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 Supernatural 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.
At Chucktown Tavern, you get to hear your neighbors sing. The joint booms with karaoke every single night of the week as patrons try their pipes on numbers from the DJ's selection of hundreds of karaoke tracks. Melodies of popular tunes and weekend performances from local bands drift towards the kitchen, where head chef Hope Young and her kitchen crew fold locally grown produce into classic breakfasts, sandwiches, and seafood dishes. She stuffs burgers with filings such as marinara, pepperoni, pimento cheese, and jalapeños, piling the patties onto freshly baked breads. Glasses click together, spilling rivulets of imported beer and cocktails into cool rings on wooden tables. The revelry pours out onto the front courtyard, where patrons recline in padded furniture like kings or cool pieces of wood a king found and named.
It started small: in 1931, Lieutenant Commander Charles Russell Price directed a series of one-act plays at the Charleston Navy Yard. The series was an unexpected success, and a year later, his band of amateur theater-makers had evolved into an
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.
Tiki Island plies patrons with island kitsch, live entertainment, and an array of tropical eats, including frozen drinks, surf and turf, and sandwiches. With an emphasis on local partnerships, Tiki Island serves up fresh oysters, shrimp, crab, and other fruits of the sea harvested from a nearby Neptunian orchard. Seared raw and served on a bed of wakame with wasabi and soy sauce, the sashimi ahi tuna ($8.95) is a popular "Tikitizer," but for those who prefer their meat gill-less, chicken tenders ($7.95), wings ($9.95 for a dozen), and sliders ($7.95) make the grade. From the sandwich menu, an all-beef Sonoran hot dog gets wrapped in bacon, fried, and gingerly posed on a sub roll with toppings ($8.95). Wash this salty dog down with a tidal-wave gulp of Blackbeard's mojito ($7.95, made with black-cherry rum), but beware the nefarious squid that awaits you at the bottom of your glass. The strawberry-basil margarita ($6.95), made with Tiki Island's own house-grown basil, and the St. Croix frozen lemonade ($8.95) also provide refreshing sippers ideal for summer.