Charleston at Christmas

Dec 5th, 2010, 12:06 PM
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Charleston at Christmas

We are spending Christmas week on Kiawah Island. I have searched the boards for information on Kiawah and Charleston, but most information is in regards to summer. Any special tips for what to do the week of Christmas? We would love some advice on good restaurants - we are foodies and don't mind paying for a good meal.
willowjane is offline  
Dec 5th, 2010, 12:41 PM
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There are many great restaurants here. Recs will depend on what you want.

Locally sourced: FIG
She-crab soup: 82 Queen
Shrimp and Grits: High Cotton
Wow factor and coconut cake: Peninsula Grill
Beast beach dining:Atlanticville on Sullivans, Boathouse (best view) or Hucks Isle of Palms
Collards, crab cakes: SNOB
Fried shimp: Jestine's
Closer to Kiawah, duck fat fries: Fat Hen on Maybank
Where you'll see no tourists: Mustard Seed on Maybank
Rooftop bar: Market Pavilion.
Magnolia's, Carolina's and Cypress are also great. The newest hot place is Husk. I haven't been yet but the reviews are solid.

Many people enjoy the Festival of Lights t james Island county park. Here's a link with events:

Also pick up a City Paper when you get here. It will have an extensive list of goings-on. I recommend just walking through the Historic District and enjoying the architecture, wrought iron gates and decorations. It's really pretty at Christmas.

Avoid any place that hawks you to come in. No good place has to do that
suewoo is offline  
Dec 5th, 2010, 12:55 PM
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suewoo...Thank you so much! what great advice!
willowjane is offline  
Dec 5th, 2010, 12:56 PM
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Ypu are welcome. You'll LOVE it!
suewoo is offline  
Dec 5th, 2010, 12:58 PM
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I cannot type with this cat on my hands!
suewoo is offline  
Dec 5th, 2010, 02:16 PM
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Oh I forgot one. Hominy Grill for the sides if nothing else! Try the tomato pudding! Reminds me of my grandmama....
suewoo is offline  
Dec 5th, 2010, 03:45 PM
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Is the tomato pudding the one with Ritz crackers and cheese?
Gretchen is offline  
Dec 5th, 2010, 03:57 PM
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No, it's more like stewed tomatoes. But that Ritz cracker scalloped tomato dish is an all-time family favorite of mine! Yeah, boy.
suewoo is offline  
Dec 5th, 2010, 04:02 PM
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You all are making my mouth water!
willowjane is offline  
Dec 5th, 2010, 04:18 PM
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Hang on til you get here, girl! The food here will make you want to bust out into song. Are you staying at the Sanctuary?
suewoo is offline  
Dec 6th, 2010, 09:26 AM
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I am from Charleston and we have spent many, many holidays there, either in town or at our place on Kiawah.

One year it was so warm that we had dinner and cocktails on the beach; the next year it was so cold that that the mud puddles and marsh were frozen. Never can tell what it will be like.

Aside from that, there are a number of Kiawah centered activities that are great for families. The recreation center at Night Heron Park has a full range of activities, mostly nature centered. Be sure to get a full list as soon as you arrive. There's a lot to do just on the island, especially if its the least bit warm.

The New Years Eve family event at the Park is the best thing we do all year: music, roasted oysters, bbq, activities for kids. The Sanctuary and other sites have grown up events but the park is outstanding, even for adults without kids.

Be sure to visit the light display at the James Island County Park. Google it and you'll get directions, hours, etc. It is huge. We go every year and it never gets old. Puts you in the holiday spirit. It's quite large so takes an hour or two to go through. There are a number of very good restaurants near the Park so you can make an evening of it.

Locals love The Athens, Boulevard and Mustard Seed, within a mile of the Park.

While it's great to think of all the good restaurants downtown, we find that we end up on the island in the evening at Christmas time. The ride to dinner downtown is dark; better to go for lunch and sample the places on Johns Island in the evening.

I think that the Fat Hen and Wild Olive on Maybank highway are as good or better than anything down town. Do a search for comments on these two great places.

Heges and LeVela at Freshfields are very good as well. Lunch at Rosebank or Reds at the Bohicket Marina should be on the list.

Lucy's Red Sky and the newly re-opened Chez Fish are also nearby.

Finally, plan a lunch or sunset cocktails at the Ocean Course. The view of the ocean is to die for. Food is fine but the joy is to sit on the porch in those comfortable wicker chairs and have a libation and an order of their shrimp.

Happy to give you other thoughts. Let me know what you need. See you on Kiawah.
dove is offline  
Dec 6th, 2010, 12:53 PM
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I agree with Dove that Kiawah will be very festive for Christmas! Be sure to check the resort's website for planned activities.

Even if you are not interested in the holiday resort activities, you will enjoy beautiful winter sunrises and sunsets from Kiawah's south-facing beach. The Sanctuary Hotel is fully decorated. The giant lobby tree, standing in front of the ocean windows in the main lobby, is magnificent. The gingerbread and candy models of South Carolina lighthouses, made by the hotel's pastry staff, are fascinating.

When I left Kiawah yesterday, the Chez Fish restaurant was not yet reopened. A few years ago we spent a wonderful New Year's Eve at Chez Fish, so we are hoping for reopening SOON. Don't be put off by the "road house" look of Chez Fish! It was (and will be again) a great restaurant.
kiawahvilla is offline  
Dec 6th, 2010, 03:03 PM
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There are just so many reasons to be Thankful for Fodors! You all are the best! Merry Christmas!
willowjane is offline  
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