Charleston, South Carolina Travel Guides – Resource Links

Charleston, South Carolina one of the most celebrated cities in the United States

This historic Southern city is:

  • Exciting
  • Creative
  • Historic
  • A Foodie Paradise
  • Haven of theater and arts
  • Architecturally stunning
  • Tranquil beach escapes
  • Shopping mecca
  • Parks and recreation

We have so much to offer, that finding the right activity can be a challenge.

Here is a resource guide on some of the top digital travel guides to Charleston, South Carolina

All offer insightful options and details on activities and events in the Holy City.

Charleston Travel Guide – Travel + Leisure

Charleston Travel Guide – Fodor’s Travel

Charleston Visitor’s Bureau Visitor’s Guide

Charleston City Guide – Southern Living

Official Tourism Guide –

Charleston Vacation ideas and Guides – Travel Channel

Discover South Carolina Vacation Guide

Visit Historic Charleston

Best of Charleston Travel Guide – Town & Country

Charleston Travel Guide – Virtual Tourist

Education is power.? Do your research, plan well and make it a memorable stay.

Of course, please comment if you have specific questions.





A Musical Tribute to George Gershwin

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

With the buzz around Porgy and Bess being featured as part of the 40th Anniversary celebration of Spoleto USA and George Gershwin’s rich and vibrant history in Charleston and Folly Beach, we thought we would pay homage to one of the great composers to ever bless us with eloquent musical composition.

His magic flow of music and story telling through each note have captivated audiences for a century.? For fans young and old, he continues to warm our senses.

To George Gershwin (1898 – 1937), though you only blessed us on this Earth for a short time, we thank you for bringing out the purest of emotions through your music.

We are honored you made Charleston? part of your life journey and inspiration.

Rhapsody in Blue

I’d Rather Charleston

Lullaby for Strings

An American in Paris

Porgy and Bess

Summertime – Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

The Best of George Gershwin

I’ve Got Rhythm

Someone To Watch Over Me – Sung by Frank Sinatra

Now cuddle up with someone you love.



8 Great Charleston Area Wine Bars

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Charleston, South Carolina offers a taste of elegance and charm.? With a soft gentle breeze off the marina, a sun that provides a breathless IMAX experience with each departure from the sky, Charleston brings a taste of the finer things in life to the forefront.? With that distinction, comes great responsibility.? To offer a great glass of wine in a traditional and inviting sanctuary is one of the pleasures our locals and guests look forward to.

We felt an obligation to education and inform by providing you with information on some of the best wine bars in the area:

Get your pen, paper and palate out and plan a night of relaxation, great conversation and a wonderful glass or two of vino.

Great Charleston area Wine Bars

  • Bin 152 – 152 King Street, Charleston, SC – Monday – Sunday 4:00 PM – 2:00 AM
  • Ardoa Wine Bar – 1960 Riviera Drive, Suite D, Mount Pleasant, SC – Monday – Wednesday 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM / Thursday – Saturday – 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM / Closed: Sunday
  • Langdon’s Restaurant and Wine Bar – 778 South Shelmore Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, SC – Monday – Friday 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM (Lunch) / Monday – Saturday 5:00 PM – ? (Dinner) / Closed:? Sunday
  • Bistro Toulouse – French Cuisine and Wine Bar – 1220 Ben Sawyer Boulevard, Suite I, Mount Pleasant, SC – Dinner (Tuesday – Sunday): 5:00 PM – 9:30 PM / Lunch (Tuesday – Friday): 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM / Brunch (Sat & Sun): 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Avondale Wine and Cheese – 813 Savannah Highway #B, West Ashley, SC – Sunday – Friday 2:00 PM – 11:00 PM / Saturday 12:00 PM – 11:00 PM / Closed:? Sunday
  • The Wine Bar – 664 Long Point Road, Unit G, Mount Pleasant, SC – Monday – Saturday 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM (Until Midnight Friday and Saturday)
  • Accent on Wine – 2 Locations – 132 South Main Street, Summerville, SC / 1056 E. Montegue Avenue, North Charleston (Park Circle) – Monday – Thursday 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM / Friday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM / Closed:? Sunday
  • Sauer Grapes Wine Shop – 885-C Island Park Drive, Daniel Island, SC – Tuesday – Saturday 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Special events and times can pop up)
  • Charlestowne Tobacco and Wine – 189 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC – Monday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM (Until Midnight Friday and Saturday) / Sunday 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Note:? There are some amazing fine and casual dining restaurants with superb wine selections.? Do your research, but remember, relax and enjoy every sip.



