Been downtown recently? Between cyclists on sidewalks sans helmets (come on!), pedestrians staring at phones, and out of town drivers meandering the wrong way down one-ways, it’s obviously spring/Bridge Run weekend/ tourist season in the Holy City. You can hide out in your house ’til Monday or you can take the “can’t beat ’em, join ’em” route with a few fun-filled weekend itineraries we’ve drafted. Catering to runners, families, tourists from here and afar, and the off-the-beaten path wanderer, we’ve got a little something for everybody.
We can guarantee you’re not going out tonight — risk ruining your chance of PR’ing at the race? Hell no. If you’re like us though (not the hardcore runner, but the nervous type), you’d do well to calm your butterflies pre-race. Might we suggest kicking back with a bottle of vino from two from downtown’s new(ish) wine shops?
Head to King Street’s Monarch or Graft for a bottle of vino, ranging from the affordable to the expensive. The best part is that both spots have helpful staff and equally helpful notes on each bottle, complete with pairing suggestions and flavor profiles. Swing by Mercantile and Mash for some grab-and-go eats, and head home to chill.
Now it’s time to party. But not too hard. You don’t wanna poison that finely-tuned bod. Start with some bananas and free bottled water (hell yess!!) at the finish fest, where you’ll most likely have to wait around for your award. Oh, you didn’t place? Hmm, OK, scratch that.
Kick things off at Club Trio because honestly, when else are you going to go there when the sun’s out? An Australian DJ duo runs the bridge then starts their set and honestly they probably beat your PR. Drink the pain away and bump to mind-numbing beats.
Up next: a block north on King Street, the official after-party at Hutson Alley features food and drink specials and live music from The Black Diamond Band, Dave Landeo, and Finnegan Bell.
Tired yet? Nah: You’re ready to rock. And kinda hungry … no, really, really hungry. Make your way up King to The Brick for some more drink specials but mainly for the Luther Burger — a bacon cheeseburger with two Krispy Kreme doughnuts as buns.
From there, wander into pretty much any King Street bar using our roundup.
When you’re all done, catch that Uber/Lyft.
Nap. What else?
The Family Guy/Gal
Give the kids a taste of the Bridge Run with the Cooper River Bridge Run Kids Run and Wonderfest at Hampton Park from 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The run and walk cost money but the fest is free, featuring face painting, jump castles, a live magic show, petting zoo, and live music.
You’re gonna need a drink after all that fun — head to a kid-approved restaurant, perhaps using our changing table restaurant list — like Rutledge Cab Co., Taco Boy, or new breakfast all-day spot, Millers All Day.
Scattered thunderstorms on Saturday may seem like a bad dream for the average runner, but for someone with kids they’re an outright nightmare. So. Much. Wet. Stuff. You’ll want to find a relatively kid-friendly space with covered surfaces … Mellow Mushroom’s luau party is a safe bet. The Alley — with all its arcade game distractions — is also the perfect place to swill a new frozen cocktail and brunch the day away.
One day without the kids? Skip the beer pitchers at other parties and get classy at Le Farfalle, open from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. with drink specials and yummy food.
If you’re looking for something fun to do with the kids — or for your kids to do this summer, check out the 4th Annual Kids Expo and Summer Camp Fair at the Gaillard Center, 12-5 p.m.
Out on James Island, you fill of Cajun food at the 27th annual Lowcountry Cajun Festival at James Island County Park from noon to 6 p.m.
And now it’s time for bed.
Spring Break! (locals and visitors)
If you’re staying downtown for Spring Break, or you live here and you’re just enjoying some time off, there’s no better way to see the city and feel cultured AF than the First Friday Art Walk. Starting at 5 p.m., take in tons of local art in various mediums, some free vino, and scenic walking tour. We’ve highlighted three galleries to hit up in this week’s critic’s picks.
After the walk celebrate your new artistic insights at Pearlz, where the people watching is perfecto and the seafood is fresh (especially if you’re visiting ‘from off.’)
You’re gonna be stuck downtown with the Bridge Run. Make the most of it (for those not lacing up their sneaks) and cheer on random runners on King Street. We’ve compiled a humongo list of bars/restaurants throwing down.
But if you’re hanging around King Street, might we suggest heading to the Macintosh for burgers, brats, beer, and music from DJ Moo Moo; the Finish Line party at Burns Alley, where you can swill brews in a beer garden and sway to live music; or get classy AF at Vintage Lounge where you can chug, err, sip specially priced starting at 10 a.m. Chef Emily Hahn’s The Getaway is even doing a Chilean pig roast on their back patio.
If you’d rather steer clear of the crowds, a quiet farmers market will do the trick. Head to Pacific Box & Crate’s Saturday market, then grab lunch from popular, elevated food court, Workshop.
If you’re a tourist of any breed, ya gotta brunch. It’s imperative. But it doesn’t have to be basic: try the new Spanglish pop-up at The Daily starting at 10 a.m. Crafting Cuban cuisine with West African influences, the couple behind Spanglish is sure to whip up something you’ll be raving about long after you’ve left the Lowcountry.
Off the beaten path wanderer
It’s the opening night reception for modernist geometric abstract painter Paul Yanko at the George Gallery on Bogard Street. Tucked away on a tree-lined street, the charming gallery with its white walls and huge windows is a must-see. Plus, the artist will be in attendance so you can ask him about his process (it’s fascinating, trust us).
After the show, head across the street to Elliotborough Mini Bar for live music in cozy, living room like atmosphere.
Skip out on the downtown mayhem and head to North Charleston. Starting at 10 a.m., Roadside Blooms will host their plant sale where will fill their backyard with native plants, organic and locally grown vegetable starters, succulents, herbs, and more. Oh, and they’ll have two workshops, one from 10-11:30 a.m. about organic container veggies and one from 2-3:30 p.m. on carnivorous plants native to S.C.
Stick around North Chuck for the Half Crown Bakehouse pop-up at Stems & Skins wine bar starting at 6 p.m.
Nothing is funkier and more anti-touristy than music venues the Pour House and Tin Roof. Continue your tour off the peninsula at the James Island PoHo Sunday Brunch Farmers Market starting at 11 a.m. Shop wares, grab eats from food trucks, and listen to live funky music all afternoon.
Then, pop over to West Ashley for the Tin Roof’s Boobie Bazaar, a carnival themed event with fun activities like a dunk tank, cake walks, and bobbing for boobies. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.