grits are good for you

“True grits, more grits, fish, grits, and collards. Life is good where grits are swallered.”
– Roy Blount, Jr.

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Charleston, as it turns out, is a pretty spectacular place. It has all the usual charms like palm trees and sweet tea, coupled with a formidable list of other attractions. We visited Jake there last weekend, who was finishing up his U.S.C.G Captain’s Course over the weekend. (And yes – he passed, so it’s Capt. Jake to you these days.)

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The weather was glorious, as was the walking, food, and adventuring. Here’s 5  reasons why you should visit the Holy City ASAP:

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  1. An above-average hostel scene
  2. A really great bridge for running
  3. Ice cream
  4. Other food (like shrimp and grits)
  5. Grits

Bottom line: go there, eat well, and wander down a really small street near the battery, preferably at night. You probably won’t get mugged and the hidden gardens are more than worth it. Also: grits are good for you, so eat up (and read about the history of shrimp and grits here. Pretty cool.)

Food recommendations:

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Dinner at Poogan’s. Succulent.
  • Hominy Grill (breakfast/brunch/huevos rancheros and grits FTW)IMG_3965
  • Poogan’s Porch (great place – the dining room is booked solid for weeks in advance, but if you look like Jake and ask for outside seating you’re almost guaranteed a table on the spot. The shrimp + grits got 2nd place in Charleston last year, and Kate verified it’s authenticity. Can’t go wrong.
  • Jeni’s Ice Cream (on King street. Top 3 best ice cream places ever. Make sure to try the lavender (yes – I said lavender) and every other flavor in the box.)
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Huevo’s = best post-run fuel ever.

Lodging for Cheap Skates (or, as we prefer, those who value good food over good sleep):IMG_4335

  • Not So Hostel (Located in North Charleston. Almost in the ghetto but not, so it’s great. Free wifi, clean showers, parking included.  Pretty sweet deal…get the bottom bunk if at all possible and you’ll be golden.)

Other brilliant ideas:

  • Folly Beach – 15 minutes outside Charleston. Really great family beach…low key, easy access, free parking. Just follow our lead and get there early (like 8:25am) to secure your spot if you’re there on the weekend.) Also: the fish tacos and margaritas at Taco Boy = perfection.

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  • RUN THE COOPER RIVER BRIDGE. Seriously. Or walk it…we don’t discriminate. Just get out there and embrace the 97% humidity and it’ll be worth it, I swear. Here’s the deal: drive to the Mt. Pleasant side, park at the Shell gas station for free, and then hit the pavement for the coolest ever 5.7 miles across and back. And it’s a great hill workout to boot.

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  • Middleton Plantation: a preserved plantation from the 1700’s located 25 minutes inland from Charleston. $15 entry with a student ID and the grounds are stunning. WeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwalked for 2 hours, learned about the history of pre-Civil War Charleston, and saw a water buffalo + Guinea hogs. Yes, you should be jealous and you should also go while you’re in Charleston…really a beautiful place and lots to learn.

    Yes, this is a water buffalo.
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Cooper River from the bridge.
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