Dining and Drinking on the Water in Charleston, SC – Where to go!

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

It turns out that the Charleston area is virtually surrounded by water.? It is in our culture, our blood and our way of life.? We are water dwellers.? We also love great food and a cold craft beer.? Naturally, the marriage of dining, drinking and a great view of the harbor or the marsh is enough to whet our appetites.

Here are just a few of the wonderful options where you can kick back, have a cold one and let the sun do all the work.

Dining and Drinking on the Water in Charleston:

  • Fleet Landing – 186 Concord Street, Charleston, SC – Right on the Charleston Harbor in downtown Charleston is the place to be if you want mouth-watering seafood, a glass of wine and a calm view of the harbor.? If it is a casual evening of light appetizers, we highly recommend the chilled Blue Crab Dip, Stuffed Hush Puppies, Tuna and Salmon Tartare or the Friend Green Tomato Stack.? These exceptional starters with a Pinot Noir or Riesling will make for a perfect evening on the water.
  • Marina Variety Store and Restaurant – 17 Lockwood Drive, Charleston, SC – For many, this is a hidden gem right on the marina in downtown Charleston.? Known for their open window views of the marina, excellent breakfast/dinner and warm staff (Steak Philly Omelet and Santa Fe Wrap are personal favorites), this is a great spot to watch the sailboats and enjoy some fried fish or a Eggs Benedict.? Make sure you stop by Salty Mike’s on the lower level for a cocktail and some pool afterwards.
  • Red’s Ice House – 98 Church Street, Mount Pleasant, SC – Nothing defines Shem’s Creek like Red’s.? Dock your boat, park your car or bike and enjoy a bucket of cold ones.? Whether you are on the deck or upstairs, you can let you cares run away and enjoy some Zac Brown Band while the day just passes by.
  • The Stono Breeze – 2408 Maybank Highway, John’s Island, SC – As you leave James Island and head over the bridge to John’s Island, you will see The Stono Breeze to your right.? This large white building with a huge outdoor deck is a tranquil escape from the fast paced Charleston city life.? Make a right at the light and come in for a bit of a watery break.? Note:? The bugs are in a league of their own at this location so bring some spray.? It is a local hangout, so you rarely have to worry about crowds.
  • The Windjammer – 1008 Ocean Blvd, Isle of Palms –? What can you say about The Windjammer.? Kickin’ live music, bikini clad women, cold frosty beer and a good old southern beach environment.? This is your benchmark for beach bars.? Expect it to be loud and fun.? Get to the deck overlooking the ocean and see where the day and night takes you.
  • Morgan Creek Grill
    Morgan Creek Grill

    Vickery’s Bar & Grill – 1313 Shrimp Boat Lane, Mount Pleasant, SC – In February 1999, Vickery’s opened on Shem’s Creek and for the last 17 years, have been offering up great seafood, incredible creek views and a family style kick back relaxed setting.? Some places just give off good vibes.? Vickery’s is one of those places.? From Blackened Grilled Salmon to their Seared Crab Cakes, this restaurant knows seafood and with their second floor Shem Creek view, you are set for a memorable dining experience.

