Monday, March 03, 2008

SoCon Tourney guide to Charleston, SC

Now that the regular season is over, all eyes turn to that great city on the water: Charleston, SC. Whether you are coming to Charleston for the first time this weekend or for the umpteenth time in your life, you should take a look at my handy SoCon Visitor's guide that I have put together about my fair home town. Every once in a while, writers need to go out on limbs and open themselves up to disagreement, and I'm sure that this list will lend itself to that. Please feel free to post thoughts and additional suggestions in the comments section.

Here are my DO's and DONT's on Charleston visiting.

DON'T necessarily get a hotel right next to the Coliseum unless plan on going to nearly all of the games. Because of the big roads, you can't easily walk around the area which means that you have to get in your car anyway. If you are in your car driving, you might as well stay at a place that is more serviceable to the rest of the city.

DO check out cheap hotels in Mt. Pleasant. The new bridge is within walking distance and you can quickly drive Downtown or to the arena while not paying the high rates of hotels downtown. (Unfortunately, most hotels are already booked up for Friday and I hoped that you read my mind and already got your room).

DON'T eat at some of the restaurants at the top of all those tourist lists. Hyman's Seafood and Jestine's Kitchen are the worst offenders of passing off mediocre food for high prices and convincing everyone it's great...just because all the tourists are doing it.

DO check out some of the following eateries...

Fleet Landing on Concord St. for great seafood and an impressive view of the harbor, a little pricey...

Fig on Meeting and St. Philip, cozy atmosphere, diverse menu and it's right across from Sticky Fingers where you can go in and check out Stephen Colbert's original portrait within a portrait within a at Fig, walk into Sticky Fingers...

Five Loaves Cafe at multiple locations, moderately priced with casual lunches and great dinner entrees, excellent food at a corner cafe kind of feel

Kickin Chicken and Andolinis Pizza for the college kid in you (or you the college kid)...the Kickin Chicken is on King St. while Andolinis is one block off King on Wentworth, great filling sandwiches and pizza with a college atmosphere...wear your Davidson gear and get taunted by all the servers, bring up Davidson's record against CofC and you might get slower service, but it's completely worth it. (I just found from their website, that there is a new Kickin Chicken with brand new widescreen TV's over in West Ashley where I live, and which is closer to the stadium...more details will be coming, but I am proposing that Davidson fans take it over on Saturday night to watch UNC/Duke.)

DO get out and walk around the city. Charleston is small for its size and you can get a better feel for things by walking around. See the cannons down on South Battery and the old well at the College of Charleston. Charleston has some really cool old houses and churches and a quaint little lake and park on Beaufain and Ashley. Obviously, no walk through Charleston is complete unless you mosey down King St. It has great shopping, really interesting buildings, great bars, and unlimited opportunity to flash your Wildcat gear at unsuspecting Charlestonians.

DON'T bother with a lot of the tour things because of your limited time. Carriage rides, house tours, ghost walks and the like don't let you see anything you can't see on your own and most of their stories are all made up anyway.

DO go to the aquarium at the end of Calhoun Street. It has a great view of the harbor and the bridge and a monster tank in the middle with a lot of sharks and rays and cool looking fish. I have been there a ton since my Dad is a member, but I still enjoy looking at the is "enchanting" (not like Coach McKillop has said that Cameron Indoor is "enchanting," this is a different type).

I hope that this is helpful to all Wildcat fans coming to our fair city this week and weekend. Again, please post additional suggestions and disagreements in the comment box...and make sure to wear your Wildcat red wherever you go. I will be...


Anonymous said...

Regardless of where you stay, when the Cats win on Monday night, you MUST come to the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel after the game(team hotel)to greet the team. I was there last year, and plan to be there this year, as the atmosphere was absolutely electric when the team walked into the lobby.

Anonymous said...

No matter where we went last year we ran into DC people all over the matter what your connection is to Davidson, when you root for the Cats, you are part of a GREAT family!
GO CATS!!! :)