Thursday, January 22, 2015

15 Places To Love in and Around Charleston

I gotta admit I'm getting a bit nostalgic. We're leaving the South in about a week and heading out to make our new home in Seattle, WA. Our little family is VERY southern! I can't believe we're moving to a place where I won't be able to order sweet tea.

My personal history reads like a trip across the deep South. I was born in Louisiana and raised in Georgia. My husband was born and raised in Alabama, and he has family in Mississippi. We met in Birmingham, AL and lived in Montgomery, AL for the first three and a half years of our marriage. For the last two years we've lived here in Charleston, SC.

Charleston is a happening town! It has a beautiful and historic downtown area close to beaches and chock full of local restaurants and shops. What more could you ask for?

We don't have any family here, so when we move we may be gone for good. I'll always remember this place with fondness. Here are a few of the places we've enjoyed during our two years in the Lowcountry.


1. The Aquarium- We bought a family membership when we first moved into town. Our children never tire of going to see the fish so you can imagine we've been there about 455 times. It's not huge, but it has an excellent display of the local sea life. They do an excellent job of showing you what kinds of terrain you can find in South Carolina and what water creatures inhabit that terrain.

2. The Children's Museum- My boys love this place! It's hands on so they can explore and create instead of just looking at things. They have an art room, a pirate ship, a water room, an indoor playground for children under 3 years old, a supermarket, a castle, a firetruck, an outdoor garden and fountain area, and a rotating exhibit.

I love that my kids are never bored here and always leave worn out. Be careful about going on Friday mornings during the school year; the place will be packed with elementary school students on field trips.

3.Oak Steakhouse- Delicious, expensive steaks: perfect for a nice adult's night out. If you have money to burn, try their dry aged steaks (we could just never justify spending $60 on a steak)

4. Santis - Our favorite Mexican restaurant on the outskirts of the downtown area.

5. The Cocktail Club- Need a cozy place to get drinks before dinner and dancing downtown? Look no further than the Cocktail Club. They have just about any drink you can think of (and some you can't) with an atmosphere perfect for chatting it up with old friends and maybe making a few new ones too.

6. The Tattooed Moose- A bar with a laid back blue collar atmosphere and great food. My husband likes the duck club, and I love their duck fat fries!

7. The Pineapple Fountain -  I took my boys to "swim" in the Pineapple fountain weekly this summer. They always had a blast. The park also has another fountain where kids can play if they get sick of this fountain: so much fun.

Our Stomping Grounds

8. Park Circle - Sometimes North Charleston gets bad wrap, but we have loved living here! It's the industrial sector of Charleston, so things are a bit more blue collar and down to earth in North Charleston. Though to be truthful, there's a ton new development and restoration going on.

The Park Circle area has a cute little Main Street area with shops and restaurants. And as the name would suggest, the area is full of parks and playgrounds. Housing prices are less expensive than in Mt. Pleasant, and you're much closer to the downtown area than you would be in Summerville or Hanahan.

14. Madra Rua- Hands down my husband's favorite bar in the city and one of the biggest reasons we decided to move to the Park Circle area. Its an Irish pub with an Old World feel.

5.EVO- another Park Circle favorite...great pizza and salads!

6. Basico - fresh, yummy, Mexican basics

7. Mixson Bath and Racquet Club - If we were going to be staying in town through the summer we would certainly join! We visited their pool at the invitation of our neighbors, who are members, and we absolutely loved it. I was a bit skeptical when I heard about their steep membership fees, but after visiting I think it would be worth it to join.
The pool is huge and beautiful. They have poolside cabanas you can rent. They provide you with towels (which is perfect for any mom who hates to do laundry), and you can order drinks and food poolside. You could easily bring the kids for a late afternoon swim, bathe them, dress them in their pajamas, order dinner for them, and have them ready to pop into bed by the time you get back home (which is exactly what we did).

Everything Else

14. Paige's Okra Grill- Good Lowcountry food at affordable prices... their Sunday brunch is unreal!

15. Sullivan's Island - Looking for a beautiful beach in the Charleston area? You've got to check out Sullivan's Island. It's my very favorite beach simply because of its natural beauty and non-commercial atmosphere.