A tattooed moose, a trolley, and a view of the ocean in Charleston, South Carolina

By Amanda Cleary Eastep

Read about our adventure, too, in Asheville, North Carolina, as part of this scouting expedition.

Cha-ahl-ston, South Carolina

(or Charleston for those of you who don’t like pretending you have an accent)

I’m very tempted to skip writing about this part of our expedition.

Not because it was bad necessarily, but because we weren’t able to experience it enough in only one full day…in the pouring rain…and cold…with mediocre seafood in our bellies.

Gone were my dreams of a walk on Folly Beach. We didn’t visit Fort Sumter because of the yucky weather. And my mother didn’t get to sit on a big front porch drinking a glass of lemonade, fanning herself, and exclaiming “I do declare!” She did, however, get to ride on free public transportation.


Mac and the long-awaited trolley

My poor little white-haired, pink-coated suburban mother bumped through questionable neighborhoods on a stuffy Carta trolley and was greeted at the visitors center by an ornery drunk man who was apparently so excited to see her that he wet his pants. I could only hope she appreciated my attempt at saving a few dollars, just like she taught me.

We allowed her a moment to recuperate in Urban Outfitters after we eventually disembarked and walked along the popular King Street shopping area before an even longer walk in my quest to set eyes on the ocean and eat a seafood stewpot before the day ended.

By the time we made it to Charleston’s version of Red Lobster, my mother was ready to stab me with her shin splints.

King Stree

King Street architecture


King Street wildlife


Seafood stewpot

Determined to see the ocean and give the trolley another shot…I called a cab for my travel-weary parents and one sick daughter and kept walking east.

It was only a few minutes before we hit Waterfront Park before warming up with hot chocolate and catching the trolley back to the hotel.



Because one of the best parts of traveling is the FOOD…

Based on a few suggestions from readers and The Food Network, we tried Hominy Grill and The Tattooed Moose.

Hominy is a lovely place set on a corner in a neighborhood of old homes, some beautiful, some falling down around your ears. Apparently shrimp and grits is a regional favorite, so that’s what I ordered and enjoyed. I have nothing to compare it with except my grandmother’s grits, and I would venture to say it was even better. All the food we ordered was good; the desserts were even better. -The award-winning chocolate pudding lived up to it’s claim.

Discovery: Boiled peanuts taste like amazing beans.

Hominy Grill

First meal in Charleston

If I ever went back to Charleston for anything besides that missed walk on the beach, it would be for the Tattooed Moose.

Tattooed Moose

Tattooed Moose

Aside from the fact that my sweet and somewhat naive (thank God!) teenage daughter got too much of an education from the bathroom graffiti, this place rocked. Like Hominy, it’s stuck in the middle of a neighborhood. But different in its abundance of stuffed animal heads, neon, and craft beer. I literally had to nurse the Dragon’s Milk. We ordered and promptly DEVOURED the fries with duck gravy and the duck club. One of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten. Ever.

Tattooed Moose

Fries with duck gravy

Tattooed Moose

Duck club

Discovery: For a good time, call… I mean, stuffed moose head ambiance makes everything taste better.

At the Moose, we each claimed our favorite bit of graffiti…except for Mackenzie, who brought her Renaissance literature book.

My husband refused to have his picture taken with the “Obama is ruining this nation” graffiti and opted for the nonpartisan mustache graffiti…

Tattooed Moose

Meg, a roller derby girl at heart…


And this pretty much sums it up…

Tattooed Moose

Thanks for hitting the road with us…



  1. […] about our adventure in Charleston, South Carolina, as part of this scouting […]

  2. Bummer for a lackluster expedition to Chaaaleston. Although I got a good laugh out of the urine-soaked gentleman holding down the Visitor’s Center! Not putting their best foot forward, I see. At least you got to explore the Moose… much better than a run-in with the mouse, as I’m sure your poor mother would agree. 😉 Loved reading about the scouting expedition!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Travel isn’t always pretty, but it always makes for good stories, right?

      1. Couldn’t agree more! A good story is definitely the biggest upside to any bad day. 🙂

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