Word of Mouth: Mt Pleasant, South Carolina

Beyond its natural delights, this city's brimming with unexpected treasures

Exploring Mt Pleasant, South Carolina can be surprising. The oft-overlooked sibling to Charleston feels like unearthing a long forgotten sweater that happens to fit perfectly. A quick drive across the Coopers River (or a steep bike ride if you’re feeling active), Charleston and Mt Pleasant seem interconnected, and share the same airport. Yet Mt Pleasant’s expansive feeling—with its unique and sprawling neighborhoods, glorious historic homes and charming waterfronts—offers the ideal foil to Charleston’s more bustling downtown ambiance.

Founded in the 18th century (originally as a summertime retreat for wealthy Charleston families), Mt Pleasant’s Old Village district now features a charming main street of shops. The Shem Creek area is a prime waterfront arena to view the shrimp boats haul their wares in, with dolphins in hot pursuit. (If you’re lucky you may catch a glimpse of a pod nibbling on the leftovers from the day’s catch.) With Sullivan Island just a quick bike ride over the Ben Sawyer Bridge, the reward for your efforts is three miles of pristine beachfront with no commercial development to interrupt the view. This city will win you over with its quintessential southern charm, growing culinary scene and ample natural delights.

Post House

A coastal restaurant with a newly launched small suite of rooms upstairs, Post House just underwent a two year renovation under the stewardship of Kate and Ben Towill of Basic Projects. The design duo managed to hold onto the history of the building (originally built in 1896) and create a restaurant with a warm, convivial neighborhood energy. The robin’s egg blue exterior painted trim and shutters continue upstairs as a soothing wall color in select bedrooms, while the dining area embraces warmer tones—from the red tufted chairs to the striped outdoor awning in the back garden. The menu offers a seasonal mix of American eats with a Low Country twist, proudly highlighting the local farms and providers they work with. Pair the East Coast oysters and fish and shrimp curry with a bottle from their surprising wines section.

The Shellmore

To experience the charm of I’On Village, a quaint residential community within Mt Pleasant, head to The Shellmore. Best known for their oysters, the eatery’s fresh, daily menu features plenty of locally caught specialties. Enjoy a night of seafood at their wood-paneled horseshoe bar or take in the warm South Carolina air under the striped umbrellas in the back garden.

Charleston Artist Collective

Located just down the street from Post House in the historic Old Village neighborhood, the Charleston Artist Collective was founded more than a decade ago by Charleston native Allison Williamson. Recognizing the demand for affordable art, and with a growing roster of local artists in her rolodex, Williamson set out to create an art gallery that felt as inviting as its prices. Today, she features works ranging from $75 to $7,500 and has added in a charitable element to sales, allowing her to donate over $200,000 to various non-profits across the country.

Elizabeth Stuart

An American interior designer and the founder of her eponymous design boutique, Elizabeth Stuart has been a fixture on the Charleston design scene since her shop first opened in 1996. An avid traveler, she finds treasures all over the globe, but the inviting atmosphere of her shop provides a definite feeling of cohesion. Venetian glass bowls, antique French caned seating and gilded mirrors are just the start of the curious and lovely finds you may unearth.

Coastal Crust

A visit to the navy A-frame of Coastal Crust, a family-run pizza restaurant, feels like an event—from the handmade dough and pizza options crammed full of seasonal delights to the ambiance. Their signature vintage truck-turned-oven provides a lovely backdrop, while ample outdoor space complete with cozy fire-pits sets a great mood for al fresco experiences.

Images courtesy of respective venues, hero image courtesy of Post House