Budding skaters can learn to sail on frozen seas at Carolina Ice Palace, whose coaches are all members of the Professional Skaters Association and have decades of combined experience. Designed by the U.S. Figure Skating Association, the Basic Skills Learn to Skate Program introduces essential ice maneuvers to both recreational skaters and those who wish to decorate Christmas trees with Olympic medals, helping them to explore moves including forward skating, backward skating, stops, edges, crossovers, turns, and mohawks. Classes, which consist of 30 minutes of instruction and 30 minutes of practice time each week, are available on Mondays and Saturdays and are suited for children or adults who want to put the running sneakers on ice, strap on skates, and incinerate many calories.
Given its signature touches, Sapphires Sports Bar & Grill is more of a biography than a bar. Green Bay Packers memorabilia speaks to owner Mike's affection for the team, as do the wings specials and festive gatherings on game days. Co-owner Charlene has likewise left her mark?each table is scattered with a variety of wine labels, the results of her years spent scouting for fine food and drink as a former Delta flight attendant. By putting their personal touches into the decor, the owners hope to invite guests into a memorable setting, and by employing several of their relatives, they strive to foster a warm, welcoming atmosphere around the venue's copper bar.
Beyond being a catalog of hobbies and hospitable staff members, Sapphires is also an homage to accessible gourmet. Its menu?inspired by a mix of timeless grill food and Charlene's gourmet tastes?surprises seasoned pub-goers with items such as the smoked-salmon pizza, a disk of rosemary focaccia adorned in capers, red onions, and bites of fresh fish. Even the list of 19 wing sauces denotes sophisticated cooking, dressing chicken in sweet-and-spicy plum, garlic thai, and bourbon-style marinades, instead of traditional flavors such as "smoke" and "yummy." Guests can compose signature burgers with made-from-scratch patties, or peruse the night's specials for examples of international recipes.
Brazilian Market touts hundreds of imported Brazilian culinary staples. Behind the meat counter, butchers slice picanha, or top sirloin, a cut popular in Brazilian rodìzio-style restaurants, and wrap up lombo recheado, pork stuffed with herbs and cheese. In addition to thick slabs of traditional Brazilian meats, Brazilian Market stocks goods such as South American coffee, tea, and coconut water. Customers can also shop for sundries such as Havaianas flip-flops and Brazilian hair products.
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.
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.