PRINT PREVIEW
send to printer

Concierge.com

Charleston, SC

Charleston, SC

By happie797
Trip Plan Tags: 
beach + island,
food,
golf,
outdoors + nature,
romantic,
shopping,
spa + wellness
Destinations: 
Charleston,
North America,
South Carolina,
United States

We're going August 30 - September 6, 2008. Two of us for the whole time, with my husband's cousin and her husband joining us for the first weekend and Labor Day (we hope). I really want to see Rainbow Row and the Aquarium, maybe the Fort, but other than that, mostly the beach and the private pool at the house at which we are staying. ($1200 for the week!)

ITEMS

Eating

Wreck of the Richard and Charlene, South Carolina

106 Haddrell Street
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 29464
Tel: 843 884 0052

This hard-to-find dive (without a sign) behind the Shem Creek docks is worth the hunt. It serves up some of the freshest seafood in the Charleston area. Munch on boiled peanuts while waiting for heaping platters of fried shrimp, stone crab claws, oysters, and other just-caught bounty. The Wreck is named for a boat that washed up next to the restaurant when Hurricane Hugo passed through several years ago. And the ambiance lives up to the name—concrete floors, paper plates, no A/C, no reservations, and no credit cards. Call for directions.

Eating

Sienna, South Carolina

901 Island Park Drive
Daniel Island, South Carolina 29492
Tel: 843 881 8820
Website: www.siennadining.com

Five-star food without attitude has propelled Sienna into the ranks of the country's hottest restaurants. Award-winning chef Ken Vedrinkski (formerly of the dining room at Woodlands Resort) works his magic at this chic eatery on Daniel Island, well worth the five-mile drive from downtown. Diners feast on contemporary Italian cuisine in an open-air dining room with vaulted ceilings, arches, and intimate nooks. The affordably priced menu was inspired by family recipes. Try the $46 tasting menu, or come Monday nights for Grandma Volpe's Italian feast, a family-style dinner.

Eating

Robert's of Charleston, South Carolina

182 E. Bay Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Tel: 843 577 7565
Website: www.robertsofcharleston.com

It's prix fixe and formal at this Charleston institution, owned and operated by chef Robert Dickson, whose claim to fame is food—and singing. A classically trained baritone, Dickson serenades guests with Broadway tunes while whipping up such creations as sea scallop mousse and chateaubriand with port reduction. The long, narrow room with white-clothed tables is made intimate by a friendly waitstaff, Dickson's sudden bursts of song, and warm Tuscan colors. Don't leave without a bottle of the restaurant's famous seasoning. Reservations required.

Eating

Peninsula Grill, South Carolina

112 N. Market Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Tel: 843 723 0700
Website: www.peninsulagrill.com

This award-winning restaurant in the chic Planters Inn oozes sexy sophistication. Rich velvet walls, dramatic chandeliers, a lush courtyard with reflecting pool, and doting but unobtrusive waitstaff make it a popular spot for romantic trysts. Canoodling couples pack its trendy champagne bar. The cuisine is sensuous, too; Robert Carter turns up the heat on low-country dishes with oysters Rockefeller in velvety Asiago cheese, wahoo in curried cream, grouper tarts and design-your-own dish with meats, seafoods and 10 different sauces. Save room for the famed seven-layer coconut cake, adapted from Carter's grand mom's recipe, which the restaurant ships to dessert lovers around the country.

ALT HERE

Eating

Jestine's Kitchen, South Carolina, 29401

251 Meeting Street
Charleston, South Carolina, 29401
Tel: 843 722 7224

Everything's cheap, hearty, and fried at this funky blue-plate café decked out with vintage kitchen utensils and featuring old-timey jazz music. Comfort food is concocted from family recipes handed down to its founder, Dana Berlin, by Jestine Matthews, the woman who cared for her family. Jestine's artery-clogging fare didn't hamper her health—she passed away at the age of 112 in 1997. Popular items include signature fried green tomatoes, a slab of meatloaf, and pecan-fried whiting; almost everything comes with a side of fried okra. The Coca-Cola Cake is a must. Get there early for dinner; Jestine's doesn't take reservations and the line forms at 5 p.m.

ALT HERE

Eating

Hominy Grill, South Carolina

207 Rutledge Avenue
Charleston, South Carolina 29403
Tel: 843 937 0930
Website: www.hominygrill.com

Chef Robert Stehling shocked genteel Charlestonians with his irreverent take on traditional Lowcountry fare when he opened Hominy in 1996. Since then, he's ingratiated himself with the locals and garnered national raves for such tweaked classics as grilled soft-shell crab with apricot almond slaw, creamed collard greens, fried chicken with spiced peach gravy, and rich buttermilk pie. The prices are equally delicious: Most dishes are under $15. Housed in an old barbershop off King Street, Hominy's tin ceilings, hardwood floors, oak tables, outdoor patio, and blackboard menus add to the down-home appeal. Breakfast is popular, so get there early for the country ham, hominy grits, and homemade ginger pumpkin bread (they take reservations for dinner only).

