Cruising: Charleston, South Carolina
It’s cold and rainy this week at Carve Design’s headquarters in Northern California, and we’re dreaming of sunnier places where we can leisurely stroll the streets while we finish out our holiday shopping. Luckily, it’s time for the next installment in our Cruising series, where we let one of our ambassadors take us through a perfect weekend in her hometown. Today we’re taking a mental vacation to Charleston, South Carolina with food stylist, chef, cookbook author, mom, and surfer Cynthia Groseclose.
Let’s start with the most important meal of the day, shall we? Given Cynthia’s line of of work, we don’t ask any questions when she invites us out to eat. She recommends The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island for a beachy feel, or Red Drum for good southerwestern inspired food (think huevos).
There’s no time for food coma on this trip, so from there we’ll hop on some beach cruisers and bike through the Old Village and down Pitt Street Bridge. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can also bike across the causeway out to Sullivan’s Island or across The Ravenel Bridge into downtown.
How about a little retail therapy while we’re out and about? First we’ll swing by Half Moon Outfitters to grab some holiday gifts. We love this flannel for the guys, this sweater coat for gals, and this ridiculously cute hat for kiddos. To reward ourselves for being so generous, we’d head to Dee Ruel Jewelry to pick up a trinket for ourselves (like this ancient Roman glass necklace, perhaps).
We’ll likely have worked up an appetite after all that cruising, so we’d head to Mex 1 Coastal Cantina. Cynthia, a self-describes “taco-holic,” says “the surf movies playing, tasty fish tacos and great margaritas help me get temporary California Fix on the East Coast.” Sold.
Time to get moving again, and a nice long beach walk is always a good idea. Cynthia recommends Sullivan’s Island, where she likes to hang out near the lighthouse in the Station 18 area. “I love to meet my girlfriends before sunset with a few appetizers and our beach chairs, catch up and take in the salt air,” she says. Sounds like a perfect way to wrap up a perfect day.
We start our second day in Charleston with some surf, of course. Folly Beach is known to have the best waves in Charleston, but Cynthia’s a big fan of Isle of Palms, too. “There’s a friendly, laid back vibe there,” she says, “and when the surf is good, you can really get some long clean rides.”
After a seafood lunch at Leon’s, which Cynthia loves for its “laid-back NOLA vibe and grilled oysters, which are pretty much to die for,” we’d keep the beach day alive with some outdoor yoga. Jenny Brown of Shaka Surfschool teaches a weekly beach yoga class on Folly Beach, or you can schedule a private class at a location of your choice through Om Outdoors.
To celebrate a day well spent, we’d grab a drink at one of Cynthia’s favorite rooftop bars. The Boathouse at Breech Inlet has unbeatable the ocean views, and The Watch (atop the Restoration Hotel) is located downtown and boasts a more sophisticated city vibe.
If you’ve got more time to kill in Charleston, Cynthia suggests walking the cobblestone streets at night with the flickering gas lanterns, noting that “it’s very picturesque and romantic.” Rainbow Row is a great place to check out Charleston’s trademark colorful pastel single homes, and Waterfront Park has beautiful views of the Charleston Harbor. “There are also a number of old plantation homes with beautiful gardens worth visiting,” she says. “Magnolia is one of my favorites.”
While the cross-country flight isn’t in the cards for us this month, Cynthia’s Charleston itinerary has us planning a trip soon. Good food, clean waves, and uplifting girlfriends are always worth the trip.