Lower King Street
Boutiques, galleries and national chains
Lower King Street is the commercial section of downtown, packed with national chains, local boutiques and galleries galore. As you are walking, pop into any stores that catch your eye but look out for these favorites of ours that are listed in order, starting at Broad Street and working up to Calhoun Street: Preservation Society of Charleston for locally made products and books, Billy Reid for apparel from the southern designer, Buxton Books for regionally focused books, George C Birlant & Co Antiques for exquisite pieces from England, Worthwhile for thoughtfully designed fashion and objects, Candlefish for candles and candle making workshops, M. Dumas & Sons for southern menswear, Croghan's Jewel Box for high-end antique jewelry, and Hampden for designer womens wear, in addition to any galleries that catch your eye. If you continue a bit further up King Street passed Marion Square, Blue Bicycle Books is worth the walk.
Marina Variety Store
Local breakfast spot for unpretentious comfort food
This no-frills restaurant overlooking the marina has been constantly tested over the years as hot new breakfast and brunch places open up, but this is still the down-home favorite of many locals. They have all the breakfast favorites like pancakes and eggs, but it feels wrong to be on the water and not order something with seafood like their Shrimp and Grits.
Olivier D. LONG
Cozy, rustic wine bar that is a local favorite
Casual raw bar with incredible seafood
You may have to wait for a table at this modern, boisterous spot that doesn't accept reservations, but it is most definitely worth it! Start out with oysters and continue on from there with the lobster roll or one of the other incredible Favorites.
Second State Coffee
Great coffee in a serene space
This neighborhood coffee shop, perfect for getting some work done or chatting with friends, does incredible pour-overs and cold brews but don't shy away from their creative lattes, teas and coffee mocktail. They have a second location in Mt. Pleasant.
Free contemporary art museum on campus
The College of Charleston's Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art presents a set of rotating exhibits by emerging or mid-career artists. Stop by this small, free gallery to see the unique exhibits that are on display now.