Living in Charleston, romantic romeos can easily gift their darlings with a Valentine’s Day surprise fit for a Lowcountry queen. As arguably the most enchanting city in the world, Charleston is a beautiful backdrop to celebrate love. Legendary author Pat Conroy penned, “There is no other city in the world quite like Charleston. From the time I first came there in 1961, it’s held me in its enchanter’s power, the wordless articulation of its singularity, its withheld and magical beauty. Wandering through its streets can be dreamlike and otherworldly, its alleyways and shortcuts both fragrant and mysterious, yet as haunted as time turned on itself.” Certainly, Charleston’s gravitational pull permeates through its visitors and residents, begging to be loved and demanding to be respected. In other words, Charleston will handle the atmosphere, gentlemen only need to escort their ladies and be ready to inhale the intoxicating spirit. Here are few chivalrous ideas to ensure Cupid’s arrow softly strikes your sweetheart but not necessarily your wallet:
Reminder: Valentine’s Day is Tuesday, February 14th. Plan accordingly, gents!
1. Before work, bike around downtown Charleston early in the morning and watch the sunrise over the harbor at Waterfront Park. Bring a blanket and a picnic basket with muffins, fruit, and premixed mimosas. For bonus points, recite Theo Williams’s love poem “You Are My Sunrise” or write your own haiku comparing the beauty of the sunrise to the beauty of your babe.
2. If you are not an early bird, stroll down Battery Park and White Point Gardens after work and watch the scintillating sunset. Bring a decanter of wine along with fine cheese and crackers. As the sun reaches the water, channel your best Marshall Tucker voice and softly croon the song “Carolina Sunsets” in her ear.
3. Add a heart of humor to Cupid’s big day by attending the off-broadway production “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” at the Charleston Music Hall. This comedic play highlights the stark differences between the two genders. Tickets are $100 per couple for the show or $164 for both dinner and the show.
4. If your gal prefers fights over flowers, take her to the Charleston Stingrays hockey game. On Valentine’s Day, the Stingrays battle the Atlanta Gladiators at the North Charleston Coliseum. The game starts at 7:05 p.m. and tickets range from $11 to $23, depending on seat preferences.
5. Some people prefer ghouls and ghosts to ignite that loving feeling. Luckily, Charleston has its fair share of historic haunted houses, buildings, and graveyards. Bulldog Walking Tours takes brave patrons inside the Old City Jail, the Provost Dungeon, cemeteries, churches, alleyways, and former brothels for an educational experience and possible paranormal encounter. Tour tickets are $25 per person.
6. For those who wish to extend Valentine’s Day into Valentine’s Night, consider booking a room at the Restoration Hotel off Wentworth Street. The chic hotel is located in the heart of downtown Charleston and features its own rooftop bar, private swimming pool, and spa. They even offer bicycles for guests to wander around downtown. Enjoy breakfast in bed as a complimentary breakfast basket is delivered directly to your room the next morning. For a Valentine’s Day package, the Restoration Hotel is offering couples Louis Sherry chocolates, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, and dinner for two at The Watch. Other perfect places to stay downtown include the Vendue Inn, Charleston Place, and the Francis Marion Hotel, all of which market special Valentine’s Day rates and packages.
7. If you’ve “lost that lovin’ feeling” like the Righteous Brothers, then consider creating a “Cupid is Stupid” pub crawl for your friends. Start at Starz Rooftop to enjoy happy hour specials and make your way down King Street with stops at the Recovery Room Tavern, Closed for Business, and finally the Cocktail Club of Charleston. Who knows, maybe within the Cocktail Club’s historic walls, which were built circa 1881, you will find your saccharine soulmate. And if not, you will at least enjoy the creative libations and rustic ambiance at these hip bars.
Of course, a classic evening comprised of drinks, dinner, and dessert at one of Charleston’s infamous restaurants is certain to appease your partner. Because it is a hammy Hallmark holiday, reservations are highly recommended at popular establishments such as Halls Chophouse, F.I.G., Husk, Poogan’s Porch, Peninsula Grill, and High Cotton. No matter what option you choose, Golden Bear Realty agent Charlie Palmer recommends adding lots and lots of chocolate. “On Valentine’s Day, everything should center around chocolate. Chocolate pancakes in the morning, chocolate candy in the afternoon, and chocolate martinis at night,” he advises. “I always like to leave little notes of affirmation on the mirror, under the pillow, in the car,” he adds. “So often men believe they need to make these grandiose gestures on Valentine’s Day, but the truth is women appreciate the small acts of kindness just as much, if not more.” Living in Charleston, romantic romeos can easily do both.