Do the Charleston… If You Have the Grits

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It’s time for another installment of “Places you should go before you can’t tell a presidential executive order document from one of your White House German Shepherd’s training pads!” Yes, recently my wife and three teenage daughters took a week-long family trip to Charleston, SC – also known as “The city where every meal will cost you at least two C-notes.”

Because we enjoy turning our buns into geological formations, we drove the entire 14-hour trip from East Texas to downtown Charleston, stopping only occasionally to sample the delights of various southern powder rooms, usually in rural gas stations tempting us with boiled peanuts and pickles in a bag.

Similar to nearby Savannah, Ga., where we dislocated our credit on vacation a couple of years ago, we noticed that almost everything in Charleston is extremely historical, meaning it costs a lot of money to see, and it usually has a gift shop selling souvenir refrigerator magnets. In fact, upon our arrival, we immediately forked over a chunk of change to a tour company that hauled us around town in a historical-looking wagon behind a Belgian draft horse’s fragrant hind quarters as the guide showed us the historical sideways-facing single houses with their grand piazzas – and other historical stuff.

Because we still hadn’t had enough historicalness, we spent a couple of more hours (and another hundred bucks) on a guided walking tour down cobblestone side streets and through historical alleyways where the horse’s hind quarters don’t fit.

The historical highlight of our trip was a jaunt aboard the Spirit of the Lowcountry across Charleston Harbor to legendary Fort Sumter. For about the price of one of my daughters’ prom dresses, your family can cruise across the harbor and occasionally glance up from their cell phones to see the majestic Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, Castle Pinckney, and finally, Fort Sumter – where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Although the tour of the fort itself was educational and moving, the cruise back to Liberty Square included the bonus of a pod of dolphins racing within inches of where we were standing on the lower deck at the bow of the boat – and the dolphins didn’t even charge extra.

After each of these tours, we were feeling pretty darn historical ourselves – and hungry – even hungry enough to eat something like shrimp and grits. And to be honest, touring the historical aspects of Charleston was really just something for us to do between meals. Devouring vast quantities of Lowcountry fare took up the bulk of our itinerary.

We broke the bank (and our waistbands) at eateries like Poogan’s Porch, Millers All Day, Toast! All Day, Fleet Landing and Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ, where we enjoyed some of the most scrumptious carbohydrates and saturated fats that we’d had since we left home. And, yes, Charleston restaurants can even make a dish like shrimp and grits edible, and she-crab soup seem non-hazardous.

Our trip to Charleston was a truly wonderful experience, and I encourage you to plan a visit as soon as you get the chance (or win the lottery). Our three daughters even appreciated it, except for the walking, stair climbing, and other activities requiring physical movement.

In addition to thoroughly enjoying the food, we learned a lot of the history surrounding this charming city and its importance in shaping our country’s heritage – and we’ve got the refrigerator magnets to prove it.

Copyright 2021 Jase Graves distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal, and The Kilgore News Herald. Contact Graves at [email protected]