With its vibrant culture, rich history, exquisitely-preserved architecture, idyllic coastal location, celebrated dining scene, and friendly locals, Charleston, South Carolina, is one of America’s best loved travel destinations. Over the past six years, readers of leading travel magazines have consistently voted for Charleston as their favorite domestic travel destination, resulting in the No. 1 City in the World and No. 1 City in the U.S. and Canada ranking by the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013) and No. 1 U.S. City ranking by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011).
The Charleston area is a bustling epicenter of hospitality as illustrated by the following news.
No. 1 City in the World
Travel + Leisure 2016 World’s Best Awards
No. 1 City in the U.S and Canada
Travel + Leisure 2016 World’s Best Awards
No. 2 Best Cities for Food in the U.S
Travel + Leisure 2016 World’s Best Awards
30 Best Cities for Foodies Around the World
The Best Shopping Cities in the World
Condé Nast Traveler
50 Most Beautiful Cities in the World
Condé Nast Traveler
Cane Rhum Bar and Caribbean Kitchen
251 East Bay Street, Charleston | eatdrinkcane.com
New York-born and Barbados-raised Chef Paul Yellin brought the first Caribbean-themed Rhum Bar to Charleston. Known as the “Rhum Chef,” Yellin combines Caribbean flavors with rum to create his dishes. In addition to more than 80 varieties of rum, the menu includes popular Caribbean dishes such as Pork Griot and Pikliz. Opened July 2016.
21 Spring Street, Charleston | crookedcrown.bar
King of Pops, a traveling popsicle cart with specialty, natural flavors, has introduced a brick and mortar store in downtown Charleston. Crooked Crown serves as a popsicle shop by day and cocktail bar by night. The menu features boozy popsicles and tamales. Try the White Russian alcohol infused pop or the spicy chorizo tamale. Opened May 2016.
Eclectic Café & Vinyl
132 Spring Street, Charleston | eclecticcafeandvinyl.com
Located in the Cannonborough/Elliotborough neighborhood of downtown Charleston, Eclectic Café & Vinyl is a vinyl emporium, coffee shop, bistro café, newsstand and wine and craft beer bar. This casual hangout and record store offers menu items such as classic blend coffees, tapas and artisan sandwiches. Opened June 2016.
Henrietta’s and The Living Room at the Dewberry
334 Meeting Street, Charleston | thedewberrycharleston.com
Henrietta’s is located in Charleston’s newest luxury hotel, The Dewberry. This “modern, yet southern brasserie” is accented with rich mahogany walls and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Upon arrival, guests are invited to enjoy cocktails in The Living Room located in The Dewberry’s art deco themed lobby. Opened June 2016.
La Morra Pizzeria
Charleston | facebook.com/lamorrapizzeria
Zach Swemle, former chef de cuisine at Mission Chinese Food, has launched a mobile Neapolitan pizza kitchen in the Charleston Lowcountry. Guests can choose from a rotating menu of pies, including Margherita, Pomodoro and Calabrese, served straight from the food truck’s wood-fired oven. Opened July 2016.
15 Beaufain Street, Charleston | lefarfallecharleston.com
Chef Michael Toscano, former executive chef at the successful Perla in New York, transformed this Beaufain Street space into an Italian eatery. Enjoy innovative small plates, hand-rolled pastas and hearty entrees such as Octopus Carpaccio, Roasted Chicken with Oyster Mushrooms Pasta and the Toscano Family Chorizo and Egg Platter. Opened June 2016.
464 North Nassau Street, Charleston | lewisbarbecue.com
Former pitmaster at award-winning Texas restaurant La Barbecue, John Lewis brings his signature barbecue to Charleston with the opening of Lewis Barbecue. Named “The Brisket Evangelist” by Garden & Gun magazine, Lewis welds his own custom-designed smokers to create expertly smoked beef brisket, pork spareribs and beef ribs. Opened June 2016.
