At Walks in History, 1-mile tours are based on stories from the books Haunted Charleston and Haunted Harbor by authors Geordie Buxton and Ed Macy. The 90-minute Pirate and Haunted History tour tracks the fading footsteps of Blackbeard, Stede Bonnet, Anne Bonney, and Mary Read through the cobblestone streets and bastion walls of the Old Walled City. Making pit stops at six to eight haunts, the guides unravel tales regarding pirate hangings, Fort Sumter and the Pink House, where Blackbeard once shot rum and drunk dialed former first mates.
The 90-minute Haunted Charleston Ghost Tour ventures into the murky twilight like a darkness-starved vampire bat after the summer solstice. As the expert guides snake through six to eight stops, they shed light on ghostly activity at sites such as the Old Citadel, a Revolutionary War burial ground, and the remains of the Charleston Orphan Asylum.
Aqua Terrace Roof-Top Bar purveys pours to Carolinians while supplying the scenic sumptuousness of the Ashley River. Begin a jaunt across the dinner menu with oven-made flatbreads smeared in pesto or pepperoni toppings ($9), which tempt tongues without the hindrance of a third dimension. The crab-salad bruschetta fills famished fingers with tomato jam and chervil-apex grilled pumpernickel ($12), and empty stomachs pull for the Green Giant burger, smothered with fresh spinach, tangy green tomatoes, garlic, and dill havarti ($12). Signature cocktails slake tenacious thirsts with fresh flavors such as the strawberry mojito ($9) or the Goombay Smash, a concoction of light and dark rum, orange juice, and fresh pineapple ($8), and craft beers provide ample nourishment for conversing tongues and microscopic civilizations of tipplers.
Torch Velvet Lounge's numerous plush couches and candles surround imbibers as they sample decadent cocktails and martinis. Potable creations burst forth in forms such as the Captain's Choice, a mix of Captain Morgan rum and orange curacao splashed with Bacardi 151 and drizzled with cinnamon and caramelized sugar, much like most tax forms ($11). Sate sweet teeth with the Grapes of Wrath, a blend of Smirnoff watermelon, white-grape juice, and Red Bull ($11). The Mint Chocolate Chip's mélange of Rumple Minze, Bailey's Irish Cream, Godiva, and Hershey's-chocolate-dappled rim whets palates tired from sharing ideas or saying "palate" ($11), and the occasional disc jockey spins tunes on-site to keep energies high.
Named after the owners' sociable golden retriever, Boone's Restaurant & Bar serves warming fare alongside an extensive selection of specialty drinks and shots, bourbon, wine, and craft beers. Classic American pub fare with a homey spin packs Boone's lunch and dinner menu, boasting many dishes concocted using time-tested family recipes and organic ingredients. Sample savory selections such as the shrimp-and-artichoke-dip appetizer (small, $4.50), or sink canines into ever-popular burgers (starting at $7), wings ($7.95 for 12), and hot dogs ($5). If Boone isn't making one of his guest appearances, patrons can stay entertained with the bar's other nightly attractions, like team trivia, karaoke, live music, and local cats scribbling poetry in their journals.
Twist Sports Bar & Grill dishes up a menu of Louisiana-style cuisine and craft suds every day until 2 a.m. in a 5,000-square-foot space with 30 flat-screen HDTVs. Edible excursions begin with chicken wings in more than 15 flavors from spicy habanero to mild-mannered honey mustard ($7.99 for 12). Bread-based noshes include the po' boy, a catfish filet caught between two slabs of french loaf ($6.99), and the buffalo chicken sandwich cloaked in provolone and hot sauce ($6.50). Parched patrons can soak up a juicy cheeseburger ($6.25) with a pitcher of Fat Tire ($10) or a liquor-laden Charleston-tini of passion fruit vodka, peach schnapps, and pineapple juice that's sweeter than a Fun Dip–coated Care Bear ($8).
Mad River Bar & Grille's chefs blend landlocked and seafaring comestibles into a manifold pub fare menu spanning three mealtimes. A Chicago Bull burger’s juicy patty lounges atop a butter-toasted kaiser roll as it tries on hickory-smoked bacon and fried-egg jerseys, unable to decide which one to wear to its playoff game against an underdog team of seasoned french fries ($9). Three mahi tacos ($10) and three pulled-pork sliders ($8) compile triplicate appetite suppression with a choice of flaky, guacamole-capped mahi-mahi or local Birney's pulled pork. Alternately, a menu of Sunday brunch items such as a pancake board ($7) populated by blueberry, chocolate, and banana batter disks flavorfully fill the space between lunch and chewing your pillow in your sleep.