Open Mondays through Fridays 7:30 am to 9 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 9 am to 3 pm.

ALT HERE

Eating

FIG, South Carolina

232 Meeting Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Tel: 843 805 5900
Website: www.eatatfig.com

The name stands for Food Is Good, and nightly crowds at this hip local hot spot can attest to that statement. Rich but unfussy dishes are prepared with fresh organic produce and farm-raised meats. Chef Mike Lata focuses on seasonal ingredients for the daily menu, like a dessert of blueberry peach crisp studded with roasted pecans served with a custardy lemon ice cream. A stable of favorites are always on offer as well; the Wagyu bistro steak dripping with herbed butter is not for the fainthearted. The bar scene is lively on weekends, when the kitchen stays open until midnight.

Open Mondays through Thursdays 6 to 11 pm, Fridays and Saturdays 6 pm to 12 am.

Eating

Charleston Grill, South Carolina

224 King Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Tel: 843 577 4522
Website: www.charlestongrill.com

Bob Waggoner's inventive New South cuisine, consistently a favorite among critics, is showcased in this plush dining. Tucked into Charleston Place hotel, the grill is a magnet for executives and celebs who flock here for the cushy atmosphere (club chairs, dark wood paneling, and nightly jazz), hearty food, and impeccable service. Wagonner, a culinary rock star, has been lauded for bold takes on old favorites: collards cooked with pigs' feet in amber beer; a version of Frogmore Stew that uses homemade sausage and lobster tempura on lemon grits. The wine list features 950 selections, and is among the state's most extensive; two sommeliers assist with pairings. For a quieter meal, choose the more secluded bar area over the bustling main room.

Eating

Anson, South Carolina

12 Anson Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Tel: 843 577 0551
Website: www.ansonrestaurant.com

This chic, gilt-trimmed dining room frequented by society types is the city's finest. Although Anson is adjacent to touristy Old City Market, it's frequented by Charlestonians, who come for the fresh, creative spins on traditional dishes: barbecued grouper, shrimp and grits (ground in Anson's own kitchen), and crispy flounder. The setting is a century-old warehouse jazzed up with plantation shutters, gold ballroom chairs, an authentic cypress fireplace mantle, and planters. Huge French windows provide a passing scene of horse-drawn carriages clip-clopping through the streets. Request a table upstairs.

ALT HERE

Article

In The Mood For Love

Routine is the death of desire. We're not sure who said that (fine, we'll take credit), but it was a truism in the Ozzie & Harriet generation, and it's doubly so today. As work blurs far beyond the 9-to-5 hours and into you and your mate's "alone" time, there might only be one answer: Get outta town. Contrary to popular belief, travel for the sake of spicing things up doesn't require fussy French food, whirlpool tubs, or overly precious B&Bs. Depending on your mood—and your marriage—a tango lesson in Buenos Aires (pictured), a ski trip to Quebec, or a night out in Prague might be what the doctor ordered. So, remember: Sometimes love hurts. Figure out what's ailing your relationship, and then take our cure—a Valentine's Day trip sure to put you back into the hot zone.

ALT HERE

Article

Summer Seafood

In the summer months, as the mercury goes up-up-up, we all think about the joys of jumping into the water. But there are those of us who think about what's jumping around in the water, too—fish and clams and all sorts of succulent shellfish. Lucky for us, summer also happens to be when the lobster shacks of New England throw open their weathered doors, when Chesapeake crabbers mix up their secret spice blends, when salmon smokers are lighted all over the Pacific Northwest. Let's face it: Nothing says summer like a sweet fried clam with a spritz of lemon, or a fish taco doused with guacamole and salsa, or a pile of freshly shucked lobster meat on a soft split bun. Get out your crackers—and your flippers—for our tour of the summer's best seafood spots.

Published July 2007

To read more about Jane and Michael Stern's favorite spots to eat, visit roadfood.com.

ALT HERE

Article

Great American Beach Towns

Enough with your fancy remote beaches. The Maldives? St. Tropez? With the economy what it is, we'll be lucky to get to the next state on a $73 tank of gas. We want close. We want old-fashioned. We want a town where we can park the car, drag a beach chair and a book to the sand, and then shuffle down the boardwalk in our flip-flops for fried clams and an icy-cold can of beer: a place with fireworks, friendly locals, and sticky scoop shops. So we dug up 11 great American seaside escapes, from classic fun-in-the-sun California to New England colonial charm. Because when it comes to precious summer weekends in the sun, there's no place like home.