  • Charleston Harbor Fish House – 32 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant, SC – Where can you get solid food, a nautical theme, a view of the Charleston Harbor and a legendary view of the USS Yorktown (Let me tell you, when the sun sets over the Cooper River Bridge, wow).? Come to the Charleston Harbor Fish House.? Come for the Charleston Creole Shrimp and Grits or Cedar Plank Salmon and then go upstairs to the outdoor bar to watch the sunset.
  • Charleston Crab House – 145 Wappoo Creek Drive, Charleston, SC – First things first:? In the last two visits just before the sunset, I saw two dolphin sightings.? If you are looking for dolphins, the creek side restaurant is a good bet.? The steam pots and raw bar offer up some of the freshest area seafood.? With boat docking and ample parking, you can come by water or road.? The Crab House loves families and will cater to any size.
  • Morgan Creek Grill – 80 41st Avenue, Isle of Palms Marina, SC – With a picturesque view of the Intracoastal Waterway, open outdoor settings perfect for Oyster Roasts, bonfires in the winter and live music, second floor bar area, traditional house decor restaurant and a truly isolated setting, Morgan Creek is a year long romantic dining getaway.? Offering a warm traditional Southern feel, professional service and exceptional views, Morgan Creek Grill caters to couples, groups and families.? From final waterfront dining to a casual Oyster Roast, there are options all year long.

Best Mid-Size Cities for Jobs 2016 – Charleston/North Charleston #7

In the 2016 Forbes Survey for Best Cities for Jobs in 2016, Charleston / North Charleston ranked #7 for mid-size non-farming jobs growth in the United States.? The annual assessment reviews large, mid-size and small cities.? In fact, three South Carolina regions made the 2016 list.

421 cities were ranked based on employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2004 through 2015. Rankings are based on recent growth trends, mid-term growth, long-term growth and the region’s momentum. (source:?

The top cities in this category in order of ranking include:

  • Provo-Orem, Utah
  • Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Arkansas/Missouri
  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Ogden-Clearfield, Colorado
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida
  • Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina
  • Boise City, Idaho
  • Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  • Stockton-Lodi, California
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Fresno, California
  • Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, South Carolina
  • Trenton, New Jersey
  • North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida

Compiled Statistical Overview of Charleston / North Charleston, SC provided by Forbes.

Forbes Statistical Overview
Forbes Statistical Overview

Charleston Technology Companies –




Dig South continues to support the growth of technology in Charleston with its annual conference and the work it conducts all year long to provide opportunity in the Lowcountry.

Success is a Choice – Lessons from Stephen Curry

Success is not something you are born with.? It is not a hereditary trait.? It is not through money or privilege that we find complete satisfaction and acceptance in our accomplishments.

Success is derived from a personal choice.? It is the decisions we make and the actions we take that separate those that are going through the motions and those that truly leave a lasting mark on their surroundings and the people in their lives.? It is a recipe of passion, hard work, focus and attitude.

Road map is simple:

To plan

To motivate

To practice

To perfect

To never accept no

This is a choice successful people make.? It is a dedication to something much bigger than themselves.? Alan Stein narrates this inspirational look at why Stephen Curry is one of the most exciting and accomplished athletes in the world.

Listen and absorb the message.? It is strong, it is powerful and it is all within ourselves.

We talk about how great and successful Charleston is, but it is the people that truly define a place.

Do you have what it takes to be successful?

Great Free Date Ideas for Couples

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

So, you are head over heels in love.
He looks into her eyes and know she is the one.? She gazes back and all worries go away.
The one you dreamed about all your life and now that your dreams are complete, paranoia sets in.


Thoughts running through his mind:?

How do I keep her interested?
Will she get bored and move on?
She is way to beautiful to be with me.
I am doing okay financially, but I how can I afford to buy her expensive things and take her on high priced dinners and trips?

Oh no!
I can’t win.
Wait, wait wait, there are other options.

We are here to help. You are surrounded by 26000 miles of earth who’s beauty and opportunity are waiting at your feet.? Plus, you are in one of the most romantic cities in the United States, Charleston, South Carolina.

Here are a few surefire and FREE ideas of great things to do with your partner (in crime).

As long as you understand her interests, keep the relationship exciting, diverse and spicy and continue to show her the affection and love she deserves, you will have a long and amazing life together.

1. Wash the car or clean the bathroom together. It is an activity you can do together and more importantly you will both get wet and soapy. I hope I don’t have to explain anymore about this activity.

