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Issue 3: Charleston

Discover a locally curated guide to the city's finest experiences

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  • Photograph by Andrew Cebulka

    Issue 3: Charleston

    Biscuits and gravy on a rooftop terrace are a lovely way to start your first morning in the South. This sweet bed-and-breakfast has location in spades, so you can wander the historic sites of Charleston on foot and sample the many great nearby bars and restaurants—such as FIG, one of our favorites that’s only a block away! Look for a cozy fireplace and exposed brick in the foyer and sweet, charmingly appointed rooms. (If you rented a car, not to worry: There’s valet service, too).

    • Issue 3: Charleston

      Pork schnitzel and house-cured charcuterie with a side of lard biscuits wouldn’t fly in Hollywood, but you’re in the South now, and if you’re craving meat, this is the place to get it. Two-time James Beard Award-nominee Craig Deihl makes 80 types of charcuterie right on the premises, working with local farmers to create some of the best coppa in the country. In the mood for something lighter? Order a dozen local oysters, such as South Carolina’s own Single Ladies—briny, sustainably harvested and delicious.

    • Cocktails at The Gin Joint.
      Photograph by Andrew Cebulka
      • Issue 3: Charleston

        You can and should walk, bicycle and drive your way around Charleston, but there’s nothing more classic than a horse-and-buggy tour through the heart of the Historic District. (We like Old South Carriage Tours, which has been run by the same local family since 1983, but it’s hard to go wrong with any of these pretty carriages). Loop around majestic White Point Garden, seen here, and admire the stately old mansions lining the streets.

        • Sean Brock, right, chef at Husk Restaurant and McCrady's, preparing food for the festival.
          Sean Brock, right, chef at Husk Restaurant and McCrady's, preparing food for the festival.
          Photograph by Andrew Cebulka
        • Attendees of the Charleston Wine and Food Festival.
          Attendees of the Charleston Wine and Food Festival.
          Photograph by Andrew Cebulka
        • Food being prepared for the festival.
          Food being prepared for the festival.
          Photograph by Andrew Cebulka

          Issue 3: Charleston

          Just as Charleston has made a name for itself as a dining destination, so, too, has the town’s Wine and Food Festival garnered national acclaim. Eat ribs at casual outdoor barbecues, take cooking classes, or get gussied up for fancy evening cocktail parties. This is one of America’s best events for sampling modern cuisine—often including local seafood, meat and vegetables.  The extravaganza isn’t reserved solely for Southerners, either; renowned chefs like Sean Brock of Husk cook multi-course meals right alongside chefs from California and Australia. It’s an event worth centering a trip around.

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          Photographs by Andrew Cebulka
           
           
           
        • Photograph by Andrew Cebulka

          Issue 3: Charleston

          As is true of New Orleans, Charleston is a music town, so definitely catch some live jazz before you depart. If you’re staying at the Charleston Place Hotel, all the better, as you’ll have easy access to the world-class jazz performed seven nights a week downstairs at the Charleston Grill. We like to kick back with a Pimm’s Cup and people-watch; it’s a popular local stopoff. (Staying elsewhere? No matter—you can make a reservation at the Grill, too.)

          • Issue 3: Charleston

            There’s a bacon happy hour at this restaurant—a different bacon-themed appetizer between 5pm and 7pm daily—and a killer bone marrow bread pudding, but don’t let that distract you from the simple beauties on the menu. Chef Jeremiah Bacon’s seared scallops, here shown with orange puree and peas, are some of the best in town. This is a casual but stylish place popular among locals; it’s smart to make a reservation.

          • Photograph by Andrew Cebulka
          • Shoppers at Charleston City Market.
            Shoppers at Charleston City Market.
            Photograph by Andrew Cebulka

            Issue 3: Charleston

            Historic Charleston City Market was built on land ceded to the city by Revolutionary War veteran Charles Cotesworth Pinckney in 1788—with a stipulation that it be used solely as a public market in perpetuity. Today the stunning brick market houses small, unique shops selling locally made goods like sweetgrass baskets, artwork, jewelry, woven baskets, fruits and vegetables.

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            Oysters at The Ordinary.
            Photographs by Andrew Cebulka
             
            Lobster bisque.
             
            Daytime at The Ordinary.
             
            Double-decker seafood tower.
          • Photograph by Andrew Cebulka

            Issue 3: Charleston

            Here’s a five-star hotel that’s classy in all the right ways, from the attentive service to the deluxe rooms to the great room service cuisine. Ask for a corner room with a view of Charleston Harbor, don’t miss the rooftop bar (or the rooftop pool!) and know that despite the formal-looking doormen out front, this is the sort of place—luxurious right down to the marble bathtubs—where a person can truly unwind during a brief weekend stay.

          • Battery Carriage House Inn.
            Photograph by Andrew Cebulka
            • Issue 3: Charleston

              A Charleston trip isn’t complete without a few drinks under the stars. This rooftop bar and restaurant is aptly named, and claims to be the only such establishment in town with 360-degree views. It’s certainly our favorite. The short cocktail menu is solid, but the wine list is even better—try the brut rosé from California’s Schramsberg for a sparkling splurge, or the Dragonstone Riesling from Leitz for a sweet steal—and either goes wonderfully with the must-order mussels appetizer.

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              The café counter at Caviar and Bananas.
              Photographs by Andrew Cebulka
               
              Caviar and bananas.
               
              Duck confit panini.
               
              Locally made candies.
            • Photograph by Andrew Cebulka

              Issue 3: Charleston

              A ferry trip to Fort Sumter is a two-for-one adventure: The ride itself is beautiful, with stellar views of the Charleston Harbor, and the fort—the famous starting point for the Civil War, when Major Robert Anderson refused to surrender the fort to Confederate troops—is fascinating. Look for the five historic replicas of flags flying over the fort that don’t have 50 stars. This is a great place to take kids.

            • Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.
              Photograph by Andrew Cebulka
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              Martha Lou's Kitchen.
              Photograph by Andrew Cebulka
               
              Martha Lou Gadsden.
              Photograph by Sarah Karnasiewicz
               
              Fried chicken and sides.
              Photograph by Andrew Cebulka
               
              Photograph by Andrew Cebulka
              • Issue 3: Charleston

                As elegant as a Southern hotel gets, this is a true mansion founded in 1865 by a wealthy Southern gentleman. He raised 13 children here; today the Wentworth has 21 guest rooms. Each is gorgeous, whether thanks to an Italian glass chandelier, hand-forged wrought iron verandas, or Tiffany glass in the windows. Expect touches like gratis wine and appetizers nightly; late-evening port, sherry, brandy and chocolates; and a two-person whirlpool tub in every room—a perfect end to your stay in Charleston. Even Scarlett O’Hara would find this place up to par.