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South Carolina Shopping

Broad Street Art Galleries
Charleston , South Carolina

Broad Street has always been Charleston's formal seat of power—the courthouse and long-standing legal firms line the sidewalks—but it's also the place where artists set up shop in the historic storefronts. Most are members of the French Quarter Gallery Association—a reference to Charleston's historic French Huguenot neighborhood, not the fabled New Orleans neighborhood. The organization holds art walks during fall and spring with artist lectures and wine and cheese receptions. Their Web site also has a handy map of the 30 or so galleries in the area. Obviously there is no shortage of showrooms that specialize in Lowcountry imagery (landscapes, coastal abstracts, Carolina wildlife, Charleston scenes). The best stuff is at the Edward Dare Gallery, which deals in Jim Darlington's architectural watercolor works, Beth McLean's Impressionistic giclée prints, and photographer Susan Lucas's black-and-white portrait photography. Devotees of more functional artwork should make their way to Rivendell Woodworks, where the emphasis is on Arts and Crafts furniture, ceramics, and textiles.

Edward Dare Gallery open Mondays through Saturdays 11 am to 5 pm.

Rivendell Woodworks open Mondays through Saturdays 11 am to 5 pm.

Charleston Cooks
194 E. Bay Street
Charleston , South Carolina
Tel: 843 722 1212

Part kitchen shop, part cooking school, Charleston Cooks is the place to go for Lowcountry culinary ephemera. Pick up a Charleston Rice Spoon (an ornate, long-handled utensil found in every local kitchen) and copper cookie cutters shaped like sea turtles and blue crabs, plus food like locally grown Carolina Gold rice. Book a class at the school to learn local specialties like shrimp and grits, skillet corn bread, and Lowcountry boil (potatoes, corn, sausage, and shrimp).

Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 9 pm, Sundays 12 to 6 pm.

Lower King Street
Charleston , South Carolina

King Street is like tofu—it takes on the flavor of whatever neighborhood it's soaking in. Where it touches the College of Charleston, the businesses serve the drinking and late-night-eating needs of the student body. Storefronts along the tourist-heavy downtown area are mostly mall staples like Talbot's, Williams-Sonoma, and Banana Republic. But get to the homey stretch between Clifford and Broad, and you'll see remnants of the old, genteel Charleston reflected in a long string of independently owned antique stores and galleries. A'Riga IV stocks antique objets d'art like decorative brass saddle ornaments, 18th-century porcelain cameos, and even a colorfully painted Italian apothecary jar dated 1690. Head down the street a bit to George C. Birlant for English silver, crystal, and china from the 18th and 19th centuries. For more wearable art, head to Ben Silver, which has kept local dandies looking sharp since 1929. The shop is known for exquisite tailoring, brass buttons, and regimental striped ties; its tradition of sending a welcome gift to incoming presidents has netted many thank-you notes from Commanders in Chief from Truman forward.

A'Riga IV open Mondays through Saturdays 10:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Geo. C. Birlant & Company open Mondays through Saturdays 9 am to 5:30 pm.

Ben Silver Chalreston open Mondays through Saturdays 9 am to 6 pm, Sundays 12 to 5 pm.

Magar Hatworks
57 Cannon Street
Charleston , South Carolina
Tel: 843 577 7740

South Carolina native Leigh Magar studied the old-school craft of millinery at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology before returning to her home state. Her chapeaus for both men and women change with the seasons (alpaca fedoras and cloches for winter, straw panama hats for summer) and are made from hand-dyed materials with handstitched details. It's comforting to know that if you need a custom-made matador's hat, she's got you covered.

Appointment only.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.