2. Keep an eye on your local bars and restaurants online and on Facebook. Some offer free food or drinks if you like them or sign up for their newsletter. Free drinks…Bonus!

3. Look around your kitchen. Round up all the food and spices you have, Google what you have and you may just find a great recipe or two you can make that will make her smile and full enough to want to cuddle in bed.

4. Volunteer together. Look for a running event, fund-raiser, music or arts festival and work it together. That way you are helping a good cause and getting some free entertainment.

5. Go camping under the stars or stretch out a hammock under the pier. How romantic is that?

6. Throw a Potluck Party!!! Call, text, Evite, Facebook all your friends and have an impromptu party where everyone brings a bottle, mixer or snack. Instant party and all you need to provide is the front door.

7. Why not a little education? Go to a museum or art gallery. Many only ask for a small donation at the door or have totally free admission.

8. There is a model in all of us. Break out your point and shoot, SLR or IPhone and have a couple photo shoot. Go to the beach, bedroom, river, gazebo or anywhere fun and scenic and take photos of each other and then you can make a virtual or physical collage.? Clearly, we are not lacking in photo locations in the Lowcountry.

9. Hit the rivers, ponds, marsh, harbor….. Go cliff or rock diving (Not in the crazy Acapulco kind of way) or swim and frolic together.

10. Go people watching and storytelling. Sit at the park with a coffee, tea or latte and try to create a story about all the people that walk by. Be imaginative. It can be better than the movies.

11. Learn a new skill. Can you sing or play guitar or even hula hoop? Teach each other your special skills.

12. Find a free music or comedy showcase. In Charleston, there are many free shows from young up-and-coming performers that are free of charge. You may even have a friend or two in a band. Go support them.

13. Get silly with a flash mob. You know you’ve always wanted to try it. Learn more at

15. Join clubs that offer free trips or group events ( Many have biking or running clubs that you can do together and maybe make some new friends.

16. Watch the sunrise or sunset. It is a classic but always one that reminds you of how important you are to each other.? Not to brag, but nothing beats a Charleston sunset.? Nothing.

17. Play indoor card games…You know what I mean.

18. Walk the dog. Perhaps one of you has a dog. If not, borrow a friend’s dog and offer to take Fido out for a walk.? Or go to the dog park and make new puppy couple friends.

19. Put your health first. Find a farmers market and browse all the vendors. If you are feeling the urge, buy an apple or peach and have a little light fruit or veggie snack together.? From John’s Island to James Island, to Charleston, to Mount Pleasant, to Folly Beach, we have you covered there.

20. Go to an open mic night and do a reading or play a song. Showcase your talents and witness others showing their skills and confidence.

21. Sit on a street corner or in the park with a sign that says “Information” and offer advice and tips to tourists who are looking for things to do locally.? Believe it or not, we almost had tourists offer us money for a carriage ride thinking we were real information/booking agents.

22. Make a music video. With flip video cameras, IPhones, IFilm, YouTube and so many other free software options, you can let out your creative side and make a funky music video as a couple.

23. Samples, samples samples – Hop over to Costco, Sam’s Club, Whole Foods or Earthfare one Saturday, browse and take advantage of all the samples offered throughout the store.

24. Do yoga on the beach or in the park. All you need is a mat and some technique, and you have a mental and physical task you can do together.

25. Be a child. Get a group of friends together and play “Duck, Duck Goose” or “Hide and Seek”.

Charleston Wish List – What is missing?

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

What if, just what if we had a chance to implement whatever we wanted in Charleston.? In a way, we could take our Charleston Wish List and make it a reality.

Well, we can’t exactly do that, but we can hope that some fine day in the future, we will see our wishes come true.

