A Week in Charleston…Without Breaking the Bank

Article by Mark A. Leon

Charleston is a rich city that combines the traditional elements of Southern hospitality, historic preservation, fine dining, arts, entertainment and even ghosts.  This is a city with rewards and splendors stretching outside the peninsula and throughout the neighboring communities.  One thing is certain, we have many options to fulfill our interests and curiosities.

With so many rewarding options at our fingertips, sometimes we lose sight of some wonderful things that don’t get the recognition they deserve.  We thought we would take you with us for one week in Charleston and offer up some “not so well known” ideas to enjoy.

Monday:

East Bay Meeting House Open Mic Poetry – Located at 160 East Bay Street, Charleston, SC, the Monday Open Mic Poetry, hosted by Jim Lundy, is a cultural mix of emotion, insight and creative expression.  The performance begin at 8:00 PM, but if you want to share your talents music or poetry, come at 7:00 PM to sign up for the evening.  The event is free, but we welcome you to have a cocktail, glass of champagne, wine or tea.

Wild Olive Monday and Tuesday Wine Specials – If you have not indulged in one of the finest restaurants in Charleston, you must take a trip to John’s Island on Monday or Tuesday to enjoy a selection of red and white bottled wines for $19.00.  It is a perfect way to start or end your evening.  Wild Olive is open until 10 PM.  Head to the bar area and enjoy great wine and conversation for $19.00 a bottle.  Wild Olive is located at 2867 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, SC.  Make sure you go early to Johns Island so you can see the awe inspiring Angel Oak.

Tuesday:

Palmetto Brewery Open Mic and Craft Beer Located at 289 Huger Street, Palmetto Brewery offers an outdoor stage and indoor watering hole for some of the best local craft beer.  On Tuesdays, from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM, locals and visitors showcase their talents while the rest of us enjoy a cold frosty brew.

The Drawing Room Artist Performance and Half Price Wine – Every Tuesday, local artist Fred Jamar will paint right before your eyes while you enjoy half price bottles of wine.  Quite an artistic way to spend a Tuesday in the French Quarter.  If you are still wanting to enjoy the night air, head in the elevator to the Vendue Rooftop Bar.  You can find this at 19 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC.

chs2Wednesday:

Improv Comedy at Theater 99Every Wednesday at 8:00 PM for $5.00, you are treated to two Improv comedy shows.  Great local comedy for a laughably cheap price.  Theater 99 is located at 280 Meeting Street.

Thursday:

Free Historic and Civil War Walking Tour There truly is a free walking tour in Charleston.  A free two hour tour with each tour being a different focus.  Did we mention Free (Which means you have to sign up early).  At 9:30 AM, there is a Historic Charleston Tour and at 1:00 PM if you are feeling like more exercise, join the Civil War History Tour.

Friday:

Mace Brown Museum of Natural HistoryThis one is for kids and adults alike and free of charge.  The College of Charleston is home to one of the most remarkable collections of natural history artifacts from sharks skeletons to a prehistoric bear.  This is a truly educational and fun way to spend a Friday morning or afternoon.  They are only open to 4:00 PM and located at 202 Calhoun Street.  School groups or other public groups that would like to visit the museum should call (Geology Department Office), or email museum@cofc.edu to schedule their visit.

Magnolia CemeteryYou want to feel the spirit of ghosts in Charleston?  Forget the ghost tours.  Head just north of the peninsula and walk through the final resting places of patriots, soldiers and citizens that founded and built this great area.  The cemetery does lock its at 5:00 PM in the winter and 6:00 PM in the spring and summertime and they are located at 70 Cunnington Avenue, Charleston, SC

Saturday:

Walk the Arther J. Ravenel Jr. Bridge / Hit Up the Charleston Farmers MarketStart your Saturday morning right with a beautiful 5 mile walk to both ends of the Arthur J. Ravenel Jr. Bridge / Cooper River Bridge.  Enjoy views of the Charleston Harbor from up above and then head over to Marion Square for the Saturday Farmers market.  Don’t get there too late, many vendors begin to wrap up shortly after 1:00 PM.  Get some fresh fruit or a smoothie or just lie in the park.

Caw Caw Interpretive Center / Wildlife Preserve – What you will see in a two plus hour walk – Hundreds of species of birds, alligators resting on the edge of the water, snakes, swamps, marsh, rice fields and open skies for miles.  All for $2.00 a person and only 15 miles outside the city limits.

Sunday:

Prohibition Swing Dancing / Free LessonsEvery Sunday at 6:00 PM Prohibition offers free swing lessons with open swing beginning at 7:00 PM with the V-Tones.  It is a dance party set in the backdrop of the 1920’s.

 Jazz at the Pier starring the beautiful Starr Acheson – Every Sunday from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM on the Folly Beach Pier is live jazz music starring local singer Starr Acheson.  Enjoy jazz and the ocean waves as you watch the final hours of the weekend slip away in style.

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