What's New for Spring 2011

For Immediate Release, April 2011
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WHAT’S NEW FOR SPRING 2011 IN CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
City Market Renovation; Upcoming Events and Festivals; New Air Service, Programs and Tours; Hotel and Restaurant News


NEWLY RENOVATED ATTRACTION

• The City Market in the heart of downtown Charleston, one of the nation's oldest public markets (established 1804), recently completed a $5.5 million, multi-year renovation. In addition to restoring the architectural integrity of the sprawling, multi-block retail venue that houses 148 permanent vendors, the building adjacent to the Planters Inn has been transformed into a 18,300 square-foot galleria of micro-boutiques, all of which have been leased by locally owned businesses. Dubbed the “Great Hall,” tenants include Charleston Angler, Charleston Hat Shop, Charleston Shoe Company, Food for the Southern Soul, Historic Charleston Foundation and Wonder Works, among others. For a taste of Gullah crafts and cuisine, including sweetgrass baskets and benne wafers, shoppers may stroll through the adjoining buildings, which recently started a nighttime art market on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. TheCharlestonCityMarket.com


UPCOMING EVENTS AND FESTIVALS

• Charleston Harbor Fest, May 12 – 15, is a celebration of the port city’s history and one of the largest maritime festivals in America. In addition to hosting a fleet of visiting tall ships, this year’s festival coincides with the race port-o-call for VELUX 5 OCEANS, the epic solo circumnavigation that began in France on October 17, 2010. This four-day festival attracts more than 100,000 visitors to the Charleston waterfront. CharlestonHarborFest.org

• Civil War Living History Event, May 14, explores the complexities of food preparation during the Civil War with a cooking demonstration by the Carolina Ladies Aid Society’s living historians. CharlestonMuseum.org

• Spoleto Festival USA, May 27 – June 12, is a 17-day compendium of performing arts that has been heralded as one of the nation’s premier cultural festivals. Featuring artists and troupes handpicked from around the world, the slate of shows includes opera, theatre, dance and music—more than 120 performances in total. Concurrently, the City of Charleston’s Piccolo Spoleto, the “little sister” of Spoleto, features family-friendly programming. SpoletoUSA.org / PiccoloSpoleto.com

• Sweetgrass Festival, June 3, offers an immersion in Gullah, the indigenous culture that permeates cuisine, crafts, language and traditions of the Lowcountry. Held at the new Cooper River Room, located in Mount Pleasant’s Waterfront Park, the festival offers visitors an opportunity to sample heirloom recipes, watch artists weave sweetgrass into baskets and listen to the lyrical language born of the sea island slaves. SweetgrassFestival.org

• Palette & Palate Stroll, July 15, pairs celebrated Charleston area chefs with noted art galleries during a progressive art walk that canvases the peninsula’s French Quarter. Sponsored by the Charleston Fine Art Dealers’ Association, pairings include Charleston Renaissance with Circa 1886, Corrigan Gallery with Cypress, Ella Richardson Fine Art with Blu, John Doyle Art Gallery with Caviar & Bananas, Horton Hayes Fine Art with La Forchette, Martin Gallery with Social, Robert Lange Studios with Charleston Grill, Smith Killian Fine Art with McCrady’s, Sylvan Gallery with Tristan, and Wells Gallery with Rice Market. cfada.com

• Charleston Farmer’s Market, every Saturday in Marion Square, features local produce, plants and cut flowers, in addition to made-to-order food vendors, live entertainment and an assortment of arts and crafts from local artisans. Charleston-sc.gov

• The World Team Tennis Finals, July 22 - 24, is the culmination of three weeks of intense coed team tennis featuring some of the most well known names in tennis. This season-ending event will include WTT Conference Championship matches and the WTT Finals. The U.S. Tennis Association recently named Charleston “Best Tennis Town,” an honor that included a $100,000 prize for tennis facility enhancements. FamilyCircleCup.com

• 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, August 9 - 12, 2012, will release the remaining tickets this summer. Only five percent of all tickets remain. pga.com/pgachampionship/2012


NEW AIR SERVICE, PROGRAMS AND TOURS

• Delta Air Lines offers new nonstop service from Charleston International Airport to Washington National Reagan Airport. Delta.com

• Southwest Airlines now offers direct flight service from Charleston International Airport (CHS) to Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI), Chicago Midway Airport (MDW), Houston Hobby Airport (HOU) and Nashville International Airport (BNA). Southwest.com

