We have now been in Charleston for over two months, completing repairs after Big Frisky was stuck by another boat in the Charleston Harbor Marina. Our misfortune did not prevent us from taking full advantage of living in the Best City in the World (according to Travel & Leisure Magazine).
We are leaving in the morning and as a farewell to the Holy City, we offer our Best of Charleston review.
Best place to visit: Mt Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park and Pier. We walked the dogs every day at this park and enjoyed our coffee while watching the tides come in and river traffic go by. You can buy a fishing pass for the day for $7 and you are almost guaranteed to catch something if not bring home dinner.
Best Dining Experience: 167 Raw. This tiny hole in the wall not only is the freshest raw bar in town, it also has the best servers. But you have to be patient. The raw bar only seats about 40 people and while the wait can be long, when you sit down it's as if you were the only one there; your every desire, anticipated and fulfilled. The atmosphere is festive and the all-male crew works hard to maintain traffic flow by ensuring there is a drink in the hand of every waiting patron.
Best Landmark: The Angel Tree on Johns Island. The oldest living thing in the US is this Live Oak tree, estimated to be over 500 years old. Visitors milling about the ancient tree speak in hushed tones as if in the presence of something sacred.
Best Mexican Restaurant: Agave Cantina on Daniel Island. Great Mexican food and excellent service made this place worth a second visit. The lunch crowd was equal parts office workers and construction workers, no doubt attracted like we were to delicious food at good prices.
Best Show: Improv Riot: Perfect for Friday night date night, especially when paired with dinner at 167 Raw, the improv team at Theater 99, had us laughing our ass off. The theater sports a concession with beer, wine, sodas and snacks.
Best Local Tip: Edmunds Oast: Hip and Loftlike according to google, this amazing place has an unadvertised happy hour with a $4 menu. Order craft beers and small batch cocktails with creative small plate appetizers until you are full and leave having spent less than $50.
Best Place to Hang out Getting Local Tips: House of Brews in Mt Pleasant. Knowledgeable bartender at House of Brews told us about great food and beer deals throughout the county.
Best Handcrafted Cocktails: The Americano. Fresh mixers are prepared on site with indigenous ingredients. I had the Mexican Mule and Kurt had the Pisco Sour. Cuban cuisine served in a cool art deco setting was fresh, light and well portioned.
Best Charcuterie Program: Ok, so first, what is a charcuterie program? Charcuterie is cured meats and having a program indicates that the restaurant does their own curing, often employing a "nose to tail" philosophy in preparing meat. Artisan Meat Share is a small shop sharing delicious charcuterie from Cypress as well as sandwiches, cheeses, and condiments. And of course several taps of local craft beer.
Best of All: The People! While every community has a few jerks, the many gracious, friendly and hospitable people we have met in Charleston have more than offset one bad experience. Like our neighbors Timm and Martie on Goat's Boat who warmly welcomed us for evening cocktails and introduced us to their many friends. It is easy to see why our nieces and their families have made Charleston their home. We look forward to coming back to see them all again and find out what Charleston has on tap next time.
Next stop, Barrington Rhode Island!