Published June 2008

NEXT: The Maine dish

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
ALT HERE

Hotel

Charleston Place, South Carolina

205 Meeting Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Tel: 843 722 4900, Tel: 800 611 5545 (toll free)
Website: www.charlestonplace.com

A favorite of power brokers, politicians, and movie stars, this stylish 440-room hotel is best enjoyed on an expense account. Orient Express hotels does it up right here, from the Italian marble lobby with its spiral staircase and 12-foot crystal chandelier to the attentive staff. Big, inviting rooms are appointed with period furnishings, balconies, and marble bathrooms. For first-class treatment and stunning views, request a "club level" room. An infinity pool with retractable roof, spa, and swank restaurant round out the deluxe possibilities. What's more, the hotel is just a credit card swipe from the city's hottest restaurants, attractions, and shops; in fact Gucci's on the ground floor.

Article

Great-Value Vacations

Three cities whose notable architecture epitomizes their heritage

See + Do

Beaches in Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Less than 20 minutes from downtown are two popular public beaches: Folly Beach (Ashley Avenue) and Isle of Palms (14th Avenue). Both are run by the Charleston County Parks Commission (843 795 4386; www.ccprc.com ) and have 600 feet of beachfront, lifeguards, snack bars, restrooms, outdoor showers, and umbrella and chair rental. Entry fee: $5 per car.

Sullivan's Island (1610 Middle St.; 843 883 3198; www.sullivansisland-sc.com ), a barrier island north of Charleston harbor, has a three-mile-long beach and modern-day lighthouse. There's also Fort Moultrie, a significant monument of coastal defense built in 1809. Watch where you park; police dole out tickets for cars blocking driveways in this hoity-toity enclave.

See + Do

South Carolina Aquarium, South Carolina

100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, South Carolina 29401
Tel: 843 720 1990
Website: www.scaquarium.org

More than 10,000 types of low-country critters, including loggerhead turtles the size of a car, pythons, alligators, and sharks, call this huge aquarium home. Watch them through the three huge "windows" of the massive, two-story, 300,000-gallon tank. One measures 17-by-28-feet high, the tallest in any aquarium ever built. There's also a huge Touch Tank with slippery sea urchins and horseshoe crabs ready for grabbing. Two-thirds of the aquarium is built over the Cooper River, with decks for viewing dolphins and ships in Charleston Harbor.

See + Do

Historic Homes and Sites, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston's gorgeous antebellum homes make it one of the most well-preserved cities in the Deep South. It's easy to see them on foot and various companies offer guided walking tours, including Charleston Strolls (843-766-2080; www.charlestonstrolls.com). Or go house hopping via horse-drawn carriage operated by Old South Carriage Company (14 Anson St., 843-723-9712; www.oldsouthcarriagetours.com).

Can't-miss homes include the Nathaniel Russell House (51 Meeting St.; 843-724-8481; www.historiccharleston.org). Built in 1808, this townhouse mansion, with its three-story free-flying spiral staircase, is one of the finest neoclassical dwellings in the district. The Aiken-Rhett House, a Charleston double-house, has survived unaltered since 1858 and includes an art gallery and a marble staircase with mahogany railings (48 Elizabeth St.; 843-723-1159; www.historiccharleston.org). Located in the original walled portion of the city, the Heyward Washington House is the former home of Thomas Heyward, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and was also the setting for author Dubose Heyward's Porgy (87 Church St.; 843-722-2996; www.charlestonmuseum.org).

West of town, the Ashley River Historic District is a 13-mile national scenic highway featuring 53 historical sites including Magnolia Plantation (www.magnoliaplantation.com), Drayton Hall (www.draytonhall.org), and Middleton Place (www.middletonplace.org), which is also a hotel and restaurant.

For a taste of haunted Charleston, Bulldog Tours (40 North Market St.; 843-722-8687; www.bulldogtours.com) runs twice-nightly jaunts through city graveyards, spooky houses, and dungeons.

See + Do

Fort Sumter National Monument, South Carolina

1214 Middle Street
Sullivan's Island, South Carolina 29482
Tel: 843 883 3123
Website: www.nps.gov/fosu

No visit to Charleston is complete without a tour of this famous fort, where Confederate soldiers fired the first shot of the Civil War on April 12, 1861. Fort Sumter Tours (800 789 3678; www.fortsumtertours.com ) operates boats to the island from the City Marina, or from Mount Pleasant at the Patriots Point Maritime Museum, the world's largest naval and maritime museum. The 30-minute cruise is fully narrated and points out sights of historical significance. On the island, guides explain Fort Sumter's pivotal role in the War Between the States. The fort is also accessible by private watercraft. Entrance is free and boat tour costs $13 for adults.

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