Charlestown was founded in 1670. In 1784, the town changed its name to Charleston to sound more established and compete with larger cities such as Boston, Newark, and Albany. But 400 years later, Charleston hasn’t updated their laws to compete with cities in the 21st century. Be sure to follow these still enforceable laws:
- It is illegal to keep a horse in a bathtub.
- Selling musical instruments on Sunday is prohibited.
- A marriage proposal is a legally binding agreement between persons.
- It is illegal to operate a pinball machine under the age of 18.
- Rainbow Row, located on East Bay Street, is the longest group of intact Georgian row houses in the United States. The oldest, current standing homes were built in the 1700’s. Due to fires and bombing during the War between the States, most of the buildings were dilapidated and restored between 1920 and 1945 by the Preservation Society of Charleston.
- Located between Tradd Street and Water Street lies the narrow, brick alleyway, Stoll’s Alley, accessible from East Bay Street and Church Street.
The Griffon Pub
- The floor to the ceiling of The Griffon Pub is covered in an estimated $60,000 USD. Before leaving town, pirates would mark a bill, tack it the wall, and sail reassured if everything was lost at sea, they could still buy a pint upon their return. Bring a $1 bill and The Griffon will supply the staple gun, highlighters, and Sharpies. The small English pub offers a menu of sandwiches, burgers, salads, and appetizers.
- Magnolias is home to award winning, upscale, Southern cuisine. Reservations are highly recommended, but we had no problem getting a table for lunch on a Monday. We recommend the creamy tomato bisque and spicy shrimp & sausage over grits.
- The Pineapple Fountain, located in Waterfront Park, is a symbol of Southern hospitality. Pineapples were once a rare and exotic fruit, often the centerpiece of Southern dinner parties as a symbol of wealth and friendship. Pineapples and other fruit can be seen atop fences and gates throughout the city.
Cane Rhum Bar
- Reggae music, rum from around the world, and a relaxing ambiance; what’s not to love about Cane Rhum Bar? Specialty drinks are served in fun tiki glasses and depending on your order, lit on fire. The menu focuses on Caribbean inspired cuisine.
- Just down the street is 5Church with large stained glass windows, high ceilings, and a sophisticated menu. Stop in for happy hour Monday – Thursday 4:00pm-7:00pm.
- Created in 1766, Philadelphia Alley was originally used to access rental homes behind Francis Kinloch’s home. The brick alley is located between State Street and Church Street, accessed from Cumberland Street or Church Street.
- Located in Mount Pleasant, Saltwater Cowboys claims to have the best view in the world. We don’t entirely agree, but it is a great view of Shem Creek and we spotted a dolphin while sipping our wine from the rooftop deck.
Historic Charleston City Market
- The Historic Charleston City Market opened in 1804 selling fish, meat, and vegetables. Vendors rented a space for $1 a day, or $2 if a marble slab was needed to keep meat cold. At one time, slaves were permitted to sell handmade items here earning the market the nickname Slave Market.
- Located across from the Historic Charleston City Market, Henry’s on the Market is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in South Carolina. One of Charleston’s most haunted locations, the building once held a liquor store on the first floor and Henry’s apartment on the second. Famous for bootlegging whiskey and illegally brewing beer, Henry was caught multiple times, paid his fines, and returned to his illegal activities. According to the locals, Henry’s spirit commonly visits the second floor Whiskey Room. This enormous restaurant, bar, and night club offers a rooftop patio, dining area, speakeasy, and club.
- Near Stoll’s Alley is Longitude Lane, located between Tradd Street and Water Street, accessible from East Bay Street and Church Street. Motor vehicles are no longer permitted to access the narrow, stone alley.
Palmetto Brewing Company
- Order a beer from Palmetto Brewing Co. or a co-brew with Catawba Brewing Company to enjoy in the spacious taproom or dog friendly outdoor patio. We recommend Catawba Brewing Company’s Honeycombed, a honey nut breakfast stout that smells like maple syrup but tastes like honey, and Evening Joe, a blonde coffee ale.
More Breweries to Check Out:
- Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co.: Located in a large box and crate company warehouse, the brewery has a large, open taproom and plenty of outdoor seating. A small menu offers pizza and sandwiches. Unfortunately, we can only consume so much beer and didn’t make it across the railroad tracks to Munkle Brewing Co..
- Revelry Brewing: (pictured left) There is a large rooftop patio, outdoor seating, and taproom with a bar made from a piano. We recommend Tryptocran, a cranberry farmhouse ale. A small menu from the Tobosushi Truck is available or only a couple blocks away is Home Team BBQ, possibly our new favorite barbecue restaurant. We recommend the pulled chicken, sliced/chopped brisket, and a side of mac & cheese.
Gilroys Pizza Pub
- Gilroys Pizza Pub has been serving pizza, subs, wings, and calzones since 1974. We loved the license plate decor and delicious thin crust pizza served until 4:00am.
- Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar: After exploring the market, we recommend ordering a bowl of Lowcountry Seafood Gumbo for lunch. The restaurant is located in a retired naval building built by the U.S. Navy in 1942.
- Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon: Tour the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon once used as a dungeon, stock market, and tea storage. Stand on the original brick floor over 200 years old and learn of the building’s history. The tour costs $10 per person and lasts about 30 minutes.
- High Wire Distilling: Stop in for a spirit flight and specialty cocktails. We recommend sampling the Southern Amaro Liqueur, a Southern twist on an Italian classic.
- Tommy Condon’s: Condon’s with an N, has live music every Thursday – Sunday night. There is a large outdoor patio, wrap around bar inside the pub, and complimentary popcorn.
- The Battery: Named after the defensive seawall lined with artillery during the Civil War, stroll along the tip of the Charleston peninsula and the Ashley River.
- Nightly Spirits Haunted Ghost Tour Pub Crawl: Hear tales of Charleston’s most haunted locations and pirates while enjoying an adult beverage at 4 pubs along the way.