During my two-week stay in Charleston, I would spent the workday in Addlestone Library and then departed each evening to explore the city. Although I tried some of the more well-known restaurants--Xiao Bao Biscuit, Bar at Husk, Leon's--and checked out popular tourist sites like the waterfront park and the market, my favorite places, foods, and experiences were more quotidian. For any scholars who have the distinct pleasure of conducting research in Special Collections at the College of Charleston, these are my recommendations for sustenance, libations, caffeination, and a bit of exercise.
Caviar and Bananas: Charleston's version of Dean and Deluca. You can get coffee, pastries, deli items, salads, sushi, charcuterie, fancy specialty foods, wine, and beer. I ate lunch there almost every day, and although I tried many different items I kept going back to the Baja Salad.
Westbrook Brewing Co. Gose: After tasting this beer on one of my first evenings in the city, I discovered that this was my sister's favorite beer! That's saying something, since my sister works in the craft beer industry. Since Westbrook does not distribute to Pennsylvania, I had to drink my fill before I left...
Caw Caw Interpretive Center Early Morning Bird Walk: On Saturday morning, my mom and I drove out to this former rice plantation for a guide-led birding expedition. For $10 each, we borrowed excellent Nikon binoculars, through which we spotted bald eagles, egrets, herons, phoebes, yellow-rump warblers, pied-billed grebes, woodpeckers, wild turkeys, and many other wetland birds. I could not recommend this experience more highly, but wear bug spray. With DEET.
Black Tap Coffee: This was the best spot I found for a few hours of work outside the library. This small neighborhood shop pours an excellent cup of coffee and has ample outlets, free wifi, and bright sunny windows.
Queen Street Grocery: One of the most charming things about the area around College of Charleston were the corner groceries. Queen Street Grocery was the closest one to the house where I stayed, and I enjoyed grabbing a beer (the Gose, obviously) and salad to eat there or take-out.
Colonial Lake: With all the eating and drinking I was doing, I made sure to do plenty of walking every evening. My best walks were around Colonial Lake, where I joined many neighborhood residents who were out exercising their dogs, catching up with friends, and enjoying the sunsets while getting in an evening workout.