Pancito & Lefty
708 King Street, Charleston | pancitoandlefty.com
Former Indaco Chef Robert Berry and Alley owner Jimmy Poole will transform a former dive into a colorful Mexican restaurant. This lively neighborhood spot, located on upper King Street, will feature traditional Mexican food with a focus on vegetable-based, shareable plates. The menu also boasts an extensive tequila and mescal menu. Opening Winter 2016.
2 Unity Alley, Charleston | mccradysrestaurant.com
Acclaimed Chef Sean Brock’s newest restaurant, McCrady’s Tavern, combines modern cooking with the spirit of the Gilded Age to create unique dishes such as Broiled Flounder Vin Black and a NY Strip Steak served with blue cheese and watercress. McCrady’s Tavern will feature a “lively, everyday gathering space.” Opening in August 2016.
Meeting at Market
120 Market Street, Charleston | belmond.com/charleston-place
Meeting at Market, Charleston’s newest sports pub, is located in the heart of Charleston’s Historic District in the Belmond Charleston Place Hotel. The pub has 16 large-screen televisions, 20 draft beers on tap and casual bites such as fish and chips, seafood boards and jalapeno bacon and maple nibbles. Opened July 2016.
23 Ann Street, Charleston | scarecrowandco.com
Acclaimed Chef Damon Wise has introduced restaurant group Scarecrow & Co. to downtown Charleston. This concept includes three individual restaurant concepts: Scarecrow, Feathertop and Wise-Buck Smoked Meats. Two of the restaurants, Feathertop and Wise-Buck Smoked Meats, are currently open. Scarecrow is soon to follow. At Scarecrow, guests are invited to enjoy a front row seat to watch Chef Wise and his team cook up fresh Lowcountry bounty. This upscale restaurant features a wine cellar and an outdoor wine garden. The dinner-only menu will feature wood-fired items highlighting Lowcountry produce. Opening soon/TBA.
Sermet’s Southernterranean Cuisine-Bar
1622 Highland Ave, Charleston | facebook.com/sermetsonji
Sermet’s Southernterranean Cuisine-Bar combines Mediterranean techniques and Southern ingredients to create unique dishes, such as sweet potato fries with ancho chili ketchup and Moroccan spices. This casual James Island eatery will feature outdoor seating and a small bar offering local beers and frozen cocktails. Opening in August 2016.
Short Grain Food Truck
Charleston | shortgrainfoodtruck.com
Voted among the “50 Best New U.S Restaurants” by Bon Appétit magazine and named among Eater’s “Young Guns 2016,” Short Grain is an untraditional Japanese food truck that travels the streets of Charleston. The food truck features a variety of rice bowls, such as the O.G. bowl that combines locally caught sashimi with pickled cucumbers, puffed rice and furikake. Opened April 2015.
51 South Market Street, Charleston | welkincoffee.com
A specialty coffee shop located on Market Street, Welkin Coffee serves Counter Culture Coffee, fresh pastries from Brown’s Court Bakery, local draft beer, wine and mimosas. Other menu highlights are the Upper/Downer, a ten-ounce beer accompanied by an espresso shot and the Welkin mimosa, topped with housemade hibiscus-and-berry tea. Opened May 2016.
188 East Bay Street, Charleston | thedewberrycharleston.com
The Dewberry is Charleston’s most anticipated five-star luxury hotel and sought-after venue for event planners. The hotel is perfectly situated in the center of Charleston’s downtown district, offering spectacular views of the harbor and city, and featuring 155 rooms and suites. In addition to a rooftop observatory, The Dewberry boasts a stunning ballroom, lush walled gardens, and 7,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and event space. Upon arrival, guests are invited to enjoy cocktails in The Living Room, located in The Dewberry’s art deco themed lobby, and enjoy “Southern brasserie” fare at the hotel’s restaurant, Henrietta’s. Opened August 2016.
Luxury Hotel Suites
493 King Street, Charleston | walkawaystays.com
This eight-room boutique hotel is located steps away from popular restaurants and shops on Charleston’s Upper King Street. The hotel’s suites include two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living area, full kitchen and laundry room. Opened June 2016.
