Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tour of the South--Stop 2, Charleston, SC

Brynn and Lance Leroux, Lelia, Brynn/Lance's roommate Liz, and me at Raval

Okee-dokie. Stop 2 on my summer of touring the South--hot, humid, and beautiful Charleston! So, it was Lelia's bday, and we decided to jump in Lelia's car and drive to Charleston to visit our best college friends Lance, gym owner, and Brynn, orthodontics resident. We got stuck in some sort of time vortex though, thinking we'd make it to Charleston in 8 hrs., and actually arriving in 10-14. I'm not sure how long it actually was, but it was not a short drive. I've been to Charleston now two times, and here's where ya need to go to shop, eat and be merry.

Basically, King St. is the place to be. It's a varitable smorgasbord of antique shops and great places to hang out. So here's the breakdown of King and the general vicinity:

Shopping:
  • Urban Outfitters--no explanation required
  • Hampden Clothing--my favorite...she carries beautiful lines like 3.1 Phillip Lim, Mint by Jodi Arnold, Harkham and more. And girlfriend knows how to put some stuff on sale. That back room is full of stuff up to 75% off.
  • Steve Madden, J.Crew, Gap, Banana Republic...you get it.
  • B'zar--I know this is a bold statement. But this store is my favorite in Charleston, and one of my favorites in the U.S. The nicest owners too! And cool ghetto-fabulous jewelry!
  • Dwelling--really cool, modern home store.
  • Lesesne--I love cool paper products, and this place has 'em along with some selected home decor.
  • Nancy Koltes--a girly-girl's dream...bath products, candles, sheets. Send the husband down the street for a beer for this one.

Eats:
  • Kudu Coffee House--great coffee, reminded me of Africa with all its cool decor and has a great outdoor seating area
  • Cupcake--who doesn't like cupcakes?
  • The Trusted Palate--Cool decor/cool wine bar/GREAT app. plate
  • Raval--also one of my favorites...Spanish tapas/wines/little dance party in the back. Hey---ooooooooooooo!
  • Basil--awesome Thai food, fun atmosphere, and they sell one of my favorite wines, Conundrum, at a very reasonable price.
  • Monza--sister of Raval. Really cool pizza place with some cutting edge variations on your typical pie. And the BEST crust!
  • FIG--yummy, seasonally inspired menu.
  • Tsunami--good sushi. Try the triple-tuna roll!
  • Magnolia's--go here for lunch and save some money, but you MUST get the fried chicken!
These were just some of my favorites. Go find your own! Charleston's a great place for a weekend getaway. Not SO much to do that you're overwhelmed, but just enough to keep you occupied. You gotta take a carriage ride, the ghost tour is very fun and before you go read this article on CNN.com, where one lady was quoted calling King St. the "SoHo of the South." Hmmm...There's not enough riff-raff and way too many girls wearing sweaters tied at the neck to be SoHo, but it is indeed pretty awesome.

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