by Allison Moorman
Every year, we look forward to the tourist leaving us after Labor Day weekend. Weeks beforehand, we begin to share our plans for the annual three day holiday, whether it's camping out at the local pool and soaking in the last rays of summer (even though summer doesn’t really end until October when you live below the Mason-Dixon), or we plan an attack on the end of summer deals. There's something for everyone to do to stay out of the tourists' way during Labor Day.
A quick Google search will tell you that Charleston is one of the top travel destinations for both short and long stays -- and for good reason. Between the well-known tourist traps and the hole in the wall haunts only third generation locals know about, there is plenty to do in the Holy City.
Here’s a mix of nine things to do on and off the beaten path that will be sure to make your Labor Day weekend one to talk about around the water cooler:
The Gin Joint -- nine out of ten times, when you ask locals where to get a drink in Charleston, they will name the Gin Joint. It’s got an eclectic small plate menu, one of a kind drink menu, and even a bartender’s choice cocktail made just for you based on two adjectives of your choice.
Botany Bay Plantation -- an interesting fact about the Lowcountry is that for nearly every tourist beach there is also an undisturbed coastline to rival it -- you just have to know where to find it. Start with Botany Bay Plantation on Edisto Island to see over 4600 acres of beautiful preserved land, as well as three miles’ worth of breathtaking beachfront.
The Gibbes Museum -- When tackling Charleston on foot, you need an air-conditioned respite for the hours when the city turns into a sauna. Enter the Gibbes Museum, Charleston’s very own art museum featuring both local and world-renowned artists.
A Charleston Riverdogs Game -- When celebrating an American holiday, it only makes sense to take part in an American pastime. Charleston’s local baseball team offers tickets that won’t break the bank and a stadium where no seat is a bad seat. That being said, each seat will require a healthy application of SPF to truly enjoy the game.
Virginia’s on King -- Every local has an opinion on the best shrimp and grits in town, so here I am presenting my own. Virginia’s on King offers a twist on the classic Lowcountry dish, and in a portion size that makes it perfect to share between two people (or, even better, for leftovers a few hours later).
Ghost Tours -- There are certain rights of passage in life: getting a driver’s license, prom, graduation -- and when in Charleston, a ghost tour. There are plenty to pick from based on your “scary” spice tolerance, but more than that, they offer a glimpse into Charleston’s more macabre history.
Pounce Cat Cafe -- You’ve heard about cat cafes, but here is your chance to finally experience one. An hour at Pounce gets you one free drink and sixty minutes in a setting fit for a great Instagram pic. But be warned: all the cats at Pounce are up for adoption, so don’t feel bad if you leave with a souvenir.
Dock Street Theater -- Dock Street Theater has long been lauded as the premier place for stage performances in Charleston. It’s currently running Mamma Mia!, but be sure to also ask about the historic landmarks’ many stories and legends.
The Bridge to Nowhere -- end one of your days with a stop by The Bridge to Nowhere, a long forgotten bridge in a once-planned, now abandoned waterfront property perfect for a slightly different way to watch the sun go down.