131 Middle Street, Mount Pleasant | tompsc.com
Located in the historic and charming Old Village, newly renovated Alhambra Hall is one of the most coveted ceremony and reception spots in Mount Pleasant. The venue features dramatic views of the Charleston Harbor, wrap-around porches, vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, newly restored bridal and groom suites and Lowcountry charm, making it a fantastic backdrop for celebrations and events. Reopened April 2016.
Old Village Post House Inn
101 Pitt Street, Charleston | oldvillageposthouseinn.com
Old Village Post House’s private dining rooms welcome guests with their casually elegant style and architectural and interior design details. The Inn recently renovated its six rooms and converted another space into a seventh guest unit with new kitchen appliances. Opening TBA.
The Oyster Shed
698 King Street, Charleston | leonsoystershop.com
Brooks Rietz of the popular Leon’s Oyster Shop converted a Charleston single home located behind Leon’s into a private event space. The space is furnished with a custom-built table for 24 people and can be expanded to a group of 60 with use of the brick patio. The Oyster Shed has a comfortable charm with reclaimed wood, high ceilings, exposed beams and original brick. Opened June 2016.
50 Hasell Street, Charleston | stjohanneschurch.org
The Parsonage is a beautifully renovated circa 1846 residence located in Charleston’s Ansonborough neighborhood. The space is available for weekly rentals and boasts three bedrooms, a bridal dressing room, double piazzas, an English-style garden and additional outdoor space for gatherings and events. Opened Summer 2016.
RETAIL + SPECIALTY PRODUCTS
352 Freshfields Drive, Kiawah Island | dolittles.com
Dolittle’s opened a third location in Freshfields Village Shopping Center on Kiawah Island. The shop offers high quality pet products including food, collars and leashes, toys, beds and more. Dolittle’s also offers a self-service pet bathing room. Opened July 2016.
Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant
916 Houston Northcutt Blvd, Mount Pleasant | gwynns.com
Gwynn’s of Mount Pleasant is a luxury department store offering women’s and men’s designer clothing and accessories. The store recently underwent an expansion, adding more than 2,000 square feet of dressing room and luxury lounge space, offering a first class shopping experience.
Scout & Molly’s
458 Freshfields Drive, Kiawah Island | kiawah.scoutandmollys.com
Women’s clothing boutique, Scout & Molly’s offers upscale designer clothing featuring original, chic designs including lounge wear, business-casual separates and cocktail attire. Located in Freshfields Village at Kiawah Island, this boutique is the perfect destination to find the latest fashion trends. Opened June 2016.
Tippleman’s Barrel Aged Cola Syrup
Tippleman’s newest addition to its line of hand crafted non-alcoholic mixers is Barrel Aged Cola Syrup, an all-natural, fresh citrus and spice cola aged in a bourbon barrel. The syrup is created with fresh oranges, lemons and limes, and combined with ground spices, golden cane sugar and vanilla bean.
615 Freshfields Drive, Kiawah Island | freshfieldsvillage.com
Trés Carmen, a fashion retailer that carries the latest ready-to-wear styles, recently opened its second location in Freshfields Village Shopping Center. This boutique features apparel, accessories and shoes from acclaimed designers such as Nicole Miller, Joie and BCBGMAXAZRIA. Opened July 2016.
TOURS + EXHIBITS
Ellis-Nicholson Gallery: The Local Scene, September 2
1 ½ Broad Street, Charleston | ellis-nicholsongallery.com
Ellis-Nicholson’s newest exhibit, “The Local Scene” will feature work from local Charleston artist Vicki Gates. The exhibit will showcase Gate’s paintings of the marshes that surround Charleston. Gates works in watercolor and pastels and strives to capture the elusive beauty that surrounds the Lowcountry.
