Beyond the steeples of Charleston, South Carolina, the silvery span of a new bridge leads to Mount Pleasant, Sullivan's Island, and Isle of Palms. You'll find the same hospitality here as in neighboring Charleston but with a breezier style. Leave the seersucker image behind on King Street, and change into shorts and sandals to enjoy shady sidewalks and sand-between-your-toes places.
Up the Creek
As the day winds down on the Cooper River, locals head to Shem Creek. This meandering stretch of water reaches into the heart of Mount Pleasant. Once a watermen's area, the creek holds as many pleasure boats as shrimpboats parallel-parked these days. If you don't have a boat, it's no problem. You'll find ample parking off Coleman Boulevard.
Settle into a creekside table at Red's Icehouse. Rustic and casual, it dishes up seafood and knockout sunset views. On Wednesday evenings, Red's offers party cruises. Or you can make your own meal with fresh shrimp from C.A. Magwood & Sons Seafood.
The Village Vibe
Pitt Street in Mount Pleasant's Old Village feels as serene as ever. Oak-shaded streets embrace neighborhoods cozied up to the river. Cute boutiques and eateries fill old storefronts.
Stop by the timeless Pitt Street Pharmacy, and slide onto a well-worn stool at its soda fountain. Order a cherry Coke to wash down a homemade chicken salad or pimiento cheese sandwich. Afterward, walk to Out of Hand, a gift store with handbags, jewelry, handmade accessories, and stationery. Next door, check out the stone sculptures from Zimbabwe in Utonga Gallery. Sweet temptations fill the Village Bakery nearby. For a more substantial meal, try the Old Village Post House. Owned by the folks who run High Cotton and Slightly North of Broad in Charleston, this restored inn serves lunch and dinner of equal quality to its big-city brethren.
The four lanes around town are rich with strip malls worth mining for treasures. If you can only shop in one, go to the corner of Johnnie Dodds Boulevard (U.S. 17) and Houston Northcutt Boulevard to Gwynn's. This local department store excels in designer clothing and old-school service.