• The City Market is nearing the completion of a $5.5 million renovation. Established in 1804, the attraction is one of the nation's oldest public markets. In addition to restoring the architectural integrity of the sprawling, multi-block retail venue that houses more than 100 vendors, the building adjacent to the Planters Inn is being converted into a 33,000 square-foot galleria of micro-boutiques, all of which have been leased by locally owned businesses. Dubbed the “Great Hall,” tenants include Charleston Angler, Charleston Hat Shop, Charleston Shoe Company, Food for the Southern Soul, Historic Charleston Foundation and Wonder Works, among others. For a taste of Gullah crafts and cuisine, including sweetgrass baskets and benne wafers, shoppers may stroll through the adjoining buildings, which recently started a nighttime art market on Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. TheCharlestonCityMarket.com

• The Charleston Area CVB recently launched CharlestonFamilyFun.com, a comprehensive trip-planning resource that offers tips on age-appropriate activities at more than 30 area attractions. The site also features a round up of local beaches, child-friendly restaurants and tours in addition to vacation packages and coupons. CharlestonFamilyFun.com


• To help families make the most of their vacation, the Charleston Area CVB has also unveiled the Charleston Explorers Club. The adventure begins at any official Charleston Area visitor center, where families register for the free program and receive a colorful sticker, keepsake passport and list of the 30-plus participating attractions. With passport in hand, families embark on a journey through the Charleston area. From alligators and artifacts to sea turtles and sandcastles, the region is teeming with hands-on, experiential activities. Every participating attraction has an emblematic icon and secret code, so passports fill up with souvenir stamps as young minds forge memories. Explorers then login at CharlestonExplorers.com and turn the secret codes into prizes while working up the ranks from deckhand to admiral. The ultimate “elite explorer” title is bestowed upon every child who collects stamps from all participating attractions. Since the Charleston Explorers Club never expires, families may map out visits to participating attractions over the course of several vacations. CharlestonExplorers.com

• Charleston Pirate Tours recently launched Evening Pirate Prowl, a nighttime tour that introduces visitors to the area’s rich pirate history, lore and related landmarks. CharlestonPirateTour.com


HOTEL AND RESTAURANT NEWS

• Tactile architectural elements, including exposed brick and knotty pine floors, coupled with chef-grade kitchens and in-suite laundry give guests at the Restoration on King, downtown’s newest boutique hotel, a distinctively pied-terre experience. An intimate rooftop terrace overlooks King Street, making the 15-suite hotel a private gem in the heart of downtown. RestorationOnking.com

• Perched on the self-proclaimed “Edge of America,” The Tides Folly Beach full-service hotel recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation that included creation of a new restaurant, Blu, more than 4,000 square feet of banquet space and meeting rooms overlooking the ocean. TidesFollyBeach.com

• Husk, the restaurant opened in November 2010 by James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southeast 2010 award winner Sean Brock, has been hailed as possibly the most important restaurant in the history of Southern cooking. Brock’s ardent locavore philosophy and strict adherence to stocking the restaurant’s pantry solely with ingredients sourced in the South has garnered extensive coverage, including the front page of The New York Times’ dining section and Best New Restaurant nod from Southern Living. HuskRestaurant.com

• Chef Craig Deihl of Cypress is nominated for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southeast. If triumphant, Deihl would be the fourth consecutive Charleston chef to win the honor, following Chef Robert Stehling of Homing Grill (2008), Chef Mike Lata of FIG(2009) and Chef Sean Brock of McCrady’s (2010). CypressRestaurant.com

• Part alchemy, part history and completely artisanal, the cocktails served at The Gin Joint harkens back to the zenith of distilled mixology: the pre-prohibition era. Opened in mid August 2010, this locally-owned spot prides itself of cocktails crafted with excellent spirits and seasonal accents, such as housemade falernum and beet molasses. TheGinJoint.com

• Taking its cue from stylish big city sushi hot spots, O-ku serves a plethora of Japanese specialties amid swanky décor at its lower King Street corner, one of the fastest growing hubs of Charleston nightlife. O-KuSushi.com

• Drawing its name from local lore, Amen Street Fish and Raw Bar occupies a corner where, in the late 1700s, a chorus of “amens” could be heard coming from nearby St. Philip’s Church and the Methodist Meeting House. The menu focuses on regionally sourced seafood in addition to oysters from across the country. AmenStreet.com

• With more than 30 wines by the glass and 35 cheese and charcuterie options, Bin 152 is a popular spot with the after work and pre-theatre crowd, thanks to its French Quarter location. Bin152.com



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