Lowcountry Artists Gallery: Vibrant Interpretations Exhibit, October 7
148 East Bay, Charleston | lowcountryartists.com
Lowcountry Artists Gallery will showcase an exhibit titled “Vibrant Interpretations,” featuring work by Joyce Harvey during the Charleston Gallery Association Art Walk, October 7 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Harvey is heavily inspired by the Lowcountry coastline, and she is known for her energetic, vibrant colored, palette knife paintings of boats and soft, pastel oils that capture the peaceful serenity of quiet seaside scenes.
Gibbes Museum: Realm of the Spirit: Solomon R. Guggenheim Collection and the Gibbes Museum of Art, October 22 – January 15
135 Meeting Street, Charleston | gibbesmuseum.org/exhibitions
The Gibbes Museum of Art presented Solomon R. Guggenheim’s collection in both 1936 and in 1938. Eighty years later, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Gibbes Museum of Art will revisit the significant intersection of their institutional histories with “Realm of Spirit: Solomon R. Guggenheim Collection and the Gibbes Museum of Art.” This historic exhibit will feature 36 masterworks presented in the original exhibitions and includes artists such as Vasily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Fernand Leger, Robert Delaunay, Amedeo Modigliani and Georges Seurat.
Corrigan Gallery: (In)Spires Exhibit, December 2
62 Queen Street, Charleston | corrigangallery.com
Corrigan Gallery will present the “(In)Spires” exhibit by Lese Corrigan featuring oil paintings of Charleston’s local churches. With a lush, colorfully loaded brush, Corrigan depicts these steeples of the Holy City pairing each work with a black and white frontal view of the subject. This technique follows the styles of the earlier Charleston artists in creating a documented depiction of these historic landmarks.
- HIGHLIGHTED SPECIAL EVENTS
Charleston Restaurant Week, September 7 – 18
Charleston Restaurant Week, executed by the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, Inc. (GCRA), is one of the most highly anticipated culinary events in the Charleston area. This event provides patrons the chance to taste and savor the world-renowned cuisine of the Lowcountry with prix fixe menus and pricing.
Taste of Charleston Festival, September 23 – 25
This two-day event showcases taste-tempting delights served by Charleston area restaurants. Taking place at Boone Hall Plantation, 50 of the Lowcountry’s favorite casual and fine dining restaurants serve sample size food portions and beer and wine at the main event.
34th Annual Moja Arts Festival, September 29 – October 9
The streets of Charleston sway with the captivating rhythm of African music while the smell of Caribbean cuisine permeates the air during this ten-day celebration of Gullah culture named for the Swahili word meaning “one.”
40th Fall Tours of Homes, History & Architecture presented by The Preservation Society, October 6 – 30
Peek at heirloom silver and meander through carefully cultivated boxwoods during these docent-led tours that invite guests into some of the Charleston area’s most historic and architecturally significant dwellings.
Charleston Gallery Association Artwalk, October 7
Stroll through the historical streets of Charleston and explore more than 40 galleries that participate in this quarterly event from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Friday, October 7. Bustling with art enthusiasts and artists, the galleries will offer music and refreshments.
3rd Annual Colour of Music Festival, October 19 – 23
The Colour of Music Festival offers a musical kaleidoscope highlighting the impact and historical significance of black classical composers and performers on American and world culture. The festival delivers a global offering of the leading black artists with featured performers from France, Colombia, Great Britain and the Caribbean. This year’s highlight includes 18th century African-French composer Chevalier de Saint-George’s only opera ever discovered, The Anonymous Lover, featuring Megali Léger.
Charleston International Film Festival, November 2 – 6
The Charleston International Film Festival seeks to bring people together through the art and science of film. A wide range of subject matter is explored, including the art and science of film, cross-cultural awareness, the exchange of ideas and social understanding with screenings of features, documentaries, shorts and animations created by local, national and international filmmakers over the five-day fall event.
Plantation Days at Middleton Place, November 12 – 13
Middleton Place invites visitors to see what life on a Lowcountry plantation was like in the 18th and 19th centuries. This weekend-long re-creation of the rice harvest season includes cooking, weaving, pottery, candle making, cotton processing and blacksmithing demonstrations.