The (Not So) Ordinary Restaurant

Make a different kind of withdrawal from this South Carolina bank turned not-so-ordinary restaurant. Featuring Southern seafood and an oyster bar, The Ordinary makes everyday cuisine feel new and fresh. The Ordinary is on the frontlines of the farm-to-table movement, and they take their food very seriously. Only traditional methods and the freshest ingredients are used to create each dish, overcoming many of the old seafood and oyster bar stigmas. Each of their wines and cocktails are also hand-picked, paired to perfectly compliment the raw oysters and seafood.     According to Charleston City [... more]

Signed, Sealed, and Southern

Invitations and greeting cards set the tone when planning a party, preparing for a wedding, or commemorating a special day. So it’s important to choose the right look. Make your next event shine with Modern South’s creative and visually appealing invitations, prints, and cards. Based out of Summerville, South Carolina, the company’s owner and designer creates stationary inspired by art of the mid-20th century and Art Deco periods. All of her original designs are customizable, so whether you want a striking save-the-date or just want to say [... more]

Breathing Easy

NEEDTOBREATHE continues its steady ascent up the rock-world ladder with its most recent release, Rivers in the Wasteland. The band’s fifth full-length album not only received rave reviews from several notable music critics, but also peaked at the number one spot on both Billboard’s Top Rock Albums and Christian Album charts. The three band members all hail from South Carolina and play Southern rock music with Christian undertones and messages. Reviewer John DiBiase for the Christian music web site Jesus Freak Hideout called the 11-track album, which [... more]

Fresh From the Mountains

I’ve noticed that freshness is the main ingredient at Thomas Creek Brewery in Greenville, South Carolina. They produce seven beers throughout the year, and offer four additional brews seasonally. Tom Davis, Thomas Creek’s owner, brew master, and brewery manager, told me that the natural water source starting high in the Appalachian Mountains contributes to that well-known fresh quality of his beers. From producing only small batches to double filtering, this craft brewery always operates in full swing to keep up with growing demands. I can assure you, [... more]

A Peaceful Paradise

An arguably quieter location than the mainland, the Isle of Palms, South Carolina, makes the perfect getaway for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of nearby Charleston. Only seven miles long and one mile wide, the semi-tropical island boasts gorgeous views and adorable historic houses as well as a couple of unique dining experiences. Overnight guests can choose from several hotels and resorts including the exclusive Wild Dunes, a 1,600-acre oceanfront oasis offering world-class golf and tennis, pristine beaches, and six dining options. So next [... more]

Poppin’ Tags

Where can you find delicious restaurants, horse and buggy rides, fresh produce, and handcrafted goods all in one beautiful location? Historic Charleston, South Carolina’s City Market creates the ultimate shopping experience for tourists and locals alike. Business booms at this open-air market with about 100 vendors hawking unique products. If you’re a fashionista hooked on the new thrifting trend, browse through the vintage-inspired jewelry and accessory booths. Check out Rewined Candles for beautifully designed scented candles or stop for a sangria at Mercato Italian Restaurant. You’ll make [... more]

Modern Southern Fashionista

At first glance, the logo for Troubadour clothing, which features a skull, antlers, and an anchor, seems disjointed. That is, until you realize the elements on the black shield represent the three major influences in the life of the label’s creator, Lindsey Carter: the city, the South, and the sea. Raised in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, Lindsey discovered her passion for style and fashion at an early age. In high school, she designed many of her own clothes, including her prom dresses, which blended femininity with a [... more]

Fine Art Festival

Celebrate art and the environment at ArtFields in historic Lake City, South Carolina, on April 25 through May 4, 2014. Billed as “the South’s most engaging art festival,” the 10-day event honors imaginative thinkers with a juried art show, live music, a farmer’s market, delicious Southern food, a portrait contest, and much more. Walk the Art Walk to discover original works from talented artists hailing from all over the South, and then be sure to vote for your favorite to receive the People’s Choice Award.

Young and Bold

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina’s Westbrook Brewing Company has caused quite the splash since opening its doors in 2010. Publicly lauded by peers such as top-quality Cigar City Brewing, Westbrook crafts their brews in barrels that once housed wine, apple brandy, or rum. And for young brewers, husband-and-wife co-founders Edward and Morgan Westbrook don’t shy away from experimenting with lots of flavors, from anniversary editions to seasonals to collaborations with other breweries. In fact, 36 different offerings have already hit the market at one point or another in [... more]

Beachside Bliss in South Carolina

Kiawah Island Golf Resort—Charleston’s upscale vacation experience—may very well be one of those one-size-fits-all kinds of vacation. While the villas and condos feature family-friendly amenities such as multiple swimming pools, direct beach access, self-catering facilities, and nearby Lowcountry oyster roasts during the summer months, the resort’s Sanctuary Hotel also makes a great, intimate escape for couples, groups of friends, or even eco-travelers. (The barrier island is a hotbed for sea turtles, deer, and various species of birds, and I spied several species of wildlife from the balcony [... more]

Raising the Brewpub Bar

Take a burgeoning craft-beer mecca, add a high foodie quotient, and you have a recipe for lofty expectations for new Charleston, South Carolina, brewpubs. But Edmund’s Oast has a special ingredient: Charleston native chef Andy Henderson, who worked under James Beard award-winning chef Mike Lata at FIG. Taking that experience, Henderson developed a made-from-scratch meat-lovers’ menu including a charcuterie program, cured swordfish, lamb meatballs, and more savory choices with the aim to “be authentic without being pretentious.”     

Blue Flames and Bluegrass

Palmetto Moonshine Distillery in Anderson, South Carolina, uses the color blue prominently on its Web site and its logo, which seems natural. After all, good moonshine has a blue flame when lit. I’d rather drink it, though. I took a trip to the distillery to sip on genuine white lightning and take the tour.  The old warehouse in downtown Anderson is at least a century old and the copper still is a thing of beauty. Stop by to check out the rustic charm of this once-illegal distilling [... more]

High Praise for High Cotton

The dining scene in Greenville, South Carolina, has quietly been heating up over the past few years. I’ve attended the town’s Euphoria Food and Wine Festival three years in a row and sampled cuisines from some of its best restaurants. Count High Cotton among those. Overlooking the River Walk, High Cotton takes advantage of its beautiful setting with floor-to-ceiling windows. The food—I would best describe as “modern Southern—is artfully presented. Menu highlights include the duck breast with a honey-thyme sauce and the pork chop with bourbon jus. [... more]

Zero Complaints

Zero George Street, a gorgeous European-style boutique hotel, was the first of its kind to open in upmarket Charleston, South Carolina. The grounds consist of five carefully restored, grand 19th century historic buildings connected by picturesque courtyards. Guests laze away the day on sprawling piazzas that exemplify Charleston’s architectural style, sign up for a cooking class in the restored Kitchen Carriage House, or stroll the city’s high-end shopping corridor on King Street, located just steps away. The on-site Zero Café + Bar dazzles dinner guests with a [... more]

Scenes From “The Notebook”

These days, the South is a hotbed of filming activity, with many producers and location scouts finding unspoiled treasures for their silver screen needs. The Notebook, one of the most memorable movies of the past decade to take place in the South, was shot almost exclusively in the greater Charleston area. On a recent vacation, I spent a week out on Mount Pleasant and got the distinct feeling I had been there before, when in reality I hadn’t. I found out later that the dock extending from [... more]