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Weekend Getaways: Charleston

Courtesy of Zero George Inn

Charleston, SC

It’s easy to love antebellum Charleston, with its scented gardens and live oaks, starched demeanor and polite exchanges of the day. Although you can still meet a traditional sweetgrass basket weaver such as 78-year-old Sue Middleton at the City Market or thumb through vintage Southern recipe collections at Heirloom Book Company, off lower King Street (a.k.a. the Antiques District), the slide rule of charm has recently shifted farther north, to upper King. This red-hot frontier of urban renewal is occupied by a new generation of tattooed hipsters who irreverently refer to home as “Chucktown.” Browse the asymmetrical leather jackets by designer Rick Owens and Isabel Marant’s embroidered skirts at Worthwhile before slipping into the speakeasy-inspired Cocktail Club for an impeccably crafted pre-dinner drink. (Look for the door with a “C.”) Just up the road, chef Mike Lata of downtown’s much-loved F.I.G. has opened the Ordinary, a casual seafood joint known for its clam cakes and triggerfish schnitzel. Live music is never far from any street corner—and the Charleston Music Hall is the go-to spot for everything from Argentinean tango to homegrown country-rock duo Shovels & Rope. In the adjacent Ansonborough district, the 18-suite Zero George ($$), set in five restored town houses clustered around a central courtyard, has started welcoming guests with expert-guided antiquing trips, afternoon cocktails in the salon, and Lowcountry cooking classes. —Shane Mitchell


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