Things to Do In Charleston
Shopping and Antiques
Interested in Exercising?
Historic Places in Charleston
Notable Churches to visit
Is Anybody Hungry?
Directions to Coastal Carolina Research Center
If you have plans to travel to Coastal Carolina Research Center (CCRC) we do hope you have sufficient time to discover and learn more about the area we live and work in. The Charleston area for the longest time was a “hidden jewel” of a travel destination but the word is out now and Charleston is fast becoming one of the more popular vacation spots in the country.
Although the relative size of the area is miniscule comparative to New York City, Chicago and San Francisco there is a special “character” to this city that is unique in the United States. Whether you are interested in the city’s history, the culture, its historic landmarks, the architecture downtown on the Battery, access to some of the best beaches on the East Coast, water and sporting activities, shopping, or just dining out at some excellent restaurants, we at CCRC hope you enjoy your short stay. You will find that the staff of CCRC can prove to be pretty good “tour guides” and provide sound advice on what to do in the area so please don’t hesitate to ask.
Before you come visit us here in the Charleston, SC area we recommend you check out what is going on in our city at
If you have an opportunity to go downtown to the tip of the peninsula on the Charleston Battery, we would recommend it. Charleston is best explored by foot and will definitely make you feel like you are walking in a “living museum”. You can peak around the various alleyways and private gardens along the way.
On Concord Street downtown you can stroll on over to the Charleston Waterfront Park, which is a bright green public space overlooking the harbor and is a great place for lounging.
Just take a walk up and down King Street in downtown Charleston and you will find everything you need. You can also find downtown The Old City Market which is a widely popular tourist destination composed of 200-year old brick market buildings with shops and restaurants.
Mount Pleasant Towne Center is a local walking mall that is also an easy place to stroll around and is very close to our main research site.
A relatively new Tanger Outlet Mall is also now open and is very close to the Charleston International Airport.
Spoleto Festival (Every Year May-June)
Spoleto Festival USA is the U.S. companion to the Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of Two Worlds) in Spoleto Italy. The Italian version has been in existence since 1958. Charleston was chosen as the American site for the performing and visual arts festival held in late May, because of the city’s charm, culture and elegance. The annual event is a popular citywide arts festival. Check the website venue information and further details.
We like to call it “Charleston’s Eiffel Tower” – The Arthur Ravenel Bridge is the longest cable stay bridge in North America and it has a very nice walking/running/biking path that extends across the entire span of the bridge.
Calhoun Mansion – One of Charleston’s architectural treasures, this historic mansion is a must see.
Nathaniel Russell House – A historical mansion open to the public.
Charleston Ghost and Dungeon Tour – Explore the streets, cemeteries, back alleys, churches, and pre-revolutionary dungeon of Charleston’s historic homes and you’ll hear about the city’s ghosts, voodoo, and supersititions. While you are there make sure you check out the Old Exchange and Provost which shares the history of Charleston with animatronics.
Palmetto Carriage Tours – You will hear some interesting facts about the city that you don’t typically read about in the history books.
Charleston Museum – America’s oldest Museum is a nice introduction to our city. Especially during the summer months when it is really hot outside.
Middleton Place and Gardens – Historical house with the oldest landscaped gardens in America.
Drayton Hall – This Georgian-Palladian gem, built in 1738, is America’s oldest plantation house open to the public.
Magnolia Plantation and Gardens – Home of the oldest garden in America.
Fort Sumter National Monument – Learn all about this storied spot of the first clash between the Union and Confederate armies in the Civil War, in which the Union forces finally surrendered after a 34-hour bombardment by the Rebels.
– St. Philip’s Church
– St. Michael’s Church
– Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
– Cathedral of Saint Luke and Saint Paul
– Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim
USS Yorktown – The “mother ship” so to speak during the War in the Pacific / World War II
H.L. Hunley Submarine – Come visit the 1st submarine that was every used in war; during the Civil War.
We definitely know how to eat here in the Lowcountry.
A popular restaurant in downtown Charleston is Slightly North of Broad, located on East Bay street (slightly north of Broad Street). The restaurant serves traditional southern cuisine, and its menu selection varies with the seasons. Charleston Grill, in the Charleston Place Hotel, and Peninsula Grill on North Market Street are generally regarded as the finest restaurants in Charleston.