Here are a few things that made our Charleston wish list.? If you have others, let us know by commenting below:

  • 24 Hour / Late Night Downtown Diner – How often do you find yourself hungry late at night and there is nowhere to go where you can sit and relax?? How many times do you want to write or study over a cup of tea when you can’t sleep?? Finally, how many times do you leave a downtown Charleston bar and you shouldn’t be driving, but you do?? In Austin, New York, Chicago, Miami and many more places, the option of a late night spot for the true night owls and safety first drinkers has been incredibly successful and appreciated.? We would just like one as well.
  • Horse Race Track – We know there are legal reasons we cannot gamble in South Carolina.? We also know, Hampton Park used to be the site of a horse track.? So therefore, it is possible.? How much fun would it be to drink mint juleps and enjoy a nice day at the track more than just once a year?? I think it would be incredibly fun and relaxing.
  • Amphitheater – The rise in local homegrown music and the thirst of artists to make stops here makes this a great growth haven for music.? We also have a thriving theater scene.? Why not take advantage of the great weather, robust music and arts scene and provide an outdoor venue to showcase.? Many of you are thinking, we have the Volvo area and old Blackbaud Stadium.? Not the same for feel and acoustical quality.? Bring a little Greek style outdoor entertainment to Charleston.
  • Ferris Wheel on the pier – How many grew up with the memory of a Ferris Wheel.? Whether you were in London, Chicago, Jersey shore or Myrtle Beach, Ferris Wheels and water seem to just go together well.? I would love to add that decor to the Charleston beach life.
  • Themed Photo Booths – Why don’t we have photo booths situated throughout the French Quarter on Market, East Bay and on the Upper side by Marion Square.? We have tourists, lots and lots of tourists.? They love creating memories.? What better memories than themed photo booths with different backgrounds to print and share with friends and loved ones.? It’s appeals to our historic side as well.
  • Drive-In – For those true locals, you remember the 1950’s and the old Savannah Highway Drive-in.? I bet you even miss it.? Wouldn’t it be great to get take out, some wine and a comfy blanket and enjoy a night under the stars without driving to Beaufort?? That sounds amazing.? Maybe even play it a little catch before the movie and then later on doze off for a bit during the boring scenes.? How nice does that sound?
  • Classic Movie Theater – We have the American Theater.? Love the venue and location.? We would love to have a restored movie theater there or another location that only shows classic films.? Watching Cary Grant and Kathrine Hepburn or Rhett and Scarlett on a date night is truly romantic.
  • Digital Meters with Credit Card Option – I know there are discussions in works.? I know Raleigh, NC and Beaufort, SC have them and they work.? I can’t speak for everyone, but I rarely have change.? I mean rarely.? We hope this becomes a reality, because it is a progressive step forward.

Share with us your own personal wish list.

Charleston Guide for All Personality Types (Adrenaline, Creative, Foodie, Learner, Music)

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

What is your personality type Charleston?

Are you a:

  • Adrenaline Junkie
  • Creative Genius
  • Foodie
  • Lifelong Learner
  • Music Maniac

No matter which category you fall into, we have you covered.? Here are a few tips and links to help you feed your passion.? Because in Charleston, passion fuels excitement.? Let’s make your Lowcountry experience exciting, memorable and fruitful.

The adrenaline junkie is always on the go.? They love the outdoors, sports and keeping active.? It can be a jog or bike ride or kicking back a few beers at a sporting event.? What does Charleston offer for the adrenaline junkie?

The creative genius is a snob; a creative artsy snob.? Not a bad thing.? They appreciate all the creative talents in Charleston.

Foodie.? Oh, the foodie.? A true culinary connoisseur.

The lifelong learner has a constant thirst for knowledge and information.? We have a bit of that.

There is so much more, but since you are a knowledge sponge, we will leave some of the additional research to you.

The music maniac.? We love the true music aficionado.? They feel it, understand it and appreciate it.? Here are a few venues to light your fire.

There you have it.? Whether you are an adrenaline junkie, creative spirit, foodie, learner or music maniac, here is a taste for all the incredible options in Charleston, SC.? Bring an appetite for fun and excitement.






Charleston, SC Area Economic Summary

The following economic data provided courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here is the current state of the Charleston area economy broken down by the numbers.

Unemployment Rates
















Average Weekly Wages













Employment Changes over the last 12 months


Average Hourly Wages









Charleston, SC Area Economic Summary

Charleston SC Area Economic Summary PDF Download