Charleston has always been the best place in the Southeast, nay, the country, for everyone else to flock to when they need a little R&R, which directly improves both health and beauty. But as the city blossoms into a nationally-known haven for people to actually settle down, our readers’ minds turn to more than just massages from Charleston’s Best Massage Therapist, Erin Hall, and haircuts from the gang at Stella Nova (Best Hair Salon) — but to nature, too, as the title of Best Place for Family Fun was snapped up by James Island County Park, an outdoorsman’s nirvana, replacing traditional winner Frankie’s Fun Park. As for where locals go to relax, it turns out that you’re still going to Half-Moon Outfitters (Best Outdoor Outfitters) to get dressed for activity, and enough people don’t mind needles that Dr. Zeyi Chen’s (Best Acupuncturist) Clinic of Acupuncture is thriving. Whether your bag is surfing (grab some gear at Best Surf Shop, McKevlin’s), golfing (hit the links at Best Golf Course, Kiawah’s Ocean Course), or birthin’ (stop off at Generation XXX, Best Sex Shop, and nine months later you might be headed to Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Best Place to Give Birth), Charleston’s got you covered.

Best Store for Beach Gear

1009 Ocean Blvd. Isle of Palms 886-9851
1440 Ben Sawyer Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 388-2424

It seems that plenty of people are driving over the new bridge to sun and surf on Sullivan’s Island and the Isle of Palms, as evidenced by locally-owned and operated Beachtown edging out usual winner, Mr. John’s on Folly Beach, for this year’s Best Store for Beach Gear title. Beachtown’s Mt. Pleasant outpost may have only been open since last July, but the IOP shop has been open for about 15 years, and locals know that just about anything you’d need for a day at the beach can be found at this shop, from surfboards to bathing suits to a rainbow of Reef sandals. Although it definitely gets busier in the summer months, Beachtown does pretty big business year-round, thanks to our temperate climate and a tony location among the landscaped main drag on Isle of Palms. —Sara Miller

Best Dentist
Dr. Tom Weir

113 Wappoo Creek Drive James Island 762-1234
Holy crap, if you thought the Ravenel bridge was well-constructed, you should see the bridges that Dr. Weir whips up for patients at the James Island practice he shares with Dr. James Thomas III. Dr. Weir specializes in restorative, cosmetic, and implant dentistry, and while they’re definitely wizards in our mouths, he and Dr. Thomas aren’t too hard on the eyes, either. —Sara Miller

Best Acupuncturist
Dr. Zeyi Chen Clinic of Acupuncture

5 Daniel St. West Ashley 571-1047
Dr. Zeyi Chen, a former chairman of China’s main acupuncture training facility, may run a business intended to help lessen stress for busybodies, but he’s a bit of a workaholic, himself. “I work much harder than most other people,” he says, and he’s not kidding, with 43 years of acupuncture under his belt and no sign of slowdown in his six-day workweek. Chen has been in Charleston since 1981 and spent years at MUSC as a professor of dermatology, but left the college 11 years ago to start up his own clinic in West Ashley. “When I do acupuncture, patients will be more appreciative than when I just give them pills or medicine,” says Chen. Who knew being a human pincushion could be so relaxing and refreshing? —Sara Miller

Best Yoga Studio
Holy Cow Yoga

10 Windermere Blvd. West Ashley 769-2269
The competition for Best Yoga Studio is always heated, and not just in that pranayama way. This year, Holy Cow Yoga & Holistic Center came out on top — not much of a surprise, since the neighborhood yoga center has been slowly building up clientele with their friendly staff and wide range of activities designed to soothe and improve mind, body, and spirit. Each month, they sponsor different workshops focusing on specific yoga styles (Kundalini and Sadhana were a few recent ones) and usually at least one or two free yoga and/or meditation classes for beginners, which work in favor of both the Center and the stressed-out student, lawyer, or Supermom looking for just one hour of “me time.” —Sara Miller

Best Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Louis Costa, Southeastern Facial Plastic Surgery Center
247 Calhoun St. Downtown 722-5904

Best Local Sports Team
Charleston RiverDogs

Best Marina
Charleston City Marina
17 Lockwood Dr. Downtown 723-5098

Best Island
Sullivan’s Island

Best Place for Family Fun
James Island Country Park
871 Riverland Dr. James Island 795-7275

Best Park
James Island County Park
871 Riverland Dr. James Island 795-7275

Best Surf Shop
8 Center St. Folly Beach 588-2247

Best Dermatologist
Dr. Marguerite Germain
725 Long Point Road Mt. Pleasant 881-4440

Best Bike Shop
Mike’s Bikes
808 Folly Road James Island 795-3322
and other locations

Best Sporting Goods Store
Dick’s Sporting Goods
2070 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley 573-0891

Best Dive Shop
Charleston Scuba
335 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley 763-3483

Best Outdoor Outfitters
Half-Moon Outfitters
425 Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 881-9472
280 King St. Downtown 853-0990

Best Veterinarian
John D. Ohlandt Jr., Ohlandt Veterinary Clinic
1509 Folly Road James Island 795-7574

Best Place to Buy a Boat
Hanckel Marine
2445 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley 556-2550

Best Golf Course
The Ocean Course
Kiawah Island Golf Resort, 1000 Ocean Course Drive 768-2121

Best Health Club
Eco Fitness
69 Wentworth St. Downtown 723-4995

Best Personal Trainer
Bill Fagan, East West Health Arts
792 Folly Road James Island 762-6580

Best Physician
Dr. David Albenberg, Access Healthcare
235 Calhoun St. Downtown 853-8870

Best Hair Stylist
Lynn Huneycutt, Whispers on Wentworth
71 Wentworth St. Downtown 577-6516

Best Tanning Salon
Ultra Tan
334 East Bay St. Downtown 723-6292
and other locations

Best Chiropractor
Dr. Mark Luckie
1692 Highway 171 West Ashley 571-3100

Best Pilates Studio
Eco Fitness
69 Wentworth St. Downtown 723-4995

Best Hospital
Medical University of South Carolina
171 Ashley Ave. Downtown 792-2300

Best Place to Give Birth
Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital
2095 Henry Tecklenburg Dr. West Ashley 402-1000

Best Piercing Shop
Factor Five
283 Meeting St. Downtown 965-5559
5527 Rivers Ave. N. Charleston 747-0540

Best Sex Shop
Generation XXX
7219-A Cross County Road N. Charleston 552-9700

Best Day Spa
Urban Nirvana
8 Windermere Blvd. West Ashley 720-8000
636-D Long Point Road Mt. Pleasant 881-1160

Best Massage Therapist
Erin Hall, Iyashi Day Spa
426 Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 849-5454

Best Hair Salon
Stella Nova
292 King St. Downtown 722-9797
and other locations

Best Barber Shop
Causey’s Barber Shop
1220 Ben Sawyer Blvd. Mt Pleasant 884-5757
891 Houston Northcutt Blvd. 881-3080
5101 Ashley Phosphate Road N. Charleston 767-9177

Best Hotel
Charleston Place
205 Meeting St. Downtown 722-4900

Best Bed & Breakfast
Two Meeting Street Inn
2 Meeting St. Downtown 723-7322

Best Bowling Alley Twin River Lanes
613 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 884-7735

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