Justine’s on Meeting Street offers some of the best food for the money. It has been featured on Rachel Ray’s show “$40 a Day” as well as in many national food publications. A must have is the “table wine” (sweet tea), fried okra, and a slice of homemade pie (choose from over 10 kinds).
You also may want to take in Hyman’s Seafood or Bubba Gumps on South Market Street but prepare to stand in line. Mt. Pleasant locals prefer The Wreck.
On the Isle of Palms you can eat breakfast at the Sea Biscuit. The place is quaint and the lines are long but the food is so worth it. Be sure to try the Crab Cakes Benedict or Caprese Omelet. Also good for breakfast in Mt. Pleasant is the Bookstore Cafe. Downtown Charleston features Hominy Grill (also on Rachel Ray’s “$40 a Day” and Joseph’s.
By far the most successful restraunteur in the Charleston area is the owner of the Mustard Seed (3 locations including one in Mt. Pleasant), and other Mt. Pleasant establishments, Long Point Grill, and Boulevard Dinner. The dinning experience at each of the locations (owned by the same company) features deliciuos homemade bread or chips while pondering the daily special board as well as the menu. Meals at each of the range from $8-$22 but average about $12.
Bars are not difficult to find in Charleston. You can try Wet Willies, located on East Bay street. For the college crowd try The Brick on East Bay Street or Tsunami’s. For a more sedate atmosphere and great microbrewed beer with dinner, try the South End Brewery, also located on East Bay Street. Henry’s on N. Market St. has a lively 40’s crowd. The Blind Tiger (an old speakeasy from the Prohibition era) is a local’s favorite.
Mt Pleasant features Shem Creek and several bar and grills side by side. Red’s Icehouse, RB’s, and Vickery’s are the most popular.
Open-pour bottles have recently been legalized in bars and restaurants, but many establishments will continue to use mini-bottles. This is important to remember, since your drinks will have an entire mini-bottle of each liquor in the recipe. Be careful when ordering.
Soccer fans may want to take in a Charleston Battery match at Blackbaud Stadium on Daniel Island. It’s a 5,000 seat stadium with a nice little English-styled pub.
Baseball can be seen at Riley Park where the Charleston Riverdogs, an affiliate of the New York Yankees, play ball.
In April, you can also find some of the best female tennis players in the world competing at the Family Circle Cup Tennis Center on Daniel Island.
Charleston is home to a national treasure, Phillip Simmons, maker of wrought iron. Mr. Simmons has a local workshop in the area which hold many great iron gates. His work can be seen throughout the entire Charleston peninsula.
Charleston, SC – A Most Mannerly City
In August 2007, Marjabelle Young Stewart, nationally renowned etiquette expert, named Charleston, South Carolina the Most Mannerly City in America for the final 11 years that she bestowed the award. The winner was chosen based on comments from executives and those who completed her etiquette courses. She also considered thousands of letters, faxes, e-mails and phone calls. Throughout her lifetime, Mrs. Stewart worked tirelessly to promote the good manners and proper etiquette that are benchmarks of a prospering society.
Since Charleston was the longstanding recipient of this honor, the city has now been deemed worthy of recognition in the form of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Marjabelle Young Stewart offered the nation a respected standard for civility. We are pleased that the wonderful kind people of Charleston were able to be a part of the process that helped her to raise the bar. Her efforts will continue, and this generous gesture to forever mark Charleston as a Most Mannerly City is a tremendous honor,” said City of Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr.
However long you must stay on your work trip, CCRC hopes you find the opportunity to come back when you have an opportunity to really enjoy the Charleston area. We hope you have found this helpful.
As a reminder, the “Coastal” in Coastal Carolina Research Center is true. Our research facility in Mt. Pleasant is literally within a short 5 minute drive to two barrier islands, Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms, on the East Coast. Therefore, if you are monitoring during “hurricane season” you need to be mindful of any tropical activity in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, while making your travel arrangements.
National Hurricane Center
June/July generally marks the beginning of hurricane season but historically we see little activity during these months. August generally produces a significant increase of tropical activity. September is the peak of hurricane season as the sea surface temperature is usually at its warmest. In September 1989, Hurricane Hugo was the last massive Category 5 hurricane that hit the Charleston area causing loss of life and extensive property damage. In October hurricane and tropical storm conditions diminish somewhat, but activity is not uncommon. Typically during October, formation shifts to the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. November is considered the final month of hurricane season and historically we have had few hurricanes.
So again this is just a friendly reminder to plan ahead.