Charleston is a great city for art, food, and history.


Over the last few years, Charleston has become a haven for artists and Sandi and I have kept tabs on this growth over time. In keeping with this theme, there are a large number of galleries throughout the city, many of which serve as working studios where you can watch local artists at work. On the first Friday of each month, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., the Broad Street Merchant’s Association hosts the “First Friday Art Walk,” an event during which you can walk from gallery to gallery, meet the artists, and enjoy refreshments. 

Charleston also officially has moved into the upper echelon of my favorite foodie cities in the United States. After our recent visit, my expanding waistline is a tribute to the quality of Charleston’s cuisine.   

  • Crisp Wasabi Tuna from Cypress

  • Fried Green Tomatoes from Magnolia’s

  • Tomato Pie from Dixie Supply Bakery

  • Whole Crispy Flounder from Anson Restaurant

  • Big Nasty Biscuit from Hominy Grill

  • Coconut Cake from Peninsula Grill

  • Fried Green Tomatoes from Hall’s Chophouse

  • Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie – Dixie Supply Bakery

Shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes are menu staples throughout Charleston and should be part of your must-eat list when you visit. Other items you simply have to try: the she-crab soup and the whole crispy flounder at Anson restaurant; the coconut cake and the banana panna cotta pudding at the Peninsula Grill; the “Big Nasty” biscuit and the toasted pumpkin ginger bread at the Hominy Grill; the bacon bourbon pecan pie and the tomato pie at the Dixie Supply Bakery & Café; and the crisp wasabi tuna and the meat plate at Cypress.  

Viewfinder Tip: Plan in some time at the beach when you visit Charleston. 

Finally, the Walking Ghost Tours are perhaps my favorite of all tours offered in Charleston. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, listening to ghost stories while walking through the city’s most haunted places at night is quite thrilling. While I have yet to encounter a ghost, some of the exhilarating tales have given me goosebumps.         


What are your favorite ways to get to know a new city?