf course that’s open to everybody. The Goose Creek Community Center near City Hall has two full-size gymnasiums, a fitness center, cardiodeck, 123

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Monks make their way from noon prayers at Mepkin Abbey.

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walking track, a climbing wall and a long list of programs for adults and youth. The city also maintains the smaller Casey Community Center at 101 Old Moncks Corner Road. A park near the center has courts for basketball, tennis and volleyball. Hanahan also has been expanding its recreational opportunities. A gymnasium by City Hall is popular. Also, the city sports complex behind Trident Technical College has seven baseball and softball fields, a soccer field, tennis courts, another gymnasium and a senior center. The city is doubling the size of the senior center to handle more programs. A city boat landing at the complex allows boating and fishing on the Goose Creek Reservoir A space is reserved in the growing Tanner Plantation for another recreational complex. Moncks Corner has cleared land for a 50-acre recreation complex on Main Street. The first phase includes four baseball

fields around a concession stand and a football and soccer field, as well as a walking and biking trail that connects the fields to a nearby school. Future plans include tennis courts and a recreation center with a basketball court, swimming pool, jogging track and community rooms. The town also plans a farmer’s market and picnic areas and playgrounds beside the complex. Berkeley County also offers recreational amenities. Cypress Gardens is a world-famous nature preserve between Goose Creek and Moncks Corner. Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie draw boaters and fishermen from around the country. Old Santee Canal Park, just north of downtown Moncks Corner, is a popular place for picnics and community functions. Mepkin Abbey, a tranquil community of Trappist monks along the scenic Cooper River near Moncks Corner, is a great place for some quiet reflection under the big oak trees. ✦ 125



SCHOOL Q&A Diette Courrégé ✦ The Post and Courier

What do I need to know about public schools in the Lowcountry? It’s important to know that you have options and that where you live doesn’t dictate where you must send your child to school. What do I need to know about Charleston County schools? Charleston is the second-largest school district in the state, enrolling about 44,000 students in 80 schools. It’s fairly diverse, with roughly 45 percent of its students being black, 44 percent white, and 6 percent Hispanic. Sixty-three percent of its students live in poverty. Charleston is home to one of the topranked schools in the country, but it’s also where you’ll find some of the lowest-achieving schools in the state. Check them out online at What do I need to know about Berkeley County schools? Berkeley County is like Charleston in that it encompasses a large geographic area and has a diverse mix of schools. The state’s fourth-largest district enrolls more than 28,000 students, and an estimated 70 percent live in poverty. Fifty-five percent of its students are white and 33 percent are black. They also have a Web site: What do I need to know about Dorchester County schools? Dorchester County is home to two school districts: the larger, suburban Dorchester 2 and the smaller, 126

rural Dorchester 4. Dorchester 2 is a fast-growing, high-achieving district that enrolls more than 22,000 students who live in or near Summerville. Just north of Dorchester 2 is Dorchester 4, which is the county’s smaller district. The district’s five schools enroll about 2,200 students who live in St. George, Harleyville and Ridgeville. Unlike Dorchester 2, 88 percent of Dorchester 4’s students live in poverty, and about 60 percent are black. Dorchester 4 schools also struggle academically. For more information, go to or What’s a charter school? Charter schools are public schools governed by elected boards of parents and community members. The state gives charter schools a certain amount of money, and it’s up to the schools to decide how to spend it. Charter schools don’t have to follow the county school board’s policies or mandates, but they still have to meet state and federal requirements for student achievement. Charleston is one of the state leaders for its number of charter schools. What’s a magnet school? Magnet schools don’t have a traditional neighborhood attendance zone and many have some sort of theme, such as being arts-infused or academically advanced. Some magnet schools are open to the entire county, while others are open only to certain geographic areas. Magnet schools don’t always receive more money than a traditional neighborhood school, but many do. Most have waiting lists.

What’s a constituent school board? Some say Charleston is the only school district of its kind in the country because of its governance structure.The1967ActofConsolidationcreatedthecounty school board along with eight constituent school districts and boards with specific powers. The county school board handles the district’s budget and policies, whileconstituentschoolboardshavetheresponsibility fordisciplinaryhearings,studenttransferrequestsand schools’ attendance boundaries. Are online schools or classes an option? The state has both. The state Department of Education offers a Virtual School Program with dozens of courses for students enrolled in public or private schools. K-12 students also can enroll in one of the state’s virtual charter schools, which offer high school diplomas. What do I need to register my child for school? Every local district requires parents to have their child’s birth certificate, proof of residency and a copy of their immunization records. Some districts request more information. In Berkeley, parents must complete a registration form and health history questionnaire and provide an additional proof of residency. Charleston also requires a second proof of residency, and requests a Social Security card if available. Dorchester 2 parents are asked to complete a registration form as well as provide a $20 registration fee. Dorchester 4 parents are asked to provide a Social Security card if available. ✦


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Students study at the College of Charleston.

CHARLESTON COLLEGES Diane Knich ✦ The Post and Courier

American College of the Building Arts The college is the only school in the country that trains artisans in traditional building arts, such as metalwork and timber framing, within a curriculum that includes business, economics, languages and other traditional college courses. 843-577-5245 or 877-283-5245,


Charleston Southern University Affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention, the university’s mission is promoting academic excellence in a Christian environment. 843-863-7000,

Art Institute of Charleston

The Citadel

A branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta, the downtown college provides an applied learning approach to culinary, design, fashion and media arts programs. 843-727-3500,

The military college has many famous alumni including: author Pat Conroy; Fritz Hollings, U.S. Senator from 1966-2005 and S.C. governor from 1959-1963; and Charleston Mayor Joe Riley. 843-225-3294,

Charleston School of Law CharlestonSchoolofLawisoneofthefewlawschools in the country that requires students to complete 30 hours of community service before they graduate.


College of Charleston Founded in 1770, the college is the oldest educational institution south of Virginia, and the 13th

oldest in the United States. 843-805-5507,

Medical University of South Carolina The National Cancer Institute has designated the university’s Hollings Cancer Center as one of the country’s 64 leading cancer research facilities. 843-792-2300,

Trident Technical College The college has the largest culinary arts program in the state with offerings that range from a short course in mixing bar drinks to an associate’s degree program in baking and pastry. 843-574-6111,

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