It's no secret that Charleston is a city well known for its incredible cuisine. Lining its lively streets and tucked away in its hidden, historic corners are literally hundreds of amazing restaurants. From fine-dining experiences to favorite local dives, this city is a foodie's dream, replete with an eclectic mix of coastal flavor, southern cuisine, and everything in between.
And while it's more than possible to enjoy Charleston's food scene exclusively, there's no question that a burger at Poe's is ten times juicier after catching waves at Isle of Palms, and that a local craft beer in the courtyard of Kudu is all the more refreshing after a sweaty run South of Broad. Basically, food in Charleston is good, but when it's enjoyed after a long day on a local trail or waterway, it's incredible! Here are 3 RootsRated recommendations for satisfying your appetite for both adventure and quality cuisine.
Shem Creek is a subtly gorgeous waterway in Mt. Pleasant, featuring long Spartina grass and almost guaranteed sightings of dolphins. If you paddle out to where Shem Creek empties into the Atlantic Ocean and catch the sunset from the mouth of the creek, it's truly something else. Not to over-promise, but the view overlooking the Charleston Harbor and the city beyond is something you will never forget. While there are plenty of decent (although somewhat touristy) restaurants sprinkled along Shem Creek, you'd be better off heading back over the bridge into the city to enjoy a wonderful dinner at The Grocery . Locally sourced meat, veggies, and herbs in the hands of world-renowned chefs can only be a good thing. And the classy atmosphere and long list of menu items, like Slow Roasted Short Rib and Sautéed Snapper, will definitely make you want to stay awhile and sample all of your friends' dishes.
It's been a fairly quiet hurricane season this year, but Charleston is still experiencing a generally consistent swell and decent-sized waves, and Folly Beach is at the heart of it. This is the best time of year to experience Folly, because its most popular spot, the Washout , has been known to bring in 10-foot swells during hurricane season. We can't promise that this will happen for you, but we can guarantee a great time, because the beach community here is welcoming and the locals will happily point you to the best waves. After a long, productive day of catching waves, head over to a nearby Folly favorite: Rita's Seaside Grille . Grab a pimento cheese bacon burger and the best margarita in Charleston. Odds are you’ll be in the company of plenty of other salt-covered surfers doing exactly the same thing.
Wannamaker North is a favorite for local mountain bikers. It's an 8-mile loop consisting of tight curves, tough (yet fun) changes in elevation, and tons of variety in terms of man-made and natural features. Head there in the morning to have the place all to yourself, and then, after you've beaten yourself up a bit on the rooty, technical trail, travel back to the city for a visit to Poogan's Porch — a truly classic southern cuisine experience. We're talking Shrimp & Grits, Plantation Fried Chicken, Spicy Collards, and home-made flaky biscuits. It doesn't get more relaxing than sitting on their front porch sipping a cold sweet tea after having already hit the trail earlier that day. Pure bliss.